Germany US Zone. What does it mean?
First, a little bit of history.
“After Germany’s defeat in the Second World War, the four main Allies in Europe – the United States, Great Britain, The Soviet Union and France – took part in the joint occupation of the German state, with the original understanding that the country would eventually be reunified…… each took responsibility for a certain portion of the defeated nation.”(From the US department of State Website.)
These “portions” were classified into Occupation Zones. All was not “smooth sailing” between the Allies at times. The Western occupation of Germany ended officially in the mid 1950’s but the final reunification of East and West did not occur until 1990.
Materials were limited or just not available for producing goods at the end of the war.
Wood and glass were the main materials used for buttons at this time. Machinery was also scarce, but there were a lot of very skilled labourers desperate for work.
The country designation on the cards of buttons can help date the button, but labelling was not always consistent and early “designations” were often used during the initial post-war era.
As a rough guide:
Before WW1 and up to 1952 Germany or Made in Germany.
1945 – 1952 Germany US zone.
Federal Republic of Germany.
Or no Identification.
1952 - 1990 Made in Western Germany or West Germany.
1990 Made in Germany.
Three cards of glass buttons marked with slight variants of “Germany US Zone”. Early 1950”s. all self- shank. Different companies.
2 cards are “moonglow” glass. This type of glass was developed in Western Germany in 1952. Glass canes with a layer of clear glass and a layer of opaque glass are heated then pressed into a mould by a skilled craftsman.
1 card has black glass buttons incorrectly called “Genuine Jet”.
The cards are made of the typical poor quality post-war paper that browns with age and becomes almost brittle, bits often breaking off.
“Satin” glass was also invented by these workers in 1956. This is made by folding a heated cane of coloured glass over and over on itself several times producing a satiny look.
These little buttons were made in the context of The Marshall Plan, the extraordinary humanitarian Berlin Airlift, the beginnings of The Cold War, the building of the Iron Curtain and the formation of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation)!!
Many thanks to Cathy for her information on the German button industry.
CLUB JOURNALS - Update 27/12/2020
Our February and March meetings were the only ones we were able to hold in 2020, and the topics for both meetings were recorded in the May Journal. The August and November Journals were not produced.
However, we are very happy to announce that a Two Volume ‘Special Edition’ Journal containing our Monthly Button Challenges, plus all the additional Virtual Activities, was sent out to members on the 23rd of December. Unlike the Button Banter section of the website, which is a permanent record, the Home page Challenge button disappeared as a new day dawned, so this Journal will provide a paper record of the last six months for all members to keep.
BUTTON BANTER is now up and running for members only. It has its own heading at the top of the Home page which you can see once you log in. Click on this heading to view contributions. If you want to add an item use 'Add Button Banter' under the Member Menu on the right of that screen or the Home page.
Button Banter is for you to share your button interests with other Club members, ask advice or give feedback. You can also see other members buttons or Button Challenge Cards or join in and show your own. It is preferable to post your photo in portrait format.