Sure, beer can have the reputation as a guy’s drink (think Homer Simpson), but as these examples from the Button Museum can attest, ladies and beer have a long history together.
Clockwise from top right:
1. Valley Forge Beer button from the 1940′s/1950′s. The beer survived Prohibition and was brewed up into the 1980′s.
2. Early 1900′s “Oh Be Jolly” button from Van Nostrand’s Bunker Hill Brewery’s P.B. Ale. These dog buttons advertised the same brew.
3. 1940′s/1950′s square button for Stegmaier‘s Gold Medal beer. The beer was named for the awards received in tastings in Antwerp, Rome and Vienna in 1911 and 1913.
4. Turn of the century Miller High Life button featuring Lucy, “the girl in the moon,” on the button and fob attachment. Lucy’s still around– check out this write-up of Miller’s update of her.
A fan of ladies who actually make beer (not just advertise for it)? Check out buttons for Craft Beer Week celebrating Real Women of Craft Beer.
Readers of The New Yorker may have noticed a pinback button featured prominently in the April issue. The Busy Beaver Button Museum was honored to have a 1970′s women’s rights button from our collection featured in the header of Susan Faludi’s article, “Death of a Revolutionary,” about the life of activist Shulamith Firestone.
Busy Beaver founder and Button Museum curator Christen Carter said of the feature, “I always love to see buttons in print and was really excited to contribute to the New Yorker article. That button was from such a politically charged time and I just love that it’s in there doing exactly want we want the Button Museum to do, to share these graphic representations of milestones in history.”
See more buttons from important moments in history in the Busy Beaver Button Museum.
Last month’s introduction of our new 2×3″ rectangle size had us thinking about some of the interesting rectangle examples from The Button Museum. Rectangle buttons have been around for decades and used primarily used for advertising and promotions. Check out some of our favorite rectangles from the museum’s collection:
1. One of our favorite odd advertising buttons, this rectangle was for Mennen’s foot powder. Apparently using the product was like attaching a giant block of ice to your crudely drawn foot.
2. 1940′s button promoting Chicago as the “Convention Capital.” We’ve been drawing conventions even before McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America, was built in 1960.
3. From the cause section, this 1990′s environmental button was from the Human-i-Tees series of fundraiser clothing. Full disclosure: I had this t-shirt and wore it almost every day to 7th grade.
4. Another 1990′s rectangle, this political button celebrate the Clinton’s beloved Socks the cat.
5. A 1980′s promotional button for Scotch videocassettes, the design uses the rectangle shape to mimic the look of the actual cassette.
6. Promo button for the 1985 film The Goonies. Goonies never day die!
7. Self-referential joke button from the 1970s. Get it? Because who’s going to wear buttons at a nudist colony?!
Check out more hilarious, and historical buttons, from The Button Museum.
In anticipation of the release of the new movie version of The Great Gatsby this weekend, it seems that the 20′s are back. The Button Museum has plenty of buttons from the 1920s in it’s archives, including quite a few of the “roaring” variety– buttons that epitomize the bobbed hair, sexual freedom and fun-loving attitude that personified the era. Here are some of our favorites from the museum’s collection.
Garter buttons were a popular fad of the 1920′s. Worn under the skirt, they provided a cheeky surprise to those lucky enough to see them (lucky like the four leaf clover example). The text on ribbons attached to these garter button examples speaks to the era’s irreverent attitude– “Just Sweet Sixteen, “You’d Be Surprised,” and “Did You Get Yours?”
The Button Museum’s collection definitely favors “dry” pro-Prohibition buttons. It’s easy to imagine that wearing an anti-Prohibition button may have been a bit more frowned upon, or make you a potential target of law enforcement. We do have this example in the collection made with a prominent union bug.
The 20′s saw increased sexual freedom for young people, and that newfound boldness is displayed quite explicitely with these “metamorphic” buttons. Rightside up, they feature bobbed-haired flappers demurely staring into a hand mirror and smelling flowers. Upside down, though, the ladies are engaged in activities of a very different sort. (This design continues to be appealing today– see a tattoo based on the mirror on the left.)
The Button Museum has a small collection of 1″ buttons featuring stars of the silent film era, including the four pictured. With their bobbed hair and dark lips, each actress is the picture the 1920′s flapper look.
See more historic buttons from the Roaring 20s and beyond in The Button Museum.