Christen Carter has been making buttons for bands, artists, and whoever else needs a good button since 1995. Her first customer, picked up while she was learning the trade abroad in England, was indie band Guided by Voices, and she’s just gotten bigger from there. Her company, Busy Beaver Button Company, now makes millions of buttons for clients like Missy Elliot, Bumble and Bumble, Threadless, Adidas, and Burger King. Not content with simply producing quality buttons, Carter has also become a serious collector of vintage buttons, and recently launched an online button museum to show off some of her amazing finds. Click through to see a few of our favorites — from the lovely to the saucy to the serious — and then check out Carter’s online museum for even more.
From the ’80s. The button speaks for itself.
Most likely from the ’70s.
Prohibition era button with a very clear message.
Button from the ’50s. Poor guy can’t even afford a mirror.
We like this vintage joke. Bunnies like to do it.
Sounds like a fun club to belong to.
From the ’70s. Those legs are nice— we’d hire him.
Despite research, we still don’t know what this saying means. It’s just a beautiful design.
From the 60s. Reflects the sexual revolution.
The hardest working man in show business was arrested in 1988 after an alleged high speed car chase. He was released in 1991.
A rebus button probably from the ’40s.
Counter cultural button from the ’60s. Head shops used to sell these.
A metamorphic button. Turn this lovely lady upside down and see that she’s either washing or pleasuring herself.
The ultimate social lubricator.
Button designed by Basil Wolverton. Wolverton was a Mid-Century artist known for his humorously grotesque drawings. He also worked for Mad Magazine.
Flappers in the 20s wore these saucy buttons on their garter belts.
A self referential button from the early 20th century.
Designed by Cody Hudson. Based on the Neil Young song, Hudson designed this for a past Button-O-Matic series.
Jimmy Carter was known for being a peanut farmer, having big teeth, and solving the Iranian Hostage crisis.
This is a goofy depiction of the ultimate man’s man. From the late ’60s, early ’70s.