Since they started to appear in the middle of the 19th century, political campaign buttons have been a staple of political movements and candidates. Always a simple metal or plastic button with a pin behind it, these little doodads have served as convenient identifiers between different supporters. They say with minimal cost “I support or do not support this”. Many such buttons are created by campaign staff, while others are made by third parties. This leads to a huge variation in designs, from a simple set of words such as “I LIKE IKE”, to provocative images and slogans that deliberately encourage a closer look. Many a campaign has been immortalized by these simple buttons hitching a ride on a shirt, and still exist to offer glimpses of politics past.
By their very nature, political buttons exist in huge numbers to try and get to as many people as possible. Age and the relevant message play a huge role in value. For instance, a Kennedy-Humphrey button can be worth $300-$500. By contrast, most other buttons will seldom exceed $20. Because of their numbers and variety, political buttons are easy, and often humorous, item to collect.