About combs, buttons and pipes of horn
horn industry? Of course! Before plastic was invented, we made buttons and combs from buffalo horn. Remarkably enough, the processing of horn from Asia and South America only took place in Aalten in the Netherlands. The raw material came to the Achterhoek by rail via Germany, where the Aalten horn-turners were trained. A special industry with special people and special stories.
Dust and stench
The processing of horn brought with it a lot of dust and stench. The horns sometimes lay waiting for weeks to be processed and especially in the summer the smell that accompanied it was not so pleasant. A visitor once described it as follows:'How sad for those who have to live here day after day. She (buffalo horn ed.) spreads a horrible stench and, when placed on the lathes, fills everything with a dust that covers walls, tools and workers with a thick, white layer.\\\'
Dutch Button Works
Here, on the site of De Slinge laundry, Willem te Gussinklo's pipe factory was located. In the beginning, in addition to pipe stems, he also made handles for walking sticks and umbrellas. Until he decided to start making buttons. Discs were sawn from the horn and holes were drilled into them. And that turned out to be a success. Due to lack of space, the factory moves to Bredevoort and becomes known as NV Dutch Button Works, or DBW for short. Soon DBW is the largest employer in the horn industry, exporting knots to England, Ireland and even America.