THE EXCELSIOR PEARL BUTTON FACTORY, 1929

With the success of the Lippincott button factory, smaller cutting shops emerged around Milton. The… [more]

THE EXCELSIOR PEARL BUTTON FACTORY, 1929 THE EXCELSIOR PEARL BUTTON FACTORY, 1929

CUTTING MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS

This photograph of Arthur Burton Donovan, a home cutter of mother-of-pearl buttons, was taken in December… [more]

CUTTING MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS CUTTING MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS

MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS: SOAKING ABALONE SHELLS

Have you ever considered what it takes to make mother-of-pearl buttons? Today, most buttons found… [more]

MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS: SOAKING ABALONE SHELLS MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS: SOAKING ABALONE SHELLS

MILTON DELAWARE: BUTTON HISTORY

During the eighteenth century, European settlers built vessels on the banks of the Broadkill River in… [more]

MILTON DELAWARE: BUTTON HISTORY MILTON DELAWARE: BUTTON HISTORY

BUTTON MAKING IN MILTON DELAWARE

Because of Milton Delaware’s proximity to the Atlantic coast, it might be assumed the shells used in… [more]

BUTTON MAKING IN MILTON DELAWARE BUTTON MAKING IN MILTON DELAWARE

INSIDE THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY

Hum. Buzz. Plink.....Hum. Buzz. Plink.....Hum. Buzz. Plink..... These were the sounds of the busy George… [more]

INSIDE THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY INSIDE THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY

MILTON DELAWARE: AERIAL VIEW 1950-1960

In addition to Milton Delaware's largest button factory, the George A. Lippincott Button Factory, as… [more]

MILTON DELAWARE: AERIAL VIEW 1950-1960 MILTON DELAWARE: AERIAL VIEW 1950-1960

THE EXCELSIOR PEARL BUTTON FACTORY, 1929

Thumbnail image for THE EXCELSIOR PEARL BUTTON FACTORY, 1929 August 9, 2011

With the success of the Lippincott button factory, smaller cutting shops emerged around Milton. The Excelsior Pearl Button Works on Atlantic Street (now Cave Neck Road) was managed by Harmon Lewis, who had previously managed the larger Lippincott Button Factory. At its peak, Excelsior employed between 30-35 workers. The workers at Excelsior included men who [...]

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CUTTING MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS

August 9, 2011
Thumbnail image for CUTTING MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS

This photograph of Arthur Burton Donovan, a home cutter of mother-of-pearl buttons, was taken in December 1974 long after the button industry had died out in Milton Delaware. By the late 1960s, there were only a handful of button cutters still working in the area. Hard-working men like Donovan, Preston Chandler and his son, as [...]

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MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS: SOAKING ABALONE SHELLS

August 9, 2011
Thumbnail image for MOTHER-OF-PEARL BUTTONS: SOAKING ABALONE SHELLS

Have you ever considered what it takes to make mother-of-pearl buttons? Today, most buttons found on clothing purchased in retail stores are the product of high tech factories. Metal and plastic buttons are created through an injection molding process. Not too long ago, however, buttons were crafted through a multi-step, labor intensive process that was [...]

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MILTON DELAWARE: BUTTON HISTORY

August 9, 2011
Thumbnail image for MILTON DELAWARE: BUTTON HISTORY

During the eighteenth century, European settlers built vessels on the banks of the Broadkill River in Milton Delaware. The forests along the river and its tributaries contained plentiful lumber for building ships. Early vessels provided for travel and transportation of products to markets in Lewes, Wilmington, Philadelphia and beyond. In 1737 the shallop Broad Kill [...]

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BUTTON MAKING IN MILTON DELAWARE

August 9, 2011
Thumbnail image for BUTTON MAKING IN MILTON DELAWARE

Because of Milton Delaware’s proximity to the Atlantic coast, it might be assumed the shells used in button making there were of local origin. However, the abalone, or mother-of-pearl, shells employed in the button making process hailed from Pacific Rim countries like Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Japan. Shipped to New York as ballast, [...]

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INSIDE THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY

August 9, 2011
Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY

Hum. Buzz. Plink…..Hum. Buzz. Plink…..Hum. Buzz. Plink….. These were the sounds of the busy George A. Lippincott Button Factory in Milton Delaware. Over 100 workers were employed at the factory, located in the heart of the town on Union Street. The machines at the Lippincott Button Factory were operated on a lathe-driven line (pictured here). [...]

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MILTON DELAWARE: AERIAL VIEW 1950-1960

August 9, 2011
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In addition to Milton Delaware’s largest button factory, the George A. Lippincott Button Factory, as many as seven other button shops existed here. These smaller shops employed between 4 and 58 people at any one time. These shops included: The Excelsior Pearl Button Works on Atlantic Street, Richards and Tyndall on Railroad Avenue, Messick and [...]

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THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY

Thumbnail image for THE LIPPINCOTT BUTTON FACTORY August 4, 2011

The George A. Lippincott Button Factory was the largest of the button blank cutting enterprises in Milton, Delaware. This c. 1930 photograph shows over 100 employees in front of the button factory located on Union Street. The button cutting machines at the Lippincott Factory were operated on a lathe-driven line. Cutters maneuvered tubular saws made [...]

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