I’m sorry Carol. I didn’t think it would come to this, but I’m going to have to kill you for your card of Mickey Mouse buttons (and the Beutron kiddie cards whilst I’m at it). They’re just too tempting….
And now to show you my latest offering … which, sigh, doesn’t quite compare.
Now the Target buttons were probably not made in Australia, as they are not labelled as such. I’m guessing they date from the 1970’s. I’ve included them as Target is an Australian chain. George Lindsay and Alex McKenzie opened the first ‘Empororama’ in Geelong in 1926. In 1968 the business was bought out by Myers Emporium and re-named as Lindsay’s Target Pty Ltd. The name was further changed in 1973 to Target Australia Pty. Ltd. The ‘Beetle’ buttons are quite cute and were available in several colours. This style is still available today.
(Carol sent me an email. She is safe for now; the Disney card isn’t part of her collection.)
Sometimes when you’re on a good thing … you stick to it. Button collectors are well aware that fashions in buttons have changed dramatically throughout time. This can in fact can enable us to date the era of some buttons. However, some styles are fairly timeless, for example, the basic 4-holed or “sailors” button, and the 2-holed “fish-eye” buttons.
Other examples with an Australian flavour are a certain children’s duck and fish button that have been around since the late 1940’s, and are still being sold today!
First; the duck. The example I think is the oldest is on a “Jack and Jill” card by Rex. C.Norris. The card has a patent number from 1949 on it. The next is on an Embassy card from the 1950’s or 60’s (pre-decimal prices). Then there are example on Beutron and Haby Habits (Coles) cards. The last picture is from an advert currently on Ebay of the same design duck. The earlier versions have painted details.
Probably the oldest: It has the greatest degree of painted detail which was expensive to do and was dropped over time.
The Embassy ducks still have a touch of painted details. The lower 2 are loose modern examples without paint.
Current Ebay advert detail.
Next, the fish: Oldest may be the example from the ‘Crazyhaberdasher” on a ? early 1950’s Beauclaire card. Next may be the Embassy card. A detail from a 1954 advert is included, then a Beutron card. Finally, there is a picture from a current Ebay advert.
Thanks to the ‘Crazyhaberdasher”. Note the painted detail.
From a 1954 advertisement.
Detail from current Ebay advert.
Although I was aware that Beauclaire (and later Beutron after they merged) made Embassy (Coles) buttons, it seems the original design may have been from Rex C. Norris. Rex button cards continued into post decimal times. Perhaps the ‘Jack and Jill’ designs were sold off, or the company split into seperate entities, one of which was bought by Beauclaire? Can anyone enlighten me?
It seems the Craighead family were tailors in New Zealand for several generations. Hugh Clark, Edwin George and his brother William Bruce Craighead were tailors and outfitters in Ashburton on the South Island. It appears W.B moved to Wellington and continued as a tailor. Huia Bruce Craighead was born in Wellington in 1897 so presumably was his son. H.B. would also become a tailor and from around 1932 traded as H.B. Craighead Ltd. The New Zealand Railways button shown below is backmarked H.B.Craighead Ltd. Wellington.
And back across the Tasman, I now have several more examples of a given design of Embassy branded buttons. As you can see, this style was available in at least 3 colours and sizes!
Last night I was trawling again through Trove to find more vintage advertising, and found quite a lot… so do check both the ‘Advertising’ page and the Beutron sub-page. Two in particular tickled my fancy, so I’ll share them here. Mind you, I don’t approve of the chauvinism implied in the stereotypical images of these good little women!
The Sunday Herald, 16th August 1953. This David Jones ad is just so 1950’s; look at the illustrated detail enlarged below.
Just look at the nice lady with her gloves and hat at the button counter. And there she is at home, first thing in the morning already wearing her apron, sewing a button onto the cuff of her husband’s shirt cuff so he can finish dressing for work. What a perfect wife!
Published in the Sunday Mail 31st May 1953. Now I know things were different in the 50’s, but why “Mrs Jack Ferguson”. Doesn’t she deserve to have her own name published for all that hard work in doing the washing?
I received a bulk lot of buttons. Whilst most of them are ‘just’ generic buttons for Coles, Target and Woolworths, there was one gorgeous Beutron “Original’ card. The buttons have imported glass bases with a pretty rose transfer.
Hubby and I went up to Sassafras for morning tea. On the way back down the mountain we stopped at Butler’s, a nice antique store I’ve had luck at before. Bingo! He got a nice 1962 Shell road map, and I found these Maxart buttons for $3!!
Exciting news for those living in Brisbane! Rush to McWhirters to see over 600 different Beutron Fashion Buttons!!
I’ve suspected since I started this blog that Woolworths branded buttons were originally made by General Plastics (the manufacturer of Beauclaire buttons). The printing on the back of the cards was word for word except for the brand name, and the layout identical. Yesterday I received confirmation of my theory. Firstly, I received through the post some “Boilproof” buttons. These were a line sold by Woolies. Secondly, I received an email from Lois with a picture of identical buttons on a Beauclaire card. Ta-da! (Later on Beutron supplied the Woolworths buttons.)
These are from Lois. The Beauclaires on the left are identical to the Boilproofs above.
Here are the backs of “Beauclaire” and Woolworths “Moonglow” cards showing the similar printing.
The Boilproof card had become wet at some time, causing the cotton used to sew the buttons on to shrink. The card was bunched up as a result. I had to removed the buttons, iron the card flat then re-sew the buttons. It still looks battered but never mind!
Today I want to share a small Maxart card, and also to ask a question!
The question relates to the buttons below. As you can see from the advert, these were Beutron “Originals” from the mid 1950’s. It appears this style was available in several sizes and colours, as well as with silver or gold metal centres. It appears the metal components were also sold seperately. In this group of buttons I recently accquired, the coloured disks are seperate from the centres. Were they sold like that, or they come apart? I can’t easily “click” the centres back into the disks and there isn’t any obvious glue. Please reply if you know! The black button with the dark plastic centre is still in one piece and the centre rotates within the disk, so perhaps I’m just not pushing hard enough to click the others back together.
Here are some buttons I’ve identified as from Beauclaire, including some from across the Tasman Sea!
New Zealand made Beauclaire buttons. Thanks to Marcia!