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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Button collection, about 1935Button collection, about 1935

The inscription above this collection—"Who's got the [button?] Betty Jane has the [buttons!]"—reflects a young collector's pride. But for Betty Jane Meggers, collecting was more than just a hobby; it was a part of family life. Between 1914 and 1970 William and Edith Meggers collected numerous toys, gadgets, souvenirs, utensils, and other artifacts, all of which they preserved in their Washington, D.C., home. (According to Betty Jane, her father "never threw anything away.") In 1974 the "Meggers Museum," including Betty Jane's buttons, was bequeathed to the Smithsonian.

See also: Buttons, Children, Intriguing Objects

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