A digest of buttons and stories shared in September 2016:
1950s Buttons and their representaton in ads.
Glass versions of the same style.
These 2 buttons have a metallised centre set in a clear plastic surround with a molded zig-zag pattern.
A classical Grecian horse.
1955 advert detail horse
If I understand the explanation on the back of the card, the glass centres of the leftward “Originals” were imported and set in Beutron bases. I’m guessing the 2 small buttons matching the larger ones were for matching cuffs or button down collars on shirts. The coat button is about 4 cm in diametre!
The Beauclaire bead-like buttons are sewn onto a pre-punched card. The red apples are a cheery Embassy example. The Woolies are complex for only 75 cents: faux-wood on top of golden plastic with 4 golden “stitches” showing through. The Needleworks were “packaged by Beutron Australia for Myers Stores Ltd”
Walkers were distributors rather than manufacturers.
A Beauclaire buckle, and Beutron examples
‘Latest Fashion’ buttons may have been produced by O.C. Rheuben/General Plastics before they adopted the Beauclaire branding.
‘TecOpal’! Interestingly, not mentioned in advertising.
Beutron from the 50’s to the 70’s.
NSW Mounted Rifles:
The Paramatta Woollen Mills and C. Anderson both made these buttons. I spotted this picture on a military sales web page, but unfortunately it is out of stock. For interest I have included below a newspaper report of C.Anderson and the Mills both winning a tender for military uniforms, including for the Mounted Rifles.
The Cumberland Argus and Fruit Growers Advocate (Parramatta) 15th February 1902
Pink and Blue:
According to the Smithsonian, the fashion of “pink for girls and blue for boys” has waxed and waned and even reversed throughout the last century, only settling on the current status in the 1940-50’s as a marketing tool. Having said that, I can remember in Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’ from 1869 that when Meg had twins they were dressed to tell them apart with pink and blue in “french fashion”. Be that as it may be, the Beauclaire buttons below are gorgeous!
WW1 Suspender buttons:
Button found in mass grave at Pheasant Wood (Fromelles) during a dig in 2009. It is referred to as a braces button, used by soldiers to keep their trousers up. The photo below from the Australian War Memorial’s collection clearly shows the braces buttons on this WW1 era soldier’s breeches.
New Zealand Buttons:
This lovely card came from New Zealand. On the bottom right hand corner is a fancy ‘F’. On the top left hand corner is a bird of prey. Putting all these together, I think this must be from ‘Falcon Plastics’ , a past Kiwi button manufacture. See the NZ page for more history on this company.