11th July 2019

Thank-you, Marian. What a great collection of goodies! Love the reordering stock cards.

Tailor’s buttons:

Edwards & Veal, Maryborough:

Arthur Llewelyn Edwards (1897-1982) and Francis John Veal (1899-1990), both of Ballarat, bought the business of W.M. Collins, Maryborough, in 1921. They were in partnership until 1935, when Edwards continued alone, and Veal moved to St Arnaud, Shepparton then back to Ballarat. These two lived to ripe old ages, unlike so many tailors!

10th July 2019

New find:

I shared some examples of this design on 3rd April 2019. These are large; approximately 27 mm in diameter. I can’t imagine wearing them myself; a bit garish!

Tailor’s button:

Harry Davies & Co, Ballarat:

Harry Davies  (1848-1914) took over from S. Steele at 125-7 Sturt Street, Ballarat in 1882 for his drapery warehouse. His brother Frederick Gillies Davies ( 1857-1922) was his junior business partner.


Harry Davies c.1898

Fred Davies c.1898










In 1919 His son, Harry junior, and his daughter-in-law, Avenel, died of the Spanish flu within hours of each other, leaving a one year old daughter orphaned. Another son had died the year before in the war.










Above: A not so subtle advert in The Ballarat Star 11th July 1894. The company became propriety limited around 1914.

Weekly Times 26th February 1898.





8th July 2019

Carol’s latest finds:

Shierlaw & Co. Adelaide

This has some solder on the back, making Carol think it may have been made into a ‘sweetheart’ brooch. It looks like a less worn example of the ‘unofficial’ uniform button I shared on 13th August 2016. Very collectable!

New tailor’s button:

W. Lucas, Adelaide:

Australian Christian Commonwealth, 1st March 1901.

Willie Lucas, 1870-1931, came back from London with his first class diploma to run his business from Grenfell Street.  He was involved with teaching and examining tailoring, and the treasurer for the Master Tailors’ Association. He sold the firm as a going concern in 1915, the new owners keeping the name until 1920.

7th July 2019

Tailors’ buttons:

Dyer & Millar, St Kilda:

Dyer & Millar operated from 113 Acland Street, St Kilda from around 1913-1923. They were Leslie Eldred Dyer (1883-1957) and David Mitchell Millar (1889-1953).


Geo. Volk, Marybrough:

George Volk was born in Victoria in 1868. His father Jakob moved around the gold fields. Sometime after 1885 they moved to Maryborough. He had a ladies and gentlemen’s tailoring business at 191 Nolan Street until he left for Melbourne in May 1918, leaving the business in his son Charles hands. He died suddenly the next year, aged only 58 years.

R. Finch, Beechworth:

See his story on the tailors’ pages. This is a new variation for his business.


Lewis & Corbould, Ballarat:

William Corbould, a native of Bath, came to Ballarat in 1858 to work as a tailor. From around 1877 he was in partnership with Abel Lewis until he retired due to ill health in 1883.

William Corbould 1827-1914

Unfortunately, as reported in Ballarat newspapers on 29th July 1885 …

“Mr Abel Lewis, tailor, died at the Koh-i-noor Private Hospital last night. He was a comparatively young man, and had drunk too much. It is a co-incidence that his late partner, Mr Corbould, a much older man, has been in bed over 18 months with cancer, and his death has been expected for a long time.”

Abel was born in 1844, so was 41 when he died. His erstwhile partner in fact did not die until 1914 at the age of 87 years, although he had been in a wheelchair for years.





6th July 2019

Funny how things can stretch around the world …

A lady from the UK doing her  Montgomerie family research stumbled upon the entry to “Montgomerie and Capon” in the tailors’ buttons section of this blog. I was happy to send that button to her as it is more valuable as a family momento than as a collectable button. Another family member would also love a button, but alas I don’t have another. Does anyone have one they would be willing to share? Let me know if you do.

New find:

1970s Embassy:

Seen online: I like the Beauclaire buttons in the middle. These are part of a larger auction lot, and not worth bidding for.

3rd July 2019

New Find:

Another ‘Coronet” basket of flowers with hand painted details:

Tailor’s button:

Crawford & Co, Melbourne:

This button dates from 1895-1897.

In 1890, Abraham Crawford, a draper of Ballarat, went into partnership with Andrew King & Co who ran a warehouse at 250-252 Flinders Street.

Advocate, 18th October 1890.

In 1895 the form was declared insolvent, with Crawford taking over at the same address. (One partner claimed that Crawford had manipulated the situation to get rid of his partners.)

In November 1897, “The Great Fire of Melbourne” which destroyed a whole city block, including Craig, Williamson P/L, also destroyed the warehouse. (see entry for this company on department store page.)

Leader, 27th November 1897

Crawford bought a business in Chaple Street, Prahran, and started ‘A. Crawford & Co’. He suffered a stroke in 1907 and died in 1908.

Continue reading

2nd July 2019

Tailors’ buttons:

S. Solcberg & Son, Melbourne:

Polish born Samson Solcberg (1821-1882) was in Melbourne from 1854. He had a period of insolvency in 1858. In 1861 his only daughter Freda married Ferninand Ehrmann. He made his son-in-law a business partner, and changed the name to S.Solcberg & Son, which is touching.

The Argus, 27th February 1863.

In 1873 they built a large new warehouse in Flinders lane east.

1873: Flinders Lane east

Samson’s health was not good, and in 1868 he had been forced to retire, leaving the business running under the control of his son-in-law with the same name. However, he must have rejoined the firm, as in 1877 he took sole control of the firm whilst Ehrmann was overseas. Unfortunately he was again insolvent by 1880. (This resulted in him being bashed by a man he owed money to.) He died in 1882, aged only 62 years.

Smale Bros, Hobart:

In 1903 Frederick William and John Penwell Smale took over the business of Mr J. R. Johnston in Murray Street, Hobart. Ten years later they opened a flash new store in Collins with electric lighting and with “lavatory provisions (that) are as near perfection as attainable” John died in 1932, aged 66years. Fred died in 1939, aged 62 years. The firm was still running in 1954. The picture below are both from The Mercury newspaper.

1st July 2019

Tailors’ buttons:

Layton Bros, Traralgon & Yarram:

Traralgon Record, 1st September 1907.

Brothers Alfred Ernest(1880-1969) and Arthur Layton (1878-1964) bought the stock of Messers Groga and Maxwell in 1907. They operated a grocery and draper store until selling up in 1936 to return to Melbourne.

J. Rees, Wangaratta:

Sporting Globe, 24th January 1934

James Rees (1882-1930) styled himself as “Wagaratta’s leading tailor”. He advertised from 1924. In 1935, five years after his death, his son Laurence talbot James Rees (1908-1981) changed the name to L.J. Rees.

Henry Buck’s, Melbourne:

Henry Buck was born in London in 1860, although he grew up in Yorkshire. In 1887 he came to New South Wales as he was suffering from tuberculosis. His health improved, he moved to Melbourne for his fiance’s sake, where he would start his men’s shirt business in Swanston Street in 1890.

He was a very successful businessman, and involved in many organisations and charities. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his work for the Red Cross during World War 1. His son-in-law, Frederick Dennett, was invited to join the firm, and became a director. Henry died in 1933 whilst in London on an extended holiday. The firm remains a family owned menswear and accessory specialist to this day.

The Herald, 12th April 1933. The firm’s Richmond factory was extended in 1933.



30th June 2019

New find: Kencrest

Despite the printing on the card, the name was meant to be Kencrest NOT Kendrest!

Tailor’s button:

J. Miller Anderson & Co

Button dates from 1857-1915.

A post on the 11th October 2017 described the history of this firm. Along with this button from Carol’s collection, here are some images from the State Library of South Australia.

James Miller Anderson c.1900. Born in Scotland in 1828. Moved to Adelaide in 1849. Took over firm in 1857. Retired 1917, aged 89 years. Died 1923, aged 95 years.

The store in the centre of this image, from 1881.

Full page advert from the Critic, 9th September 1899.




29th June 2019

George & George Ltd, Melbourne:

The Argus, 17 April 1880. This was to be the start of one of Melbourne’s most famous stores.

In 1880 London-born brothers William Henry Harrison George (1855-1935) and Alfred Harley George (1857-1930) opened their drapery store at 11-17 Collins Street, moving to larger premises in 1883 at 280 Collins street. In 1888 they merged with Equitable Co-operative Society at 162-168 Collins street to become George & George Limited.

1885: 280 Collins Street prior to the merger.

Post merger.


Weekly Times, 11th June 1887: A. Harley George, and the Emporium below.

A disastrous fire in 1889 destroyed the 280 Collins St premises, as well as killing 3 firemen and injuring 10 others. They moved into the other premise, refurbishing and extending 2 years later. William had lost a lot of money during the depression of the late 1880s. He left for New Zealand where he ran another business until about 1920 when he returned.

The firm was known as Georges & Georges Pty. Ltd. from 1914-1933, but was known as “Georges'” from at least 1908 onwards. The store motto was “What we do, we do well”, with an emphasis on exclusive , quality goods and meticulous service.

Melbourne Punch, 11th Oct 1894. Outfit available at George & George Ltd.

c. 1908. The store boasted an indoor garden cafe with an aviary, water features and live music.

The store was taken over by Cox brothers from 1960-66, then David jones from 1981-1995 when it finally closed.