N.G. Slater Corporation

Known as “one of America’s leading manufacturers of campaign buttons”, N.G. Slater Corporation was founded in 1936 by Nathanial George Slater – initially promoting itself as an expert in “Lithographed Metal Advertising Buttons and Tabs”. Though the New York City based button manufacturer is also known for its role in the production of novelty items, such as buttons bearing the iconic yellow “Have a Nice Day” smiley face, the company is still most widely known for the buttons it has produced over the last century relating to politics and social issues. These historically relevant buttons, some of which can now be found at within the collections of the Smithsonian, were created by the company to be worn for various campaigns, rallies, marches, and for the elevation of social issues – starting in the company’s early years with buttons ordered by the federal government to help support war bonds and the National Recovery Act.

The N.G. Slater Corporation is also known for creating buttons and other materials to support major unionized labor events and strikes starting with the likes of coal miners and farmworkers in the 1930s, and then eventually working with famous union leaders such as Cesar Chavez in the 1960s. Throughout the 60s and 70s, the company also worked to manufacture and supply anti-war and civil rights themed buttons to groups like the Black Panthers and leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Pinback button for the Poor People’s Campaign (1967-1968), National Museum of African American History and Culture

Additionally, the N.G. Slater Corporation has worked throughout its existence to produce a wide range of buttons, signs, and stickers to promote various presidential campaigns. This began with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and continued over the years with John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and more recently, Bernie Sanders.

Still located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, but now run by Robert Slater – the son of founder, Nathanial Slater – N.G. Slater Corporation continues to create and supply various styles of buttons and pins along with additional products such as apparel, watches, magnets, yard signs, bumper stickers, and key chains.

Source: Democratic Supplies.com. (2015). N.G. Slater Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.democraticsupplies.com/our-story

Source: Krieger, Silver. (October 13, 2016). Made By Unions For Unions: N.G. Slater Does It All. Retrieved from http://laborpress.org/made-by-unions-for-unions-n-g-slater-does-it-all/

Source: N.G. Slater Corporation.com. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from https://www.ngslater.com/about.htm

Buttons in the museum manufactured by N.G. Slater Corp.

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