In the early days of the pinback around the turn of the century, photo buttons were all the rage. At that point photography was still something that was somewhat rare and special. Similar to the more-precious painted portrait lockets that had preceeded them, photo buttons gave people a way to carry the portrait photo of their loved ones on them everyday.
We came across this pamphlet from Indianapolis Photo Manufacturing Company from right around 1900 featuring advertisements for all the latest photo button products: round buttons in nine sizes, oval “beauty brooches,” jumbo easel buttons for display, cufflinks, watches, scarf pins– you name it, they could put a photo on it.
All images via Duke University Library collection.