Donnelly/Colt Progressive Resources was founded in 1975 by couple Kate Donnelly and Clay Colt and is a small, family-owned and operated business that provides progressive materials for consciousness raising and fundraising. They started out by buying a proof press in San Francisco and began hand setting wooden and metal type and printing bumper stickers. Their first bumper sticker was “Jail to the Ex-Chief”, in reference to Richard Nixon resigning as President and their low-tech equipment forced them to make items one at a time. Today, Donnelly/Colt is the nation’s oldest purveyor of peace paraphernalia.
Colt and Donnelly moved to Connecticut in 1985 and began branching out into buttons, T-shirts and other merchandise that made statements about social change. Donnelly/Colt is not technically a button manufacturer, but what is known as a “jobber”, meaning other shops actually make the buttons for Donnelly/Colt. Whenever possible, their products are made by union shops. They have been involved in many movements for social change over the past years and “still fundamentally believe in the basic tenant that grassroots, local action is what brings about social change.
Buttons in the museum manufactured by Donnelly/Colt