ARIZARD-L ArchivesArchiver > ARIZARD > 2000-09 > 0968987455
From: Jean Mayfield Cuevas <>
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD-L] Pearlin' 3
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 22:10:55 -0500
AND, we are, too! :)
At 08:25 PM 9/14/00 -0500, you wrote:
>I'll a better job of this and put the page up on the Lawrence site. :-)
>Oh, I'm so happy with my new scanner!!!!! Jeri
>edge gripped by tongs and pushed against the rotating saw by a wooden
>peg in a mechanically operated pusher. The result was a pellet-Iike
>portion of the shell that could be polished and drilled to become a
>button. Only one button could be cut at a time. The pellets, already
>called buttons, fell into buckets below the machine. Once a week,
>on Saturday morning, each cutter would take his weeks work to the
>grading room. The inspector would then take a quarter of a pound of the
>pellets and examine them, counting the good ones and discarding those
>not correct in size. He would determine the percent of acceptable
>upon the examination of this quarter of a pound. If th~ cutter's "test"
>was 308, he had 45 pounds, and he was cutting line 18 regulars his take
>home pay would be about $5.43. The cutter was paid 5 to 16Y2 cents for
>each 168 (gross) acceptable buttons he cut. The buttons were washed, put
>in a power shaker to discard all but the correct size buttons -then they
>were put into a drum with ridges on its interior surfaces where the
>buttons were polished. After polishing, the smooth buttons were sent to
>a factory in Amsterdam, New York, which drilled the eyes and placed the
>buttons on cards.
>The Button Factory was a major industry for Black Rock from 1900 to
>the 1950's. It reached its peak in the mid 40's and finally had to bow
>gracefully and give way to the mass produced synthetic button, which
>could be turned out more quickly and cheaply.
>There are all kinds of nostalgic memories connected with button-
>cutting by those of us reared at Black Rock where our fathers made their
>living at this tedious work. Some of these memories are happy ones;
>others, when the factory shut down, are not so pleasant to recall, but
>former fa r outweigh the latter .
>If you are interested in viewing a button cutter's tools, there are some
>on display at the Old Powhatan Courthouse Historical Library and
>This article could not have been written without the invaluable help of
>Garnet Vance who furnished all the newspaper clippings from which I
>gleaned my data, also I want to thank my dad for letting me use his
>journal recording all his years of cutting buttons and for sharing his
>memories which brought life to this article.
> "but I remain your affectinate cosin untill death."
> Thank you again Greatgramdpa Davis for those words.
> Never dreamed I'd get to use em!
> Fax# : 1-314-524-2850
> Personal webpage: http://idt.net/~jfultz19/
> AR Civil War Pg: http://www.couchgenweb.com/civilwar/
> Memorial Pg: http://members.tripod.com/~egerdes/index.html
> Lawrence Co. AR: http://www.couchgenweb.com/lawrence/
> Izard Co.:http://www.CouchGenWeb.com/arkansas/izard/izardco1.htm
> Helms Research PG:http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~helmsnc
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>Jean M. Cuevas, Listowner Arizard-L
>RootsWeb makes this all possible, so share the load!