Busy Beaver Button Museum in Chicago is one of the world’s only museum dedicated solely to pinback buttons. With a collection spanning back to the 1800s, Busy Beaver continues to collect buttons of all different uses and eras. Christen Carter founded the Busy Beaver Button Co. in 1995 after spending some time in England, where buttons (called “badges” over there) were still very popular. She moved back to the States and started making buttons for bands and record labels. The Button Museum was founded in 2010.
Buttons are perhaps best known as political markers - or mockers depending on your taste. At Busy Beaver, buttons celebrate bands, holidays, life-events, and anything else you’d like.
Annually, they invite artists and designers to create limited-edition buttons for Button-O-Matic machines in small stores across the country. Previous designers include Chris Ware, Mark Mothersbaugh, Francine Spiegel, Jessica Abel, Jay Ryan, and many illustrious others.