Monthly Archives: March 2017

31st March 2017

For those of us that love vintage items, a large part of the appeal lies in the history attached to these items.  While we may love vintage collectables for aesthetic reasons,  the story behind them adds to the appeal.  For me , it is frustrating not to know where or when a card of buttons came from!  That is why I collect buttons on cards,  even if the cards are shabby.  They allow me to match designs to particular companies and/or time frames.  In light of this,  I have a new intriguing find.  The name “Beutron” was first used by G. Herring for its buttons around 1946. (Interesting side note: there was a race horse named Beutron from 1941 and another around 1953.  I’d guess that one or both were owned by someone to do with the company.) The company started producing buttons around 1933,  so there is an approximately 13 year period when the buttons were otherwise labelled.  I may have an answer as to at least one line of buttons they produced: “Bonnie Buttons”!

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The design on the top is definately a G. Herring design (see below) However, these buttons have been re-sewn onto the card.  Could some-one have used a Bonnie Button card for non-Bonnie buttons?

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Presuming that the buttons had come loose as the card was cut to sell a customer some buttons, and that they are in fact G.Herring buttons,  then this was a name used by the company circa early to mid 1940’s.

29th March 2017

Here’s some fashion ideas…

Daily Standard, 10th September 1930. A fur coat with ermine buttons!

Daily Standard, 10th September 1930.
A fur coat with ermine buttons!

The Sydney Morning Herald, 2nd March 1931.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 2nd March 1931.      

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17th August 1931. Jade buttons sound good!

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17th August 1931. Jade buttons sound good!

Morning Bulletin (Mackay) 14th April 1936.

Morning Bulletin (Mackay) 14th April 1936.

28th March 2017

While I await my next delivery of buttons, here is the news…..

The World's News, 25th September 1909.

The World’s News (Sydney), 25th September 1909.

Evening Journal (Adelaide) 5th February 1910.

Evening Journal (Adelaide) 5th February 1910.

News (Adelaide) 13th May 1911.

News (Adelaide) 13th May 1911.

The North West Post (Tasmania) 26th September 1914.

The North West Post (Tasmania) 26th September 1914.

Leader (Melbourne) 25th November 1916.

Leader (Melbourne) 25th November 1916.

27th March 2017

This lot was auctioned recently. It Includes a Grant Featherston ashtray,  buttons and a buckle.

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More tailor’s buttons:

Kewley & Millsom,  Melbourne

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William David Kewley and Henry Alfred  Thomas Millsom were high class tailors,  ladies costume and habit makers in the Empire Arcade,  266 Flinders Street,  next to the Mutal Store,  from around 1906 until their partnership was dissolved in 1914.  Mr Millsom moved to Queensland and later Numurak Victoria,  with Kewley continuing in Flinders Street.

Punch (Melbourne) 4th September 1913.

Punch (Melbourne) 4th September 1913.

Punch 20th Nov 1913

Punch(Melbourne) 20th November 1913

26th March 2017

Here is the news:

Young Witness (NSW) 15th May 1917.

Young Witness (NSW) 15th May 1917.  Can you imagine the sub-heading being approved now-a-days?

Evening News (Sydney) 26th October 1923

Evening News (Sydney) 26th October 1923.

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News (Adelaide) 2nd September 1939.

The West Australian, 27th August 1940.

The West Australian, 27th August 1940.

The Sun (Sydney) 24th December 1943. Oh, the waste!

The Sun (Sydney) 24th December 1943.  Oh,  the waste!

24th March 2017

Continuing with tailoring buttons:

Buckley & Nun Ltd. Melbourne

Mars Buckley c1825-1905.

Mars Buckley c1825-1905. from

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In 1851 Mars Buckley, an Irishman,  came to the goldfields to sell goods.  He formed a partnership with Crumpton Nunn (1828-1895), an Englishman,  the following year.  Nunn would return to London to run that office of the company.  The Bourke street store, ( stores with the opening of the men’s  store) became the fashionable places to shop.  Fashionable ladies would meet in the tea rooms.   In 1900 Mr Buckley would claim his store was ” the oldest established Drapery House in Victoria and the most fashionable Resort for Shopping in Australia.” The store was purchased by David Jones in 1982.

Built in 1911-12 then extended in 1920-22.

Edwardian-Baroque style: Built in 1911-12 and extended in 1920-22.


The neighbouring Mens Store in Art Deco style built in 1933.

Guest & Glover, Melbourne

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Guest and Glover were tailors from around 1930-1952,  at first on the second floor,  The Block, then later at 234 Collins Street.

Advocate(Melbourne) 21st June 1934.

Advocate(Melbourne) 21st June 1934.

O’Brien & Earle, Melbourne

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Frederick Davidson Earle (1888-1947) and Lorne Alfred O’Brien were tailors in the Manchester Unity Buildings around 1929 to 1956.

The Argus, 5th January 1934.

The Argus, 5th January 1934.

Lunn & Holmes Pty. Ltd., Shepparton

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In 1922 Arthur Lunn and Tom Holmes,  who had previously worked for another tailor, John Zimmerman, in Maryborough,  established their own business in Shepparton at 170 Wyndham Street.  They prospered and listed the company in 1929.  Tragically, Mr Lunn died suddenly of a seizure whilst driving his car.  He was only 47 years at the time.  The company continued until 1958.

Advocate, 4th August 1938.

Advocate, 4th August 1938.


23rd March 2017

Back in June last year a member of the Victorian  Button Collectors club told me a story involving legal action by 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  that General Plastics had produced buttons using G. Herring’s Opal-glo’ formula.  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 his previous employer. 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 to settle this dispute?

22nd March 2017

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.


Examiner (Launceston) 13th Jan 1951.

Examiner (Launceston) 13th Jan 1951.

This is intriguing.  These are exactly the same fish buttons 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??

21st March 2017

Further tailor’s buttons:

Newbury & Son, Melbourne

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Charles Hyatt Newbury,  son of Charles Hyatt Newbury 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.

1934 CR Newbury

The Record (Emerald Hill) October 1922.

The Record (Emerald Hill) October 1922.

Wardrop Pty. Ltd. Melbourne

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George Wardrop started his tailoring and mercers business around 1885.  It was taken over by Roger David Pty. Ltd. in 1977.

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Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser 14th October 1921

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.

The Argus 10th April 1935.

The Argus 10th April 1935.

20th March 2017

And yet more tailor’s buttons:

R. C. Norman, Melbourne

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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

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Haigh Brothers were tailors and outfitters in Collins Street from 1853 through until at least 1926.

The Argus 18th June 1853.

The Argus 18th June 1853.

The Argus 27th November 1923.

The Argus 27th November 1923.

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circa 1883. Collins Street from Town Hall.

Burkby and Waggen, Sale

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Frederick James Burby and his son-in-law,  Vincent St.Clair Wagglen,  took over a tailoring business in Sale in 1923.

Gippsland Times, 12th March 1923.

Gippsland Times, 12th March 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 only lasted for around 3 years.  In the following years he was separated from his wife then in 1941 he died at the young age of 50 years.