Sunday, January 20, 2013

Can A Charmstring Bring Prince Charming?

     There once was a young, unmarried woman who lived during the latter part of the 19th Century.  She loved to collect buttons, especially those given to her by family or friends.  Because each button held a special meaning or memory for her, she decided to thread them, one by one, on a long string.  Her string consisted of buttons made of many types of materials, including glass, metal, enamel, china, and even rubber.

     The young woman was not the only person of her time to collect buttons in this fashion.  In fact, these long strings of buttons were plentiful enough to be given the name "charmstrings".  Through the years, hundreds of buttons could be collected by an individual.  Some women believed that when they reached a certain number of buttons, such as 500, they would find a husband.

     On the charmstring pictured, there are 745 buttons, and it is about 6 feet long.  Few charmstrings such as this have survived the decades.  Most were not cherished as family heirlooms, but cut apart to harvest individual buttons.  The steward of this lovely charmstring is Carol Cienna, President of the L.A. California Button Club.  You can learn more about charmstrings and vintage buttons if you visit her site, carolc@vintagebuttons.net

     Did the young woman mentioned at the beginning find her Prince Charming when her string of buttons reached 500?  Possibly.  All that is known for certain is that she lived happily ever after with her buttons.



 If you love buttons, consider joining The National Button Society http://nationalbuttonsociety.org/Home.html



7 comments:

FabricGreeetings said...

What a great post. I had never heard of "charmstrings". You can always learn something new in your life. Thanks for this information, Lynn.

Aloha Letterpress said...

I learned something new today about these charm strings! What happens if you're married and collect these buttons!

Jeanie said...

That is intriguing! I've also learned something new today.
I'd love a closer look at that collection. Thank you for sharing your story Lynn.

sewsouk said...

I expect every button has its own story and strung together on the charmstring they look fantastic! Thanks for this intriguing post.

Nancy said...

I learned something new also. I had never heard of a charmstring before. Thanks for sharing.

RobinsFlight said...

That's a lot of buttons! I have a button jar to collect all of those extra buttons you get with clothing. But I never thought to put them on a string!

Jewelsby Trish said...

Very cool! Love that she found her mate once the string reached 500!