V171: A Vintage Button Hook

We’ve all seen these funny little tools.  What are they for, even?  We no longer wear button-up shoes these days, but back in the 1920s and prior, this was an essential tool for putting on your shoes!

It’s a great illustration of how common button shoes and boots were by the shear volume of button hooks that survive today.  This example I found on eBay – it’s a steel shank with a hollow handle.  I have no idea of the age, but thought the design quite pretty.

Fancy buttoning these babies up by hand? I don’t think so.

Button hooks come in all manner of shapes and sizes.  Some are ornate, like this one.  Some look more like bottle openers.  Some are gold-plated and encrusted with gems.  They’re a delightful testament to a lost style and technology.

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