Celluloid pinbacks, a type of button, were popular from the 1890s to the 1940s as a cheap way of conveying a political message or advertising anything from food and clothing to movies and tobacco. In 1896 the first patent was granted to Whitehead and Hoag for a button with a textile surface covered with a thin layer of transparent celluloid. Later on the textile was replaced with lithographed paper (cheaper), and ultimately metal without the celluloid.

Advertising pinbacks, sometimes featuring cartoon characters, were often given away as premiums with cigarettes or newspaper subscriptions, or handed out at stores. They were also given as fan club premiums, as part of the membership package. On the political side, pinbacks were given away at campaign rallies.

Some pinbacks are hard to find today because so many were simply worn and thrown away. Collectors also seek to assemble entire pinback series (for example comic character pinbacks) and finding every pinback in a large series can be quite difficult.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Comic Character Pinbacks

Comic Character Pinbacks

Mark Lansdown's excellent collection of over 800 pinbacks representing 200+ comic characters from 100+ strips. Beau… [read review or visit site]

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

Plan 59

Plan 59

From the Nostlagia Factory in Virginia comes this celebration of 'mid-century automotive advertising illustrations'… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [read review or visit site]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Eugene Debs For President Socialist Party Campaign Pinback No ResVintage Remington Nylon 66 Autoloading 22 Rifle Advertising Pinback ButtonPeters Shells Hunting Advertising Pinback/button Old Vtg Antique P Flying DuckAntique Indian Motorcycle Pinback Button Hendee MaShoot Peters Shells Hunting Advertising Pinback/button Old Vtg Antique ShotgunJfk John Jack Kennedy Humphrey Political Campaign Pinback Button Minnesota Dfl45-huge Lot Political Anti-war Vietnam Pinback Buttons+sheet Of Peace StampsRare Original John Davis Presidential Campaign Celluloid Button Pinback 1920sDi Unit Crest Early Ww2 102nd Cavalry Regt Us Made Pinback Unusual Catch EarlyNice Orig Dead Shot Celluloid Falling Duck 7/8 Pin Pinback Advertising Button 1900 Mckinley Roosevelt Jugate Pinbacks ~ Lot Of 41896 Mckinley Hobart Jugate Pinbacks ~ Lot Of 3Original Wwii Pinback Balloon Observer Wing Di Unit Crest Early Ww2 109th Cavalry Regt Pinback Confederate General RareWwii Sterling Armor Tank Pin Amico Maker Pinback Sweetheart? Overseas Cap? Di Unit Crest Ww2 Chemical Regtmental Training Center Italian Pinback SterlingScarce Richard Nixon 1960 Guest Campaign Button Pinback Political President 1908 Taft And Sherman Vs. Wilson President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinButton / Pinback ( Pin Back ) Monkees Micky Dolenz Hair Michael GraberPresident Theodore Teddy Roosevelt Tr Rough Rider Campaign Pinback Pin ButtonWinchester Junior Rifle Corps Hunting Advertising Pinback/button Old Vtg AntiqueVintage Advertising Pinback Button For The Empire Drill Jackson, Mich. 7/8 InchExc! Wwii Love Field, Tx Full Size (3 1/8") Enamel & Gilded Brass Wing, PinbackVintage Pinbacks Buttons 1962 Worlds Fair 25 Pc. LotAlf Landon Knox 1936 Campaign Button Pinback Political Jugate Di Unit Crest Post Ww2 322nd Cavalry Regt Marked Raised Meyers Pinback OriginalGeorge C Wallace For Governor & President Pinbacks (lot 5)Di Unit Crest Ww2 Chemical Regtmental Training Center Dondero Pinback SterlingLot Of (5) 1940s-1950s Baseball Pin Pinbacks Yankees Senators Orioles W/pm10sJohn F. Kennedy Jfk Campaign Button Pinback Political 1960 Republicans Wwii Sterling Armor Tank Pin Sweater Chain Pinback Sweetheart Enamel Patch Etc. Adali Stevenson Estes Kefauver Presidental PinbackFranklin D. Roosevelt Original Campaign Pinback Button & Ribbon Man Of The Hour101 Political Pinback Buttons!313th Medical Battalion Crest Di/dui Pinback Newcome-sterling Hm1924 Coolidge And Dawes President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin Triangular American Red Cross Pinback Pin/theater Made Australia Or Uk-w/enamelPinback Fishing License From 1925 & 1939 (lot 7)Genuine Elvis Presley National Fan Club Pinback Circa 1956 I Like Elvis R.c.a.Vintage Early Boyscouts Of America (bsa) L S D Indian Celluloid Pinback Button1904 Teddy Roosevelt President Campaign Button Political Pinback PinDi Unit Crest Ww2 Usmc Marine Corps 1st Marine Div Guadalcanal Pinback Original2014 San Antonio Park Police Car Fiesta Medal Pinback Pin Law EnforcementVintage Ohio State Rose Bowl PinbackTremendous Lot Of 68 Different Cause And Social Issue Pinback ButtonsRare Early Antique Ww1 War Bonds Pinback Lot(6) Incl.winchester,libertyVintage Rare Junk Drawer Lot Of Jewelry Some Gold & Sterling & Pinbacks & MoreDi Unit Crest Ww2 226th Engineer Bn Pinback Unmarked Pinback Looks SterlingFranklin D. Roosevelt Original 1941 Inauguration Pinback Button & Ribbon Teddy Roosevelt Original Campaign Pinback Button PinWi Bowhunters Pinbacks (30) Hunting Licenses, Tags, VintageMichigan Bow Hunters Pinbacks (24) Mbh Hunting, Vintage LicenseDi Unit Crest Ww2 Us Armyhq Co 28th Infantry Div National Guard Pinback NicePopeye Club 1960s Wttv Chanel 4 Pinback Button Tin Litho Mint Condition DcLot Of 15 Wwii Era Red Cross Liberty Loan Nra Bond Patriotic Pin Pinback Buttons66 Mixed Lot Of Vintage Pins Pinbacks ~ Beer ~ Political ~ Celebrity ~ EtcMock Political Convention 1948 Pinback Button Truman & Dewey Macalester College Vintage Pinbacks Buttons Vietnam No War Peace Love 20 Pc. LotFranklin Roosevelt Fdr President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin2014 San Antonio Taste Of New Orleans Fiesta Medal Pinback