Buttons, Buttons, Buttons

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons

Post by Judy Cogswell

Button, button, button, who’s got the button. This was a game I played with the neighborhood kids in the 50s. We all lined up with our palms closed and the person with the button would slip their button into a palm. Then we had to guess who had the button. If you guessed right, it was your turn.

As a girl, I played with Mom’s buttons. I would line them up by color, shape, size and sometimes make house designs with them. I have her button collection today plus my own.

Never throw a button away, because you never know when you will need it.

Mom grew up during the Depression and when a garment got too old she cut the buttons off and added them to her stash. NEVER throw a button away.

As a quilter I love to use them in my projects. I have many favorite buttons. My stash just keeps growing. In fact I should never have to buy buttons because I have more then I need. Oops, I recently bought a package of small colorful star buttons. So NOW I never need to buy buttons. I promise.

Did you know?

I recently saw a program that talked about buttons and their history.  Here are a few things I learned:

  • Buttons are actually more ancient than what most people believe- they are thought to be as old as clothing itself.

  • The oldest button was found in Pakistan. It is estimated to be around 5000 years old made of curved shell.

  • Buttons were used by the Ancient Romans. Their flowing garments were usually made out of a substantial amount of cloth requiring hefty buttons made out of wood, horn, and bronze.

  • During the Middle Ages button’s use became a functional fastener.

  • In 16th century France, button makers’ guilds started to pop up where production became regulated and laws were passed regulating their use. Only the rich were able to wear elaborate buttons.

  • The Industrial Revolution helped popularize buttons. Buttons could now be had by many and they were mass produced cheaply.

  • It was during the 20th century button prices became affordable with the invention of plastic.

  • Some buttons can be valuable. During the First World War, a soldier may wear a button which, when opened up, had a picture of a loved one. These are hard to find now and you can be sure I don’t have any in my collection.

National Button Day is November 16th - learn more HERE
There are button collectors who display their buttons on a board so the buttons don’t tarnish and age. As for me, I have jars and boxes filled with buttons. And yes, I don’t need to buy anymore (honest). When buttons come up in a conversation, I say I have the most buttons and others beg to disagree. So who has the most buttons?



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1 comment

As far back as the Civil War, buttons were used to show pictures of the loved ones left behind. I met a man who owns one and he was offered 1,000 dollars for it.

Judy Huber-Cogswell

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