National Pearl Button Museum @ The History and Industry Center

From Humble Beginnings to a National Treasure Story

A few local mother of pearl button & amenity collectors decided to display what they had collected over the years pertaining to the pearl button industry in a shop window during a Christmas stroll. Little did they know that other locals, upon seeing the treasures exhibited, would start to bring their treasures from attics & basements from relatives who worked in the button industries in the past.

The amount of the treasures grew to the point where a committee was formed & the pearl button museum was born. As this history bubbled out of streets in the form of shells with holes in them, the pearl button museum continued to grow with one artifact after another. The community then approached local industries to help support the Muscatine History & Industry Center – home of the Pearl Button Museum. The undeniable attraction of the mother-of-pearl buttons & items, the recognition of the pearl button industry, being one of National significance, made the story a National Treasure story.