World Capital of Pearl Buttons

I came across this site the other day as I was researching some button cards to post in my Etsy shop. 
It was so interesting, I immediately thought of sharing my find with the Button Floozies!

It bills itself as the Home of the Pearl Button Museum. How intriguing! It is located in Muscatine, Iowa, of all places--population  approximately 21,000. When I looked up the town (I'm big on research, can you tell?), I found out, via Wikipedia, that it is the only city in the U.S. with that name.

Here's another interesting fact: It turns out that the shell buttons were produced so prodigiously there because of the Mississippi River mussels. They were thick and hearty and could withstand the machine cutting.
The buttons were produced there from 1905 to around the early 1960s. Click the above link and you can find out why they eventually ceased production.

Here is the Pearl Button Queen of 1946!


I will have to make sure to have enough time to visit this museum the next time I am in Iowa. MOP buttons have always been my favorite buttons to use...all sizes. I used to gravitate to the large carved one...but lately I have fallen hard for the tiniest MOP buttons. Thank you for all your wonderful information!..Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart13 trucnddi
Lesa said…
Thanks so much for the information. I enjoyed visiting the museum site and learning about the topic. Fascinating!
kathyinozarks said…
love this thank you so much for sharing the information-off to check out the link Kathy
Kathy said…
I love this kind of trivia stuff. Thank you for sharing!
The Pearl Button Queen? Now that's quite a title, lol. Thanks for the button trivia.
Tami Hacker said…
Thanks for sharing your post on The Pearl Button Capital of the World.

I have been there researching pearl button manufacturing. A small, but wonderful museum.

The town of Muscatine today is a far cry from its' historical days... probably a good thing as back then it was said to be filthy and foul smelling.

It is now a quaint, small town with a history of American industry.

My maternal grandmother as a young child lived near the river in a tent when her family harvesting shells sent to Muscatine.

Thanks for sparking these memories.
autena said…
Oh Tami, how interesting that you have a family connection to this town! I just love how the Internet can connect us far-flung folks!