Buttons, Badges & Pins - People Power Blog

Community Bicycle Network celebrates 20 years! December 05 2013

Our friends at Community Bicycle Network are celebrating their 20th year!   Congratulations on your awesome, award winning service!!! 

Their vision is:

  • bicycles are used to experience everyday life
  • bicycles, parts & accessories can be purchased affordably without sales tax, encouraging sustainable mobility
  • used bicycles can be repaired, resold and re-used or striped for parts and recycled in an environmentally-friendly manner

Come help them celebrate 20 years on Friday, December 6th at 8:00pm at 761 Queen Street West in Toronto!

 

Community Bicycle Network 20th anniversary

Preview blog post

 Or you can support CBN by donating online.

 

Here's to another 20 years!  And if you're at their anniversary party, you can get one these snazzy buttons! 

Community Bicycle Network 20th anniversary

I want to ride my bicycle!

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Help with a sticky Graphic Punch for Button Making December 03 2013

Graphic punches are used for circle cutting.  A question we get over and over is why does my graphic punch get stuck, or not work as cleanly as it should, and what can I do about it? 

Usually this is caused by cutting stickers.  This can can cause the punch to get sticky or gummy.    There is an easy and low maintenance fix for this.  You do NOT need to take it apart to clean it. 

 

Take a piece of of tin/metal which you can buy at any hardware store, or use the shell part for a rectangle or square button if you have one. (also known as a shim.)

 

Just slide it in the punch where you would normally put the paper.

 

 

 

...and quickly insert it a few times to get rid of the gum.

 

 

This should clear off any of the stickiness and start cutting properly again.   You should do this periodically to ensure the sharp cutting of your graphic punch. 

 Happy Punching!!

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Cauldron's Brazil's lost Tour 2013 November 29 2013

We have some friends in the band Cauldron who are currently finishing up a Brazilian tour.  Check out the custom band buttons that they made! 

These buttons are METAL!!! :-)

 

If you want to check out their music you can go to their Myspace.   And like them on Facebook!   While you're at it, you can follow there shenanigans on Twitter!

 

 

Their 6 city tour details are:

Nov. 26 - Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Matriz
Nov. 27 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Teatro Odisseia
Nov. 28 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Manifesto
Nov. 29 - Curitiba, Brazil - Hangar Music Hall
Nov. 30 - Porto Alegre, Brazil - Beco 203
Dec. 01 - Hortolandia, Brazil - Barka-Mada

So if you're in Hortolandia, get yourself to Barka-Mada to see the awesomeness in person!

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Congratulations to our very own designer Mariel! She made pretty custom wedding buttons! November 06 2013

Our super talented button designer Mariel was recently married to Patrick and she designed these fantastic custom buttons for her wedding. 

Mariel said that her personalized wedding buttons were a huge success with her guests and we can understand why, they look amazing! She's a skilled illustrator and the button design really captures the essence of the happy couple.   For more of Mariel's work check out her Love story comics

Custom wedding buttons

Personalized wedding buttons

The wedding was in Ottawa, and the lovely wedding photos are courtesy of Mondays with Mac Photography

We wish her all the best and hope she is enjoying her honeymoon!

 

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Rusty Buttons? Why do my buttons rust? Button Rust? September 20 2013

Quick question....I've been making buttons for a while now using a Tecre model 100 and their parts. I've noticed that after like 6+ months, my buttons are rusting around the inside edges when you look at them from the back....what causes this and how can I prevent it? Thanks!

 

Rusty Buttons

 

Buttons are tin and will rust very quickly.

 

I of course don’t know your specific situation but do you do outdoor events?  Do you keep your buttons in plastic buckets?  If on the end of a humid day you put a lid on and seal your buttons in plastic they will rust.  Of course from rain but even just from humidity.

 

This is a good reason to save and collect those silica gel sachets that come with all kinds of products.  Chuck some of these in with your buttons when you store them after a humid day and don’t seal the boxes up.  If you leave stuff in your car overnight or store buttons in an unheated garage get a heater and/or dehumidifier – or bring them into the house.

 

 

 

Rust on my buttons
button rust
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Button Vending Machines – Put your button sales on automatic – Gumball machines for buttons! September 07 2013

Selling your button designs in stores can be a great way to launch your button business.  But buttons are a low cost item that can walk very easily if you have them in a jar or on a board.  Packaging buttons is a good way to go.  You can make sets of matching buttons and put them on a display card or 4 in a bag with a header card.  I will be writing a separate article about button packaging in due course.  Another way to ensure you don’t loose buttons to pilfering is sell them using a button vending machine.

These machines are traditional gumball machines converted to take capsules.  You can then add multiple buttons in a capsule or also put a special offer or a coupon code in the capsule.  People enjoy putting in a coin and turning the handle to see what they are going to get.  There is a nostalgia surrounding the gumball machines.  Everyone remembers them from their childhood.  Button vending machines work for you whilst you are somewhere else, maybe making or designing buttons, maybe at home tucked up in bed with a good book.  Put your button sales on Automatic!

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Button Vending Machine

Button Vending Machine uses capsules

 

This is the flagship!  The Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine is a very cool retro style solid metal machine in bright red and designed like a globe.  I think it looks very cool.  As with all these machines there are some options for the coin mechanism.  You can go for a coin mechanism that takes a quarter, two quarters or even 4 quarters.  If your in Canada you can have a loonie or toonie coin mechanism.  You can even have 2 x $1 or 2 x $2.  All these machines also have the option for TOKENS or FREE VEND options.

Beaver Coin Mechanism

Coin Mechanism for a Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

 

The above Button Vending Machine – Meridian is quite pricy ($600 – $800) and at 70 lbs it’s quite expensive to ship.  But there are other options:


Northern Beaver Vending Machine

The Northern Beaver takes 1″ or 2″ or 3″ capsules.  You can fit 3 1″ buttons or magnets in a 1″ acorn capsule.  You can fit 3 buttons or magnets up to 1-3/4″ in a 2″ acorn capsule.  The 3″ capsules are a quarter each so I find them a bit expensive but they do take a few 2-1/4″ buttons.  The 2″ acorn capsules are only 5 cents each, the 1″ acorn capsules go down to 3 cents each. I see more opportunity in those than the 3″ buttons.

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

The Round Beaver has all the coin mechanism options but is only available for 1″ vending capsules.  The stand is also an optional extra.  They sit nicely on the counter and come with fixtures for bolting down or attaching a security wire (as do all Beaver vending machines).  The Round Beaver you can pickup for around $150.

Marketing and promotion options using a Button Vending Machine.

Above I’m talking about selling buttons but there are also other uses.  These machines have interchangeable coin mechanisms.  Those coin mechanisms can have some interesting possibilities. The FREE VEND option is a coin mechanism that requires no coin.  Just turn the handle and out pops the capsule.  Why is this useful?

Think of putting a machine in a local venue like an art gallery or a café.  When someone turns the handle they get a free button and an ad.  That ad could lead potential clients to your store, your website or to your latest special offer.  A great way to get customers coming to you.

What about TOKEN VENDING?  Our mechanism takes a 0.984″ token which is a pretty standard token size.  You can get tokens personalised, stamped with your website or your logo.  You can send a token to your mailing list, give a token out at trade shows or even walk the streets and hand out your token.  It will bring people to your store or event.  Event and party organisers can use tokens to distribute “random” capsules that are a kind of lottery.  What about a party where you have to find the person with the matching button.  The Button Vending Machine keeps the mix random.

How do I promote my website or business with a Button Vending Machine.

Depends on your business ….. but let’s say you have a bicycle store for example.  Come up with 5 or 10 slogans about cycling.  I love my bike!  Cyclists do it better!  Watch for cyclists!  etc.  Make some cool designs, add a button or magnet business card so there are 2 buttons in the capsule.   Get a Button Vending Machine with a $1 mechanism and set it up in your cycle shop.  Your customers will like the slogan, buy the button and take home your business card for the fridge.  If it cost a $1 they will appreciate it – If you give them away we all know how many end up in the garbage!  Entertain your customers AND promote your business.  The $1 coins will pay for the buttons and the machine in no time.  This method can be adapted to almost ANY BUSINESS and it works.

 

 

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Customized buttons online or renting a button maker and doing it yourself? September 05 2013

You're thinking of getting some customized buttons made.  These maybe photo buttons with a text or buttons with your own design.  If you are looking to get 100 custom buttons and pins or even 250 custom made buttons it's not really worthwhile to rent. You might as well let someone else make the buttons for you. You can easily order custom buttons online with us at People Power Press or with Button-Designer from The Button Guy. 

But if you are thinking of making customized buttons, custom photo buttons or any custom buttons and pins in a quantity of maybe 500 or 1000 then renting a button maker could be a serious, easy custom button alternative.  This could save you a lot of $$$$.  Basically you supply the labor and the customized button design and we supply the machine and the button parts.  If you have lots of time, volunteers or workers with not enough to do renting a button maker could just be the way to get your custom pins buttons at a much better price. Here are some links:

 

Renting a Button Maker        Checkout pricing and details about renting!

Customized Buttons              Checkout customized buttons from People Power Press - We can customize for you!

Custom Photo Buttons          Checkout larger customized photo buttons and add text to your photo

Customized buttons online   Try the free online button designer and customize your own buttons and pins!

 

The great thing about buttons is the low cost of the button parts if you make them yourself.  If you are doing an event regularly every year then buy a button maker and you will find all kinds of occasions to get the button maker out.  With standard button parts at somewhere between 6 cents and 12 cents each you can have a lot of fun with a button maker for a very small amount of money!

 

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Mike Gagnon: Freelance Comic Creator helped out at FanExpo August 29 2013

Mike Gagnon: Super Hero Buttons

 

A friend of ours, Mike Gagnon helped out this year at FanExpo by drawing people as super hero's for their button.  It was a great sucess - people were lined up for the opportunity.  Mike is a freelance comic creator.  To see more of his fantastic work visit his website here.

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Legends in Our Own Minds - Tales of a Dragon Boat Team August 28 2013

custom buttons, rectangular buttons
 
custom bottle opener, bottle opener, dragon boat festival
 
LEGENDS in Our Own Minds: Dragon Boat Team Custom Buttons and Bottle Openers
 
LEGENDS in Our Own Minds is a dragon boat team that entered Thunder Bay's very first dragon boat festival in 1999 and have been paddling ever since.  Their team consists of members who want to have fun, sing karaoke and paddle in stroke and they even have a member who for the past ten years has traveled from Ireland to paddle with them.  This year, the LEGENDS came in 2nd place at the Thunder Bay Dragon Boat Festival, which is their best placing to date and pretty impressive for a team that practices "more at the bar than it does on the water". Their next competition will be the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival in Superior, Wisconsin, USA on August 23rd.
Sounds like a fun team and hilarious buttons.  Keep having fun guys - I'm sure your bottle openers will come in handy!
 
Photo of the Legends in Our Own Minds Team!
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Our First year @ Fan Expo August 27 2013

Button Making, Fan Expo
People Power Press and Button Making in full swing at Toronto's 2013 Fan Expo
 
Button Making Supplies, Pin-back Button Parts
We brought plenty of Button Making Supplies to the event.  Pin-back Button Parts, Button Makers, Graphic Punches AND Button Vending Machines to show hundreds of Fan Expo attendees how to make buttons.         

fan expo, button maker, graphic punches
Our aim was to inform people of how buttons are made and what shapes and sizes are available.  We brought along many sizes of our Button Making Machines and Graphic Punches for people to try out.
 
Button Vending Machines, People Power Press
We also brought along our Button Vending Machines.
 
A Fan Expo attendee giving the Button Vending Machine a whirl.
 
Erin Cooper, Button Makers, People Power Press
People Power Press Button Makers getting Button Supplies ready to please the masses...
 
pre-cut circles for button making
Pre-cut Paper Circles ready to be drawn on for Button Making.
 
button vending machine
Our shop looked great - the button vending machines really spiced things up!
comic artist, fan expo
Comic Artist Mike Gagnon sat in with us drawing people as action heroes.
 
Button Making, Fan Expo
"I'm really into my work" - Button designing at Fan Expo
 
people power press, fan expo
Watching an aspiring button designer do his thing.
 
button making booth
The button-making booth is a smash at Fan Expo.
 
creative button making
Fan Expo attendees getting creative at the People Power Press booth.
 
Button Making Machine
One of our button making machines in action. Once this guy is pressed, there's no turning back.
 
fan expo, people power press
Just another day at the office? A really big office, full of fans, that is.
 
making buttons, fan expo
People of all ages were having fun making buttons and learning about the Button Making Process.  It was a great success.
 
Fan Expo 2013 Toronto, People Power Press
We'll see you again next year, Fan Expo!
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Do you do the Zombie Walk? I Hate Todd is looking for you... August 21 2013

I Hate Todd, Fundraising Buttons, Custom PackagingI Hate Todd Fundraising Buttons with Custom Packaging.

Local Toronto Band I Hate Todd is filming their first music video for their soon to be released single "Zombie Love" and they need Zombies (and crew).  For more information or to be a part of their video check them out on Facebook.  Plus a $5 donation gets you an exclusive, limited “zombie” edition I Hate Todd fundraising button with the proceeds helping toward funding the video.

Sounds like a great cause for getting your Zombie on!!

Website: www.ihatetodd.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IHateToddmusic

Want to be in the "Zombie Love" video? : http://allevents.in/events/ZOMBIES-I-Hate-Todd-needs-YOU-for-a-music-video/463856917044462

 

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Hanging out with the button supplies at People Power Press! August 15 2013

button supplies

Pancho! taking a break with some Button Supplies at the People Power Press Button Factory.

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NEW! Make selling custom buttons Easy! Use a button vending machine. August 06 2013

Put your button sales on automatic!  Use a simple machine that safeguards your art and collects the cash for you.  Whilst your sleeping, in the bath, in the bar.  I mean it! Earn money while you sleep with your custom button designs.

 

Custom Button Vending Machine

 Custom Buttons in a Button Vending Machine - Simple but effective!

What a Great Idea!  Sell your own custom buttons in a Button Vending Machine.  Our shop is currently loaded up with everything to get you started: Let someone (or something) else do the selling whilst you are creating your art.  Stay in creative mode whilst the business side takes care of itself.  Use a simple button vending machine to sell your designs.

Remember those bubblegum machines when you were a kid?  Well this is the same but it's not for selling gum.  It's a machine for turning your designs into cash. A custom button vending machine for your art and designs - it's personal!

Checkout this link.  You can order just a machine or you can order a machine already filled with your designs in capsules ready to go. Put your custom button sales on automatic.

You choose the sale price: 25 cents to $2.  You choose button quantity 1 - 3.  You choose button, magnet, key-chain, but don't forget to include your business card and a special offer or two.  The silent salesman will still be working for you.

If you've got good designs, we've got good button vending machines to sell them.

 bubblegum capsules

We stock three different styles of Button Vending Machines and two different sized Capsules for your Custom Buttons. 

Please see website for more details!

 

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Nature Canada engages youth to Naturehood with "Official Guardian of Nature" Buttons August 01 2013


 Nature Buttons, Nature Canada, Custom Buttons

Lac Deschênes - Ottawa River Important Bird Area Guardian of Nature Custom Buttons!

 

 Lac Deschênes Ottawa River Important Bird Area (IBA) is one of 600 sites across Canada recognized internationally for its importance to birds. However this IBA is particularly interesting because it is found along the Ottawa River right in the heart of the National Capital region. This site is a significant resting spot for migrating waterbirds and there is always something interesting to see along the Ottawa River.

Nature Canada calls this site Naturehood and they are working to connect Ottawa and Gatineau residents to the nature in their own backyard. These “Guardian of Nature” buttons will be a great way to engage youth in the Naturehood program by proclaiming them an “official Guardian of Nature.” 

 

For more information, please visit:

Lac Deschênes Ottawa River:

Website

Facebook

 

Nature Canada:

Website

Twitter

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Rosette Buttons July 29 2013

Rosettes are used for many purposes; they are great for events or as reward buttons, award buttons and as tokens of appreciation.  These rosettes are hand-made in Canada and have a soft, full, plush feel and are of excellent quality.  And now you can make your own!!

rosette buttons

Rosettes:  A button related specialty

 

horse show button

Horse Show Buttons with Rosette

 

employee award buttons, employee award rosette

Employee Award Buttons with Rosette

 

reward buttons, reward rosette

Reward Buttons with Rosette

 

We stock both 3" and 4" diameter rosettes.  The 3" rosettes have ribbons that hang bellow.  Both sizes can accommodate up to a 2-1/4" sized button.  To make a rosette you need a button maker and prong back button parts: a shell, mylar, a prong back and a plastic back pin-back. In smaller sizes (1", 1-1/4" and 1-1/2") you use a centre hole back and stick the brad prong pin.  Don't worry, when you order rosettes the parts come complete.

 prong back button parts, rosette

 Rosette with Prong Back Button Parts: For 1-3/4", 2" and 2-1/4" Buttons

centre hole button parts, rosette

 Rosette with Center Hole Prong Back Button Parts: For 1", 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" Buttons

 To make a rosette button you first need to make your prong back button or center hole prong back button using your button maker.  Next push the prongs through the cardboard holes of the rosette and then through the center hole of the black plastic pin-back.  Flatten the prongs to hold the rosette onto the button. We stock rosettes in white, red and blue but they are available by special order in 50 different colours.  Special order colours may take up to 4 weeks to ship but stock colours will ship the same day. 

prong back button parts, rosette

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Buttons at the Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show July 26 2013

Come One Come All!

Get your exclusive Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show buttons this weekend at Trinity Bellwoods park in Toronto.

Just as Adrian for one!

Alternatively, you could also get a bike, bring yours in for repair, or just geek out with all us fun bike loving people.

The show, organized by the Community Bicycle Network was launched in 2012 and is the CBN’s featured event.

It runs from 12-5pm on July 28th, 2013 : )

See you there!

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Add Versatiltiy to 1" buttons with a Versaback July 17 2013

 

1 inch button parts, keyring

1" Button Versabacks

Convert 1" buttons into key chains or zipper pulls using a snap in versaback.  A versa back is a black plastic button part that snaps into the back of a 1" collet and replaces the lock pin.  Once the versa back is inserted it is a permanent and secure back with a 1/8" hole extending out from the back of the button.  Attach split rings, key chains or zipper pulls through the hole to add functionality to your 1" buttons.  

 1 inch button parts, versa back

 

 Split ring Keyring, Versaback

Split Ring Keyring with Plastic Tab Versaback. 
(Split Rings are too big for 1" button versabacks and require the use of a plastic tab).

 

mini split rings, zipper pulls, 1 inch buttons

Mini Split Ring and Zipper Pull Versabacks

 

snap hook keychain, chain keychain

Snap Hook and Chain Keychain Versabacks

 

** Versabacks are also available for 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" buttons - Happy Button Making!!

 

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Cut button making time in half with a graphic punch. July 04 2013

graphic punch

Button Making: Tecre Graphic Punches

Is it time to invest in a graphic punch for button making - we think so (it will cut your time in half). Graphic punches are used to cut out graphics, paper or photos for button making and are a faster method than traditional "adjustable cutters", scissors or quick cutters.  Tecre graphic punches are of all metal construction, have clear and easy visual centering, are compact and light-weight and require very little force to operate.  And an added bonus is that these graphic punches come with a manufacturer's life-time warranty and are useful for all sorts of fine-art related projects.

 

Cutting Paper Circles and Blank Paper:

cutting paper circles

 

 Cutting Custom Button Artwork:

 cutting button artwork

 

Cutting Magazine Images to make Buttons:

magazine image buttons

 

Cutting Patterned Paper to make Buttons:

patterned paper buttons

Remember to cut your paper, photos, magazine images or custom button artwork into strips so that they fit to the graphic punch. We carry graphic punches for all sizes of button making.   For a complete list and pricing click here.  Happy Button Making!

paper circle cutting

 

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oldies but goodies... July 03 2013

Vintage Button, Girl Guides buttons

Vintage Girl Guide Cookies Button - Pretty Sweet :)

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Fluorescent Up Your Day June 27 2013

fluorescent buttons 

Fluorescent 7/8" Buttons

Fluorescent buttons stand out but as we all know, printing fluorescent color can be next to impossible.  I decided to experiment using fluorescent paper and print my artwork on clearacetate, which is available in both Matte or Gloss and in various thicknesses.  Acetate also eliminates the need for using mylar.  It is fun to experiment with printing different colors on the acetate and see how they appear when pressed on top of the fluorescent paper or other colored paper (see example below).

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Metal and Magnetic Bottle Openers June 20 2013

 

 

I just wanted to add that we supply both metal and magnetic bottle openers for 2-1/4" button making machines.  The benefit of using the black plastic bottle opener is that it has a magnet insert which allows you to store it on the fridge or other magnetic surfaces. Both the metal and plastic magnetic bottle openers can accommodate key rings.

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New Pastel Circles... June 14 2013

Pre-Cut Paper Circles, Button Making 

Pre-Cut Paper Circles for Button Making in New Pastel Paper!

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Right Beside You: An Evening of Stories with David Delisca June 13 2013

Event buttons, performance buttons 

Custom Event Buttons for #RightBesideYou

Check out Right Beside You - an evening of performance presented by poet David Delisca and IFreeCan on Sunday, June 16 at  The Drake Hotel (doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm) The evening will feature poetry and story-telling, humor, live music and much, much more including special guest performers.  For more details, please see below:

 

#RightBesideYou  Facebook Event

#RightBesideYou Twitter

David Delisca  Facebook

David Delisca website

IFreeCan website  

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Get Your Bottles Open - Bottle Openers Just in Time For Summer!! June 06 2013

 

 

Bottle openers come in handy all year round but a bottle opener attached to your key chain is especially handy during the summertime.  It is simple to design and make your own custom bottle openers using button parts.  Here are a few examples using split rings, keyrings and keychains

  Split Ring Bottle Opener


 

 

  Mini Split Ring Bottle Opener


 

 

 

Chain Keychain with Split Ring Bottle Opener

 

 

Chain Keychain with Mini Split Ring Bottle Opener

 

 

 Pull-Apart Keyring Bottle Opener

 

Please note that the metal bottle opener button parts (the backs) are only available for 2-1/4" button makers and that the keyrings, keychains and split rings are sold separately and are available for most sized solid metal North American button makers.

 

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