Smaller cards (approx 6×9 mm) seem to have come onto the market in the late 1940’s. Before that the cards were larger (approx 10×20 mm). The price per button was often written on the card, and the number the customer wanted would be cut off. As a consequence, there are many partial cards out there which makes identification difficult. Even many of the complete cards are not labelled by country and/or maker; instead they are labelled something along the lines of ‘Lastest Fashion’ or ‘Fashion Buttons’. Even when labelled, it can be impossible to know whether they were manufactured here, or imported then carded here.
Probably dated from the 1950’s as “American Styled” fashions were popular in the late 1940’s into the 1950’s.
LATEST FASHION/FASHIONABLE BUTTONS:
The illustrations below are from advertising dated between 1942 to 1946. One shows buttons shaped as a silhouette of a lady that has also been seen on Coronet branded cards. Perhaps this indicates these were made by the same company.
There was Rosalea brand wool advertised in the 1930’s. ? The same company.
On the back of these 2 button cards is printed “J.G.L. presentation”. J.G. Lloyd were plastic manufacturers that operated from at least 1940 to 1965. They produced plastic buttons as well as vials, jars, toys, jewellery, hair ornaments, kitchenware, electrical fittings and hardware.
John George Lloyd, of Hungarian descent, fled from Austria to Australia in 1939 and established J. G. Lloyd and Company Pty. Ltd. the following year. The company operated at Goldie Place and Elizabeth Street, Melbourne in the 1940’s, before moving to 94-106 Pelham Street, Carlton. They supplied buttons for the military from 1941-1957. The company was still around in 1965.
Below are some examples of animal shapes punched from sheets of casein. These style of novelty buttons were popular from the late 1930’s, but probably imported.
Department Stores and Tailoring Firms: branded buttons
I am building up a collection of branded vegetable ivory/horn buttons in brown and black and 2 sizes (15 and 18mm diameter) that, from the material and styling, were obviously made by 1 or 2 manufacturers and then inscribed with various names. I added a little biography of the companies to paint a picture of a time of growth in Australian manufacturing, tailoring and retailing. As the buttons are of the 4-hole sew-thru type, they date after WW2 if they were drilled in Australia.
Anthony Hordern & Sons
Anthony Hordern & Sons evolved from a store established by Anthony Hordern jnr in 1842. With 52 acres of retail space, it was at one stage the largest retail store in the world. The company set up factories across Sydney to manufacture a wide range of goods, including clothing. The company continued until 1969.
David Jones (1838-1887), a Welsh immigrant merchant, opened his first store in 1838. It continues today as the oldest department store in the world still operating under its original name.
Farmer & Company
Sir William Farmer (1814-1908) set up a draper shop in Sydney in 1840 which went on to become a significant retail company. It was the first company to close at 1pm on Saturday for the employee to have a half day holiday. They acquired the first commercial radio broadcasting license in Australia in 1923 and broadcast as 2FC (Farmer & Co). The company continued until 1960.
Joseph Handel Cutler opened a tailoring shop in Sydney in 1884. It became a tailor to Sydney’s elite, and continues today as a 4th generation family firm of bespoke tailors.
Julius Peter Jorgensen (1890-1975) was the son of a Danish born tailor, and a tailor himself in Maryborough, Queensland.
Founded in 1898 and still trading, Lowes is a chain of men’s, boys’ and school wear, although it was still a single store until 1948.
Established by Sir James Anderson Murdoch (1867-1939) in 1893, it claimed to be ” the world’s largest store for men and boys’ ware” in an article published in 1928. Murdoch had previously worked for Horden’s (above). The store was still going strong after WW2.