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Subject: Buttons


From: Paul Storch <paul.storch>
Date: Tuesday, June 1, 1999
Frank Gagliardi inquired about how to treat late 20th century
pin-back buttons for corrosion.  Generally, the backs or full
collets on those buttons are not lacquered, so you can treat them in
the manner that you normally spot treat corrosion on sensitive
objects.  Pin-backs of older vintage may have a cellulose nitrate
based lacquer on the backs, with filiform corrosion under the
lacquer.  There is no way to treat that without disturbing the
original coating.  If the corrosion is on the obverse surface of the
metal base and is affecting the image support, there is also no good
way to treat that, since disassembly is destructive to all the

I published an MHS Tech Talk entitled "Care and Conservation of
Political Campaign Buttons" in 1998, which examines the composition,
structure, and handling of these objects.  Copies are available by
contacting Ms. Jean Moberg, Conservation Department Secretary,
Minnesota Historical Society <jean.moberg [at] mnhs__org>.  Please include
your regular mailing address, as all our Tech Talks are not yet
online.  I tried to pull together all the available information on
buttons, which wasn't much, combined with my own research and
treatment experience. If anyone has comments or additions, I'd be
happy to consider them for a future revision of the article.

Paul S. Storch
Objects Conservator
Daniels Objects Conservation Laboratory (DOCL)
B-109.1, Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Blvd West
St. Paul, MN  55102-1906
Fax: 651-297-2967

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:93
                  Distributed: Wednesday, June 2, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-93-001
Received on Tuesday, 1 June, 1999

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