8th March 2018

Missed these on auction; sob!

But I have received a few nice buttons: Below is a merchant navy Shell oil tanker button by Stokes and Sons.







In 1833 Marcus Samuel started selling shells imported from the far-east from his antiques business. This was the start of the Samuel family’s import/export future. In 1892 they arranged for a bulk steamer to ship oil from Baku to the United Kingdom through the Suez canal for the first time. In 1903 ‘The Shell transport and Trading Company’ started to merge with the Royal Dutch petroleum Company. By 1907 they had became Royal Dutch Shell group.

In 1904, the scallop shell (or pecten) had replaced Shell Transport’s first marketing logo, a mussel shell.

Shell started shipping bulk fuel to Australia in 1901. In 1905 Shell and Royal Dutch established the ‘British Imperial Oil Company’ in Australia. Over the years they expanded into storage, distribution, refining and service stations.

The Inverell Times 27th Nov 1925.

In an 1925 newspaper article boasted of the companies policy of  “…  preference for Australian workers and Australian products …. The Shell Company here is proud of the fact that everything, from its Motor Spirit to its back-country Depots is All-British, and most of it All-Australian. It is the Spirit of the Flag.”  So while I can’t find a reference to when the uniform button was produced, it could have been as early as this era.

Aboard an oil tanker, Geelong, 1959. From Museum Victoria’s collection.


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