29th April 2020

Confirmation of the pre-1859 history of vegetable ivory for buttons:

From the January 1947 edition of the National Button Gazette:

As stated in the 16th November post last year ( see http://www.ausbuttonhistory.com/?p=12951) although it is frequently stated that vegetable ivory buttons were invented in Austria in 1859, or that the industry started in America in 1862, the manufacture started much earlier. This English publication states that the British industry was already underway by 1843, and that the nuts had been carved “from time immemorial”. Even in America there seems to have been small scale business from 1847.

From “the Resources, Products, and Industrial History of Birmingham and the Midland Hardware District, edited by S. Timmins, 1866; it suggests the industry became mainstream  some time between 1856-1866.


New finds:

Not a great card, but the button harks back to an Beauclaire ad from the 1954:

There are 4 differing colours of this 3-lobed button in the ad.

More advertising:

Sydney Morning Herald, 11th November 1962.

Unknown magazine, 1950.

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