21st January 2020

A couple of posts ago, I was trying to make sense of which firms were distributors verses manufacturers. Why?

Well, firstly, a definition:

 From https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-wholesaler-and-distributor.html

Definition of Distributor

As the name suggests, the distributor is an agent who distributes products and services to various parties in the supply chain network. It is impossible for the manufacturer to reach customers directly for selling products and services, and for this purpose, they have to rely on middle agents or distributors, who exclusively store and sell the company’s products, in different locations.

The distributor is also known as channel partner who deals with the manufacturers to promote and sell their products and services to various customers, such as retailers or final consumers. To do so, the distributor enters into an agreement with the producer and purchase the right to sell the producer’s product. However, he cannot use the producer’s trade name.

Distributors purchase non-competing goods or product lines from different manufacturers, hold stock in warehouses, transport it to various locations and resell it to various parties.


Therefore, each distributor would only accept buttons from one manufacturer (i.e. non-competing products). They may have exclusive rights to distribute a company’s products. They may have a contract that allows them to sell the buttons under the manufacturers name, or  under their own name. That is why we get Demetre, Coronet, Roger Berry, Terries, etc buttons. In trying to understand the industry in Australia, I have had to grapple with who was what!

The advert below indicates that along with other products, E. Walker & Son distributed and marketed Delphi buttons. (although they incorrectly  spelt the name DEPHI and DEPHHI):

Windsor and Richmond Gazette 14th August 1957.

This still does not explain as to whether Delphi was the brand of a manufacturer or not. Were these buttons made here, or imported (apart from the glass buttons on Walker cards, which must have been imported)? Were the buttons made by G.Herring, General Plastics or some other as yet undetermined manufacturer?

Certainly, the Delphi buttons look much like  Beutron Opal-glow buttons or Beauclaire Moonglow buttons of the era. I own a box labelled “Beauclaire Delphi Buttons” which indicates that they were either 1. always made by General Plastics or 2. if Delphi had been a separate company, it had been taken over. The fact that the name Delphi disappears in 1957, the very year that Beutron Australia bought out General Plastics would seem to indicate that in 1957 Delphi (along with Leda) were brands of General Plastics. So far I have not seen a reference to back up my hunch.

Carol’s new find:



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