Button From Bethabara

Our recent post about the arrival of the Moravians in North Carolina prompted a comment which reminded us that the North Carolina Collection has a pinback button that features a real photo view of the Moravian Church quite similar to photograph used to illustrate Harry McKown’s ‘This Month‘ article.

This image is not to scale – the button itself is rather small, maybe half an inch in diameter. Curiously, the button reads, “Souvenir. Bethabra 1788. 1753.”  My first thought was that the button was commemorative of the 35th anniversay of the arrival of the Moravians.  My boss kindly pointed out that my theory that the photograph and button dated to 1788 was unlikely, as the process of chemical photography was, excuse the pun, not yet developed.