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    This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 15 May, 2019.

    Porcelain Prosser Patent Utility button

    Price:  $2.75


    Prosser Patent buttonichard Prosser was granted a patent in England in the 1840s for the production of porcelain buttons. His brother Thomas had emigrated to the United States in 1838 with his son Thomas Jr. and his wife Elizabeth, and briefly settled in Paterson NJ. On January 29th, 1841 Thomas was granted the United States patent, and served as import agent for his brother's overseas production.


    By coincidence or good fortune, Thomas Prosser had attended the London exposition in 1851, and met German steel and arms magnate, Alfred Krupp. Krupp took a tremendous liking to Prosser, and made him the sole importer for Krupp Steel in the United States throughout the 19th century. Prosser also received another patent in 1857 for a steam boiler, and was noted in the Internal Revenue Service tax rolls as producing brass spigots and faucets. Thomas Sr, died on September 28th, 1870. While it is not unsual for father and son to share the same name, what is really unusual is that both of their wives were named Elizabeth.

    These buttons were well established by the Civil War, which self explains their ubiquitous presence. Prosser patent buttons were salvaged from the wrecks of both the Arabia and Bertrand, on orignial military and civilian garments of the period. The graves of two Louisiana Tiger Zouaves were exhumed and found to have Prosser Patent buttons on the leggings.

    This project took over a year to finally get satisfactory results, and despite several attempts, the satisfactory results were hard to achieve. While there are some in the hobby who would have accepted our first attempts, we have always been guided by the thought once expressed by Chris Schreiber "if they could do it back then, we can do it again".




    This button is of the waist band size, and has been found on Confederate Haversacks, Confederate excavated gaiters identified to the Louisiana Tigers and men's drawers, as well as a myriad of utilitarian uses. Measuring 3/4", it is durable as well as historically accurate.

    Instead of fighting to get a matched set of buttons, you can now order them as needed, and not have to give a second thought as to whether they will match. In the past, if you lost an original button, not only were you losing a piece of history, you had to start from scratch in terms of matching it.



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