A few weeks ago while looking around an antique shop Mr. Wild noticed a pile of shells that were cut out and used for making mother of pearl buttons. He suggested that they might be interesting to show on my blog.
I bought 3 shells, they were only $1 each and since I'm such a mother or pearl button hoarder I thought they would be fun to have.
The 'right side' and the 'back side' of mother of pearl buttons
I searched online and was surprised to find a few good links to mother of pearl button making along the Mississippi River.
Years ago (late 1800's and into the 1950's) there were several pearl button factories in Muscatine Iowa nicknamed The Pearl City and Pearl Button Capital of the World. Lacrosse Wisconsin was another button producer taking 6600 tons of clams from the Mississippi River.
I can make a pretty good guess that my shells came from the Mississippi River seeing as I live only a couple of miles from the Mighty Mississippi and not terribly far from Lacrosse.
Here are a few pictures and links to the information.
A button factory in Muscatine
Image courtesy of the Muscatine History and Industry Center
If you are interested in more information about mother of pearl button history, here are a couple of short articles on the subject.
Thanks for stopping!
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