Fundo 962.016 & 971.032 & 972.050 & 973.022 - Dominion Button Manufacturers Limited fonds

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Título próprio

Dominion Button Manufacturers Limited fonds

Designação geral do material

  • Documento textual
  • Material gráfico
  • Objeto tridimensional

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Entidade detentora

Código de referência

CA ON00094 962.016 & 971.032 & 972.050 & 973.022

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Zona de datas de criação


  • 1872-1942, predominant 1891-1924 (Produção)

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Descrição física

.75 m of textual records 7 photographs Several hundred artifacts Ledgers and notebooks are worn, paper is yellowed and ink entries are faded but legible.

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História administrativa

The Shantz Button Manufacturing Company of Berlin, Ontario (a.k.a. Dominion Button Works) was established in 1871, after Jacob Y. Shantz assumed ownership of its precursor company, the Pioneer Button Works, which was begun by Emil Vogelsang and H.S. Huber, ca. 1866. This was the first button manufacturing factory in Canada. In 1871, the business employed 27 workers, mostly women and children. The company was variously known as the Dominion Button Works and the Shantz Button Manufacturing Company in the 1870s and 1880s. In 1891, the business was incorporated as the Jacob Y. Shantz & Son Company Limited, and by 1910, was the largest employer in Berlin, Ontario, with a workforce of over one hundred men, women and children. At this time, Berlin was also known as "Buttonville" because of its many button factories, of which Shantz's was the largest. Jacob Y. Shantz was also active in many other business interests, and was instrumental in promoting immigration to Manitoba among the Canadian Mennonite community. He served briefly as Mayor of Berlin in 1882. Dilman B. Shantz, Jacob Y. Shantz's son and successor, was widely known for innovation and efficiency in the button manufacturing process. Natural materials such as vegetable ivory (from tagua nuts imported from South America) and mother-of-pearl (from fresh water shells harvested from the Grand and Thames rivers) were the raw materials for most buttons made in the Berlin factories. Other natural materials used included wood and horn. In the twentieth century, the company began to use other materials such as casein and bakelite and later, plastics. In 1912, the company was renamed Dominion Button Manufacturers Ltd. under the new ownership of David Gross as President. He was succeeded by his son, Mervin Gross who introduced the production of plastic buttons in the 1940s. Dominion Button Manufacturers Ltd. closed in 1964, by which time most other Canadian button making companies had also closed, because of the emergence of new materials, new technologies and greater competition from foreign manufacturers.

Nome do produtor

História administrativa

Nome do produtor

História administrativa

História custodial

Fonds was in the possession of the Mervin Gross family.

Âmbito e conteúdo

The Dominion Button Manufacturers Ltd. fonds consists of records pertaining to the Shantz Button Manufacturing Company, a.k.a. Dominion Button Works (1872), the Jacob Y. Shantz & Son Company Ltd. (1891-1912) and the Dominion Button Manufacturers Ltd. fonds (1912-1935). These include price lists, plant and materials inventories, order books, general business accounts, production notebooks, dyeing recipes notebooks, salesmen's order notebooks, a work diary, salesmen's sample cards, photographs and greeting cards.

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Fonte imediata de aquisição

Gifts of Mr. Reuben Oberholtzer, Mr. Mervin Gross and Mrs. Mervin Gross


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Disponibilidade de outros formatos

Restrições de acesso

Access to archival materials in unrestricted within the museum's Research Policy and its Library and Archives Policy. Materials may be used in reading room by appointment.

Termos que regulam o uso, reprodução e publicação

The museum's Library and Archives Policy states conditions for making reproductions of archival materials. The museum's Research Policy states other conditions regarding publication.

Instrumentos de descrição

A finding aid is available.

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Ingressos adicionais

No further accruals expected.

Nota geral

Six inventory ledgers (1891-1924) Ten general business journals and indices (1891-1921) Eleven notebooks: recipes, order books, work diary (1872-1932) Seven photographs: ca. 1880, ca. 1905, ca. 1942 Three sales sample cards, ca. 1935 Large collection of artifacts: button cutters, cased and framed displays, raw materials in various stages of production.

Nota geral

"Dominion Button Factory," ARCHEION Virtual Exhibit

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