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24 Collectible Buttons

Christen Carter has accumulated thousands of historic buttons over the years. Beautiful ones. Hilarious ones. Crafty ones. Below, you'll find two dozen of the best, but there are many, many more over at the ButtonMuseum.org. Tell us your favorite in the comments!

This button was available in the 60s-70s in head shops, record shops and ephemera shops.

This is famous saying started by Rube Goldberg. Most people think of Rube Goldberg as the guy behind Rube Goldberg machines, but he's also famous for his illustrations of crazy inventions, as well as a founder of the National Cartoonist Society, which helped connect all the great cartoonists from the 1940s until now.

Likely issued by laundry-related sponsor in the 1930s but without any sponsor's name. Under magnification, those in the front rows have tiny blue legs and feet and near the back of the group a tiny flag protrudes.

Drawn by Basil Wolferton, illustrator known as the Michelangelo of Mad Magazine. He's known for his grotesque illustrations, like a man with 7 noses!


The Whitehead & Hoag  Co. Newark, N.J. with union bug and three patent dates: July 17, 1894, April 14, 1896, July 21, 1896.

This one is almost 100 years old and was functional; it can make your car lights work!

From the 1980s; features Epcot's Spaceship Earth, where people ride through a timeline of human communication. Not only inspired by Buckminster Fuller, with the geodesic dome shape, but also Ray Bradbury helped come up with the concept and the story of the ride through time.


Image of Yellow Kid to sell cigarettes! This is an early button from the late 1800s. Unreal, right?


If you were fortunate to see the sneak preview of ET, before it officially came out, you got this button.

1960's button, sold at gift shops.

From the early '70s, when different V.D.s were being talked about.

Contest button that the New York Evening Journal newspaper ran to give away prizes with matching numbers on its funny pages.

ca. 1930s

This is from the streaking sensation of 1974. They must have left the buttons on their clothes while streaking, but it's fun to imagine where they'd wear 'em otherwise.



The detailed illustration counters the actual crude stylings of the original video game, if you remember it.

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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