The buttons are from the 1800's and 1900's. People used to save buttons from worn out clothing. Eventually they ended up in rummage sales and antique shops. That's where I found them. Some are ordinary, others are interesting, like the bovine bone buttons with 2 large holes. Some of the buttons are square. They are mostly white and off-white, with some brown and a few other colors.
These buttons represent the history of those who wore them to school and work, to worship, to weddings and births, in illness, at sea, and possibly in the Civil War.
See more details here.
I will try to replace these photos with ones that show a better view of the buttons. In these photos the buttons are too bright. They are actually more varied and interesting than this.