Green Duck Company Phantom Button

The Phantom Button was produced by the Green Duck Company in Chicago, Illinois, USA in the 1950s. The 11 buttons found in the set are fully licensed by King Features Syndicate, with a range of characters featured, with the Phantom appearing on one of the buttons. Unfortunately it’s not known who or how the buttons were distributed.

The Green Duck Company was established by George G. Greenburg and Henry J. Duckgeischel in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1906. The odd company name comes from a combination of the surnames of these two men, GREENburg and DUCKgeischel. The company also printed ‘Green Duck Metal Stamping Company’ on a variety of their products.

The company was a producer of a variety of metal based products, including buttons, metal clickers, lapel pins, needle-threaders, key chains, spinning tops, military medals, fraternity pins, signage and much more. They are widely know for their production of political campaign buttons.

The Green Duck Company mastered the process of producing mainly buttons of high quality and catering for large volume orders, with their plant broken down into various departments including plating, stamping, tool and die, lithograph pressing and final assembly.

In the 1960 election campaign between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, The Green Duck Company is reported as stating that between one million and two million buttons were being produced per day, with the facility running 2 working shifts for it’s 125 employees.

In the 1980s and 1990s, The Green Duck Company starting producing Mardi Gras doubloons and slot machine tokens and poker chips as an avenue to expand into new markets, with other traditionally produced items having lower demand.

In 1975, the company moved from Chicago, Illinois to Hernando, Mississippi.

The Green Duck Company was sold in 1968 to Ero Industries of Chicago, then sold again to investors Elliot Sklar of New York and Ronald Stein of Chicago in the mid-1970s. The company was sold again in the 1990s to a British firm.

The Green Duck Company ceased operating in 2004.

The Phantom Button measures 2.38cm in width with a pin found on the back to attach to clothing or other soft materials. The Phantoms profile image is found on the front with a gloss finish, with the wording ‘The Phantom’ seen in the lower part. Along the edges at the back, we find copyright information, ‘King Features Syndicate Inc.’ plus the name of the manufacturer of the button, ‘Green Duck Co. Chicago’.

All 11 buttons found in the set were released in 5 different colors, green, pink, white, blue and yellow.

The 11 comic book characters which make up a full set are the Phantom, Flash Gordon, Maggie And Jiggs, Snuffy Smith, Dagwood & Blondie, Popeye, Prince Valiant, The Katzenjammer Kids, Felix The Cat, Little Iodine and The Little King, all characters licensed to King Features Syndicate. A full set can be seen below.