Illustration of a black cat on a wall with black text on a light blue and light orange background
HASSAN CIGARETTES FACTORY No 649 1st DIST NY W & H Co. Patented
This button was part of a set of 376 known buttons, issued as premiums primarily with Hassan and Tokio cigarettes. Hassan was a line of inexpensive Turkish-blend cigarettes produced by the American Tobacco Company in the first quarter of the 20th century. During this time, novelty items such as pinbacks and trading cards where given away with cigarette packages and featured “I’m the guy” slogans with various cartoon depictions.
Rube Goldberg, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons, coined the phrase “I’m the Guy.” Several other cartoonists of that era, including George McManus, Bud Fisher, Hal Hoffman, and Tad Dorgan used the phrase to depict comical characters for pinbacks. Dorgan's comic strips gave us the common phrases, "for crying out loud" and "the cat's pajamas." This button appears to have been illustrated by Hal Hoffman.