American Institute; " at the bottom, "New York;" while in the
centre was a figure seated, surrounded by mechanical implements. On the
reverse was the inscription, "Awarded to Robinson, Jones & Co.
for the best military and naval, sporting, plain fiat buttons, 1833."
At different dates a number of men came to this
country from England, who were skilled in jewelry manufacture or its
branches, — and
Mr. Jones was one of them.
In 1843 gilt buttons were less in fashion, and then
came reverses. Before this a Mr. Hatch had planned a machine which
should do all the work of making a suspender button complete from the
tin. He and Mr. Willard Robinson perfected it, and together they began
the manufacture of trouser buttons. They were very successful, and
during the late civil war had numerous government contracts. After Mr.
Hatch’s death Mr. Robinson bought his interest, and carried on a large
business until his death in 1879. The
business has changed hands. since, but is to-day a very interesting one.
It has been more strictly a button business than a jewelry business; but
some of its processes are similar, and the Robinson family have been
agents in building up a section where the jewelry business has been
carried on quite extensively.
A very early firm in the beginning was that of Draper
& Sandland. A. H. Draper is now an insurance agent at Nokomis, Ill.
His old partner, Thomas G. Sandland, died at North Attleboro a few years
ago. They began business in 1846, at
West Attleboro, near Newell’s tavern, making buttons; but later they
went into the manufacture of plated goods. Mr. Draper, a few years ago,
(Continued on page 241)