Back in June last year a member of the Victorian Button Collectors club told me a story involving legal action of G. Herring against General Plastics. Looking at some of my buttons last week she was able to tell me more. In approximately 1950 she was a young lady. One day she visited the haberdashery store near her work place where she had some goods on order. A button sales rep. was there and told her and the staff that General Plastics had produced buttons using g. Herring’s Opal-glo’ formulae. Due to this dispute the supply of these buttons was on hold. Apparently the industrial chemist/engineer who had developed the formula was now working for General Plastics and believed that it belonged to him rather than the company. This was probably a bit naive of him as G.Herring Pty. Ltd. registered the design on the 20th December 1948. I can’t find any record of this in the papers, but of course the issue may have been settled out of court. In my collection I notice that Beauclaire ‘Moonglow’ buttons are replaced by ‘Superglow’ buttons. Perhaps this change of marketing reflects a change of the formula used?
Last Tuesday Sonia brought along a wonderful card of buttons that I had seen advertised way back in 1951! She has kindly sent me an image.
This is intriguing. These are exactly the same fish as on my Rex C. Norris card of the same era. There were also Coronet branded Disney buttons in this era. Were Coronet part of the same company as that distributed Rex/Jack and Jill buttons??
Further tailor’s buttons:
Newbury & Son, Melbourne
Charles Hyatt Newbury, son of Charles Hyatt senior, grocer, and later his son, Charles Robert Newbury, were mercers and drapers in City Road, Emerald Hill (now South Melbourne) from before 1890 until at least 1922. The next Charles (Renton) Newton let down the family by becoming an orthodontist.
Waldrop Pty. Ltd. Melbourne
George Waldrop started his tailoring and mercers business around 1885. It was taken over by Roger David Pty. Ltd. in 1977.
The table below, from the same article above regarding Wardrop’s, shows the staggering size of the clothing industry in Melbourne in the 1920-1930’s.
And yet more tailor’s buttons:
R. C. Norman, Melbourne
Richard Charles Norman was born in Middlesex in 1874. He was a tailor in Melbourne from at least 1903 and died in 1943.
Haigh Brothers, Melbourne
Haigh Brothers were tailors and outfitters in Collins Street from 1853 through until at least 1926.
Burkby and Waggen, Sale
Frederick James Burby and his son-in-law, Vincent St.Clair Wagglen, took over a tailoring business in Sale in 1923.
Less than 18 months later they dissolved the partnership, with Mr Wagglen continuing alone. There must be a sad tale underlying this, as he only kept the business going for another two years before starting again in Sunshine. This business in turn lasted for around 3 years. In the following years he was separated from his wife then in 1941 he died at the age of 50 years.
I continue with my series on tailor’s buttons.
The Mutual Store, Melbourne
The Mutual Store Limited was Melbourne’s first department store, established in 1872. A fire destroyed the original building in 1891, but was rebuilt successfully.
Gilbert A. Parker, Melbourne
Gilbert Alexander Parker was born in 1897 in Bunbury, West Australia. His family moved to Melbourne after the death of his father. He started work as a tailor’s cutter, progressed to tailor and then manager. In 1929 to 1931 he advertised for sewers and machinists to work at 152 Elizabeth Street, 4th Floor.
W. G. Scates, Swanston St. Melbourne
William Gardiner Scates was born in Ballarat East in 1892. He became a tailor with outlets in Swanston Street and also Footscray. He died in 1973.
Thank-you to all those who attended my presentation on Australian buttons at the Victorian Button Collectors Club meeting on Tuesday. Perhaps you may be more intrigued about the subject now! I had fun and I hope you did too.
I’m working through a new collection of tailors’ buttons: here’s one as an appetiser. Check out the ‘tailors’ page for more.
Woulfe & Son, Brisbane:
Patrick Woulfe (1888-1948) set up his tailors establishment in Adelaide Street, Brisbane, in 1913. He was a successful businessman; by 1939 he employed 400 people with outlets in other Queensland cities. The family continued with the business after his untimely death, with it finally being wound up in 1972.
Carol F. has kindly sent me a new button photo for the collection.
Charles Roper Martin (1833-1910) arrived in Melbourne in 1852 on the same ship as my husband’s great-grandfather. In 1885 he established an importing business in Flinders Lane, particularly gold and silver lace. He was a pioneer of the Melbourne Cavalry Troop, and rose to the rank of Commanding officer, retiring with the rank of Major. His interest in military matters extended to manufacturing of military trappings. The button above shows a Queen Victoria crown, and was produced for the Queensland Railways, so he was also producing government uniform buttons.
I received some feedback that other people are finding the vintage advertising helpful to identify and date buttons from their own collections. This motivated me to return to Trove and re-trawl through advertising, looking for illustrations of buttons, and I made a couple of discoveries…
And yet this is a Coronet design button! (see the Coronet page). Presumably both Coronet and ‘Latest fashion’ buttons were produced by the same firm.
I’ve added more to the ‘vintage advertising’ page. Have a look!
Old buttons continue to come out of the woodwork. The Beutron buttons obviously date from around 1950 as they have the same artwork as the “clothes line” cards, but are printed to be cut into half dozens.
The yellow buttons look like painted wood, but are plastic. The Word ‘Australia’ can be seen at the bottom.
These tubes of buttons are from Terries, except for the short one which is from Astor.
The issuing collecting of commemorative medallions has a long history. Many Australian die-sinkers produced these as well as buttons,badges, medals and the like. Here is a medallion struck to commemorate Stokes and Sons centenary. It includes the likeness of Thomas Stokes I have found.
Perfection Plate, a silverware firm, produced buttons for the military in 1942.
I couldn’t resist this quirky offering from the company in 1954.