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    

Hoo But Hoover Poppy Back 1928 Trimble Pinback Button Pin Herbert Hoover Rare Vintage Wwii Us Navy Elco Sterling Silver Pt Boat Wing Pin Pinback Badge Usn Nr!Hhh Humphrey Political Campaign Pinback Button Pin1888 Gettysburg Irish Brigade Veteran Ribbon PinbackWwii Us Navy Gold Tone Flight Surgeon Wing Pinback Pin Vanguard Usn UsmcEarly Vtg 1896 ~ Reach ~ Baseball ~ Pinback Button ~ American League Ball ~w & HBeatles Rare 1963 Beatles " Beatle Bug " Pinback Brooch Jewelery Item! UkVintage 1967 Plymouth Warner Bros. Road Runner Vari-vue Pin Button PinbackCelluloid Advertising Pinback. Deering Harvester Company, Chicago, U.s.a.Vintage 1937 Communist Party Usa War American Democracy Political Pinback Button1972 Mcgovern - Carole King Jugate - Bristow 1-1/4" Pinback - Scarcer DesignVintage Souvenir Ad Pinback Button 1904 World's Fair St Louis Pilsner Beer Vintage 1890s Nj Socialist Workmen's Sick & Death Benefit Fund Pinback RibbonOriginal Vtg Wm. Mckinley ~ Pinback ~ Riding Elephant ~ Gop ~ Embossed BrassVtg Lot Of 125 Politcal Campaign Pinbacks Pins Buttons Kennedy Lbj Carter NixonOriginal Vtg 1900 Mckinley ~ Pinback Button ~ Baldwin Gleason ~ 7/8 Inch14 Pinback Buttons Jfk / Rfk Kennedy Brothers Political Campaign Large Lot DealGreen Bay Packers Vs.minnesota Vikings Pinback Oct 4 1964 Beaver Dam School BandCaterpillar 40 Year Service Pin *4 Round Diamonds* (with Pinback) No Reserve1956 Ohio State Buckeyes College Homecoming Pinback Button Vs. Wisconsin 2014 Sdcc Comic Con Firefly Online Game Pin Pinback Button Vintage Boy Scout Pin - Bsa Mini Gold & Green First Class PinbackVintage 1897 Gar Buffalo New York 31st National Encampment Pinback ButtonVintage Az Senator Barry Goldwater President Political Campaign Pinback ButtonVintage Jfk John F Kennedy For President Pinback Pin Back ButtonEarly Antique University Minnesota Golden Gophers Football Pin Pinback Big 10 Mn1940 United Auto Workers Of America Harley Davidson Pin Or Pinback1924 Coolidge & Dawes New York President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin1893 Gettysburg Pa New York Day July 1-2-3 C G Braxmar Ribbon PinbackHuge Lot 108 Football Pins/pinbacks/buttons Many Vintage Nfl Ncaa CollegeLot 2 Antique Santa Advertising Pinback Button Pin: Lord & Gage, Pa. Trust CoVery Nice Lot Of 16 Adlai Stevenson Pinback ButtonsUnusual Lbj And (aaron) Schinberg (mass.) Coattail Pinback Button1935 Wisconsin Football Homecoming Pinback ButtonLafollette Wheeler 1924 Progressive Presidential Pins Two Pinbacks Please View383rd Infantry Regiment Crest Di/dui Pinback Ns Meyer-sterling Hm Charles Lindbergh: Pinback 1 1/4" With Lucky Lindy Coin Drop From Flag Ribbon1930's Buck Rogers In The 25th Century Advertising Pin Badge Pinback ButtonLafollette Three Pinbacks For Lafollette Progressive Candidate President 1924Original Vtg 1900 Mckinley ~ Pinback Button ~ Baldwin Gleason ~ 7/8 Inch1941 Roosevelt Wallace Inauguration Pinback Button1936 Landon For President Club Pinback1890's E. Hauch's Sons Brewery Pinback-original! Excellent Condition!Vintage Lunar Contact Metal Pinback ButtonNeat Lot Of 15 Various Presidential Campaign Pinback Buttons15. Vintage Chevrolet Corvette Owner Enameled PinbackDoctor Who? Tardis Lapel Pinback Pin1940 Pinback Trapping License - New York State - 1 3/4 " Diameter15. Col. Alexander O. Brodie Rough Rider Pinback / Govenor Of Az 1902 - 1905Charles Lindbergh Aviator Pin Pinback Plane Aircraft Workers Union Bomber LindyRare Vintage Advertising Pinback Button Pin Imperial Wind Mill C.1898-1900 OhioOriginal Vtg 1900 Mckinley ~ Pinback Button ~ Baldwin Gleason ~ 7/8 InchVintage President William Mckinley Political Campaign Photo Pinback ButtonCelluloid Advertising Pinback. Williams Mr. Pickle Of Michigan22 Vintage International Political Protest Peace Cause Pinback Buttons Anti BushLot 3 Antique Vtg Detroit ~ Pinbacks Buttons ~ Lindke Shoe ~ New Charter ~ 19111890s Yellow Kid #30 "say I Am Irish But Dis Is Me Flag" American Flag PinbackGreat Northern 1961 Safety PinbackTodd Rundgren Pinback Button, Tarrytown Music Hall, 2013Vintage Sterling Pinback For 5 Years At Harvey - Wells Electronics - 3/4" Long