Busy Beaver Button Museum

Top choice in Chicago

Even George Washington gave out campaign buttons, though in his era they were the sew-on kind. Pin-back buttons came along in 1896. Badge-making company Busy Beaver chronicles its history in displays holding thousands of the little round mementos. They tout everything from Dale Bozzio to Bozo the clown, Cabbage Patch Kids to Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant.

They're fascinating to browse (especially Washington's button), and the hipster office staff are totally gracious about letting you gawk over their desks where the framed cases hang. Heaps more buttons are preserved in drawers that you're welcome to pull out and examine. Ring the doorbell to enter. And don't forget to pick up your souvenir button before you leave!

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