Some tailoring firms and department stores/retailers that supplied military, naval and public service uniforms were previously listed here. However, they did not manufacture their own buttons, but sourced them from firms that did, including British firms. Apparently, if they ordered a sufficient quantity of buttons they could have their own name as the backmark, rather than the button makers’ name. Therefore, these examples are now listed on the Tailors and Department store pages.
A.J.Parkes & Co, Brisbane:
Established in 1896 as a medallion, medal, uniform button and badges manufacturer. Mr Arthur James Parkes (c. 1867- 6th May 1950) was an experienced die-sinker from London.
Gustav Adolph Carlberg (Miller), despite being quoted by the company he started as Swedish born, was actually born in Sydney in 1879 to Swedish parents! He was apprenticed to W. J. Amor (see below) before joining a Mr Morris in 1900 in partnership as badge and medallion makers ‘Miller and Morris’, which became ‘Miller and Sons’ in 1910. A tender was accepted in 1906 (along with Stokes & Sons) to supply military uniform buttons. Gustav died in Sydney on the 9th January 1947. It continues today as G. A. Millers.
Kangaroo Office, Melbourne:
In 1854 the first private mint in Australia was set up in Franklin Street West, Melbourne, by some British entrepreneurs. Unfortunately it was a business failure. The gentleman running the business for them in Melbourne, Thomas Scaife, started to produce military buttons, then later copper tokens and medals. He left the colony in 1859, having sold the coin and button press to Thomas Stokes in 1857. A photo of the press can be seen on the Thomas Stokes’ page in this blog.
Parsons, Thompson, and Co, Sydney:
Here’s a nice little story from the Sydney Morning Herald, 10th February, 1881.
The firm was later renamed as Messrs. Thompson & Co. and traded in Victoria as well.
P. J. King Pty. Ltd., Melbourne:
Percy John King (1870-1933) established his business in 1893. It covered engraving, die sinking and rubber stamp making. The company also made uniform buttons (see below). Together with Brim Medallions, Wheelan’s Castings and Swan & Hudson, the company was amalgamated into J. J. Cash in the late 1980’s, and is now known as Cash’s Australia.
S.Schlank & Co. Ltd., Adelaide:
Salis P. Sclank (Salias Schonlank) was a Prussian Jewish jeweller who started his own company from the Adelaide branch of a previous partnership (P.Falk & Co.) in 1877. The company was a leading medal and badge maker until 1971.
William Joseph Amor (1860-1955) was a skilled English medalist and die engraver who established his business in Sydney in 1888. It became a limited company in 1917. From 1943 til 1978 it traded as ‘Amor P/L’ when the company was renamed ‘Amor-Sanders’ and continued to 1997 as the premier medal, badge and institutional button manufacturer in New South Wales. The company then split into two smaller entities. For more information see http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=10737&utm_source=api&utm_medium=api&utm_campaign=828f4d948d537cf