Sweet-Orr S.M.A.A. Celluloid Pinback Button, circa 1880s-90s
This celluloid pin is a promotional piece made by Sweet-Orr to show their support for the Chicago-based Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association, one of America's first railworker's unions. Sweet-Orr made overalls and other work clothes that they hoped to sell to S.M.A.A. members.
The S.M.A.A. had a brief history, forming unofficially in 1877 and dissolving completely by 1894. Former members of the S.M.A.A. were instrumental in forming the Switchmen's Union of North America later that year, which has continued under various names and mergers to the present day. Because of the short life of the S.M.A.A. it is possible to date this very rare pinback button to within the years 1877-1894.
Dimensions: 7/8" wide x 7/8" tall