A View From The Attic
30 June 2008
by Evelyn Birkby
What do we know about
buttons? They are fasteners that hold our clothes together and
they can look pretty so are used, sometimes, for decoration. We
can buy them in fabric stores, department stores and in antique
shops or find them in Grandma’s sewing basket.
But where, when and how
did buttons begin? How did their use develop down through the
centuries. In some eras even the men had fancy buttons decorating
their shirts and coats. And I understand the first use of buttons
on sleeves was to keep their wearers from wiping their noses on
The entire story of
buttons is fascinating and Lorraine Irvin, the Button Lady, will
tell that story at the Fremont County Museum on July 6th.
Lorraine says that
everyone will enjoy her story telling--men, women, and children.
She will have her own great collection of buttons on display,
she’ll talk about the history of buttons, how they evolved, how
they were made, and the many ways in which they have been used
through the centuries. She will sing songs about buttons, teach us
games about buttons and see that everyone has a rip-snortin’-good
The story of buttons is
fascinating because everyone has them on their clothes, unless you
are a member of the hook and eye religious organization, that is.
Maybe Lorraine will tell us why this group does not use buttons on
A portion of the
historical museum button collection will be on display. You can
bring buttons from your own collection and Lorraine will appraise
their value--just like Antique Road Show! Indeed the winner of
the 2005 Antiques Roadshow Collector of the Year was
a champion button collector.
The history of anything
as simple as buttons can be really really fascinating. They are
something we use every day and think little about. Once you hear
Lorraine tell about buttons you will never look at your useful
ones at home the same again.
The lobby where the
program will be held is air-conditioned so it will be a
comfortable place to spend a July 6th afternoon. Refreshment will
be served and the word is out that even the cookies will look like
buttons. Big ones, of course. The museum will open at 1:00 and
visitors are welcome to come and view the displays as they are
now, learn about the changes being made and see the floor plans
for the remodeling project.
Fremont County Historical Museum is on the east side of the square
in Sidney, Iowa. It will be open every Sunday through Rodeo from 1
to 4 with special open hours during the Rodeo. After Rodeo the
museum will be closed, except for genealogy research, for