Australian Home Journal, November 1965. Groovy, baby! Makes me think of Prue Acton.
These ducks are on cards that date them from the 1980’s. (One has a barcode on the back. These were first used in Australia in 1979 and by 1986 some 90 percent of grocery items had one.) Now I’m a vintage girl, but as you know I have a fondness for these ducks which first appeared circa 1949 and are still being sold.
For some reason Woolworths had several “lines” of buttons, including Kiddietone, Moonglow, Boilproof, Hi-Style and Spares. You may not have realised this, as they had cards with and without the Woolworths name included. Below are some new (and a couple of old cards to illustrate the point):
When I was researching these buttons I was bemused to discover that the bird is meant to be a Wedge-tailed eagle. Now these are Wedge-tailed eagles …
Only the middle button even tries to approximate a wedge shaped tail, and the one on the left looks more like a pea-hen …
Canada and New Zealand have similar insignias for their airforces. In Canada it is meant to be a Golden eagle, in new Zealand a Haast eagle. They too have funny looking eagles on some of their buttons!
I have an embarrassment of riches in both vintage advertising and cards of buttons to share over the next few days. I’ll start in 1954 …
Australian Women’s Weekly, 7th April 1954.
Australian Home Journal,1st November 1954.
Collectors of Australian made buttons will be aware that on some cards the buttons are ‘Approved by the Dry Cleaners and dyers Association of N.S.W.’ , were as others are ‘Approved by the Federal Council of Dry Cleaners of Australia.’ these ads show that the change happened between April and November 1954, and may help to date some of your cards of buttons. The Leda cards below all mention the Federal Association:
Yet another example of a Beauclaire design button on a Roger Berry card:
The Herrman Company became O.C. Reuben P/L in 1933 and then General Plastics P/L in 1941. The brand ‘Beauclaire’ was used from 1951 until 1958. Therefore, there were 2-3 decades of production of buttons under other brands, possibly including ‘Lovely lady’, ‘Modern Miss’ and Coronet.
In December 1941 Japan invaded Thailand, Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong as well as U.S. military and naval bases in the Pacific. Soon the Japanese conquered the Dutch East Indies for their valuable oil reserves. Dutch civilians, military and government representatives from the Netherlands East Indies (N.E.I.) were transported to Australia, where a N.E.I. government-in-exile was established first in Melbourne, then later moved to Queensland. Members of their army, navy and airforce worked with the Allies from January 1942. Three joint Australian-NEI squadron were formed. Several Dutch ships were based in Australia and 17 submarines operated in the Pacific. Dutch army units were attached to Australian Army units fighting in Borneo. Presumably the buttons above were produced by Stokes and Sons of Melbourne during this time.
New school buttons (thanks to Carol): The Adelaide Boys HS button has a ‘Schlank Adelaide’ backmark. The others don’t, but are of similar construction.
Adelaide Boys High School:
Adelaide Boys high school opened in 1951 (from former versions of the school). In 1977 it amalgamated with its girls’ campus, the ‘B’ being dropped from the school crest as seen on the right.
St Peter’s College:
This boys’ college was established in 1847 by members of the Anglican Church.
A Roman catholic college for boys established in 1923.
New uniform button:
Back-mark: Stokes & Sons Melbourne. Date 1937-1952.
The Maritme Services Board of New South Wales was established in 1936, replacing the previous Sydney Harbour Trust and Department of Navigation, and would continue until 1995. It administered the ports of Sydney and Newcastle as well as issuing watercraft licences. The button shows a simplfied shield of N.S.W. with a King’s crown and an anchor.
My research into the South Australian Rifles has also explained something that confused me: some buttons don’t have SAR on them but I wasn’t sure what the script said. It is SAV i.e. South Australian Volunteers. Oh dear, so confusing!
Carol is on one of her button-hunting expeditions (she is a Big Button Hunter, with pith helmet and rifle). She sent me a photo of “one that got away”…
Unfortunately, this Leda display stand was not for sale.
However, she did purchase this card.
I have just received another variation of the ?South Australian Rifles button: This one is a modern Staybrite type by A.J. Parkes, with only ‘SA’ under a King’s crown instead of ‘SAR’. It’s all very confusing.