Distributers/Wholesalers/Importers

This is most likely not a complete listing. I apologise if I have overlooked anyone, and will happily add anyone brought to my attention.

Women's Weekly 19th december 1956

Advertising in the Australian Women’s Weekly in the 1950’s for Korbond products listed five distrbutors (see above); Roger Berry, Terries and E.Walker all have seperate pages due to the branded buttons that they sold.

AUSTRALIAN THREAD Pty. Ltd:

Subsidiary company of Tootal Group. Imported Tootal brand buttons made in the USA.

BURNS, PHILIP & Co. Ltd:

Two Scotsmen,  James Burns and Robert Philip, founded this company in 1870 to establish a regular shipping line between Sydney and Townsville. They expanded along the Queensland coast and into the South Pacific, including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and the New Hebrides. During WW2 the company was a major trader in this region. Perhaps this was why it was able to supply pearl shell and pearl buttons. It became a major food manufacturer before de-listing in 2006.

In 1933, with the Federal Government’s encouragement, they started a new company, the ‘Australian Pearlbutton Manufacturing Co. Ltd.’  This failed to be profitable, and was merged into ‘G.Herring (Aust.) Pty. Ltd.’

Commonwealth Gazette, 11th June 1942.

Burns Philip Building, 1901, Townsville.

Burns Philip Building, Bridge Street Sydney, built 1901.

COATS PATONS (Australia):

Formed from the combination of two British textile firms ( Coats and Patons & Baldwins)  which later merged with Bonds Industries in 1969. They imported Tootal brand buttons made in the USA into Australia.

DEMETRE BUTTONS/ J. DEMETRE AND CO. P/L

This company was established in 1964 as Demetre Buttons, and still runs from Marrickville,  NSW. It appears to be a firm of distributors.

I’ve photographed a demetre branded card along side a Leda-Beauclaire card from the late 1950s/early 1960s. The cardboard is different, and the size slightly different, but there are enough similarities to suggest that the Demetre branded buttons were supplied by General Plastics, and that Demetre were distributors rather than manufacturers. Both cards state ‘Dry cleans perfectly’ with the same rounded-cornered rectangle in the right bottom corner for the price. They have an identical faint cream coloured grid printed in the middle of the card to guide the placement of the buttons.

The buttons on the Leda card are glass.

Demetre buttons from the 1960s.

Demetre buttons late 1960s.

Demetre buckles. (Mölnlycke was a well regarded Swedish thread).

Demetre buttons from Helen’s collection.

A label and lid from a tube of Demetre Buttons.

A label and lid from a tube of Demetre Buttons.

E.C.BIRCH Pty Ltd:

A family owned wholesale haberdashery distributing company started in 1926 by Edgar Charles Birch, in Melbourne.

label on tube of buttons by German company Dill imported by Birch.

Label on tube of buttons by German company Dill,  imported by Birch.

FASHION BUTTONS: 1953- today 

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Thanks to Mark Neighbour, the 3rd generation managing director of this family owned company, for this short biography:

‘Fashion Buttons’ was established in 1953 by Mark’s grandfather, and taken over by his father in 1961. Mark worked for Beutron around 1976-1978. He joined the family business in 1988. As well as being wholesale suppliers they cover, dye and engrave buttons. Mark tells me that “In the old days, Sydney and Melbourne worked their own markets with little overlap”.

 

 

 

 

 

HABERDASHERY SALES Pty. Ltd:

A private company started in 1963. Has distributed “Dressmaker” brand buttons. Located previously in Richmond and now in Heidelberg West, Victoria.

Dressmaker buttons.

Dressmaker buttons.

HOOPER & HARRISON Pty. Ltd., Sydney:

A cartoon of Mr Harrison published in the Truth(WA) 27th May 1911

A cartoon of Mr Alfred  Harrison, 1856-1933,  published in the Truth(WA), 27th May 1911.

Hooper and Harrison were operating from Sydney from 1889. The original partners were Alfred Harrison and Thomas Hooper. Starting in Sydney, they would expand to have warehouses/outlets in Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Brisbane, London and New Zealand. The company owned the Invicta trademark. They were primarily wholesale suppliers of woollen products and tailors’ trimmings, but did employee tailors and so probably produced clothing as well. They imported cases of buttons. At one stage the company seemed to have been a subsidiary of the Australian Woollen Mills Ltd.

ISHERWOOD & BARTLETT, Melbourne:

Commonwealth Gazette, 15th February 1940.

Charles Henry Isherwood (1883-1941) and Walter Charles Milward Bartlett were small good traders and warehousemen, with outlets in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide from at least 1900 until 1950.

Kencrest, Melbourne:

On the back of these cards is printed:

David Kennedy, Merchant, lived in North Melbourne according to the 1931 electoral rolls.

He must have traded with Grace Brothers, as a travelling salesman called  Mr A. Camfield represented him at the funeral of Mr E.P. Norrie,  manager and director of Grace Brothers in 1933.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17th January 1933.

He donated prize money for the North Coast National Annual Agricultural and Industry Exhibition in 1934.

Northern Star (Lismore) 20th September 1934.

Finally,  he supplied vegetable ivory buttons for Ordnance Stores in 1940.

Commonwealth Gazette, 15th February 1940.

Presumably he was a distributor/wholesaler. The prices indicated these buttons were sold from the late 1950s to mid 1960s. Some of the buttons look like those on Leda cards.

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Can you spot the one card with a printing mistake? (hint: the name’s not Kendrest).

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KORBOND INDUSTRIES Pty. Ltd:

A private ‘piece goods and notions’ company started in 1956. The headquarters is in Ingleburn,  New South Wales.

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The buttons below were manufactured in Auckland, NZ, so were presumably made by Falcon Plastics (see the New Zealand page).

 

 

 

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LINCRAFT AUSTRALIA Pty Ltd:

Sells buttons packed in Australia on Lincraft branded cards.

M. RECHT ACCESSORIES:

Started in 1950 by Michael Recht in Melbourne to supplied accessories and trims to the clothing industry.

Thanks to Deborah for the collection of sample cards.

MT SULLIVAN & CO /SULLIVANS INTERNATIONAL Pty Ltd:

An Australian manufacturer and distributor of trimmings, sewing and craft accessories, established in the 1980s.

PANKY’S Pty. Ltd:

This company started advertising button covering machines, dies and moulds in 1946. It later advertised as a button merchants and importers. They went into liquidation in 1974.

POLYFIELD Pty Ltd:

Established in Sydney in 1985. A supplier, distributor and wholesaler of fashion trims including buttons.

ROGER BERRY:

‘Roger Berry and Co.’ advertised in 1945 then ‘Roger Berry Pty. Ltd.’ was incorporated in New South Wales on 18/07/1946. From at least 1947 until 1956  they advertised in newspapers and magazines as a wholesaler and distributor of haberdashery, but not as a manufacturer. Roger Berry Pty. Ltd. wound up on 21/1/1975.

(See also the Coronet page.)

TERRIES Pty Ltd:

Started in 1955, Terries Pty. Ltd. is a private firm  in  New South Wales. Terries distributed Korbond products in the 1950s. They had an office in Bentleigh, Melbourne. 

Pin shank buttons . ?1960's

Pin shank buttons . ‘The Gem of all Buttons’, how posh!

Tube of Terries buttons. These style of button tubes were developed by Jack Wilson of Maxart Button company. They have been adopted worldwide.

Tubes of Terries buttons. These style of button tubes were developed by Jack Wilson of Maxart Button company. They have been adopted worldwide. Below are close-ups of the lids and buttons.

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I already owned the chick on the blue button. Now I know he’s a Terries Chick!

Thanks to Eleanor Davis for these examples from a business that made babywear in Wagga Wagga.

Thanks to Eleanor Davis for these examples from a business that made baby-wear in Wagga Wagga.

 

The labels are hard to see, but the one on the left claims "Real gold plating. Will not tarnish or discolour." The one on the right claims "Real shell. Non-endangered."

The labels are hard to see, but the one on the left claims “Real gold plating. Will not tarnish or discolour.” The one on the right claims “Real shell. Non-endangered.”

Note the similarities between the cards. Beuaclaire may have supplied buttons for Terries.

The only small card of Terries I have seen so far. Probably 1950's.

The small cards of Terries are the same style as those used by Leda-Beauclaire, so were probably manufactured by them. Circa late 1950s.

THOMAS BROWN AND SONS Ltd:

Started in 1898 from exisiting Brown’s family businesses as a Queensland company involved in drapery, grocery and general merchanise. See also http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/brown-david-laughland-3073

VINCONA Pty Ltd:

Based in Marrickvale, NSW, and started in 1985, this company were distributors of apparel and footwear (including buttons). They have changed name to All Gifts Online, and do not appear to sell buttons anymore!