Paragon Button Corporation, Waldoboro, 1921

Contributed by Penobscot Marine Museum


This factory on Friendship Road (Route 220S in 2020), on the east side of the Medomak River, manufactured buttons for more than sixty years.

Constructed in 1888, it was first the Waldoboro Shoe Factory, a short-lived venture. The building sat vacant until 1920 when a company for button-manufacturing machinery moved in. In 1921 the Paragon Button Corporation started making pearl buttons from shells, initially shipped to California from Australia, Manila, and the Fiji Islands and then from California to Maine. About 82 people were employed by the company in Waldoboro.

Stanley Gerson and Rolsala Gerson of Patrician Plastics Corporation purchased the operation in 1943. In 1957 they converted it from pearl to plastic button manufacturing. By 1981 the company had only 25 to 30 employees, who made millions of buttons, dice, dominoes and poker chips.

The factory closed in the early 1980s, and the building has had no formal businesses since.

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About This Item

  • Title: Paragon Button Corporation, Waldoboro, 1921
  • Creator: Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.
  • Creation Date: circa 1921
  • Subject Date: circa 1921
  • Town: Waldoboro
  • County: Lincoln
  • State: ME
  • Media: Glass Plate Negative
  • Dimensions: 12.7 cm x 17.8 cm
  • Local Code: LB2007.1.102825
  • Collection: Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Penobscot Marine Museum
PO Box 498, 5 Church Street, Searsport, ME 04974
(207) 548-2529

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. No Permission is required to use the low-resolution watermarked image for educational use, or as allowed by the applicable copyright. For all other uses, permission is required.

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