Monthly Archives: March 2018

March 2018



Buttons and Stories selected from March 2018

Pat, who hails from Dubbo, has just sent me an image of her collection: she definately is a KKK (Koala/Kangarroo/Kookaburra) kind of girl! Do you think we could get away with pretending the rabbits are bilbies to stay with the Aussie theme?

And here are mine:

(The silver oval is an old brooch with the pin missing).

Permaloid was celluloid acetate,  Permalon was a polyethylene plastic and Permalite (above left) an epoxy resin.


Lovely hand painted Coronet brand buttons c.1940s.


These type of cards were also branded for farmers stores in Sydney (see department store page).


New Zealand Buttons:

The leaves are on a ‘Pearl-Sheen’ card, but don’t yet have the Beauclaire branding.

An ‘oops’ button:

It should read Lowe’s, not Low’s.

West Australian  letter, in the Evening News (Sydney) 10th November 1899:

A journalist in Perth was commenting on the forces being formed to travel to the Transvaal (Boer Wars). They were half  civilians, and half from local infantry and artillery. With only a few days to go before they sailed the men were wearing a variety of uniforms and civilian clothes, the troops still being without their uniforms! “The uniform selected for the contingent, consisting of blue coats, with bedford cord trousers, are being made in the colony, the buttons have been brought from Victoria, whence the hats also came.” (Buttons were not able to be made locally until after Sheridan Badges was started in Perth in 1913.)

The writer noted that the primitive state of the military in the Colony rendered it practically useless, and needed to be merged with the proposed federal military system to prevent the money being spent on it being wasted. (Note that West Australia had not at this stage agreed to join the Federation.)

For the full article


Shell Company:






In 1833 Marcus Samuel started selling shells imported from the far-east from his antiques business. This was the start of the Samuel family’s import/export future. In 1892 they arranged for a bulk steamer to ship oil from Baku to the United Kingdom through the Suez canal for the first time. In 1903 ‘The Shell transport and Trading Company’ started to merge with the Royal Dutch petroleum Company. By 1907 they had became Royal Dutch Shell group.

In 1904, the scallop shell (or pecten) had replaced Shell Transport’s first marketing logo, a mussel shell.

Shell started shipping bulk fuel to Australia in 1901. In 1905 Shell and Royal Dutch established the ‘British Imperial Oil Company’ in Australia. Over the years they expanded into storage, distribution, refining and service stations.

The Inverell Times 27th Nov 1925.

In an 1925 newspaper article boasted of the companies policy of  “…  preference for Australian workers and Australian products …. The Shell Company here is proud of the fact that everything, from its Motor Spirit to its back-country Depots is All-British, and most of it All-Australian. It is the Spirit of the Flag.”  So while I can’t find a reference to when the uniform button was produced, it could have been as early as this era.

From Museum Victoria’s collection dated 1959.

Will the real Cinderella please stand up?

A fellow button collector owns this card:

“Cinderella” buttons, advertised in 1951. From Sonia’s collection. This fish, whilst having nothing to do with the movie, was an Australian design seen first on Rex. C. Norris cards, then Beauclaire, then Beutron.

An actual Cinderella button has turned up.

A hand painted plastic Cinderella button.

It has the same shank as the other disney character buttons made in Australia, but that is all we know. Perhaps it was originally sold on cards like that above. Cinderella buttons were advertised in 1951.