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]

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 Buttons Pinbacks Campaign, Politics W/ Rare Harding Coolidge Pin ButtonHuge Lot Of Vintage Collectible Pinbacks - Campaign, Politics, Awards Vintage Antique Lot Of 43 Button Pinback Political Eisenhower Coolidge Roosevelt Big Set Of Vintage Buttons Pinbacks And Badges W/ Slogans, PoliticsLot Of Assorted Vintage Buttons & Pinbacks - Advertising, Patriotic, SouvenirsThe Beatles Original Vari Vue 5 Pinback Button Lot I Love John Paul George Ringo1902 Dallas, Texas Confederate Veterans Reunion Case Advertising Pinback ButtonVintage 1930's Superman Action Comics Magazine Pinback Button Nice No ReserveVintage 1953 Ducks Unlimited Pin PinbackVintage 1920s Large University Of Minnesota Football Homecoming Pinback ButtonAntique "no Beer No Work" Anti Prohibition Pinback Button Pin 1 1/4 InchAntique Oliver Chilled Plow Agricultural Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique York Gasoline Engine Reading, Pa Agricultural Advertising Pinback ButtonPopular 2 1/4" Women's March On Washington, Jan. 21. 2017 Cause PinbackRare 1963 Dr Ml King March On Washington Civil Rights Political Pinback Button1905 Louis & Clark Centennial Expo Case Agricultural Advertising Pinback ButtonPolitical 1960 John F. Kennedy/stanley Prokop Campaign Coatail Flier & PinbackRare Exc Herbert Hoover Inauguration Button, 1929 Pinback & Autographed Photo NrVintage Junk Drawer Lot Of Celluloid Advertising Pocket Mirrors & Pinback ButtonAntique Leader Threshing Machinery, Marion, Ohio Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Hoosier Drill Co., Richmond, Indiana Advertising Pin Pinback Button1908 William Jennings Bryan/kern Clean Sweep Pinback Button Tractor John Deere And Gas Engine Root & Van Dervoort Pinback East Moline 1896 Antique Cushman Binder Engine, Lincoln, Nebraska Advertising Pin Pinback Button The John Deere Or Gas Engine Root & Van Dervoort Pinback East Moline 1896 (3) Antique Woodrow Wilson Presidential Campaign Pins Pinbacks ButtonsOriginal Wwii Usn Pinback Pilot's Wing1960's Eldridge Cleaver Civil Rights Black Panthers Political Pinback Button Pin1890's Coopers International Union Button Stud - Ciu Labor Pin Pinback - Rare!Antique The Happy Farmer Tractor Co. Agricultural Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique The Great Minneapolis Line Agricultural Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique 1900`s-10`s Globe Store Santa Claus Pinback ButtonAntique 1900`s-10`s Globe Store Toyland Santa Claus Pinback ButtonAntique Aultman & Taylor Machinery Mansfield Ohio Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonOld Western Shot Gun Shell Metallic Cartridges Pinback Button Shell BoxVintage 1981 Political Radical Abbie Hoffman Social Cause Pinback Button1893 Columbian Exposition Chicago World's Fair Columbus Souvenir Pinback ButtonHuge #1 Lot Of Many Antique And Collectible Pinbacks $19.99 No ReserveVintage 1940's Sun Valley Idaho Id Ski Pin Early Downhill Skiing Pinback ButtonVintage John Deere Variable Vue Pinback 6600 Side Hill Combine (3 Inch)1950's Pm10 Baseball Pin Button Roy Campanella With Brooklyn Dodgers PinbackAntique H.e. Cole Old Empire Drill, Allegheny, Pa Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Lion Tractor, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Craver Harvester King, Harvey, Illinois Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAntique Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota J.i. Case Advertising Pinback Button1st Issue Vintage 1917 New York Hunting Trapping License Pinback ButtonAntique 1900`s-10`s Globe Store Santa Claus Pinback Button1960's Free Angela Davis Black Panthers Civil Rights Political Pinback ButtonAntique Real Photo Post Mortem Baby Pin Pinback 1 1/4 Inch #13 Minnesota Golden Gophers Homecoming Pinbacks 1946-47-49 & Dads Day PinbackMontreal Canadiens Original Vintage Player Pinback Buttons - 1970s - Lot Of 6Vintage 1954 Du Ducks Unlimited Bright Pinback Button Pin RareUnusual 1939 New York World's Fair Pinback On Original CardLarge #2 Lot Of Many Antique And Collectible Pinbacks $19.99 No ReserveAntique Crown Mfg. Co., Phelps, Ny Agricultural Advertising Pin Pinback ButtonAnti Vietnam War Peace Protest Demonstration Pinback Button One Day Event!3" Women's March Against Trump On Dc Day After Inaugural Cause Pinback ButtonWe Have Large Pinback Gas Engine Waterloo No Gasoline Engines 2.5" Long1911 Pinback Political Button Oklahoma Governor Lee CruceVery Nice 1 3/4" Bill Clinton Attorney Or Governor Pinback Button