the wonderful button site I remember stumbling across earlier in the year (but of course I couldn't remember what it was called). I used to have the site saved somewhere but that was on my old tablet so it took a bit of digging before I found it.
I was pretty sure that Button Country was where I'd seen a name for those thingamabobs.
I found lots of information about buttons and shanks at Button Country, but those thingamabobs were being a bit elusive.
Finally I found some patents referenced from 1880 and 1874 in the Special Topics section. Click the images to go to the actual patent pdf files which include the text.
1880 Bainbridge Shank Fastener
1874 Harland Button Fastener Pin
Based on the pdf titles and the patents I guess I can't call my thingamabob-whatsits thingamabobs any more, they're 'shank pins' or 'button fasteners' or 'button fastener pins' or maybe even 'button shank pins' but they couldn't be called 'button shank fastener pins' however you could perhaps call them 'button shank pin fasteners'. I'll leave that nice little English grammar riddle for you to figure out.
In regards to the cuffs themselves I inquired of the 'Historical Dresses' community on g+ if someone could suggest a more specific date for the cuffs other then simply 'Victorian' (1837 until 1901) and Geri of History of the 18th & 19th Centuries very kindly provided the following
'...I tend to think these cuffs are from the late Victorian era as the club collar was popular then and it had rounded collar-points and would have matched the cuffs, but stitched cuffs also fell out of fashion in the late Victorian period, so maybe they're from the 1860s or 1870s.'
A few of you also wanted to know where I acquired my lovely cuffs from, they were listed on ebay a few years ago and I snaffled them at steal. The listing said they were found in a closet of an old farm house in Michigan.
I've started a Pinterest board to keep track of different shank pins too so feel free to go and check them out and add them to your own boards.