15th November 2017

New tailor’s buttons:

F. A. Johnson, Richmond:

Frederick Adolph Johnson was born in Dunedin,  New Zealand in 1888.   From 1930 he lived in Richmond,  moving to Morwell around 1939.

Ince Bros., Melbourne:


Richard Ince and his brother Arthur owned this tailoring firm.  Richard was born in Collingwood in 1863.  Soon after the family moved to Ballarat were his father,  Richard senior,  was a cutter for L. S. Christie & Co, before going into partnership  as ‘Young and Ince’.  The sons also worked with this  firm.  Around 1887 Arthur moved to Geelong and Richard moved to Melbourne. They operated as Ince Bothers, with Richard located in Swanston Street. They would travel to country towns such as Camperdown, Kyneton and Yackandanda to take fittings for suits.

Wahalla Chronicle and Moondarra Advertiser, 23rd April 1915.

In 1901 their mother died in Ballarat.  Richard senior re-married in 1903,  at the age of 71 years, to a 25 year old woman in Melbourne.  Having  married in the afternoon they booked into a hotel.  Twenty minutes after retiring, the new bride ran to the manager for help;  her husband lying dead in his bed. Oh dear!


A new plastic button from Fletcher Jones that looks like pearl-shell.

12th November 2017

The warmer weather (at last) has me thinking about Spring fashions.  Here are a couple of ideas from 1907 and 1909.

Sunday Times, 8th September 1907. “Cream Sicilian Costume … smart buttons are used to ornament the vest.”

The Star (Sydney) 30th Jul 1909. A “princess robe made of moonlight blue volie with large
pansy purple velvet buttons on It.”

8th November 2017

Latest finds: Excellent condition Beutron cards from circa 1950.

… plus some new Disneys (unfortunately the blue Chip as a snapped shaft) as well as a Beauclaire rabbit and a very 3D Darian button. Apparently American collectors are now aware of Grant Featherston’s ‘Darian’ branded glass buttons from the 1950s, so unfortunately prices may increase!


7th November 2017

Today we celebrate an excuse for hats, gloves, frocks and, of course, buttons, with a round up of Melbourne Cup fashions.

Beverly wears a tailored frock of heavy cream suede with 3 coloured buttons in 1939.

Love the “Flying Saucer hat”. From 1950.

Lady Potter holds onto her pillbox hat on a windy Cup day in 1964.

Mrs Parson sports lovely blue buttons on her colour co-ordinated outfit. from 1968.

Barbara wears a shear pleated skirt and buttoned jacket for the Cup in 1974.




3rd November 2017

Recently I posted about how General Plastics cross-promoted their Beauclaire buttons with Twinprufe wool.  G.Herring had a similar cross promotion with Jantzen clothing around 1953.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 18th March 1953.

Detail from above.

AWW, 22nd April 1953. She looks a little smug, doesn’t she.

A detail from a 1958 advert shows that Beutron supplied quite a few well know brands.


31st October 2017

I’m typing this wearing a zebra “onesie”,  because I’ve been handing out treats for Halloween. There have been some very cute gouls and ghosts!

Three more button sayings for you:

  1. Don’t “push my buttons”!
  2. Or I’ll get cross, you can “bet your buttons”.
  3. Well, “bust my buttons!” You went ahead and pushed!!

Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the goblins bite.

28th October 2017

Do you have “a soul above buttons”? 

This phrase,  now out of usage,  seems to have indicated that you were (at least in your own estimation) superior to your current occupation or situation i.e.  that you deserved better!  It dates back at least to 1795,  but has not appeared in Australian newspapers since 1946.

Do you “have all your buttons (on)”?

  I hope so! Until the 1920’s this suggested you “didn’t have all your marbles”.