31st March 2018

Good news! Cam Smith has found the identity of the recent mystery uniform button: It is a “Campaigners for Christ Volunteers” button. He identfied it from a reference book: Metal Uniform Embellishments of the Australian Army Post 1953 (QEII Series) Volume 1.

From Cam Smith

A couple of fellow collectors have asked me about a firm of button distributor, Grotjan & Co. The business card below is affixed to the cover of a sample folder of pearl shirt buttons owned by Jean.

F.C. Grotjan was Frederick Campbell Grotjan, son of the founding partner, Emil Grotjan, a merchant born in Hamburg who came to Melbourne in 1903. The company originally described themselves as cork merchants and indenters. They would import and distribute quite a variety of goods including foodstuffs, metal scrap and ores, horse hair and artifical limbs. In the 1930s  increased tariffs on imported pearl buttons were being debated in parliament, to protect the fledgling local industry. Emil, as spokesman for pearl button importers spoke against increased tariffs. By the 1950s they were describing themselves as a  wholesale hardware firm. Frederick retired from the firm in 1952.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 8th Aug 1908

The Age, 12th September 1931.

The Argus, 5th Jan 1938.

2 thoughts on “31st March 2018

  1. Carol Fenselau

    Thank you Cam, I have had this button in my collection for several years without an identification. Hooray! I can now catalogue it in the right place.

  2. Deborah Zinn

    Thank you on behalf of Jean! Well done. Will keep reading to see what else we might have contributed. ‘Pat’ is amazing! Deb


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