History of the Michigan Button Society

The Michigan Button Society was formed May 21, 1940 in Detroit at the annual Detroit Hobby Show and holds the recognition for being the first state to form a button society. 


Today we continue to be an active society with members from all around the state and many surrounding states. Each year, at the spring and fall state conventions, antique, vintage, and modern buttons are on display. The fall convention boasts a competition among button collectors. The buttons are a sight to see. Come join us. 

Sometime prior to May of 1940, eight charter members from surrounding areas in Michigan, interested in collecting clothing buttons, decided to study the history, construction, and the meaning of buttons. And, to do so, they would form the state society. Each year the Hobbies, Crafts, and Pastimes Show, presented by the J. L. Hudson Company, was held on the twelfth floor in the Hudson Auditorium. It was here, in May of 1940, that the Michigan Button Society was formed. Michigan was the first state to form its very own button society. Its formation followed two years after the founding of the National Button Society in 1938, in Chicago.


Mrs. Emery Bishop of Grand Rapids was elected president, Mrs. Lewis Jones of Marshall was elected secretary/treasurer, and Mrs. Martin Fuoss of Saline, was selected as a committee of one, to compile the Constitution and By-Laws. These ladies were from all over the state and so it is not certain as to how they all met, but through various correspondence, they united in their feeling that a society in Michigan was important. It is believed that these button collectors were meeting prior to this hobby show to discuss buttons. A photo of the founding members was taken by Dick Simpson Photography. Standing in front of their big display of buttons are the true button ladies in Michigan.
 

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"Many buttons with beautiful and intricate designs have been worked out with such marvelous technical skill that they are, in a modest way, as credible a work of art as a Greek temple or an Oriental rug. A collection will contain examples of the historic ornament of practically every age and country... Buttons are not to be so casually dismissed as first thought and first glance may warrant but are worthy of careful attention and just appreciation.

Cited from "The Michigan Button Society" (MBS Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 1)

PER OUR CHARTER MEMBERS

The object of this society shall be to study the hobby of collecting, classifying and mounting garment buttons for educational purposes and personal enjoyment; to issue publications and hold exhibits, to bring to the public the art, history and beauty of buttons; and to preserve for future generations all that is best in the hobby.