The Buttons are Coming!

Thousands of buttons will be on display from July 27-August 1 in Manchester during the National Button Society’s annual convention

If you’re of a certain age, your mother or grandmother probably had a button box. There you could find all manner of buttons, salvaged over the years from discarded shirts and dresses, ready to be sewn on wherever they were needed.

Times change, and these days there are few button boxes around. That is, unless you’re someone like Lori Plichta of Manchester. She has a button box on steroids.

 “I have no idea in the world how many buttons I have — thousands,” she says. “Probably millions — thousands, anyway.”

She’s been collecting them for 23 years. And, though she says people look at her “wonderingly” when she says she collects buttons, she  is not alone in her quest. There are button collectors (and button clubs) all over the country. And, from July 27-August 1, many of them will come to Manchester for the National Button Society’s annual convention, dubbed “The Buttons are Coming!

Why buttons? For Plichta, it’s because they are “a record of life.” She says they commemorate history, social events, foreign lands, geography, the military, the economy and more. There are hundreds of official button classifications, depending on their material and usage.

Her favorite buttons — mother of pearl, especially those made  before the 18th century. And this summer she and her husband are once again scouring yard sales for those and others that satisfy her eclectic tastes.

The public is invited to “The Buttons are Coming!” You can bet that Plichta will be there (“that’s where you find the rare ones”). For more information, visit