Loading... Please wait...

Currency Displayed in

A history of pin badges

Posted by


Pin badges were a staple part of most of our childhoods. We collected them in their many guises, covering topics as diverse as movies to food branding. But did you ever give much thought to their origins?

The first patent for a pin badge came from the great era of innovation, the end of the nineteenth century. In 1896, an American man, John Wesley Hyatt, patented a method of covering billiard balls with collodion, a product of his experiments with cellulose nitrate. This plastic-like coating was the world’s first synthetic plastic and his brother, Isaiah, dubbed the material ‘celluloid’ in 1872.

Thin sheets of celluloid were laid over paper to give them the impression of enamel, without the costs or skill set required to produce enamel badges. Prior to the advent of pin badges, or button badges as they are known in some countries, medallions and pendants were the badges of the day. With the new celluloid system, it meant using less metal and eliminated the need for screwing or soldering. The celluloid sheet was laid over the paper design and pressed onto a metal shell. A metal ring was attached to the rear to hold it all in place and a pin was clipped to the back for securing to clothing.

Custom badges

Custom badges

Patents for these badges were taken out in 1894 and again in 1896 by Benjamin Whitehead. His company, Whitehead & Hoag Ltd of Newark, New Jersey, listed the patent for a ‘Badge Pin or button’, which used a metal pin attached to the rear of the badge. The celluloid protected the design and the pin badge was born. In 1897, Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee all over the world. Mass produced souvenirs like commemorative pin badges were mass produced and distributed accordingly. They were a massive success and have been popular ever since.

Whitehead & Hoag turned out millions of badges in the first half of the twentieth century, not only for the American market but for export as well. Badges were used to promote patriotism for the Boer War (1899-1902) and found popularity during Ghandi’s campaign for Indian independence in 1907. These ‘Mutiny Buttons’ were often seen on the streets of London.

Although plastic versions are readily available, metal ones, like the ones we lovingly produce at Makebadges.com.au, are still the ones to have. They haven’t changed much since their inception except we use plastic acetate instead of celluloid sheets.

The modern popularity of pin badges stems from the 60’s and 70’s. Students, hippies and musicians were never seen without multitudes of badges, espousing the benefits of ‘Free Love’ and ‘Rock & Roll’. John Lennon was a known badge maker, and along with other outspoken musicians like the Sex Pistols, made badges cool to wear. From ‘Ban the Bomb’ to ‘Free Love’ and ‘I’m with stupid!’ badges have charted social trends and causes throughout modern history and will be with us for many years to come.

If you feel like making your own pin badge history why not contact Makebadges today and we’ll help see your design come to life!


Make Badges New Office Address

Hello Badgers, Make Badges is proud to announce we have successfully moved to our new premises located at 147 Bell Street Heidelberg Heights, Vic. 3081. We look forward to unpacking and setting up shop at our new digs and inviting you all for cup of International Roast and a Tim-Tam at morning tea very soon! Our [...]

Read More »

Yearbook Photos – Badges for School Reunions

Custom badges are a must for school reunions. If you’re organising a high school reunion and are looking for ways to add even more excitement to an already throbbing function, try custom made badges. You’ll need badges that allow self-expression, those that invoke memories. Designing badges can be a little challenging but there are a few things that you can do [...]

Read More »

Vector vs. Raster images - The Importance of High Quality Images

In the world of digital design there are two common yet distinct file formats, Vector and Raster. Either may be used to create a masterpiece badge design, but knowing when and where to implement, which is vital to ensure a professional result. Basically, all digital art images are categorised as either raster images (also known [...]

Read More »

Custom Badges for Your Next Networking Event

Networking events are a great opportunity to meet new acquaintances. Now you can gain even more value from your events by designing custom badges for the attendees. Badges have been used for different purposes all across the business landscape. Some corporations use them for security reasons to control access to certain locations while others use them [...]

Read More »

Reclink Community Cup Badges

Here are The Rockdogs and Triple R 102.7FM / PBS 106.7FM Megahertz badges we made recently for the 2014 Reclink Community Cup. It was great to see so many people wearing both team badges on the day showing their support for the two great teams and the great services Reclink provides people in our communities experiencing [...]

Read More »

Your Budget: Use it or Lose it!

June 30th is just around the corner and we both know that means the end of the financial year. I've come to notice a pattern over the years that suggests customers who work at companies, in departments with yearly budgets like to ensure they spend as much of that budget as possible, so not to [...]

Read More »

Election Badges - 'Everybody is Palin by comparison!'

Here is a great video from the BBC interviewing Mort Berkowitz from New York City, USA who has been producing political badges since 1976!  Over 35 years of badge making experience has sharpened his senses to such a fine point he can predict the winners by state based on the number of badges he sells!I [...]

Read More »

Seasons Greetings from Make Badges!

This is our last communication for the year.  What a great year it has been.  We are grateful to you for being part of our journey.I sincerely hope you have had a prosperous year.  This year Make Badges has moved operations to a lovely little office space and workshop in sunny Preston Victoria, implemented a [...]

Read More »

Political Campaign Badges

In the lead up to this year's election Make Badges has made thousands upon thousands of political campaign badges for all your favourite political parties (political party, a delicious oxymoron).  The run rate required to get all the badges out to candidates ahead of the big day was steep and we were all sweating badges [...]

Read More »


 
What's News
newsletter
Contact Us

Make Badges Pty. Ltd.
147 Bell Street
Heidelberg Heights, Vic. 3081
Australia.
tel. (03) 9016-4416
email info@makebadges.com.au

Copyright © 2014 Make Badges Pty. Ltd.. All Rights Reserved.
Sitemap |