This phrase, now out of usage, seems to have indicated that you were (at least in your own estimation) superior to your current occupation or situation i.e. that you deserved better! It dates back at least to 1795, but has not appeared in Australian newspapers since 1946.
Do you “have all your buttons (on)”?
I hope so! Until the 1920’s this suggested you “didn’t have all your marbles”.
New finds: A variety of Australian companies; Rex, ‘Lovely Lady’,Maxart, leda and Fashionable.
and a nice plastic Kookaburra button.
This may be a new Australian company. From 1950-52 clothes by ‘Fashion Pfeiffer’ were featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly. the company was listed as in liquidation in 1964. Here are some examples of their dresses:
Perhaps this card, with the logo “Fashion Pfeiffer for all that’s new” is associated with this company. The buttons are like nice little green acorns.
Here are some early Beutron Opal-Glo buttons, as well as some Originals, all from the early 1950s.
…. and some general purpose buttons dating from the 1950s to 1970s. The ‘Tecpearl’ was styled as a plastic pearl look alike.
and, finally, an advert from the Sydney Morning Herald, 14th Jan 1947, page 5, entitled “New uses for Plastics”.
The blurb states ‘Buttons and dress “trims” and cosmetic containers are made of such plastics as styron and ethocel. The transparent chair is made of lucite, and in new York to-day costs the equivalent of 80 pounds.’ (Ethocel are a class of thermoplastic cellulose ethers).
Here’s a collection of Woolworths and Coles buttons from the late 1960s into the 1970s.
Now for something different.
From 1940 onwards a handy item was advertised for sale: the Teledex! This advert was published in The Land (Sydney) 20th December 1940. They were originally made of bakelite. Later there were metal versions. This style was still being sold in 1954 (and possibly later).
Here are some variations.
The Sun (Sydney) 28th August 1946.
Die Castors started way back in 1926, making quality car furnishings (like door handles and windscreen wipers) in Richmond. In 1937 the company expanded to Adelaide and England.
They were producing Kingsley Ware in the 1950s, and were still in existence in the 1960s.
One modest card of Beauclaire buttons set me off on quite an historical search!
This card dates from 1953-54 when a cross promotion occurred between Twinprufe knitting wool and Beauclaire buttons, distributed by Paterson, Laing and Bruce.
Firstly the wool: Twinprufe refers to it being ‘moth-proof’ and ‘shrink-proof’. The wool was produced by F.W. Hughes P/L at their Alexandria Spinning Mills. Frederick Hughes established this firm of pastoralists, meat producers, canners, skin merchants, wool spinners and textile manufacturers in 1915. In 1966 it became a subsidiary of Ralli Australia P/L.
Secondly the buttons: According to advertising “The Twinprufe button has been especially designed in weight and size to compliment every hand-knitted garment” and were available in 2 sizes and 70 shades to perfectly match the wool.
Thirdly the distributers: The origins of this importing and manufacturing company stretches back to Geelong in 1850. After various partnerships it became Paterson, Laing and Bruce in 1879. By 1883 their warehouse in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, was the largest in Victoria. By 1909 they were leading retailers in Australia. They had a branch in London and through expansion and mergers spread to Sydney, Hobart and Adelaide.
Flinders Lane warehouse, circa 1899.
The Mr. Bruce of the company’s name was John Munro Bruce. His son, who was the acting chairman of the company in 1909, was Stanley Melbourne Bruce. He became the eighth Prime Minister of Australia, serving this role from 1923-1929.
John Munro Bruce, 1899.
Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1923.
This is a delightfully patriotic advert advert from 1947.
Australian Women’s Weekly, 25th January 1947.
An enlargement of their ‘Pledge to the Nation” is below…
You can see the PLB shield on the card of buttons (so they were quality buttons, guaranteed).
An advert from 1954 can be viewed on the Vintage Advertising: Beauclaire page.