Coles: 1914 onwards / Embassy brand: 1929-1994

George James  (G.J.)  Coles  opened his first variety store in 1914 in Collingwood,  Melbourne.  During the 1920’s more stores were opened.  In 1929 the ‘Embassy’ brand was launched,  initially for gramophone records,  but over the years extending to hundreds of products.  The brand was discontinued in 1994.   https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/centenary  At some stage in the 1980-90’s Coles sold cards of buttons under the name ‘Haby Habits”. These, like the Embassy buttons,  were labelled as being made in Australia.

Over the years various logos were used.  You’ll notice the changes on the below examples.

As far as I can tell from advertising: The type of logo used on the top row dates fro. c.1952-58. The cursive script on 3 of the bottom cards may dates from prior to that, perhaps from 1947 onwards? The fish have the hand painted details that date them as older. These fish were also marketed by Beauclaire in 1952. From this I believe that beauclaire (and later Beutron after the takeover) produced buttons for Coles.

As far as I can tell from looking at old advertising:  The type of logo with cursive script used on the top row dates from c.1947 (The fish have the hand painted details that date them as older. These fish were also marketed by Beauclaire in 1954).  The logo on the middle cards  date  c.1952-58. The bottom row may have been  used in 1958.   It appears that that Beauclaire (and later Beutron after the takeover) produced buttons for Coles.

 

from a 1947 ad.

From a 1947 ad.

From a 1952 ad.

From a 1952 ad. Note the same pointed shape around the words as on  some of the button cards.

from a 1958 ad.

From a 1958 ad.

 

 

 

 

 

This logo dates from 1959-1970.

This logo dates from 1959-1970.

The first cards with this logo have no printed price on them, and have rounded corners.

The first cards with this logo have no printed price on them, and have rounded corners.

 

Then the cards had printed prices, and were left with square corners (probably cheaper to make!).

Then the cards had printed prices,  and were left with square corners (probably cheaper to make!).  The Beauclaire duck makes an appearance.

c. 1966 both imperial and decimal pricing.

c. 1966 both imperial and decimal pricing.

Decimal prices only.

Decimal prices only.

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This logo dates from 1971 onwards.

This logo dates from 1971 onwards.

Essentially the same button with increasing prices.

Essentially the same button with increasing prices.

From Carol's collection.

From Carol’s collection.

From Lois's collection.

From Lois’s collection.

From Lois's collection: A slight variation of the red ducks.

From Lois’s collection: A slight variation of the red ducks.

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From Carol's collection.

From Carol’s collection.

Thanks to Louis.

Thanks to Louis.

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The Embassy brand was retired in 1994.   Haby Habits at some stage replaced it for items such as buttons.