Below is a list of categories from which you can choose a favorite "P" or "Q" button(s) to bring for "Show 'N Tell.". If there is not a website link with the description, you can try google-ing the term and add the word "images" to find photos of the type. Also look for Pandas, Pears, Pickles, Pigs, People, etc. Look especially for "sew-through" buttons for our card activity.
Pad Shanks: A historic button style that actually predates wire eyes, in which a small piece of canvas serves as the shank. Sometimes called a pad back, this is the traditional bridal button. Canvas backs can be sewn very quickly in long rows. Also used when a very low shank is desired.
Pants Buttons: Made of bone, wood, metal, vegetable ivory and plastic to fasten suspenders to pants. Hundreds of varieties, many with clothier’s or manufacturer’s name on them.
Paperweight Buttons: Glass buttons that resemble desk paperweights with their design of high or shorter “caps” of clear glass that cover the design and nearly all the base. www.pinterest.com/pin/411235009698227652/?lp=true
Papier-Mache Buttons: Most found today were made near the middle of the 19th century. Literally meaning “chewed paper” — paper was boiled into a pulp or pressed into thin sheets, then mixed with adhesives. Some have inlayed pearl (Jennens & Bettridge of England), others are painted with natural colors and gold.
Paris Backs: Two-piece metal buttons with “Paris” on the back. At first only those with T.W.&W. were considered, but now all with “Paris” on the back count. picclick.com/Vintage-Brass-Wild-Boar-Hog-Pig-Picture-272625890898.html
Passementerie Buttons: Fabric buttons decorated with beads and fine braids (like dress trimming). Most found today were made in the 18th century, but they were also made in the 19th and 20th centuries. Made over wood or metal molds, commonly. www.vintagebuttons.net/fabric.html
Paste Buttons: Hard, bright glass, often called rhinestone, cut like diamonds are for reflection. But a layer of foil is placed on the back of paste buttons to reflect light. During the 18th century, the glass gems were set in “cup-like” depressions and then later, held with prongs.
Patent Button Company: Manufactured glove, metal overall and plastic buttons. Many made with patented fasteners for attaching the buttons to garments by machinery.
Peacock’s Eye Buttons: Foil decoration under glass that mimics blue-green “eye” design on peacock feather. Made around 1900 or later.
Pearl (Shell) Buttons: Many kinds of deep-sea and freshwater shells have been used to make buttons. Collectors however care about the design, not the type of shell the button is made from and freshwater shell buttons are seldom collected because the original brilliance is not as great as the deep-sea buttons. buttoncountry.com/Shell1.html
Pearlized Buttons: Glass or plastic buttons with an imitation pearl coating (possibly made from ground fish scales). One manufacturer: Leo Popper & Sons.
Peary Coat Buttons: Commemorate Admiral Peary’s expedition to the North Pole. Made of metal, on the cheap side. For kids’ coats. Scarce.
Petoskey Stone Buttons: Made from fossilized crinoids (from Greek krinoeides, “like a lily).
Pettibone Manufacturing Company: An Ohio firm, the name appears on the back of uniform buttons.
Pewabic Pottery Company: “Pewabic means: Clay having copper color.” Pewabic pottery buttons were molded of a combination of blue and gray clay and then covered with a copper glaze.
Pewter Buttons: Pewter was commonly used in late 18th and early 19th centuries for men’s and women's wear. Best pewter includes 90% tin. First pewter buttons made in molds that created self-shank. Lead was also used to make pewter buttons in the last half of the 19th century and were painted or decorated with other materials. buttoncountry.com/Metals1.html
Pick Back or Marks: Marks from the tool used to release a button from a mold. Processed horn buttons often, but not always, have pick marks. Other materials occasionally have them, too.
Picture Buttons: All buttons that have designs on them that are not concentric, geometric or conventional. Subjects are innumerable and have been made from the very beginning of button making.
PieCrust Buttons: Molded edge of fine lines on Small Chinas that resemble a pie crust but do not go all the way to the edge. May have 2, 3 or 4 holes. and decorated with colored rings or bands.
Pinhead Shank: A pinlike wire with a head goes down through a hole in the top of the button and then is bent back p into the body of the button to create a shank. buttoncountry.com/BackTypes1.html
Pinna Shell Buttons: Very scarce. Pinkish brown in color, with finely cut lines for designs carved onto the polished surface of the button. Designs filled in with silver, gold or white paint.
Plant-Life Designs: Real flowers, grasses, leaves, trees and weeds used to decorate buttons. Also pictures of them. When actual specimen is used they are referred to as “Habitat” buttons, especially 18th century ones with glass coverings. www.pinterest.com/pin/417216352960364615/
Plastic Buttons: Buttons made from a variety of synthetic chemical products. Celluloids, Bakelites and Lucites are among the early materials. www.buttoncountry.com/SynPoly1.html
Political Buttons: Politics influenced button designs for 200 years but beginning in 1900, most political buttons have pin-backs.
Pomeroy Manufacturing Company: Maker of paper buttons that are sealed with black japan lacquer and have the company’s name on back.
Porcelain Buttons: Made of white clay and decorated with transfer or painted designs and then heavily glazed. Very fashionable between 1850 and 1920. Since 1940, porcelain buttons have been created in small studios. buttoncountry.com/18thCent.html
Pottery Buttons: Coarser clay buttons are categorized as pottery buttons. Usually ore primitive in shape, texture and glaze. Usually coloring is in the clay and the glaze.
Precious Stone Buttons: Diamonds. rubies, emeralds and other precious stones were sometimes used to decorate buttons, but most of these can only be found in museums. Collectors find garnet and turquoise gems, as well as agates, and marble used for the body of the button.
Presidential Buttons: Made of a variety of materials and featuring a president, including cloth-covered buttons. Series of presidential buttons were often enclosed in cereal and tobacco packages. www.pinterest.com/pin/108719778478244679/
“Punch” Button Designs: Characters from the satirical magazine were used by button designers. Back mark: “Treble Stan’d Extra Rich.”
Pyrography Buttons: Decorating wood buttons with hot tools, including etching designs and scorching to change the look of the surface.
Quality Marks: A term used on the back of buttons to promote sales of the buttons, but the actual difference in the quality of a button is hard to discern. Examples: “Rich Gold,” “Superior Quality,” “Treble Gilt,” “Gilt,” and “Rich Orange.” Between 1800 and 1850.
Quartz Buttons: Bands of variegated colors in agate were featured when the hard material was sliced into disks for buttons. Often seen with pin shanks.