To make up for the lack of agricultural work in winter, workers in the town of Méru, north of Paris, began making objects from mother-of-pearl, ivory, ebony, tortoiseshell and bone from the seventeenth century. By the 1900s, the industry was thriving. Seashells were sent by train to Méru, where thousands of buttons, dominoes and fans were manufactured. The Musée de la Nacre is housed in an impressive nineteenth-century former button factory. The building is a long range on two storeys with large windows for light. Its collection features many objects produced locally, including mother-of-pearl buttons, binoculars and fans. The machines and raw materials used in the factories are also exhibited.The museum has workshops with live demonstrations every day, where visitors are shown how traditional objects such as dominoes and buttons were made. Rings, necklaces and bracelets made from mother-of-pearl can be bought in the museum shop.