|The picture below shows a larger front and back view of this Original 1963 Insurance Company Advertising Smiley Face Pin Back Button. This is the very pinback button that started the smile face craze of the 1960s and 1970s, which still continues even today.|
The design was created by Harvey Ross Ball, an American Graphic Artist. In 1963, Harvey Ball was employed by State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts (now known as Hanover Insurance) to create a happy face to raise the morale of the employees. Ball created the design in ten minutes and was paid $45. His rendition, with bright yellow background, dark oval eyes, full smile and creases at the sides of the mouth, was imprinted on more than fifty million buttons and was familiar around the world. The design is so simple that it is certain that similar versions were produced before 1963, however, Ballís rendition has become the most iconic version.
This pin back button is imprinted in black on a yellow background. It is marked on the back as follows:
THE SMILE INSURANCE COMPANIES
STATE MUTUAL OF AMERICA
The pin back button measures 7/8'' wide. It appears to be in near mint condition with only the lightest of wear as pictured.