Chicago is a wonderful city. It has great food, great shopping, professional sports team year-round, and a rich and compelling history. The Windy City also has museums, lots of them, many of which are very intriguing. And the most intriguing of them all may be one that I just read about for the first time: the Busy Beaver Button Co.
What is it about the Busy Beaver Button Co. that makes it sound so intriguing? It is a museum entirely – entirely – dedicated to pinback buttons. How awesome is that!?
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune highlighted the work of Christen Carter (pictured below, right), a certified pinback button aficionado. As she was quoted as saying in the article, in reference to pinabck buttons: “They’re just so beautiful.” We concur!
Image source: Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune via DETNews.com
Incredibly, the Busy Beaver Button Co. has been in operation for 15 years. Carter recently launched the museum, which features over 1,000 button with pop culture significance, with hopes that it would help people to see pinback buttons as more than just “throwaway souvenirs.”
It’s a celebration of vintage buttons’ craftsmanship, the creative ways buttons were used to make a point, and the window buttons provide into their wearers’ bizarre interests.
“The thing we love about buttons is the communication and the expression,” Carter said.
If you’re ever in Chicago, certainly check out the pinback button museum, and also make sure to seek out one of the Button-o-Matic vending machines scattered throughout the city. Artists are commissioned to make these limited edition buttons for Busy Beaver.
Obviously we are proponents of do-it-yourself button making, using our button making systems, but we commend and recommend Ms. Carter for her commitment to the pinback button. Though pinback buttons do not have the same cultural relevance today that they had a few decades ago, it is people like Christen Carter that keep the simple, succinct, expressive spirit of pinback buttons alive.
Brighid Brown – Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM