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Gilt Was Brassy Alloy

Gilt metal was a brassy alloy that was used during the 18th and 19th centuries to decorate little boxes, buttons and other adult accessories. It was cheaper than the rolled gold found on the better pieces.

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Wax For Paint Was Portrait Medium

Wax portraits have been made since the time of the ancient Egyptians, but they were especially popular in England from 1750 to 1850. The finished product is actually a 3-dimensional representation, rather than a flat painting.

The wax was combined with lard, flour and plaster. This mixture was then shaped by hand, tinted to give it a natural look, and mounted against dark glass for display.

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Despite Higher Wages Glass
Demand Was High

…a couple of notes from history: World War I created business for some of the glass factories in the United States.

The announcement during the week that the Hazel-Atlas Glass Co., of Wheeling, and the Williamstown Glass Co., of Williamstown, N.J., had contracted with the British government to ship 140,000 gross of bottles without delay to the front in Flanders and France for the transport of food products to the trenches, brought out the statement that never before was the glass bottle industry so prosperous. Some authorities predict an export during 1916 of full 1,000,000 gross. Labor in the bottle factories is scarce.

From China, Glass and Lamps, December 20, 1915.


Some glass factories are finding a pretty fair demand for novelties. Much of this class of goods formerly came from abroad, but the closing of factories in Europe and the uncertainty as to shipments seems to have created a demand on this side of the water which can only be filled by American factories. Always the question of price comes up when these foreign goods are sought in American factories, and buyers sometimes are greatly surprised to know that the difference in price is almost entirely due to the higher wages paid in this country.From China, Glass and Lamps, March 20, 1915.

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Fancy Buttoners Needed For Gloves

A glove buttoner was almost a necessity for dressing up in the late 19th century, when long, tightly fitted buttoned gloves were in fashion. Also known as glove hooks, the simplest ones looked like a loop of wire with a twisted handle.

Another type of glove buttoner looked like a shoe buttonhook except smaller. This type had a curved hook, a shaft and a handle

Silver, silverplate, wood, horn, ivory, gold and early plastics were all used as handles. The silver ones were often decorated by engraving or embossing.

The button hooks were attached to chains, with a charm usually attached to the other end. Sometimes there was even a stone set into the charm, and these were quite elegant. It made it possible to wear the glove buttoner on the coat or blouse like a piece of jewelry. Others made to carry in the purse had tassels at the end.

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