Monday, August 4, 2008
Artifact of the Week
So here's the latest interesting artifact that has come out of the Port Tobacco collection.
Normally when I see a button, I just look to see what it's made out of: bone, shell, plastic, etc. I note the size and count them and add it to the catalog. Today, however, I came across one that was a bit different. It's brown and looks and feels like it could be bone but it also has lettering stamped on it. So, I put it under the magnifying glass to read what was written on it.
It reads: Goodyear N.R. Co. P=T
I know Goodyear makes tires, but buttons? Well the patent for the rubber hardening process was held by Charles Goodyear and thus had to have "P=T" and "Goodyear" which stands for patent held by Goodyear.
These "Goodyear" buttons were produced by the Novelty Rubber Company and the patent was in place from 1851-1872. These buttons were very commonplace in the 19th Century, so while not unique to Port Tobacco, it is an interesting find to this archaeologist and hopefully to you as well.
So what we have here is a middle of the 19th Century clothing button. I love coming across something other than ceramics that I can date! These buttons were very commonplace in the 19th Century, so while not unique to Port Tobacco, it is an interesting find to this archaeologist and hopefully to you as well.