Black text on a white background with a fly
THE WHITEHEAD AND HOAG CO. NEWARK, N.J. PATENTED JULY 17, 1857. APRIL 14, 1896. JULY 21, 1896.
Whitehead & Hoag Co. was one of the first companies to produce patented celluloid pinback Button. The company specialized in advertising and political campaigns and produced unique novelty items featuring whimsical designs.
Long before the phrase "fly" indicating a person was good looking or well put together became popular from In Living Color’s “Fly Girls” dance troupe in the 1990s, the term “fly” was used as an adjective as early as the 1850s. Charles Dickens’ 1858 tale, "Arcadia", uses fly as slang for a quick-witted person. An article written in 1999 by Les Aldridge and published by Random House cites that in the 1870s, “the National Police Gazette wrote about ‘the young...men about town who think it is awfully 'fly' to know tow-headed actresses’”, using fly to describe something as attractive and cool.