Pennsylvanian Rufus Polk’s stickpin appeared on supporters’ lapels at the very end of the 1800s. In just a few years, modern campaign buttons would replace pins like these. Both varieties, however, were able to protect the paper image of the candidate with a thin layer of celluloid. Polk ran for elected office only twice, both times for a seat in the House. His earlier career included working as a chemist, a steel company executive, and a lieutenant in the Spanish-American War.