Shells tell the story of long-gone button industry

Dozens of cone top shells from a closed factory in Denton, Maryland.

By Marisa Sloan Medill Reports EDGEWATER, Md. — The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Environmental Archaeology Laboratory is easy to miss, hidden within a basement on the sprawling 2,650-acre campus. Those who manage to find it can expect to be greeted by an eclectic spread: microscopes, coffee mugs, miniature dinosaurs and shelves full of both books […]