Antique knitting needles

My sister gave DH and I each a set of wooden antique knitting needles. What a cool gift. They were probably hand made for someone by a DH, brother, or father. I have no idea how old they are. I look at them and think, “If these needles could talk, I bet they would have stories to tell.” One set is a size 10 the other is a 10.5. Each set is 15 inches long. I’m guessing the longer length was so they could be used for sweaters and other large items. Each set of needles only has a "button end " on one needle. I can tell from looking that it was intentional. Doesn’t look like there ever was one or that one was ever attached or slid on in any way. Does anybody know why they are made that way? The needles are in great shape and I would like to use them but I can’t imagine how I would keep my WIP from sliding off the end. Any ideas?
Thanks, KR