16th January 2020

Last year I wrote about Birmingham button makers, including Benjamin Sanders. I now have a book based on his memoirs written in 1833. On the cover was a picture of a portrait of the man:

Tailor’s button:

A.F. Cleary & Son, Sydney:

Truth, 10th December, 1911.

Aloysius Frederick Cleary (1878-1948)  advertised as a tailor under his own name from 1908.  He had previously worked as head cutter for Palmer & Son. He listed A. F. Cleary & Sons Ltd in 1930. There were outlets at 757 George Street and 31 Park Street, Sydney. The company was in liquidation in 1935, but was re-listed as A. F. Cleary & Son Pty Ltd by 1937, The company traded until before May 1951, when it was again in liquidation. A son, Ernest Aloysius Cleary, was a solicitor, and a business partner in the firm whilst his brother, Arthur Michael Cleary was also a tailor. Michael was slapped with a large fine for selling material without coupons in 1943.

Truth, 24th October 1943.

15th January 2020



Science demands that if new data does not support your theory, then it’s time to change the theory! So it is with history. Despite the fact that the Australian Archaeological Association quoted the Australian Glass Manufacturers trademark as dating from 1934-1948, it is not correct.

The Australian Glass Manufacturers Company Limited date from 1915 until 1939 when the company became Australian Consolidated Industries Ltd. I think the trademark above was modified slightly, but indeed did change.

A.G.M trademark on a glass bottle.

A.C.I. trademark on a plastic button. The G has been changed to a C, and the M into an I.









In Trove there are entries in the Commonwealth gazette of A.C.I. producing plastic buttons for the Department of Defense, but not A.G.M. I have two sizes of black plastic RAAF buttons and one brown AMF button with the ACI trademark on the back.


I have not found out when the A.G.M trademark was first used, but perhaps a glass bottle collector may know?


14th January 2020

Tailor’s button:

Foy and Gibson Pty Ltd, Perth W.A.

See the page of Branded Buttons: department store buttons for more.

G. R. Barker, Wangaratta:

G. R. Barker. The Age 15th April 1950.

Sporting Globe, 24th January, 1934.

Mr George Raymond Barker (1898-1970) had a store in Murphy Street, Wangaratta from around 1918. He was heavily involved in the Victorian Country Football league. He also raised prize winning poultry.

In 1932 he had the unpleasant experience of fatally hitting a man with his car. The man had stepped out from behind his parked truck as George was driving past.

You know you have too many objects in your collection, when you don’t realise what you already have. On the 17th December last I shared a photo of a ‘Commonwealth’ brand button sent to me, without realising I owned a couple; so here they are!


Carol has been button shopping. Here are some new finds of hers.

I suppose the white creature is a begging dog, but I agree with Carol that it looks like a meerkat!

13th January 2020

Tailors’ buttons, both old and new:

Parker & Geertz, Ipswich:

Theodore Johannes  Geertz (1859-1938) came to Australia from the Danish province of Schleswig-Holstein around 1878, as his family wished to avoid him being forced to serve in the Prussian Army. This partnership with T. H. parker lasted from 1905 until 1911, when Geertz continued on his own.

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 18th August 1906.

See also T. J. Geertz

Ateleir, Melbourne

Ateleir School of Fashion Design and Technology is a registered trainer located in Melbourne.

Billiecart Clothing, Melbourne:

This company started in 189 as a direct-sales children’s wear company. it now has a store in Kensington, Melbourne.

Coogi Australia:

Starting in  Toorak in 1969 as Cuggi, and renamed in 1987 as Coogi, this is a brand of colourful fashion knitwear.

Mossimo Clothing:

An American  fashion brand, previously available in Target and  now Myers.


11th January 2020

News flash …

The Herald, 25th July 1953.

Tailor’s button seen online:

Bon Marché, Perth:

As seen in the advertising below, this store opened in 1884. Unlike most drapers, they sold whips and rifles! They soon moved from Williams Street to Hay Street. By 1886 Mr Collins had sold the concern to  Mr and Mrs Edward Thomas Hope. Mr Hope died  of blood poisoning in August 1894 whilst on holiday back to his birth place of England, aged only 36 years. His eight month old daughter died four months later. The business was sold by his widow in 1895 to Messers George Henry Careeg, Elias Dimant and George Francis Pitchford, although Careeg soon left the partnership

The Daily News, 18th April 1884.

Overtime it became a department store as well as a drapery. It was incorporated as Bon Marche Limited in 1897.

Clare’s Weekly 10th September 1898. The Bon Marche store in Hay Street.

In 1919  a property was bought near the Hay Street store and extended through to Barrack Street. This became known as the Bon Marche Arcade. In 1954 David Jones took over Bon Marche Ltd, and rebranded it as David Jones.

The Bon March Arcade Building, Barrack Street.




10th January 2020

As you probably know by now, I love vintage store cards of buttons that have beautiful artwork on them. Here are two American, possibly from the 1940s, and one Australian from the 1950s. The Beutron card is in good condition, although someone totaled up her shopping on the back!

For more on ‘teen-age’ fashion, see http://www.ausbuttonhistory.com/?p=3711

Spotted online: Lovely but pricey!


9th January 2020

Thanks to Deb, a merchandising key ring (we guess):

Whilst not daring to guess what the front designs signify, the backs are more straight forward.

Dale Slacks Pty Ltd.

The company advertised their slacks and shorts from 1946 until they closed in 1980. They had used “sironized” wool, a process which created permanent pleating and creasing, as well as allowing the wool to be washable and non-shrink.

Groovy. The Canberra Times, 28th October 1970.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, 21st June 1977.

The Canberra Times, 27th March 1980. The company is now deregistered. Perhaps it did not relocate?

Direct Clothing Company:

Originally the Boys Direct Supply Clothing Store, in 1926 they started selling direct after 20 years of manufacturing.

Advocate, 15th April 1926.

By 1932 the company dropped the word ‘Boys’ from the name, although they were still located at 14-16 Market Lane. In 1956 they advertised from 77 Bourke Street, Melbourne, which is the address on the keyring, except the word ‘Supply’ has also been dropped.


8th January 2020

Carol was hunting for a green koala button. She didn’t find it (she has a LOT of buttons), but she did find these below …

JHB released the Peter Rabbit series of buttons under licence in 1977 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publishing of the first of Beatrix Potter”s books in 1902. Hunca Munca and Jemima Puddle Duck were two of these. The other two were Peter Rabbit and Miss Moppet. JHB went to the effort source a company (in Japan) capable of faithfully reproduce the effect of the original water colours. Over the next 11 years, more were released. Beutron must have sold these buttons under licence from JHB at some stage after 1977.

These cheerful little airplanes are also to be found on JHB cards, apparently made in England, so I’m guessing the companies shared other designs as well.

Lastly, she shared a couple more hand painted Coronet ‘basket of flowers’ buttons, as well as a realistic basket of flowers!

6th January 2020

I find that my fellow button collectors are a generous bunch, always putting aside goodies for me! Here are some of the buttons given to me by Deborah:

The 1950s Beauclaire ‘Moonglow’ buttons were not glass, but cashing in on the popularity of them. They were a lovely glossy casein button, and as can be seen below, were also sold on Embassy branded cards. (and Woolworths cards).

early 1970s.

Lovely modern glass buttons sold from a Sydney vintage shop.

These 4-hole shirt buttons are mounted on a card with a design used by General Plastics, possibly in the 1940s.