Nettie Feinberg Collection
Manuscript Collection 390

Button collection, 1950s-2008.
3 cubic feet.
Eighty-two ephemeral and political buttons arranged in alphabetical order.
Collected by Mrs. Nettie Feinberg between the 1950s and 2000; donated in 2004.
Organization: filed alphabetically by title (if applicable), then by symbol.

Processing and finding aid completed in December 2005. Updated August 2012.

Biographical Note

Scope and Content
Container Listing


The Nettie Feinberg Button Collection was donated in the spring of 2004 and processed in the spring of 2005. Mrs. Feinberg decided to donate her collection at the suggestion of her son Richard, who is the preservation librarian at Stony Brook University.

Biographical Note

Nettie Feinberg was born in Manhattan, New York in 1916. She grew up in Manhattan and received her Bachelors Degree in Advertising with a Minor in History and French from New York University. She met her husband Samuel Feinberg while interviewing for a position at a newspaper. They were married on February 23, 1939. Mr. and Mrs. Feinberg had three children: Lawrence, Richard, and Alice. The family moved to Flushing, Queens, New York and while her children attended school, Mrs. Feinberg received her Masters of Education from Queens College and went on to teach in an elementary school in South Jamaica, Queens. She continued her career as an educator, becoming a reading teacher in underprivileged schools in Queens and Brooklyn. After Mrs. Feinberg’s children were grown, she moved back to Manhattan with her husband and accepted a job teaching at a high school for expectant mothers. She retired from teaching in 1983 at the age of sixty-seven. Mrs. Feinberg lived in Manhattan until 2002, when her husband passed away. She moved to South Setauket and lived there until her death in August 2012.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of eighty-two ephemeral and political buttons arranged in alphabetical order. The buttons were collected between the 1950s and 2000. Many of the ephemeral buttons were collected through her late husband Samuel Feinberg’s job as a columnist for the fashion trade paper Women’s Wear Daily. The “The Naturals Are In” button is in reference to using cotton and other natural fibers for clothing. The “Hess’s Allentown, PA” button was from the large flower show at Hess’s Department Store in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The political buttons were acquired by Nettie Feinberg through her involvement in various political campaigns and movements. Mrs. Feinberg became interested in politics after witnessing the effects of the Great Depression, World War I and World War II. Many of the buttons were purchased by Mrs. Feinberg as fundraisers to show support for political candidates before an election. Several of the buttons have historical significance. The “I am a Civil Rights Marcher August 28, 1963 Washington, D.C.” button was attained from Nettie Feinberg’s son, Lawrence, at the civil rights march where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There are several buttons relating to the Vietnam War. The “Moratorium” and “National Strike For Peace October 15, 1970” buttons were both obtained at major rallies protesting the Vietnam War. The “Political Cartoon” button is a political cartoon drawn by Richard Levine depicting the General of the Vietnam Air Force and Dean Rusk during the Vietnam War.

The collection's original order has been maintained where applicable and re-created in others to assist researchers more easily. Buttons housed in acidic or metal housings have been removed from these housings for preservation reasons and have been placed in acid free trays and boxes in accordance with accepted archival standards of preservation.

In citing the collection, please credit: Nettie Feinberg Collection, Special Collections Department, University Libraries, Stony Brook University.

Materials within this collection may be located with the use of the collection's finding aid, available in hardcopy and online through the University's Libraries webpage.

Container Listing

Box 1

Tray 1

- Abortion: A Personal Decision
- Adlai
- Bella for Mayor Because New Yorkers Deserve the Best
- New York City Needs Bella Abzug for Mayor
- Boycott Non-UFW Grapes
- Boycott Non-Union Lettuce
- Bring All the Troops Home Now Demonstrate October 31
- Bring Our Men Home From Viet-Nam Now
- CEC NYC ‘74
- Clinton/Gore Rapid Response Team
- Clinton Team
- Congressional Action Now
- Contributor
- District 12 Has Pride Prevention and Relation in Drug Education
- Don’t Breathe Near Me- We’re Running Out of Oxygen

Tray 2

- DSEPPS Division of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services
- Dukakis/Bentsen
- EL AL 20
- Environment!
- ERA All People Are Created Equal
- Eugene
- Express Yourself Vote
- Feed the Cities Not the Pentagon
- Fonz, The
- 4 Day Week
- Get Involved
- Give Earth a Chance
- Great Match Ruffian, The
- Have a Happy Day
- Hillary for U.S Senate

Tray 3

- Hillary for U.S Senate
- If You Are Not Part of the Solution You Are Part of the Problem
- I’m Crazy About the Big Apple
- It’s In The Bag
- Keep Abortion Safe and Legal
- Life on Earth Stop Spending on Death
- Make Money Unitote at the Point of Sale
- Make Peace with Mature
- McCarthy
- McGovern
- McGovern
- McGovern
- McGovern ‘72
- I Belong McGovern Million Member Club How About You?

Box 2

Tray 1

- Michelangelo at the Morgan
- Moratorium
- National Strike For Peace October 15, 1970
- Naturals Are In, The
- New Port
- Peace and Music
- Pentagon is Rising October 21, The
- People Carter and Mondale
- Press
- Of Course Of Course
- Replacing Regan with Bush is like an operation for Hemorrhoids
- Save the Tilden Merry Go Round
- Say Hello for a Better New York
- Season Ticket Collection
- Slapstick Vonnegut Lonesome No More

Tray 2

- Spark
- Take G.M
- United Nations Decade for Women 1976-1986
- War is not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things
- We Love Animals and Things
- We Want What You Want

Tray 3

- American Red Cross symbol
- Bird in cage
- Clothing Hanger inside a red circle with a line through it
- Donkey
- Flag in circle
- Fist
- Green button with blue circle with a line through it
- Leaf
- Safety Buttons With Red, White, and Blue Beads
- Shoe

Box 3

- Hillary for President (2 buttons)
- "Impeach Cheney First"
- Kerry Edwards: A Stronger America
- Obama '08
- Obama and Biden
- Obama Biden
- "The Emperor Has No Brains"

Box 4

- Hess’s Allentown, PA
- I am a Civil Rights Marcher August 28, 1963 Washington, D.C.
- Political Cartoon