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Whether you’re using them to display your favorite bands, memes, political affiliations, sports heroes, social heroes, or other parts of history, the button that you can pin to anything you’re wearing or carrying has been an incredible–yet tiny–billboard and display piece for more than the last century. Christen Carter, founder of Chicago-based Busy Beaver Button Company–they’ve produced more than 30 million buttons for bands, artists, and political campaigns–had this to say, “It seems like a niche little object, but it really tells a very general American history.” Carter teamed up with Ted Hake–the founder of Hake’s Auctions, America’s first auction house to specialize in popular culture artifacts–to create Button Power: 125 Years of Saying It with Buttons, a hardcover tome that delves deep into the history of buttons from their invention in the late 1800s to their contemporary uses now. Button Power: 125 Years of Saying It with Buttons will be released on October 13th of this year.

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