Shell button history
Did you read the Etsy Storque article about the shell button industry in Iowa at the turn of the century? It's so interesting. I had no idea that so many of the those buttons came from Muscatine on the banks of the Mississippi. People actually worked in the dirt along the edge of the river harvesting the shells which were then taken to the factory to be cut and carved. You must go and read the article - really fascinating. There's even more information here.
From The Vintage Recycler