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We are located right in the heart of Manhattan. Come by and see us to choose your assortment of political merchandise.

N.G. Slater Corporation

Started in 1936, the N.G. Slater Corporation has become one of America’s leading manufacturers of campaign buttons. Though credited as the creator of the world famous Smile button, we are best known for our buttons related to political campaigns, protest rallies, civil rights marches, reform causes, social issues, labor and corporate advertising promotions.  Slater buttons have been worn at many historic marches in the nation’s capitol including the 1963 March on Washington, the anti-war protest rallies of the 60’s and 70’s, marches supporting the ERA and the Million Man March just to name a few. 


N.G. Slater’s buttons are displayed in the Smithsonian and other museums as reminders of events that defined America’s history.


Though buttons are very popular with elections and causes, the biggest use for buttons by far is related to branding and marketing.  From “We Try Harder” to “I Love NY”, buttons continue to play an important role in many ad campaigns. Our humble button is still relevant in this high tech 21st century.


We are proud to say that our buttons have been used by thousands of Democratic candidates including John F. Kennedy, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  

Button History

The first political button commemorated the inauguration of George Washington in 1789. It was a simple brass sew-on clothing button that read “G.W.-Long Live the President.” In 1896, Whitehead and Hoag patented the button design we know today.  It consists of a metal shell, a printed paper disc covered by a piece of celluloid plastic and a pin on the back.  For the first time, buttons could be mass produced and were used extensively during the McKinley / Bryan presidential campaign of 1896. Buttons have been used ever since by thousands of candidates running for office.


What started as a political staple rapidly spread to become a major component of awareness and ad campaigns.  Madison Avenue soon realized that buttons were not limited to elections but were an effective way to “get the word out” when promoting a product or service. Buttons are also popular as fundraisers, giveaways and collectibles.