Fire Brigade Commission uniform button by Stokes & Sons
These buttons may have been from the Tasmania Fire Brigade Commission (1946-1977) which was tasked with establishing and maintaining an efficient fire brigade in that state.
Adelaide College of Music: maker unknown
This privately run college was established in Wakefield Street East , Adelaide, in 1883 by Herr Immanuel Gotthold Reimann. In 1898 it merged with the University of Adelaide’s school of Music to become the Elder Conservatorium of Music (named after Sir Thomas Elder, benefactor)
An British artist who moved to America, Marguerite Kirmse, was very successful drawing animals, dogs in particular, including Scotties, in the 1920s.
One early example in pop-culture were “Ric and Rac”, a Wire Fox terrier and his Scottish terrier buddy in the 1930s. They were carton characters created by Paul Abraham (professional name Pol Rab) that featured in a French newspaper. They were so popular that their images were used for brooches, housewares and ornaments. As scotch terrier/fox terrier style buttons date from the late 1930s, they may have been an inspiration.
The famous pet of Franklin Roosevelt, Fala, further cemented these iconic dogs into our consciousness.
I stumbled upon some Pintrest pages for vintage button advertising. Who knew there were so many advertising nerds out there! I would like to share some relating to 1930s novelty buttons, one of my favourite topics.
For more on this theme, check out my posts dated 6th May 2018, 28th June 2018, 12th January 2019 as well as the vintage advertising pages.
I have been asked about the origin of this slouch hat button/badge. I’m afraid it’s a mystery. However, it may be a modern version of the “tin hat” badges sold by the RSL (Returned Soldiers League) as a fund raiser from 1929 through to 1970.
I have seen them in several colours, but do not know who made them. Charity button/badges are collectable, but I am not sure of their value, perhaps around $5-10. Please correct me if you know more about them.
I am revisiting these buttons that have been shared as I had not checked out the history on the Commonwealth Police which is quite fascinating!
Post Federation initially there was no Commonwealth policing agency. In 1917 the pro-Conscription Prime Minister, Billy Hughes, became so fed up and distrusting of the state of Queensland (led by anti-conscription Premier T. J. Ryan) that he created a plain-clothed Commonwealth Police Force to ensure that Commonwealth law was adhered to in that “rogue” state and to report on “subversive” activities (i.e. those of groups that disagreed with his views!)
This force was disbanded post WW1. A new agency was formed from officers of this force as well as from military intelligence: the Commonwealth Investigations Branch (CIB). This in turn was merged post WW2 with the Commonwealth Security Service to become the Commonwealth Investigation Service(CIS) The Commonwealth Peace Officer Guard (POG), established in 1925 to provide physical security at government locations across the nation, came under administration of the CIS. Are you keeping up?
In 1949, at the insistence of British and US authorities, the Australian Government established the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to perform counter-espionage. Was the CIS doing such a poor job of this to make our Allies frustrated?
In 1957 the POG and CIS were merged into the Commonwealth Police. They now investigate crimes such as damage and theft from Commonwealth properties and money laundering. They assist state and overseas police, protect politicians and administer policing on Norfolk and Christmas Islands. In 1979 the regional ACT police were merged with it to form the current Australian Federal Police. Whew!
I must apologies to anyone who hasn’t been able to leave comments to posts over the last month. It seems the security settings had been upgraded in a way that I didn’t realise. Sorry; I’m not a digital native! Go crazy and contact me now!!
Royal Navy button , Chorley & Co Sydney.
For your viewing pleasure: cards of American pearl buttons c.1940s-50s
It is not always easy to date buttons, but the cards help. You might notice that the buttons above are attached by staples, or in the case of the shanked buttons, a fine strand of wire threaded through the shanks behind the card. By looking at many cards of many eras, I think this occurred from the 1940s in America, with cards from the 1930s and earlier having sewn on buttons. In Australia staples were not used until the mid 1960s, and even until the 1980s many buttons were sewn onto cards. Did the US have better/earlier automisation?
Cards of pearl buttons “Made in Occupied Japan” (i.e. 1945-1952) show that during that era the style number, size in lignes and sometime quantity of buttons per card (in case you couldn’t count?) were printed on the card. This was also the era that prices started to be printed (around 10-15cents per card.)
I’m researching some of the companies that existed in the boom era of Iowa pearl button manufacture, and the style and graphics of cards they used. It’s “un- Australian”, but let me know if you’d like me to share the information.
I was inspired to re-look at pearl-shell button history because I am quite smitten by the variety and design of quaint store cards that were produced for the sale of these buttons. Flowers, elegant ladies, handsome professional men, doctors and nurses, babies and children, palm trees, birds, mermaids and more were depicted on cards of MOP buttons. Some of the most pedestrian shirt button had the fanciest graphics. Love it!
Whilst I am awaiting the arrival of a variety of American cards I thought I would revisit the Australian cards in my collection. Some are plain, some fancy.