Bachelor Buttons for emergency repairs

The "Hint's to Tourists on The Lincoln Highway" guide mentions the various items to bring along for the Transcontinental trip. Most of the things are recognizable, like scissor (small), or a camera. Some items are less recognizable for their uses. A Rubber Sheet 6x7, yellow goggles, or "bachelor buttons?"

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Bachelor Buttons, in this case, are buttons that use a stud pressed through the fabric and into a top button. They were sold extensively in the late 1800s and early 1900s as emergency buttons. There is a poem, "A Bachelor's Button," which is a lament by a man whose lover never sewed his button on his coat and had to use a bachelor's button to repair it. Haven't been able to find a copy of that poem.

Lincoln Highway Travelers Guide

Pictured here is an excerpt from a small guide that was published in 1914 advising potential Transcontinental Tourists on The Lincoln Highway, of hints and suggestions for making the trip. Here is a page from the little booklet concerning provisions that should be taken along for the journey. I find it fascinating to see what folks had to bring with them before the advent of plastics.

Love the “gauntlet gloves,” which look so cool. How about the specific brand “Ingersoll” watch, and the pair of “yellow” and “white goggles.” Don’t forget a package of “bachelor buttons,” which I assume are not the flowers, but replacement buttons?

The next paragraph recommends what types of food to pack along including, “Slab Best Bacon,” “10 lbs Potatoes”, and of course “surgeons plaster” for sealing those tin cans. As mentioned in the pamphlet, these provisions are to be kept with the car at “…all times, west of Omaha Neb.”

There is more to the book, which I’ll cover in the next issue. This booklet comes to you when you join The Lincoln Highway Association here: Lincoln Highway Association

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