CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — In 1850, the Cheshire Manufacturing Company got started in making, selling and dealing buttons of all kinds.

In 1901, the company merged with the Ball and Socket Fastener Company of New Hampshire and at its peak was the world’s largest maker of metal buttons, which were often used by the armed services.

Ball & Socket Arts is a non-profit organization that purchased the historic factory building and plans to transform the structure by creating an environment of discovery, learning and community engagement.

Three local women joined News 8 to discuss how the Ball and Socket Factory in Cheshire left a lasting impact on their lives.

Lindsey Vaillancourt, a jewelry designer, is making pieces from buttons from the old factory.

“It’s just really amazing that Lindsey has taken something so special, to not only me and my family, but to Cheshire and surrounding areas,” said Olivia Lank, News 8’s digital executive producer, and a descendent of a woman who spent her life working at the factory. “And it’s just amazing to think that my great-grandmother touched all these buttons and people will wear what she made so long ago.”

You can buy the necklaces online at and a portion of the proceeds go back to Ball & Sockets Arts.

To learn more about Ball and Socket Arts visit their website here.