✅ SOLVED Need Help with Buttons and Lead Disc

NorILdigcollector

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Sep 23, 2015
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I have some finds from the last few weeks that I have questions about. All three of these were found on a farm site that was active from 1835 to around 1900. The lead Disc I am completely unsure of. My best guess is a clock pendulum weight but I think lead is a strange material to use. It has a slot shaped into the back of it so I am guessing something slides into it. The middle flower button says "orange colour" on the back. Could this be Civil War? The other button says "Wm. Wood & Co. Phila. Extra Rich" on the back. Has anyone heard of this maker before? I can't seem to find any information on this maker.

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TheCannonballGuy

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Your guess is correct... that's definitely a clock pendulum-weight.

Buttons:
You asked if the one whose backmark says "Orange Colour" is from the civil war era. No. Being a brass 1-piece flatbutton whose backmark is written in raised lettering means it is from 30 to 50 years earlier... and it was manufactured in Britain, due to having the British spelling of the word color as colour. It was most probably imported into the US sometime before the mid-1820s, when the infant American button-making indistry was not yet capable of manufacturing enough metal buttons to fulfil the demand-level from the Clothing-making Industry.

The button-backmark book by McGuinn & Bazelon does not contain a reference for the maker given in your other button's bckmark, "Wm. Wood & Co./Phil[adelphia]. But, being a brass 1-piece flatbutton whose backmark is written in indented (instead of raised) lettering means it dates from sometime between about 1810 and the mid-1830s. (In the latter-1830s, 1-piece flatbuttons rapidly fell out of favor with the public due to the advent of machinery which could mass-manufacture INEXPENSIVE 2-piece buttons with "ornate" designs/emblems on them.)
 
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Red-Coat

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I guess the button will relate to the textile manufacturer William Wood & Co. Woolen & Cotton Mills. Company history is scant, so I don’t know when they were founded, but their premises appear in the building surveys for Philadelphia in 1866 at Pennsylvania Ave, 22nd St, 21st St, and Hamilton St (NE corner):

Wood1.jpg

They were still in operation until at least 1895, with this listing in the Philadelphia Trade Directory for that year:

Wood2.jpg

(Not to be confused with William Madison Wood, who also had a career in the textile industry and went on to establish the American Woolen Company. He was born in 1858 and wasn’t in Philadelphia until 1871).

Probably Wood didn’t make buttons, but bought them in from a button-manufacturer. It was common practice for companies in the cloth/garment industry to pay for their own backmarks to be applied to bought-in buttons.
 
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NorILdigcollector

NorILdigcollector

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Sep 23, 2015
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Northern IL
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Your guess is correct... that's definitely a clock pendulum-weight.

Buttons:
You asked if the one whose backmark says "Orange Colour" is from the civil war era. No. Being a brass 1-piece flatbutton whose backmark is written in raised lettering means it is from 30 to 50 years earlier... and it was manufactured in Britain, due to having the British spelling of the word color as colour. It was most probably imported into the US sometime before the mid-1820s, when the infant American button-making indistry was not yet capable of manufacturing enough metal buttons to fulfil the demand-level from the Clothing-making Industry.

The button-backmark book by McGuinn & Bazelon does not contain a reference for the maker given in your other button's bckmark, "Wm. Wood & Co./Phil[adelphia]. But, being a brass 1-piece flatbutton whose backmark is written in indented (instead of raised) lettering means it dates from sometime between about 1810 and the mid-1830s. (In the latter-1830s, 1-piece flatbuttons rapidly fell out of favor with the public due to the advent of machinery which could mass-manufacture INEXPENSIVE 2-piece buttons with "ornate" designs/emblems on them.)
Thanks so much for the useful information. I did not think the buttons would be that old.
 
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NorILdigcollector

NorILdigcollector

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Sep 23, 2015
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725
Northern IL
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I guess the button will relate to the textile manufacturer William Wood & Co. Woolen & Cotton Mills. Company history is scant, so I don’t know when they were founded, but their premises appear in the building surveys for Philadelphia in 1866 at Pennsylvania Ave, 22nd St, 21st St, and Hamilton St (NE corner):

View attachment 1995945

They were still in operation until at least 1895, with this listing in the Philadelphia Trade Directory for that year:

View attachment 1995946

(Not to be confused with William Madison Wood, who also had a career in the textile industry and went on to establish the American Woolen Company. He was born in 1858 and wasn’t in Philadelphia until 1871).

Probably Wood didn’t make buttons, but bought them in from a button-manufacturer. It was common practice for companies in the cloth/garment industry to pay for their own backmarks to be applied to bought-in buttons.
I thought it would have have to be a different Wood from William Madison Wood since he lived later in the 1800s. Great information. Thanks so much.
 
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