Monthly Archives: July 2017

31st July 2017

I have mentioned the plastics form of E.W. Tilley,  which later became Tilley Plastics. They manufactured plastic buttons for the military during WW2.  I have not as yet any identifable buttons of theirs,  so I bought these cute Disney napkin rings from Tilleys.  They date from 1945 onwards.

I rubbed a pencil over the marking ‘TILLEY’ to show it up.

Carol has another Stokes & Martin uniform button in excellent condition to share.







The button belongs to the Victorian  Volunteer Cadets Corps, which was agreed upon on 27th March 1884 and formally gazetted on the 23rd January 1885.  In 1883 Stokes and Martin had signed all  their estate over to trustees for their creditors.  Perhaps they continued to trade for some time despite this,  or else Stokes trading with his sons, or another button manufacturer,  bought up and used pre-existing stock to make these buttons.  However that may be,  this button must date from 1884. 

Victorian Cadet Corps badge with Queen Victoria Crown. Courtesy




28th July 2017

New finds:

Astor buckles from the 1960-1970’s.

1950’s Beutron and Beauclaires’s,  apart from the 1960’s blue card with the unusual square buttons.

1960-70’s Embassy cards.  Haby Habits from ?1980-90s.

Deborah has uncovered a terrific article on Stokes & Sons from 1956  (the firms centenary). Check it out on the Stokes page. She also found a link to 2 buttons from the convict era.

27th July 2017

I have a problem.  Carol sent me photos of a button with Queen Victoria’s cypher on the front and ‘Civil Service Stores’ as a backmark.  Whilst Civil Service Stores existed in Australia,  they originated in London as a form of co-operative buying and selling.  Does someone else know?







The button was unearthed,  therefore it is not in the best condition.

New finds from New Zealand:

26th July 2017

Carol and I have more KKK’s for you (whether you like it or not!)

This hand carved pearl-shell example I found on Pinterest from  Wouldn’t you love to have it?

Oh, no!!  This toothpick holder just looks like the poor Kangaroo has been speared!  How cruel!

25th July 2017

New finds:

Love the scallop shells; am tempted to actually use them!  This type of  Beauclaire card I have only bought from New Zealand up til now. I don’t usually collect modern (1980’s plus) Beutron cards, but was interested to see yet another example of the classic Beauclaire rose design. I think I can safely call it ‘classic’ when it has been in use since the 1950’s.

Thanks to Carol for this ‘Jiffy’ advert.  Jiffy coverable buttons were produced by the Australian Buttons & Buckles Pty. Ltd.

21st July 2017

Good morning all.  I’m about to have 2 weeks off and so am feeling remarkably chipper!  Helen and Carol are sharing some of their haberdashery collections (just caught myself from typing ‘hoards’) with us.  Growing up with milliner mother who was often sewing,  who in turn had spent hours at her grandmother’s feet whilst she sewed,  I find these items very evocative.  Hope you do too.




The button came from ‘Tender Buttons’ in Manhattan, a famous shop that has sold only buttons since 1964.






So many Australian names:  Rainsford,  Semco,  Foldex, Embassy,  Korbond.  Love the hosiery mending cards,  from when stocking were too expensive to throw away and certainly worth mending.  Interesting that bias-binding came with matching ‘twist’.


19th July 2017.

Thanks to Helen I revisited the Powerhouse Museum website,  and found more images than I realised were there.  Check out the Pearlshell and Pre-Federation pages for new images.  Here is one below which is significant:

From the Powerhouse Museum: “Plastic buttons made in Australia c.1920.” Possibly this was the Herrman Company as I am not aware of other plastic button manufacturers that early. The Herrman company was the genesis of General Plastics.

Recently I mentioned how a Landico design was duplicated in a Beutron button.  Carol F has sent me an image of another  Landico button with a duplicate,  made by an unknown manufacturer.

The Landico button is on the right, the ‘copy’ on the left.

I found another vintage advert of Beutron carded buttons.  The reason I had not uncovered it before was due to the misspelling of the name!!

Sunday Mail (Brisbane) 4th June 1950.

15th July 2017

Here is a  button with quite a story.  I read about this button in a Button Club magazine from over 10 years ago,  and so recognised it when it came up for auction.

The button came a 3/4 inch and 1 inch size; this one is 1 inch.  It has a silvered front with a brass back plate and copper wire shank.

It belongs to the Yellow Cab Company,  and was made by Stokes and Sons,  Melbourne.

In early 1924 Mr Pearson William Tewkesbury proposed to introduce to Australia the “Chicago Yellow” cab.  He had already been involved several other taxi companies,  the City Motor Service Ltd. (from 1911) and the Royal Blue Motor Service Pty. Ltd. (from 1921) in Melbourne,  and the de Luxe in Sydney.  This company,  ‘The Yellow Cabs of Australia Limited ‘,  was the first in Australia to run meter-operated cabs,  and did not to charge the customer for the return journey when the cab was empty!  This was achieve by locating various depots in the suburbs so the taxi could wait at the nearest location rather than return to the city.

The Mail (Adelaide) 1st March 1924.

Mr Tewkesbury, 1949.













The company commenced operations in Melbourne in October 1924,  12 months later in Sydney,  and by 1926 in Brisbane,  Adelaide and Perth.  The taxis were custom built A2 Broughams,  imported from the United States.  The driver had the luggage compartment along side him in the front,  with a window separating him from the passengers behind.  The meter was fitted in the front next to the window by the driver.  The driver wore distinctive brown uniforms including caps.  By 1938 the drivers were allowed to drive in khaki shirts and ties,  without coats, in the heat of summer.  In July 1942 the company employed women as drivers for the first time.  They too wore uniforms.

From the State Library of South Australia.

From the State Library of Western Australia.  In1948 the uniform was updated (see below).

The Sun (Sydney) 10th March 1948.

Interestingly,  this was not the first Yellow Cab Company in Australia.  From September 1921 William Grimes Baily ran a company of this name.  He used a fleet of Dodge taxi-cabs.  In October 1922 he repainted the taxis black and white and changed the name to the Black and White taxi company,  claiming the  Sydney sunshine was fading the paint!

The Sun (Sydney), 7th September 1921.

The Sun (Sydney), 28th October 1922.





14th July 2017

Latest Beutron finds:

‘Colour matched’ from c.1966.  Uncommon ‘Boil-tested’ from c.1954.  Suit buttons sometime from 1939-1958.  Further photos of the rather quaint box below.

And lastly,  another children’s button card from the 1950’s.