Yesterday I wrote about buying locally and the importance of buying American made products to help our economy. Well when it comes to economics too many American don’t know buttons and in these few lines I have neither the skills nor the intelligence to change that, but I can change what you know about buttons.
Our story begins 200 years ago when America went to war with England. At the time England was our supplier for buttons. The American military with button trousers could have been caught with their pants down if wasn’t for Aaron Benedict. Aaron bought up every brass kettle, pan and pot he could find, and began making buttons for our military.
Mr. Benedict was the founder of a gem in Connecticut manufacturing history, a company that remains in business today, but let me get on with the story. Times got tough during the war of 1812 and only so much brass could be found to melt for buttons so Aaron expanded offerings with pewter buttons.
By the time the American civil war broke out the business had grown and they now produced buttons for both Union and Confederate uniforms. Think about that for a moment, after years of bloody warfare as Grant and Lee met at the Appomattox House they could have found agreement on quality buttons made right here in Connecticut.
The equipment for those military buttons came back in use in 1939 when “Connecticut made” buttons were used on both the Union and Confederate uniforms in the classic film “Gone With The Wind”. Watch closely in another classic movie and you will see buttons for the White Star Lines, yes they also made them for the Titanic.
In the world of sports a most treasured and revered reward is the Green Jacket presented to the winner of the Masters Golf Tournament and yes the buttons are made right here in Connecticut. Equally true is statement that all branches of the United States Military have a history of purchasing Connecticut made buttons.
On September 11, 2001 this country suffered a tragic loss at the hands of terrorists and many of the victims were first responders. The original manufacturer of buttons for the New York Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Medical Technicians and the Port Authority is found still operating today in Connecticut.
When you started reading you may not have known buttons about buttons but now you know your buttons. You should also know all the buttons mentioned in this little buttoned up lesson were manufactured by the same company, The Waterbury Button Company.
Learning about local business can be interesting and fun, buying from local business can improve our economy and our quality of life. The next time you shop look for products Made in the USA.
For more information on Connecticut Made products and where to buy them click on this link: http://shop.ctstore.com/store/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=1