Please note: the new address of this blog is austbuttonhistory.com
From October 2017, a selection of buttons and stories
Do you have “a soul above buttons”?
This phrase, now out of usage, seems to have indicated that you were (at least in your own estimation) superior to your current occupation or situation i.e. that you deserved better! It dates back at least to 1795, but has not appeared in Australian newspapers since 1946.
Do you “have all your buttons (on)”?
I hope so! Until the 1920’s this suggested you “didn’t have all your marbles”.
Three more button sayings for you:
- Don’t “push my buttons”!
- Or I’ll get cross, you can “bet your buttons”.
- Well, “bust my buttons!” You went ahead and pushed!!
Two Fire Brigade buttons, from Stokes and Amor:
This card dates from 1953-54 when a cross promotion occurred between Beauclaire buttons and Twinprufe knitting wool, which was distributed by Paterson, Laing and Bruce.
Firstly the wool: Twinprufe refers to it being ‘moth-proof’ and ‘shrink-proof’. The wool was produced by F.W. Hughes P/L at their Alexandria Spinning Mills. Frederick Hughes established this firm of pastoralists, meat producers, canners, skin merchants, wool spinners and textile manufacturers in 1915. In 1966 it became a subsidiary of Ralli Australia P/L.
Secondly the buttons: According to advertising “The Twinprufe button has been especially designed in weight and size to compliment every hand-knitted garment” and were available in 2 sizes and 70 shades to perfectly match the wool.
Thirdly the distributers: The origins of this importing and manufacturing company stretches back to Geelong in 1850. After various partnerships it became Paterson, Laing and Bruce in 1879. By 1883 their warehouse in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, was the largest in Victoria. By 1909 they were leading retailers in Australia. They had a branch in London and through expansion and mergers spread to Sydney, Hobart and Adelaide.
The Mr. Bruce of the company’s name was John Munro Bruce. His son, who was the acting chairman of the company in 1909, was Stanley Melbourne Bruce. He became the eighth Prime Minister of Australia, serving this role from 1923-1929.
From 1947, a patriotic advert from the company:
From 1950-52 clothes by ‘Fashion Pfeiffer’ were featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly. the company was listed as in liquidation in 1964. Here are some examples of their dresses:
Perhaps these cards, with the logo “Fashion Pfeiffer for all that’s new” is associated with this company. The green buttons are sweet little acorns.