Since pin-back buttons were patented in 1896, people have used them to express their opinions, rally support and commemorate events. These everyday wearable objects are artifacts of cultural history that represent personal histories of the past.
After years of personally collecting buttons, Christen Carter, founder and president of Busy Beaver Button Co., and her brother, Joel Carter, Director of Operations at Busy Beaver, decided to preserve these personal histories in the form of a museum.
The Busy Beaver Button Museum opened in August of 2010. With guidance from button export Ted Hake, Christen and Joel have compiled, arranged and displayed over 5,000 historical buttons. The buttons date back to 1896, the year of the button's patent, are arranged by subject matter.
The museum is housed in the Busy Beaver factory at 3407 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL. It is open to the public 9-5 M-F and by appointment. The collection can also be found online at buttonmuseum.org.
Read more about the historical buttons in the Button Museum's collection