Author Archives: abuttonadmin

23rd November 2019

New finds from Carol:

Absolutely fabulous! Three different sized uniform buttons from the Australasian United Steam Navigation Company, backmarked with three differing Australian suppliers; C. Hemsley (Sydney), W. Johns (Brisbane) and Stokes & Sons (Melbourne). See below for information about W. Johns.

House Flag

Came to Brisbane from Sydney in 1842 as an agent for the Hunter River Steam Navigation Company, which would be merged into the A.S.N. Co. then finally the A.U.S.N Co.

This shipping company was formed in 1887 from the merger of two other companies, and lasted until 1961. The articles below both came from The Mercury (Hobart) 9th March 1887.

In 1940 one of their ships ran aground near Barwon heads during a storm. A newspaper reported that ” the bursting of an oil pipe in the Orungal fortuitously spread a calming film of oil over the sea and made it possible to bring the lifeboat alongside to pick up the first load of 17 passengers and 23 seamen.” The mind boggles.

W. Johns, Brisbane:

William Johns was born in Cornwall, England in 1867. He had come to Queensland by 1894, and by 1905 was living in Edwards Street, Brisbane. In 1906 “W. Johns & Co”, drapers, bought the business of Sidle & Co, and were located at the corner of Edwards and Queen Street. By now they described themselves as an Emporium. In 1908 they had expanded to a “department store” although it was in reality a large drapery. There were a men’s, fancy goods, toys, milinery and ready-made costume “departments”. In 1913 the company purchased the business of Edward Shields Ltd, and were calling the store “the Crystal Emporium” In 1923 they opened a second store at Fiveways, Woolloongabba, called “The Fiveways Supply Store”. The Queens Street store was being advertised for sale as an ongoing concern mid 1929, with the Fiveways store later the same year. Perhaps William was retiring? He died in 1942.

The Telegraph, 27th June 1928.

The Telegraph, 27th August, 1929.




22nd November 2019

I bought a circa 1954 ‘WOMAN’ cut pattern for a girls romper just because it contained a nice folded Beauclaire advertising brochure. So if you want the pattern…just ask:

Do you think this pattern suggests that you could button a skirt and alternative neckline onto the basic romper?

Versions of these buttons are still being produced.

The hearts and daisies are described as being available in pearlised-pastels. The gumdrops are described as ‘pastel clear sparkling crystal’. The flower button adorning the sun-bonnet was available in ’18 bright, gay kiddie colours’. General plastic tried to promote their buttons by designing slightly strange dress patterns that involved excessive quantities of buttons. You could write to them to buy te patterns for 3/9 each.

20th November 2019

“Googling” for Beutron and Beauclaire buttons, I came across images from old blogs and on Instagram. Apologies to all and sundry for “lifting” your images, although I think some of the blogs aren’t active, and I haven’t a clue about Instagram!! A couple were for sale online.

This button forms the escutcheon on the buttons I shared a few days ago.

19th November 2019

New uniform button:

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME)

The horse forcene (rampant) and chain are symbolic of power under control and the lightning flash, of electrical engineering.


The Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers is a corps of the Australian Army that has responsibility for the maintenance and recovery of all Army electrical and mechanical equipment. It was form in 1942 from the combined repair services of the Ordnanace  and Service Corps. It was given the Royal prefix in 1948 His Majesty King George  VI. On 1 December 2006, the last independent RAEME Workshop was disbanded. RAEME soldiers continue in their role to provide support through attachment to other units in Tech Support Troops, Sections or Platoons.


18th November 2019

New KKK’s (Koala-Kangaroo-Kookaburras) thanks to Carol:

and also a new Landico:


New NSW Military Forces buttons: This one is made for W.Chorley of Sydney. There are also are backmarked Stokes & Martin, C. Anderson, Price & Co and David Jones.












17th November 2019

New Finds:

circa early 1960s.

Mid 1950s Beutron. 1960s Astor.

A jar of assorted buttons and other stuff; is it worth buying? I can see one Woolworths card in there, but what else? Naughtily I peel the sticky tape away to unscrew the lid … I am hoping to buy it, not rob it! Aha, a partial card of Beutron tub buttons. Worth the money then. At home after sorting out the contents, I have gleened the buttons below. The Australian ones are at the top. There is also a several cute glass bottons sporting cats and a rooster, and a cuff-link that I’ll pass on to another collector.




16th November 2019

New Embassy cards:

The cards with the rounded corners were the earliest to sport the ‘Embassy’ brand within the map of Australia. It would have resulted in waste cardboard and been more costly. Not surprisingly, the shape was later changed to a simple rectangle, although perversely, at the same time a waist was cut into the card to take the cotton, which also would have resulted in extra cost!

The Card at the right is unique in my collection, in that it has both the rounded corners and the added cotton. It must have been made just at the changeover of styling. It also has an added price sticker, as up until then the prices were not printed on the card. The cards below now have printed prices and the cotton. The card on the lower right shows the next step, with the words ” Guaranteed to Launder and Dry Clean” now included. The dating of these changes spans from 1959 until 1970.

Although I believe (due to the actual button designs) that General Plastics originally supplied both G.J. Coles (Embassy branding) and Woolworths with their branded buttons, by the time the cotton is added (if not before) they were being supplied by G.Herring. The cotton was a Beutron/Herring marketing feature dating from 1949. Beauclaire cards of buttons never included cotton, and only a few Leda cards dating from the 1960s did, by which time they were produced by Beutron.

New Leda cards:

The card on the left is the first example I have where the word ‘BOILPROOF’ is printed next to the Leda brand. Other cards are VARIOUSLY labelled FASHION BUTTONS, PERMALON, PERMALOID,  and PERMALITE.


15th November 2019

Wonderful new finds!

Beauclaire sample card:  To think that one design was made in 3 sizes and 29 colours!!  In case it’s hard to see, the darkest examples are not all black, but  charcoal (170), dark charcoal (103),  brown-grey (106), dark green (182) and dark brown (138). Number 173 is the actual black example.

I challenge you to find 29 shades of a Beauclaire design! I “only” have eight shades of this particular one!

Compared to the above sew-through buttons, these below are made of 4 parts: an aluminium (I think) shank,  a possibly casein, dark green, mottled body into which is inserted a different plastic disk to mount the escutcheon to (see the example missing the escutcheon) and the metal escutcheon itself. They would have to be for a heavy winter coat, or the like, as they are quite substantial. They are approx 26mm in diametre and nearly 4 mm thick.

Here’s hoping I have given you a bad case of envy, as possibly encouraged you to try to collect as many shades/sizes of each design as you can.