The B. Schwanda and Son Ocean Pearl Button Factory
by Rebecca D.
An example of our conch shells, buttons, and button blanks
A couple months ago my father and I came across some old conch shells,and abalone shells in my grandmother's attic. The shells have drill holes and marks all around them. She also had some button blanks and sea shell buttons. The shells came from an old button factory called B. Schwanda and Son Ocean Pearl Button Factory in Southern New England. In the 1960's the company found themselves caught between conforming with the future of cheap plastic buttons or continuing to be loyal to the beauty and quality of pearl buttons, but as a result the company went bankrupt in 1969.
After doing some research we discovered that his volume of business in 1920 was between $3,000,000 and $3,500,000 and represented about half of the total value of ocean pearl buttons made in the United States.
Some of the facts we found in: "Czech American Tradesmen – Masters of Their Profession" by: Miloslav Rechcígl, Jr.