Black text on blue illustration of the Earth with an American flag staked into the north pole. Illustration is surrounded by a white border. Two images of explorers Cook and Peary are on either side of black text. A miniature stake is attached to the bottom of the button.
Bastian Bros. Co. M'F'R'S of Ribbon Metal and Celluloid Novelties Rochester, N.Y.
S.A. No. 11
LIP & BA Label
Frederick Albert Cook (1865-1940) and Robert Edwin Peary (1856-1920) both claimed to have reached the North Pole with Cook reporting his expedition just days before Peary in 1909. It is widely accepted that Cook, based on his records, never made it to the North Pole and Peary likely made it within 5 miles of the Pole. Cook likely never made it within 500 miles of the North Pole. His Eskimo guides even reported that they went south as opposed to north. Cook had a history of committing fraud in sales prior to the announcement. The irresponsible newspapers ran the stories without fact-checking and a rivalry developed between the two explorers. Cook traveled the United States for 5 or 6 years spreading anti-Peary propaganda. He even had school children write essays about who discovered the North Pole first, Cook or Peary.