Branded buttons: manufacturers

 Amco

The Amco Clothing Company had its origins in Sydney in 1948 manufacturing butchers aprons and painters drop sheets! It became a well known brand of jeans and other casual wear bfore going into liquidation in 1980. It  had morphed into the Amco International Clothing Company by the next year. The brand is now owned by Jagger Australia Pty Ltd and  manufactuers in China.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 4th November 1981.

Australian Knitting Mills Limited:  Richmond

In 1899 Thomas Murry &Co established a small knitting mill in Richmond. The mill expanded several times to keep up with increased production. In 1908 they began to produce Golden Fleece brand woollen underwear. These were made from 100% Merino Fleece. In 1910 the company changed its name to the Australian Knitting Mills. The Kookaburra brand (underwear made of wool/cotton mix) was established were established by 1917 (see the 2 buttons below). If you glance out the window of your train at Richmond station you can see the old mill building.

"Kookaburra"

Screen shot 2017-03-20 at 7.09.05 PM

Barcol Knitting Mill: Prahran

Barcol operated in  Chapel Street, Prahran from about 1924 until 1931. it was listed on the stock exchange in 1926 as Barcol Manufacturing Company Pty Ltd.

The Herald (Melbourne) 25th September 1931.

Bond’s Industries Limited, Sydney:

Smith's Weekly 12th January 1924. A caractuture of George Bond. (Notice the 'Made in Australia' stamp on his forehead.)

Smith’s Weekly 12th January 1924.  A caricature of George Bond. (Notice the ‘Made in Australia’ stamp on his forehead.)

Around 1907 an American by the name of  George Alan Bond came to Australia. From 1915 he started patenting and trademarking article of clothing. The firm of George A. Bond and Company was the start of what became Bonds Industries Limited. From 1932 to 1938 they advertised ‘Silver Ram’ pure woollen underwear.

Bonds 'Silver Ram'.

Bonds ‘Silver Ram’.

The Sun(Sydney) 23rd June 1938.

The Sun(Sydney) 23rd June 1938.

Can’t-Tear-‘Em

Over many years several tailors and manufacturers have used this slogan and/or brand name. The original “Can’t Tear ‘Em” tailors were Messers Turnball and W. Shortal of Albury.

Wodonga and Towong Sentinel, 7th September 1894. This is the earliest advert in Trove with the ‘Can’t tear em’ slogan. They had the advert placed sideways on the page to stand out! Note the two elephants.

 In Townsville, Carse’s were selling  “Miners Moles, Can’t Tear ‘Em” in 1903-4. From 1917 onwards  ‘Can’t Tear ‘Em’ work trousers were being sold in Queensland. These may have been made by  Josephson & Sons in Brisbane. Certainly they were using this slogan from around 1931. (Messrs Sargood & Gardiner of Sydney took them to court for copyright infringement in 1935, claiming their branding using a bulldog was being copied, but lost the case, as their bulldog was associated with a ‘Top Dog’ trademark slogan, and was considered substantially different.) The ‘Can’t-Tear-‘Em’ work clothes were being sold Australia wide from around 1949.

Front cover from The Queenslander, 19th December 1935. This was to advertise clothing made by Josephson & Sons of Roma Street, Brisbane. Their clothing’s main branding was ‘Faultless Brand’ but some had branding with a picture of a bulldog and elephant pulling on trouser legs (see the poster on the wall behind the running man above).

The company continues today as CTE P/L who “manufacture and design of combat uniform and specialised protective clothing, industrial workwear, high visibility and flame retardant, wet weather, structual and bushfire assemblies.”

Casben Productions Ltd: Sydney.

Casben productions made swim shorts, shorts, and sportswear from around 1946 to approx 1962. It was (or became) a subsidary of Whitmont shirt company. The Company was named after Wilfred Casben, who was also involved with other clothing firms.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 1951

Christie’s:  Sydney

“Our firm was established in 1895 in Sydney, and were one of the first tenants in the Strand Arcade. Over the years we have moved about within the city, and currently sell from our city store at 276 Pitt St as well as manufacturing and wholesaling from our factory/office at Marrickville.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Christie started his business as a specialist umbrella maker. His father had come to Melbourne from Scotland when William was young although he later moved to Sydney. The business also sold ladies wear, Scottish dress and accessories as well as military dress acessories and flags.

The Hebrew Standard of Australasia, 4th July 1952.

Dunlop Weatherproofs Australia Pty. Ltd.:  Wagga Wagga

In 1944 the Dunlop rubber Co. Ltd took over a munitions factory in Wagga Wagga and registered a garment division of the company to make uniforms for the military.  After the war they continued as the largest single employer in the region, only closing in 1977.

 

 

Fletcher Jones: Warrnambool

David Fletcher Jones, clothing manufacturer and retailer, was born in Bendigo in 1895. He purchased a tailoring and menswear business in Warrnambool in 1924. He moved his business into making quality fitted trousers, including for the army. In 1948  a new factory was constructed on the site of a former rubbish dump, with extensive gardens that became, and remain, a tourist attraction. In the late 1940s he changed the business into a co-operative with his employees, renaming it Fletcher Jones and Staff Pty Ltd. In the mid 1950s they extended into women’s clothes. Mr Jones died in 1977. The business was  sold in 1998. Many of the stores,  including the Warrnambool factory, were sold 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Hercules

I think this button may be made of horn, as there is a ‘pick’ mark on the back where a tool was used to pry the button from the mould.

Barnet Glass (1849-1918) came to Melbourne around 1876 having learnt the trade of manufacturing waterproofing clothing in Manchester, England. His company, the ‘Pioneer Rubber Company’  manufacturered ‘Hercules’ brand waterproof clothing from 1893 until 1905 when the company was bought out by Dunlop Rubber Company. (Barnett would start another company to import and manufacture car tyres, which was later also bought by Dunlop).

Punch, 21st May 1903

Lincoln Mills: Coburg

Since around 1801, when convicts started making woollen blankets in Parramatta, mills have been a part of Australia’s industrial landscape. Lincoln Mills were built in Coburg in 1909.

Screen shot 2017-02-18 at 10.25.02 PM

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Mills, Coburg in 1922

The mills in 1922.

Screen shot 2017-02-18 at 9.59.20 PM