Anything can be collected these days, from marbles, to books, to vintage cars. Virtually anything that captures your interest can spawn the desire to have more of it, especially if you have the time and resources and passion to create and build your collection. The remarkable thing about button badges is that they embody a multitude of interests. Throughout history, the manner by which button badges have been used is extensive, and continues to this day.
Button badges have come a long way since they were first used in the late 1700s. Badges were initially used in political campaigns, and at the time, they were no more than small metal discs with an inscription. With the development of photo reproduction technology in the 1800s, pictures of political candidates began appearing on the buttons. By 1892, celluloid was used in the manufacturing process, marking the beginning of the button badge as we know it today. Button badges were used in political campaigning and even helped raise funds for the war effort.
Button badges also drew wide appeal with candy and cigarette companies who saw their potential as a marketing tool. These companies started giving button badges as free gifts with purchase, thereby influencing our current appreciation of the badges as collectible items. One of the most famous and controversial of these is the Golly Badge, from John Robertson’s jam company. The company’s mascot was based on a black character in popular children’s books in the late 19th century, called a golliwog. The Golly badges could be obtained in exchange for tokens on their jam labels, but was discontinued in 2002 due to enduring debates on racial stereotyping.
Button badges were also widely were also used for protests. The most iconic of all is the peace sign designed in 1958, first used by activists in England during a march against nuclear weaponry. Another popular badge is the Olympic Project for Human Rights Badge, which was used the 1968 Black Power Salute. This badge was a protest against racism in sports, and racial segregation and discrimination. Protest badges have been symbols not only of what people were against, but also of what they were fighting for.
POP CULTURE BADGES
Perhaps the most enduring and most widely spread are pop culture badges. These became widely used in the late 60s to the 70s. Rock bands started using them for advertising. Badges started depicting bands, music, movies, commercial products etc. People started wearing button badges on their jackets as a fashion statement. Though the fad has since passed, the button badges we see today continue to evolve to reflect what was hot and popular to a certain period.
With such a long and colorful history of button badges, it isn’t a surprise that there are many avid and serious collectors of the item. Whether you’re designing your own badge to reflect your political views, promote a product, lobby against an issue, or simply express your individuality, the experts at Dandy.com.au can help you with your customized and high quality badges. You may not be one now, but your custom button badge may make a collector out of you yet!