“We’re the oldest company in America still making our original product,” says co-owner Sal Geraci, 75. When the Titanic sailed in 1912, the crew of the White Star Line wore Waterbury buttons on their double-breasted coats. Grant met to negotiate a Civil War truce in Appomattox, Virginia, both men’s uniforms sported Waterbury buttons.
Cabinet drawers at the Waterbury Button factory, located since 2002 in nearby Cheshire, Connecticut, are brimming with dies for 40,000 button designs, including images of anchors, eagles and flags for the U. military, and everything from antique cars to hunting dogs for clubs, colleges, corporations, airlines, marching bands, and police and fire departments across America.The company’s 53 employees also make buttons for renowned fashion designers, including Christian Dior and Ralph Lauren, but their most coveted buttons gleam each year on the green jacket presented to the winner of The Masters golf tournament. Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author. This is the "Ridgeway Civil War Research Center", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader.Button shells and backs then are soldered together, cleaned and buffed.
During its 200-year history, Waterbury Button also has crafted buttons from celluloid, plastic or shellac, and ventured into manufacturing other goods.
Each of the 30 million buttons produced annually by the company is stamped from brass.
While the metal is easy to obtain today, acquiring brass during the early 1800s required Yankee ingenuity on the part of the company’s founder.
/ (star) " dm, single inner rings of dots, manufacture after the Civil War, this is abbreviated small size version of similar backmark with two rings used on large size buttons, (Waterbury Button Co251). All items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described.
/ (star) (star) / WATERBURY / (graphic) CONN (graphic) " dm, two middle rings, one is solid and other is twisted rope-like slashes, bottom inner ring of dots is faint and often obscured by shank brazing, ca 1860's and is transitional, (Waterbury Button Co270). I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me.
WBC did not produce any buttons for any of the southern states before the war or for the Confederacy, but they did produce large quantities for the north.