The Chelsea Area Historical Museum features buttons, buttons, buttons!



From the origin of the first button in Pakistan 5,000 years ago to Levi Strauss’ copyrighted copper “rivets” in the 1800s to today’s plethora of choices available to all , buttons can tell stories of privilege, politics, invention and fashion.

The Michigan Button Society celebrates this history and will present a program for the Chelsea Area Historical Society on Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at the Chelsea Senior Center. Registration is requested.

CAHS President Jan Bernath is excited to learn more about how buttons can tell the story in unique ways.

“Many of us remember our grandmothers and mothers searching through containers of several buttons for something similar to use for mending and sewing,” Bernath said.

“These buttons most likely date from the 1920s to 1960s, but who knows what unique find might appear in the button box so many families treasure.”

The Michigan Button Society itself has a great story to tell.

According to their website, eight founding members from southeast Michigan who were “interested in collecting clothing buttons, decided to study the history, construction, and meaning of buttons.”

They founded the Crown corporation in 1940 and for many years the “Hobbies, Crafts, and Pastimes Show” was presented by the JL Hudson Company and held on the twelfth floor of the Hudson Auditorium.

Michigan was the first state to establish a button society after the National Button Society was established in Chicago in 1938.

“Buttons, Buttons, Buttons” is one of the special events CAHS is proud to present in 2022, an event that “elevates the ordinary to the extraordinary,” said Bernath.

Registration for the program is done by email ( or by phone (734.476.2010). The event is free for CAHS members. A $5 donation is suggested for non-members.


The Chelsea Area Historical Society’s mission is to collect and preserve the history of the Chelsea area, educate the public, and promote the restoration and preservation of historic buildings and sites for future generations. The museum is located in the 1853 Boyd House at 128 Jackson St., across from the Chelsea Depot. For more information, visit or call 734.476.2010.

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Patrick F. Williams