B is for Button

This is a button:


It is on a shirt, where it belongs.

But admittedly, there are other kinds of button. There are several on this car key:


There are buttons that open things and there are buttons that operate things. This is one of Child 1’s favourites:


But I would never have called this a button in a million years:

photo 1(1)

photo 2(1)

Because in my world, it’s not a button, it is a badge.

I bought it in a lovely bookstore that a chum took me to last week (check it out and see if you can pronounce its name here).

So how did a badge become a button? It’s not like the word badge doesn’t exist over here. Policemen wear badges. Sheriffs wore badges. Everybody knows that! But it turns out that little badges like I just bought are called buttons and its all because of politics. I blame William McKinley!

William McWho-ey? McKinley. According to my source at the White House ;), in 1896 William McKinley won the race to beomce the 25th President of the United States in a campaign that featured a new development in the use of the campaign button to advertise political affiliation. Here is then new-fangled button/badge:

1896-mckinley-2-2The other interesting thing about McKinley (beyond this important role in the rise of the button, as opposed to the badge) is that he is one of ‘the other two’. Which is a roundabout way of saying – how many assassinated US Presidents can you name WITHOUT CHEATING? I can (now) name 3 out of 4.

Bonus points for anyone who knows of and can name any assassinated UK Prime Ministers.


…..Oh, and here is a neat photo of to-read pile that made me buy the badge (button) in the first place:





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