17th January 2019

Tailor’s buttons:

C. Ledlin, Bathurst:

Bathurst Times 29th April 1913.

Charles Christopher Ledlin was a cutter for E.J. and D. Curran for 10years before leaving to work on his own at 119 George Street in Bathurst. He was also a hotel owner. he died in 1947 at the age of 78 years.

W, Balfour, Genelg:

Walter James Balfour(1888-1961) moved around quite a bit. After leaving the employ of William Bros he partnered with Alfred Ray Norman as ‘Balfour & Norman’ in 1914-15 in King William Street, Adelaide, before working for L.S. Starr in Glenelg from 1916.

Glenelg Guardian, 12th February 1920.

In 1920 he started on his own Glenelg working from Moseley Street, then in 1923 Jetty Road, then in 1929 in Piere St, then in 1929 Rundle Street then a detour to Broken Hill in 1930 before going back to Jetty Road in 1931.   He moved to Whyalla from 1940-49 then on to Port Augusta. Therefore the button dates c. 1920-1940.


16th January 2019


A lovely counter top display from the 1950s. (Two of the white buttons have been replaced; the originals must have fallen off.) The style is number 660.

Here are close-ups of the colours.

The size of the buttons are (from the top down) 18, 22,26, 30, 35, and 44 lignes (1/40 inch = 1 ligne or line).


12th January 2019

From Trove: 1930s buttons

The Labor Daily (Sydney) 22nd November 1933.

“Perhaps you prefer a little gift to a card or magazine (Ed: for Christmas) – if so you must walk with me up a narrow street to the quaintly adorned doorway of the Victorian Arts and Crafts Society. here you will find some charming handwrought buttons, claps, and slides, made of polished Australian woods. At 2′ 6 each there are most pictorial circular buttons simulating a gumnut peeping from encircling leaves, while at 1′ 2 and 1’3 each you can get plain polished buttons for fastening a top coat. I saw one set stained navy blue, consisting of four large buttons, eight little ones, and a belt buckle for 12′ 6 the set. Little slides to hold a scarf are from 2′ 6 each and some most pictorial ones of encircular gum leaves, boomerangs or sprays of three long gumleaves are about 3′ 9 and 5′ 6. (These are all in dark brown woods.)”

The Australasian, 14th October 1933.

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 16th April 1934.

11th January 2019

New finds:

Possible new manufacturers:

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1950.

This business was not successful, as it was being offered for sale by January 1952 by the liquidators. Matthew Felix Lipworth was a chemical engineer from South Africa. mr Phillips may have been Frederick John Phillips, a salesman.

Mr Lipworth, 1950.

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1942.

Registered in December 1941, this was another short lived business, as it was listed as in receivership in 1944. They did supply the military with steel buttons in 1942 and 1943.

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 30th September 1943.

8th January 2019

Possibly another mystery solved: Coronet buttons

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, June 1939.

‘Coronet Button, Buckle and Novelty Co.’ registered as selling agents (not manufacturers) in 1939. This is the only reference I have so far. As described on the Coronet page, the ‘Coronet’ brand changed to ‘Roger Berry’ who were also distributors but not manufacturers as far as I can tell. Roger Berry started circa 1945.


7th January 2019

A Mystery solved:

Dun’s gazette for NSW, 1933.

On the ‘Mysteries” page I wondered as to weather Sunup branded buttons were distributed by Aucher Ltd. The listing above confirms this. Albert “Sammy” Aucher was an indent agent, and involved in many things; sailing, buttons, trochus shell, cork and cork products, and electrical appliances…

The Bulletin, 22nd October 1952. He died in 1954.

6th January 2019

I’m finding new information in Trove as more journals and magazines are scanned in. here are some more button producers in New South wales from the late 1930s.

McMonnies & Geary, Manly:

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1934.

All I have found out is that John David McMonnies (1909-1967) and Patrick Leo Geary were both listed as clerks in the electoral rolls.

Pearl Products Manufacturing Co., Campsie

This company was registered on 16th january 1933 at 33 North Parade, but changed its name to Actex Hardware Co. and moved to Undercliffe on 20th February 1939.

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1933.

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1934

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1939

Laurence Ryder Parkinson (1915-2008) was a manufacturer. his inital partners were Cyril Alleyne Hindson ( 1912-2004) and William Hosie, who both left the business by September the next year. They were replaced by Laurence’s father, George Dobson Parkinson (1885-1948), a builder, and Harold Moran. As the name change suggests, the company produced hardware, at first plastic then later metal as well, such and door handles. by 1967 they were known as Acetex-Goal. The company is deregistered.

5th January 2019

Pearl Shell Products, Sydney:

Malaby Chappell, Cleveland William Anderson (1917-2012) and Victor Marden (1920- ) formed a partnership under the name of ‘Pearl Shell Products’ in December 1946. By May 1947 Chappell left, then in 1948  so did Marden.

Dun’s Gazette for NSW, 1947.

Government Gazette of NSW, August 1947.

Roland Clifford Latter (1919-2000) joined around 1948 and continued the business after Anderson left in October 1950.

Government Gazette of NSW, 1950

The article below comes from Fisheries Newsletter of March 1950, when Latter and Anderson were working together:

I can find no record of this firm after October 1950. I wish I had some of these “novelties”!

4th January 2019

Godrey Norman Shead:

Godfrey was born in 1907. He served overseas in WW2 and returned, wounded, in 1941. He died the following year, aged only 34 years.

He had been involved in several button manufacturing partnerships before the war. The first was in in 1934 with James E. Campbell  and George R. Sheidow in Whistler Street, Manly.

Dun’s Gazette for New South Wales, 1934.

George Sheidow (from Manly Council archives).

This did not last long as the next year he was part of ‘Shead, Frost & Co’, whilst James Campbell continued alone.

Dun’s Gazette for New South Wales, 1935.

Wise’s Post Office Directory 1936.

The new partnership dissolved in 12 months.

Government Gazette of NSW 10th July 1936.

He started a new company at that time, Australian Button and Buckles P/L which made casein buttons and Jiffy button moulds. This company survived the war and Godrey’s death until 1951. (See the Covered Buttons page)

The Sydney Morning Herald, 6th July, 1936.