IA: Iowa’s Pearl Button Industry, April 28, 2024

In 1905 Muscatine, Iowa produced 1.5 billion pearl buttons, about 1/3 of the world’s total. This manufacturing achievement was remarkable from a town of 15,000. More remarkable, perhaps, was the fact that the whole industry was started by a single German immigrant, John F. Boepple.

Boepple recognized the extraordinary value of the freshwater mussels living in the Mississippi River and began making beautiful mother-of-pearl buttons from their shells. Ultimately, these fascinating creatures, harvested by the hundreds of millions, with little regard for the environment, built the economic foundation of Muscatine. Dustin Joy, Director of the National Pearl Button Museum, will explore this fascinating history and its lingering legacy. 

Sun Apr 28th 2024, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm CDT

FREE for members, $5 for non-members

This event is in-person only.

712 W 2nd St. Davenport, Iowa 52802

For more information and Tickets, please visit www.events.humanitix.com