Button Collecting

If you’ve never considered button collecting as a hobby, there are probably lots of things you didn’t know about it. On the other hand, if you’re already a button collector, this isn’t new information.

On a personal note, I didn’t know anything about button collecting prior to researching this article but now that I’ve read a bit about it–well, I’m pretty darn interested! And I hope you are too.

Here are 5 things you didn’t know about button collecting.

1. NBS, or The National Button Society

Button collecting is so popular that there is a National Button Society. The National Button Society was organized in 1938 as a way of bringing button collecting hobbyists together. Today, the NBS has over 3000 members internationally. Their mission is to “preserve the historical significance of buttons while promoting research and sharing information among its members.”

2. Art and History Majors Love It (And If They Don’t, They Should!)

After reading the NBS’s mission, I couldn’t help but think “what historical significance?” I really had no idea that button collecting was so rich in historical information. But it’s true.

The creation of buttons dates back several decades and reflect our history in a unique and artistic way. The NBS describes buttons as “art in miniature” and after looking at several buttons I couldn’t agree more.

3. The Most Sought After Button In America is…

Here’s a clue: the most sought after button in America dates back to 1789. Do you know the answer yet? It’s the George Washington Inaugural button! This historical button features an eagle with a sunburst over it and has the inscription “March the Fourth 1789 Memorable Era.”

For more information on the history of button collecting, see Button Collecting: A Lifetime Voyage of Discovery.

4. The Definitive Guide to Button Collecting is…

While there are several books on button collecting, the undeniable winner is The Big Book of Buttons by Elizabeth Hughes. One Amazon reviewer describes it as “the Bible of button collecting,” and it’s true. The hardcover copy is 818 pages. If you want one, there are used copies available on Amazon, starting at the low low price of… $625! Yikes! For that price, you know The Big Book of Buttons is the definitive guide to button collecting.

5. Buttons Can Be Bought–Online!

Yes, it’s true. There are buttons available on Ebay. But don’t go bid just yet. This Ebay Guide to button collecting will give you some much-needed information before buying. As the article says, some sellers are “unsure of what they are offering and tend to believe buttons are older or rarer than they really are.” Research as much as you can before beginning the process of button collecting.

So is your interested piqued is much as mine was? Are you adding button collecting to your growing list of hobbies? Let us know in the comments!

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