There aren't many things for my collection that I buy anymore. But the one thing I can't seem to resist...are antique button bags. I posted about them a few years ago but I've added a few to my collection and done some research as well.
Most of us grew up with a tin of buttons that our mothers/grandmothers/etc. kept. I know of many people who found the button tin fascinating as a child. In the 19th century and early 20th century, extra buttons were kept in handmade bags. Often they were embroidered with the word "buttons" on them. In 1898, Lady's Godey's Book (magazine) provided instructions to make this simple drawstring bag:
Whoever invented the button family, it became a true fad in the early decades of the 1900s. The Button Family was featured most prominently in stories for children like this story published in Youth Companion magazine in 1911:
Soon of course, the images became more elaborate. The most common Button Family bag features this family:
These figures feature wooden shoes and the woman with the stick is reminiscent of Old Dutch Cleanser illustrations: