21st February 2017

As I’ve mentioned,  I’m working on dating carded buttons.  Delving back into Trove, (the NLA’s digital resource),  I found an advert from McDowell’s store in Sydney published in The Sun on 2nd February, 1950.

Detail from the ad showing a card of "Tub Buttons".

Detail from the ad showing a card of “Tub Buttons” bottom right.

Screen shot 2017-02-21 at 5.33.19 PM

Here’s an example of a card with the”sheets on a clothes line” graphic.  Cards of buttons were advertised for sale from at least as early as 1890 in Australian newspapers, so the carding of buttons is not a new phenomenon.  Most (although not all) cards were of one, two, three dozen, or even a gross of buttons.  The ad detail below shows how cards of “American boilproof washing buttons” were available in 1940. (also from The Sun).

Screen shot 2017-02-21 at 5.47.13 PM

The development of plastics had been accelerated by the needs of WW2 so that plastic “wash”, “washing”, “boiling” and ‘boil proof” buttons were becoming the norm, and would come to dominate the market, at the expense of mother-of-pearl buttons. “Washing” buttons were advertised from 1912 onwards.  “Boiling Buttons” were advertised from 1940 to 1954. “English Beutron wash buttons” were advertised in 1945 and “Beutron Boiling buttons” from 1947 through to 1953.


19th February 2017

Due to the increasing quantity of tailor’s button in my collection I have had to give them a page of their own instead of being part of the “Unbranded/generic” page.  Tailor’s and draper’s shops, manufacturing and retailing have been an important part of the retail and industrial development of our country.  They provided employment to many, as well as a sense of purpose and identity . There is no turning back the hands of time,  but it is a shame that so much local production has disappeared. Please send photos of your own to add to the blog.

The buttons below are variations on styles I have already shared with you. The gold ones are metal coated versions of a Coronet style. The glass are 3 more of the Beutron ‘Original’ bird with a big tail.

Screen shot 2017-02-19 at 5.01.02 PM


15th February 2017

New treasures have now come pouring in. I’ll make a start….

The card at the bottom is a new design to my collection.

The card at the bottom is a new design to my collection. The “star-fish” buttons are odd.

1950's Beauclaire and Leda.

1950’s Beauclaire and Leda.

Embassy, from the late 1940-s through to 1900

Embassy, from the late 1940’s through to late1960’s. There are those ducks again!

Beutron and Woolworths cards.

Beutron and Woolworths cards.

Screen shot 2017-02-15 at 8.42.20 PM

Beutron cards, large and small.

Screen shot 2017-02-15 at 8.42.08 PM

A sales sample card.

A sales sample card.

12th February 2017

I have a few new finds to catch up with. Firstly; some more from Beutron and Beauclaire.  The bottom 2 cards are from New Zealand.

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 8.50.04 PM

Next; 2 cards from Woolies, and 2 from 1966 when decimal money came in.

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 8.50.19 PM

Lastly; some loose Beauclaire buttons.

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 8.53.07 PM

Here’s a ‘refill’ card, to alert the sale staff that a line of buttons needed reordering.  It probably shouldn’t have had buttons sewn on it, as it now can’t be used for ordering!

Screen shot 2017-02-13 at 9.14.44 PM

Have fun with your own collecting!

3rd February 2017

I’ve just received a treasure trove of vintage advertising (thanks Roy!) so many of the digital scans I sourced from the National Library will now be replaced with better reproductions.  Check out the Beutron and Beauclaire pages. Here are a couple of new finds to wet your appetite.

Australian Women's Weekly, 28 June 1961

Australian Women’s Weekly, 28 June 1961

Chlidren's buttons 1957

Australian Women’s Weekly, 8th April 1957

Woman's day and Home, 23rd August 1954

Woman’s day and Home, 23rd August 1954.  Pretty in pink.


2nd February 2017

Here are my latest finds:

Screen shot 2017-01-30 at 7.23.20 PM

The Rex button is glass, therefore imported. The blue “pearl” is a Beutron press-stud.

Screen shot 2017-02-01 at 8.51.28 PM

Screen shot 2017-02-02 at 8.15.32 PM

A Beauclaire buckle. Two beautiful glass Beutron Originals featuring a bird with fabulous tail feathers. A close up of the Kiddietone below.

Screen shot 2017-02-02 at 8.15.47 PM

What cute graphics!  Before I found this card I didn’t realise that “Kiddietone” was yet another Woolworths line produced by Beauclaire.  These buttons feature painted squirrels!

29th January 2017

A photographer under the tag of “Tyranny Sue” has a couple of button photos in the public demain:  I wonder who made these buttons?

Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.15.53 PM

Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.16.25 PM

Brownell’s were the first detail store in Hobart, opening their “London House” store in 1836. They also had a successful mail-order business.

The Mercury, 12th September 1936

The Mercury, 12th September 1936

Screen shot 2017-01-29 at 5.16.51 PM

28th January 2017

This detail from a 1957 advert makes me chuckle.  I guess that sales staff were sick of shoppers mispronouncing it …

Screen shot 2017-01-27 at 12.42.03 PM

And speaking of “Bow Clair”… here are some more random examples.

Screen shot 2017-01-27 at 6.11.53 PM

Now here’s something interesting to ponder …..

Screen shot 2017-01-28 at 4.02.38 PM

This is a detail of an article showing jewellery “recently imported from Czechoslovakia” that appeared in several newspapers from late 1937 into 1938,  showing “a collection of little animal bone buttons”.  The koala is a dead ringer for a button I’ve featured before.

Screen shot 2017-01-28 at 5.01.14 PM

I wonder if the article was in error, and the buttons were actually made from casein,  like my koala.  Otherwise, it would seem that the design was copied.  Animal buttons of this type were very popular in the late 1930’s.  Anyway, it seems this little fellow is European!

27th January 2017

Enjoy looking through these lovely vintage newspaper advertisments. If you collect buttons, they can help you date your buttons and buckles. There are some gorgeous art deco styles in plastic, ceramic and metal combinations.  Hand-made novelties were very popular,  as were dress clasps.

The Advertiser (Adewlaide) 13th September 1933

The Advertiser (Adelaide) 13th September 1933

Truth (Brisbane) 5th September 1937

Truth (Brisbane) 5th September 1937

Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.30.38 PM

Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.31.17 PM

A lovely pair from The telegraph (Brisbane) 8th September 1937

The Newcastle Sun 9th March 1939

The Newcastle Sun 9th March 1939

Sunday Mail(Qld) 28th May 1939

Sunday Mail (Qld) 28th May 1939

The West Wyalong Advocate (NSW) 25th August 1939

The West Wyalong Advocate (NSW) 25th August 1939

Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.12.19 PM

Erinoid was a trade name for casein plastic from the Lightpill Mills in Stroud, England. These 3 ads were published in The Telegraph (Brisbane) 13th March 1940

Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.12.40 PM Screen shot 2017-01-26 at 3.11.30 PM


















The Telegraph (Brisbane) 18th April 1940

The Telegraph (Brisbane) 18th April 1940

The Sun(Sydney) 20th August 1941

The Sun(Sydney) 20th August 1941