The Charm String Story Posted on 26 Apr 14:02 , 7 comments

With wedding season upon us, I thought it would be a good time to share this romantic tale about the charm string.

Making a charm string or memory string was a favorite pastime or hobby from the 19th century, circa 1860-1900. Young women would collect and trade buttons and string them together. These strings of buttons were often displayed in the parlor, as it was common for guests to bring a button for the young lady of the house to add to her collection. It also made a great conversation piece. Telling stories of where they were from, and reminiscing of the past.

Women would often have parties where they would exchange these buttons, and their stories. The hobby became so popular as to be mentioned in children's stories and nursery rhymes.

The custom was that the buttons could not be purchased for the collection. They had to be gifts from other collectors,friends, family, visitors, suitors, or traded.

The gift of a button was considered lucky, and stringing the buttons on a string brought good luck. The legend has it that the girls who collected 999 buttons would meet their true love after adding the1000th. It is rare to find an antique string of 1000 of these buttons. Most of them today are in museums, or owned by button collectors, and usually have 100-150 buttons.

So now you know that buttons were not just used to fasten clothing in days gone by!