The Hand Tip and Novelty Company was founded by Louis A. Cutler in Manhattan, New York, in 1900. Their main products at that time were ornate brass medallions, often with a ribbon. The company’s name was derived from the process of embossing the ribbons called “tip printing,” burning gold directly onto ribbons with hot typesets. Each ribbon was imprinted by hand.
In the 1950s, promotional buttons became popular advertising strategy and more pinback buttons were manufactured. Hand and Tip Novelty Co. eventually became Hantico Line, a specialty advertising company. With the change in name came a change in location and Hantico moved its base to Newburgh, New York, in 1984. Though the Hantico Line produced other items such as ribbons, clips, and clipboards, buttons were the main focus of the company.
Originally started by Cutler, the company was handed down in the family for several generations to son Robin and grandson Jay. Jay Shapiro, grandson of Cutler, moved the company closer to shipping facilities in its large warehouse home in Newburgh during the business boom of the 1980s. Hantico was later purchased by Uniflex, a bag manufacturer, in 1992. In 1995, Uniflex Inc. sold Hantico to American Greenwood Inc. that had a similar promotional product line.
Source: Button, button, they’ve got the button. (1980, August 11). Daily News from New York, New York. Retrieved from https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/485411810/
Source: Taguchi, G. (1990, October 29). Newburgh suits button firm. The Times Herald RECORD, p. 3B.
Buttons in the museum manufactured by Hantico Line