Last Updated 01/20/02
After years of searching, we have found just two men’s shirts with calico buttons on them. Both shirts are printed cotton and date somewhere between 1845 and 1865. One shirt is in the collection of the Museum of the Confederacy. We have a photo of the shirt, and are in the process of requesting permission to display it here.
The second shirt can be seen in a book titled “Thoughts on Men’s Shirts in America 1750-1900” by Wm. L. Brown III. This beautiful piece has china calico buttons with a pattern that relates to the printed stripe pattern of the shirt. We are grateful for the opportunity to have seen it in person.
At the Arabia Steamboat Museum there are wool flannel and knitted shirts on display, with white china buttons having been found associated with some of them. The Steamboat Bertrand exhibit has calico & china buttons on display. Some of them were found associated with men’s undergarments, particularly some ‘ringers’.