Event celebrates why buttons are special

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — There will be thousands of special buttons on display and for sale at the National Button Society’s National Convention and Show in Springfield, Missouri, during August 11-16, 2014, at the University Plaza and Hotel Convention Center. The show theme is “Get Your Button Kicks on Route 66,” incorporating Springfield’s history as the birthplace of the historical Route 66 highway.

Sample of buttons

This sample of buttons show the diversity of the types of buttons that will be displayed at the National Button Show and Convention. (Photo courtesy NBS)

This six-day event offers educational programs and competitions featuring antique, vintage and modern clothing buttons. The main attraction for attendees will be the showroom concourse where 53 dealers are offering buttons for sale. The event will also include displays of buttons that most people have never seen and many workshops and special events featuring informative and entertaining presentations of various types of buttons, their history, usage and sometimes odd characteristics.

For the uninitiated, when someone offers up the statement “I’m a button collector,” the image emerges of plastic shirt buttons typically used in the apparel industry. Buttons are so much more; they are cultural bellwethers of trends, art styles and societal perceptions. Nearly every material imaginable has been used in button production. And nearly every subject imaginable has been represented on clothing buttons.

This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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Buttons as a collectible are generally available and often affordable.

For example, individual prices at the national show will range from 50 cents to several thousand dollars, depending on age, quality of workmanship and scarcity. Space remains for everyone at the button collecting table, with veterans welcoming and encouraging neophytes with pleasure.

Approximately 500,000 buttons will be available for public viewing when the showroom opens to the public at 10 a.m. on Thursday, August 14, attracting not only button collectors, but also jewelry makers, crafters, quilters and other creative specialists. Showroom hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on August 14-15, and 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on August 16. Admission is $7 per day.

More information about button collecting and the NBS National convention can be found on the National Button Society website: www.nationalbuttonsociety.org.

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