I have a collection of buttons. It includes my Mother's button collection. I keep it in a tin on the top shelf of one of my sewing room armoires. You can see it but it's very dynamic, I am constantly adding to it. When I get a shirt or coat with an extra button hanging from it, I add to my collection and I like looking at it. I used to use a lot more buttons when I sewed clothes instead of quilts but I still like them. I am so taken with them that I decided to find out some facts about buttons and share them with you.
1. When did buttons become popular? What I learned when seeking the answer to this question is that first they had to invent the buttonhole which makes sense. Then they became popular according to Buttons - History and Facts. If you remembering making buttonholes without an attachment for your machine, you understand why it took a while!
2. Where and when were they mass produced? England and the late 1700's century according to Encyclopedia.com and I see no reason not to believe them.
3. What should I do if I love buttons more than the average person? You should immediately join the National Button Society. The dues are pretty cheap and they publish a magazine five times a year. It really looks cool, this would be a fun gift as well.
4. Have buttons even had sneaky military uses?
Yes they have. According to Sally Luscome's The Collector's Encyclopedia of Buttons both the USA and England had military locket buttons in World Wars I and II which contained working compasses. What a great idea!
5. Do any groups object to buttons? Yes and no. Amish people avoid anything that is ornamental which is why they use buttons sparingly and favor straight pins at times. I agree that buttons are decorative, I even have a basket of them as a sewing room decoration. You can read more about Amish dress here.
6. What do beer and buttons have in common? I am glad you asked! In 1989 Joseph Coors Jr. set out to create an indestructible button and he did. The diamond Z button will last forever but it's pretty darn expensive.
7. Where can I buy a red pretzel button? That's easy, you can order online from Button Boutique. Now why you would want to do that, I cannot say.
8. Where does the phrase cute as a button come from? There are many theories, one that the button is actually a bud. But the most referenced theory is that it's referring to the button quail. Hmmm, I may never use that phrase again.
9. I have buttons on my clothes. What company probably produced them? The largest manufacturer of buttons is The Waterbury Button Company which has been around since 1812, just like some of my clothes. Just kidding, I mean 1912 for my clothes.
10. Does Ringo Starr have any quotes about buttons? Why yes, he does. His famous quote is “America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.”
11. What is the most expensive buttons? Diamond ones, natch, that were used on the fly of a pair of jeans. OK, seems odd to me and I wouldn't pay 4,000 for them but to each his own!
12. Where should I go to see the world's largest button? You should head off to New York City or just click here.
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