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The Amazing Miniature World of Buttons: The Ruth E. Howe Button Collection at RCHS


  • Rensselaer County Historical Society 57 2nd Street Troy, NY 12180 USA (map)
Ruth Howe Times Record Lifestyle Jan 17 1976 p 14020.jpg

Over the past several years, members of the Half Moon Button Club and the Mohawk Button Club have spent several years researching, assessing and replacing acidic display boards and potentially damaging pipe cleaners holding this amazing collection of buttons in place. Thanks to this volunteer effort, RCHS is pleased to present the fall 2018 exhibit of a selection of Miss Ruth E. Howe’s collection. Miss Howe (1902-1982) became interested in collecting buttons after her retirement from nursing in the 1940's and she eventually amassed a collection of over 8,000 buttons, each of them a miniature work of art and history. She bequeathed her collection to RCHS along with the many button reference books she used as part of her collecting.

The button collection is rarely on display because of preservation issues, but will be available by appointment with the Curator for researchers and button enthusiasts after the exhibit is closed in December.