Traveling through time via the treasure trove that is Trove, (the National Library of Australia’s digital resource), I noticed that general interest stories about buttons were fairly common. There were historical stories, stories about collections and collectors, fashion musings as well as craft ideas and games. I guess that button nuts have always been interested to read about their obsession! I’ve selected some for your edification and entertainment.
Launceston Advertiser, 14th February 1839. Exert from an article about culture in France before the revolution.
The South Australian Colonist and Settlers’ Weekly Record of British, Foreign and Colonial Intelligence (London), 11th August 1840. A wrong prediction!
The Perth Gazette and Independant Journal of Politics and News, 31st October 1851. At this stage Australian pearl has not impacted the market.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 30th November 1854.
The Sydney Morning herald, 18th September 1860.
Published in The Queenslander, 14th February 1885.
Quite a detailed history published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 15th December 1891.
Published in The Dawn (Sydney), 1st February 1898.
Published 18th June 1898 in the Liverpool Herald (NSW).
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate 15th February 1899.
Published in The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW) on 19th May 1900. This writer is disapproving of the vulgar habit of excess button use. Oh, dear! 1903
Published in The Mount Barker Courier on 6th November 1903. A story about ‘vegetable ivory’. 1904
The World’s News (Sydney), 9th April 1904.
Published in the Australian Town and Country Journal, 26th July 1905.
Published in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Victoria), 12th August 1905.
Published in The Leader (Melbourne), 17th March 1906.
I suppose they would have eventually rotted? Published in The Sunday Times (Sydney), 11th March 1906.
Published 20th December 1907 in The South Eastern Times (Millicent, SA).
Published in The Australasian (Melbourne), 12th October 1907.
This article was in the ‘Children’s Corner’ of The Queenslander, published 28th March 1908. It doesn’t seem well written for kids, though.
A differing theory on Ladies versus men’s buttoning: published 4th September 1909.
Published 6th November 1909 in the Evening Journal (Adelaide).
Handy little hint for boot buttons. Published in Sunday Times (NSW), 11th December 1910.
We should all be as fashion-forward as the Kaiser was. Published in the Mullumbimby Star, on 29th April 1910.
Published in The Australasian (Melbourne), 18th February 1911.
Published 24th July 1912 in the Evening News (Sydney).
Lithgow Mercury, 2nd August 1912.
Published 27th December 1913 in the Chronicle (South Australia).
“Generous use of Buttons” Apparently “buttons are to be employed in un-stinted quantities. Blouses, dresses, Jabots, coats and skirts are trimmed with them in every conceivable styles. The small buttons in curious shapes and very bright colours will be the most popular. Ball and semi-ball shapes are still popular, but what is called the floral crystal button, is the newest. A clear cup-shaped crystal button, with white porcelain centre, is a novelty. Pear shaped, coloured crystals and round crystals, small shaped, with a rose design in centre, are also new styles. Bulgarian effects still continue among the fads of the hour. These are to be seen in crystal and crochet. Another result of the Bulgarian craze is the revival of flat metal buttons decorated in conventional Bulgarian designs. These were very popular some years ago.” Published in The Prahran Telegraph (Vic) 16th August 1913. 1914
Published in the Bendigonian (Vic), on 27th January 1914.
Does anyone have any examples of these ‘freakish’ buttons? Published The Daily News (Perth), 2nd May 1914. 1916
Earlier versions of the ‘hook-less fastener’ had been developed decades earlier, but this was the first commercially successful version of the zip. Published in The Globe and Sunday Times War Pictorial on 17th June 1916.
Published in the Prahran Telegraph 1916.
Published in The Daily News (Perth), 16th April 1917.
Thank goodness! I was having such trouble polishing my buttons. Published in The Mirror (Sydney), 9th August 1918.
Published in the Portland Guardian (Vic), 17th March 1919.
Published in the Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express (WA), 25th October 1919.
Fashion advice published in The Advertiser (Adelaide), 4th November 1924.
Published in The Queenslander, 9th January 1926.
Oh my goodness! Published 26th January 1926 in The Mail (Adelaide).
Published in The Age (Melbourne), 29th October 1929.
A little over a month later the following story was published. (I’m copying the transcript as the original newsprint is very faded.) It could be that the factory was not approved in Northcote, so they applied in nearby Footscray. Of interest, it is stated that there was no button manufacturing in Australia at this time, but perhaps this meant ‘no bone buttons’ as Herrman Co was operating.
Published in The Argus (Melbourne), 3rd December 1929.
You have been warned! Published in the Examiner (Launceston), 13th March 1929.
Published 6th September 1930 in the Townsville Daily Bulletin.
The Telegraph (Brisbane), 10th June 1931.
Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 31st May 1931.
Shame the graphics aren’t clearer. Published in The Queenslander, 16th October 1931.
The Mall (Adelaide), 3rd October 1931.
I do love the ‘fashionable magpie effect’. Published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 12th November 1931.
Sunday Times (Perth), 12th June 1932.
Published in the Riverine Herald (Echuca/Moama), 12th November 1932.
Published The Queenslander, 4th January 1934.
Seaweed, potatoes, blood?? Published on 15th January 1934 in The Grenfell record and Lachlan District Advertiser.
Published in the Sunday Times (Brisbane), 25th February, 1934.
Published in the Daily News (Perth), 2nd February 1934.
The Inverness Times (NSW), 21st January 1935.
Published in The Mercury (Hobart), 2nd May 1935. Love a bargain!
Got to love a new button craze! Published in the Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 1st January 1935.
The Daily News (Perth), 16th March 1935.
Published in the Townsville Daily Bulletin, 27th October 1936. “Queensland nut” was another name for the Macadamia.
Published in The Telegraph (Brisbane), 19th November 1936.
Published in the Sydney Morning Herald, 24th November 1936.
Novelty buttons become popular in the mid-late 1930s. Published 6th October 1937 in the News (Adelaide).
Published in The Queenslander, 5th August 1937.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 10th August 1937.
Here is a copy of the award as published in the Victorian Government Gazette, November 1937:
Please. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Published 11th August 1938.
Published Albany Advertiser, 16th November 1939.
Published in the News (Adelaide), 17th August 1940.
Published in Australian Women’s Weekly, 14th June 1941.
Published in the Wodonga and Towong Sentinel, 19th December 1941.
An article about modern button manufacturing, and also button collecting. Published in The Evening News (Rockhampton,Qld), 29th March 1941.
Published in the recorder (Port Pirie, SA), 22nd May 1942.
Published in the Wodonga and Towong Sentinel (Vic), 12th February 1943. Have you heard of this theory of why ladies’ and men’s button differently?
Tweed Daily (NSW), 17th January 1944.
Published in the Tribune (Sydney), 9th August 1945.
Post war opened up new technologies. Published in the Tweed Daily (NSW), 17th July 1946.
Published in The Mercury (Tasmania), 15th April 1947.
No wonder there was such fuss about “tub” buttons. What a bother! Published in the Daily Mercury (Qld), 19th Jan 1949.
The Sunday Herald (Sydney), 13th March 1949.
Brisbane Telegraph, 13th October 1949.
Published in The Australian Women’s Weekly, 28th October 1950.
Australian Women’s Weekly 2nd November 1960. On no account follow this advice.
And now for several articles rather heavy on gender stereotyping. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily those of the blogger, and I take no responsibility for them!
Published in the Northern Argus (Clare, SA), 11th November 1879.
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 22nd July 1884.
Published 30th March 1913 in the Beverley Times (WA).
Published in The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 26th April 1890.