Monthly Archives: May 2016

May 2016



Buttons  and stories shared in January 2016:

1950s Buttons and their representaton in ads:


A “Boil-Tested White”

















Button topped hat-pins:

Hat pins were fashionable, and necessary, from circa 1850-1930’s to secure one’s hat upon one’s head!  Hats of this era were large and elaborate, requiring pinning to stop them coming off or being blown away. They consisted of a metal shaft with a decorative head, and later on, a safety protector to guard against accidental stabbing!  Mind you, ladies were actually encouraged to use them as defensive weapons against “unwelcome advances”!  During WW1 women had made, or DIY, their sweetheart’s uniform buttons into hat pins. Patriotic sets of buttons and hat pins were also produced for women to wear to show support of the war effort.

Here are some button/hat pin examples from Carol’s collection:

Hat pin made from button backmark; Sol Davis Melbourne






backmark ‘David Jones & Co. Sydney.’

 backmark  ‘Lincoln Stuart & Co, Melbourne’.


Beauclaire Button and advert:

Beauclaire Button 1950s.

detail from 1956 advertisement.










These styles were ‘Kiddie’ buttons produced by General Plastics, who supplied Embassy (G.J. Coles) in the 1940-50s.

Beutron cards from the early to late 1950s.

These are Beutron Tub Buttons that have been “Made Expressly For “Richall,  Melbourne”, a clothing manufacturer.

Screen shot 2016-05-01 at 2.28.41 PM

I recently purchased 4 uniform buttons for the Melbourne Fire Brigade.  When they arrived I noticed that one was slightly smaller and the spacing between the initals was different.   Sure enough,  it was made by a different button maker.  The 3 were made by Stokes and Sons.  The odd one out was “MADE IN ENGLAND FOR A.BOWLEY & CO. FLINDERS LANE MELBOURNE”.

Alfred Bowley and Co. were naval and military uniform outfitters situated in Flinders Lane from circa 1893 to 1945.  The Alfred Bowley Building was demolished in 1960,  the site being used for expansion of the Temperence and General (T&G) Building.

The Stokes and Sons button, centre, has a larger gap between the F and B.

This button is made from a mint condition silver 1910 King Edward VII threepence.  I wondered at that, as it is illegal to deface/alter current Australian currency.  However, this was the year the King died.  I presume there were some unissued coins that could legitimately be made into commemorative waistcoat buttons.








Wonderful Hats, as illustrated in an old Melbourian newspaper,  The Australasian.