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Button-making was a product of the city’s expertise in the elaborate working of metals.Encouraged by large military contracts and the steady demands of changing fashions, button manufacturing was an important activity for many area companies.It is not always clear from the sources whether the name and address are actual backmarks used by the companies, or simply their details, as obtained from trade directories and other primary sources.For this reason, those backmarks that have actually been seen by the writer - either by viewing the buttons directly, or photographs of them - are shown in an emboldened font.This has been done to facilitate faster tracing of a company when backmarks are partially illegible, as they often are on buttons recovered from the ground.In addition to listing backmarks, any relevant information concerning the button makers is shown in summary form.
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It is also inevitable that the list will contain errors, both as a result of transcribing the information, and because of the use of secondary sources, which, as indicated above, are sometimes at variance with each other.
Similarly, there will be omissions from the list, both in respect of the names of companies, and the backmarks for those that are listed.
They have been collated from a large number of sources over a long period of time, both documentary and from the buttons themselves, most of which have been recovered by metal detectorists.
In general, dates should be regarded as approximate, and not exclusive unless the context indicates otherwise.