Thursday, November 10, 2011

It Survived : Old Buttons and Buckles Book Belongs in Museum Waterbury, Connecticut

Check out this cool old buttons and buckles book from the Patent Button Company, of Waterbury Connecticut which Google Books has references dating back to 1886. It's available at SushipotParts, the sister shop of artist Suzanna Scott's Sushipot. It displays lovely old buckles and sew-on buttons used in the early 1900's, and is surely of the Victorian era. Some are aluminum!  What I noticed most was this (see photo above) talking about "ebonide."  Now this "ebonide" is not to be confused with "Ebonite" as in bowling balls or "Ebonyte" plastic dinnerware by Kaye Lamoyne. So just what is ebonide?
Photo Courtesy of Commercial America Volume 16

Ebonide was a type of button manufactured by the  Morley Button Sewing Machine Company, Boston, and Google books goes back to 1887 in reference to this company. They made shoe and shirt buttons back then.  They claimed it was a fiberous material and an alternative to vegetable ivory buttons--probably because over time vegetable ivory became brittle and cracked.  Later I found mentions of Ebonide being a special paint or lacquer from another company, but think this came years later after the buttons were gone.  So it's neat to chase an item's history. How on earth did this book make it to Kansas? 

This obviously was a salesman's door to door book or sat on the counter for customers to order buttons and buckles from.  It is amazing it's in such good condition for it's age. 


So the book tells us that the Patent Button Company of Waterbury, Connecticut obtained buttons wholesale other companies such as the Ebonide and Milonite styles from Morely Button Manufacturing of Boston, Massachusetts and offered them to it's customers.  One has to wonder, who was their buckle supplier? It would be safe to say that this button book is worth it's weight in gold for such a unique item and would look great in the Waterbury Connecticut Historical Society's collection maybe at the Mattatuck Museum!
 All Button Book Photos Courtesy of Sushipot Parts. 
Go there to View it Now.

1 comment:

  1. Such history here! Fascinating to learn more 'bout this book. Thank you!!

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