Branded buttons: tailors’ buttons (A-H)

Here we showcase tailoring buttons, from the individual to  large emporiums such as The Leviathan. The buttons are listed alphabetically as the names were printed onto the buttons.

A. Baxter, Colac:

Andrew Baxter (1883-1933) was born in Galashiels, Scotland. From around 1913-1916 he worked  in Geelong, then from around 1921 until his death, in Colac.

A. Boswarrick, Melbourne:

Arthur Boswarrick, originally from Ballarat, (1867-1944) was a tailor in Sale, Victoria, in partnership with Mr Herbert Phillips. They ended their partnership in 1889, with Arthur continuing alone. Unfortunately the business failed the following year. He moved to Melbourne by 1891 and by 1893 he was advertising for employees for his “Eclipse Tailoring Company” in Sydney Road, Brunswick. He was involved in the local council and also local sporting clubs.  His first wife died in 1904 and his second wife in 1909, only days after giving birth. How sad.

A. Bowley & Company, Melbourne:

Mr. Alfred Bowley. He was mayor of Camberwell in 1911-1913.

As  a naval and military uniform outfitter in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, they were importing items such as buttons from London from before federation.  The company continued to at least 1956.  Alfred Bowley had died in 1945.

From a larger article published in The Age (Melbourne),  26th September 1936.

Mount Alexander Mail (Vic),  22nd December 1899.

The Argus(Melbourne),  26th April 1945.

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Back of MFB (Melbourne Fire Brigade) uniform button that specifically indicates it was made in England.

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The above button of the Commonwealth Cadet Corps is from Carol’s collection. It dates from 1901-1910 (Edward VII) but is not marked as to where it was made. The infantry button (also from Carol’s collection) is marked BOWLEY & CO  MELBOURNE.

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From an auction advert.

Carol tells me this style button was for nurses uniforms.

From Museum Victoria: Officer’s Full Dress jacket c.1904 with brass buttons marked ‘Bowley & Co Melbourne”.

A. Cunningham:

Andrew Charles “Charlie” Cunningham was born in 1872 in Adelaide. From around 1983-1897 he was part of the partnership of “Jacobs & Cunningham” in Broken Hills, before continuing alone. He died suddenly in 1936 at the age of 64 years.

A. E. Barber, Coburg:

Albert Ernest Barber (1891-2973) moved his business to 438 Sydney Road, Coburg in 1935. By 1942 he had moved  down the road to 694 Sydney Road, Brunswick.

A. E. Barlow, Parade, Norwood:

Arthur Edgar Barlow (1878-1957) ran “The Norwood House For Men’s Wear” from c.1915-1943 in the Parade, Norwood.

The Mail, 5th June 1915.

A. E, Spicer, North Fitzroy:

Albert Edward Spicer lived from 1882 til 1951. He worked from 556 Nicholson Street from at least 1920 until 1949.

A. E. Unkles, Port Fairy:
Arthur Edward Unkles was born in Macarthur (north of Port Fairy) in 1883. From around
1914-1919 he was a “tailoring artist” in Rochester before moving to Namurkah, then
Camperdown by about 1922. from 1926 he was working from Sackville Street, Port Fairy. He
was a councillor for many years, including the mayor in 1931. Unfortunately his son died on
active service during WW2. He retired to Ballarat by 1963, and died there in 1975.

Weekly Times, 9th July 1927

A. F. Cleary & Son, Sydney:

Truth, 10th December, 1911. A. Cleary.

Aloysius Frederick Cleary (1878-1948)  advertised as a tailor under his own name from 1908.  He had previously worked as head cutter for Palmer & Son. He listed A. F. Cleary & Sons Ltd in 1930. There were outlets at 757 George Street and 31 Park Street, Sydney. The company was in liquidation in 1935, but was re-listed as A. F. Cleary & Son Pty Ltd by 1937, The company traded until before May 1951, when it was again in liquidation. A son, Ernest Aloysius Cleary, was a solicitor, and a business partner in the firm whilst his brother, Arthur Michael Cleary was also a tailor. Michael was slapped with a large fine for selling material without coupons in 1943, although he successfully appealed.

Truth, 24th October 1943. Michael Cleary.

A. G. Adams, Melbourne:

Alfred George Adams (1849-1921) split from partnership with Isaac Bowley in 1903. From 1904-1912 he advertised his tailoring business as ‘A. G. Adams” at 13 Block Arcade, Melbourne.

Benalla Standard, 17th Jun 1902. Love it!

A. G. Parker, Adelaide:

Alfred George Parker headed this business from 1921-c.1950. He was also involved in a miniature railways company and a concrete company.

Advertiser, 2nd May 1921.

A. J. Cosson, Coolgardie:

Arthur James Cosson was born in Surrey, England in 1867. He arrived in Melbourne by 1894, as he married then, and worked as a tailor at the corner of Swanston and Lygon Streets. In 1897, lured perhaps by the large gold nugget found that year, he moved to Bonnievale, just out of Coolgardie. His business, Cosson & Co operated until 1905, when it was bought by Mackenzie & Dunstan (see below). He presumably then worked by himself before moving to Freemantle in 1910, then Perth in 1937. He was still listed as a tailor’s cutter in the year he died, 1958, in his 91st year!

A. J. Dangerfield, Broken Hill:

Mr Dangerfield 1927

His business was located in Oxide street from 1917. In December of 1935 he was in a car accident, which lead him to leave tailoring. He became the proprietor of Broken Hill Motors. Albert Joseph Dangerfield lived in Broken Hill from 1896 until 1947 when he moved to Sydney. 

Alf. C. White, Ballarat:

Wouldn’t you be annoyed if you name was Alfred Ernest White (1867-1928), but your buttons were incorrectly inscribed? I Hope he got a discount!

His tailoring shop was located at 112 Sturt Street from 1898 when he renamed his father’s previous business ( T. W. White & Co.) until 1903. After this he was a cutter for John Snow & Company for 10 years before opening a new establishment at 102 Sturt Street. In 1919 he was elected as a local councillor. he was involved in the YMCA, the church, bowls and cricket.

Alston & Brown, Melbourne:

Mr Alston was born in Glasgow and came to Melbourne in 1852. In 1857, due to the retirement of his previous partner, Thomas Alston went into partnership with William White Brown selling clothing and drapery. They became known as very fashionable, high class drapers in Collins Street until they closed the business in 1888. Mr Alston was to become a director of various companies and public institutions and a J.P. He died on Christmas Day,1907.

The article below was published in the Australasian, 12th July, 1884.

A. M. Pool, Bendigo:

The Bendigo Independent, 27th March 1902.

In  January 1892 Alfred Morris Pool (1857-1930) and Joseph Thomas Williams started their business  in the premises previously occupied by the “London and American Clothing Company” in Mitchell Street, Sandhurst (later Bendigo). In February 1894, Williams left to go to Sydney, whilst Pool continued under the name “A. M. Pool” until at least 1922. He retired to Caulfield, Melbourne.

Andrews & Son, North Melbourne:

This concern advertised from 1895-1914 at 226 Victoria Street, North Melbourne.

North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser 21st February 1902.

A. N. Lovick, Adelaide:

News, 10th April 1924.

Allan Andrew Nesbit Lovick was born in Banbury, England in 1880 and died in Adelaide in 1944. A. N. Lovick & Co were tailors located in King William Street from c.1923 through to 1938.

News (Adelaide), 26th March 1924.

News (Adelaide) 12th December 1936.

Archer & Cottrell, Richmond:

Camberwell and Hawthorn Advertiser, 3rd Jan 1914.

 From around 1911 Denis Cottrell and John Harry Archer advertised as high-class tailors in Swan Street, Richmond. Sadly, in 1912 at the age of only 26 years, Denis died in hospital. Archer continued under the name of ‘Archer & Cottrell” until 1914, then continued as ‘Archer’s’ until  around 1937, two years before his death in 1939. He had been a former treasurer and president of Richmond football club, and a life member.

Camberwell and Hawthorn Advertiser, 3rd Jan 1914.


A caricature of ‘Jack’ Archer in 1931.

A. Richardson, Mildura:

Archie William Richardson was a bit of a gypsy.  Born in Maryborough, Victoria, in 1888, he worked in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney before he set up in Langtree Avenue, Mildura from 1919 to 1927. After an unknown period of time he returned to Melbourne, where he died in 1973.

Arthur L. Atterton, Adelaide:

In 1918 Arthur Laurence Atterton (1893-1959) took over as manager of the Quality Tailors at the corner of Pirie Street and Gawler Place. Two years later he bought the firm.

The Advertiser, 1st October 1920.

Photo from State Library of South Australia collection, 1928.

In 1931 he opened a second store at Bowman Arcade, closing the original store two years later.

News, 12th October 1954.

A.S. Austen, Melbourne:

Arthur Scott Austen( 1890-1960) operated his tailoring business from Howey Place, and later The Block Arcade, Collins Street from 1920, after the dissolution of a previous partnership, until 1943. He was very involved in  Red Cross and Legacy. In 1946 he joined the Victorian Soldier Settlement Commission.

Ashmans, Bendigo:

 William George Ashman (1870-1944) started as a tailor in High Street, Eaglehawk circa 1891.  In 1908 he admitted into partnership  his brother, Arthur Thomas Ashman, as “Ashman Bros. tailors, hatters and mercers”, but by 1915 the partnership was dissolved. William continued as W.G. Ashman “The Northern District Tailors” and Arthur moved to Bacchus Marsh to run his own business, although he moved back to Eaglehawk in 1918.

Bendigonian, 16 December 1915.

 William had some trouble along the way. In 1901 he has to give up all his assets to creditors. In 1909 he was sentenced to 6 weeks gaol for buying gold without a licence; the authorities clamping down on this practice due to its link with gold stealing.

In 1936 William registered a new company of Ashman (William George) and Sons Pty. Ltd. with his sons William Basil, Eric Raglus, John Osbourne and Charles Kenneth. This business was in liquidation in 2007.

Ben Cohen, Melbourne:

Benjamin Cohen (1853-1935),  tailor and outfitter, operated from 252 Collins Street from around 1902, then the Flinders Building in Flinders Street from around 1911. In 1920 he was listed in the Eastern Arcade. The Eastern Arcade no longer exists, but ran from Lt Collins Street to Bourke Street in between Russell and Exhibition Streets. In 1922  a Ben Cohen was arrested for running an illegal betting house in the Eastern Arcade, so presumably in was the same man.

Bert Saunders, Northcote:

Albert (Bert) Edward Saunders took over his fathers business on his death in 1915. He was still advertising in 1943.

Bidencopes Ltd., Hobart:






Joseph Bidnecope,  tailor and mercer,  advertised for tailors to work for him as early as 1861.  He was born in Poland and moved to Hobart in 1858.  The business was a  successful fashion house,  as well as supplying naval and military uniforms.  They became well known for their hats.  Two sons would join the business.  He was still working when he died in 1915,  aged nearly eighty years.  His grandsons would sell the business in 1977.

The Mercury (Hobart), 11th April 1921.

The Mercury (Hobart),  31st March 1921.


Badwell, Goulburn:

This firm was family run from 1880-at least 1950.

Goulburn Evening Penny Post 21st October 1930

unknown date.

Blainey’s, Sydney:

Charles Gough Blainey (1894-1959) set up his tailoring business in George Street, Sydney around 1924. Due to growth of his business, he moved to the Strand Arcade three years later. Around 1927 he registered the firm as a limited company, then in 1938 as a propriety limited concern.

The Labor Daily, 8th September 1937.

Arrow, 14th September 1928.

The Labor Daily, 17th January 1929.

By 1966 (seven years after Mr. Blainey’s death) the firm was in financial difficulty, and by 1973 it was deregistered.

Bond Street Company, Adelaide:

This was a company of tailors and shirt makers from around 1884 until the closed in 1890. They had until 1890 been located at Gawler Place, but that year relocated to King William Street. Therefore, despite the fact that there is a Bond Street in Adelaide, the name must reference the fashionable Bond Street of London, which is described thus in Wikipedia: “During the 19th century, Bond Street became less known for its social atmosphere but increased its reputation as a street for luxury shopping.”

B. Phillips, Pitt Street only

See Phillips, Pitt Street only

Bright & Hitchcock, Geelong:

William Hitchcock (1811-1867) emigrated from Devonshire, England, to Geelong with his sons George Michelmore (1831-1912) and Walter Michelmore Hitchcock (1833-1923). They started a drapery business , Hitchcock Brothers & Co., between 1850-52. They went into partnership in 1853 with William Bright (1803-1875) under the name Wm. Bright & Co. 

After Bright retired around 1857 they changed the name to Bright & Hitchcock. The company was listed in 1950. It was sold and re-sold in 1959, 1968, 1969 and 1976 then closed in 1979. Since that the building has been subdivided into smaller shops.

Geelong Advertiser, 18th July 1923. Mr W. M. Hitchcock.

Geelong Advertiser, 8th May 1912. George M. Hitchcock.

Leader, 12th August 1893.   circa 1940

Burkby and Waggen,  Sale:

Frederick James Burby and his son-in-law, Vincent St.Clair Wagglen, took over a tailoring business in Sale in 1923.

Gippsland Times, 12th March 1923.

Less than 18 months later they dissolved the partnership, with Mr Wagglen continuing alone.  There must be a sad tale underlying this, as he only kept the business going for another two years before starting again in Sunshine. This business in turn only lasted for around 3 years. In the following years he was separated from his wife then in 1941 he died at the young age of 50 years.

C. A. Jago,  South Melbourne:

Charles Arthur Jago (1893-1955),  in partnership with his uncle,  Holmes Gillman Jago,  were merchant tailors in Bank Street.  His uncle retired in 1927.

Published in the Record, 4th September 1908.

Possible original premises in Bank Street.

189 Bank Street, the advertised new premises.

Capon & Montgomerie, Melbourne:

In 1902 Messers Capon and Montgomerie were delighted to announce their new tailoring store in Collins St. Walter William store has previously managed the Mutal Store.

The Herald, 11 Sep 1913.

Norman Leslie Mongomerie, supposedly the best dressed man in Melbourne, died in 1926 aged 55 years. After this the business was sold to Walter Arnold Walker who continued trading under the Capon & Montgomerie name, but had to sell everything to pay his creditors in 1927. After his partner’s death Mr Capon continued as an outfitter until his retirement. He lived in Camberwell and died in 1941.

Norman Montgomerie, 1925

C. Anderson,  Sydney:

Charles Anderson, circa 1900.

NSW military brass uniform button dated 1881-1901. made by C.Anderson, Sydney

N.S.W. military brass uniform button dated 1881-1901 made by C. Anderson, Sydney.

From the Australian War Memorial collection: “Original mounting board and paper containing 24 large size (24mm diameter) Australian Commonwealth buttons. All the buttons are identical and un-issued and have the British Monarch, Edward VII’s royal cypher under a King’s crown, and the words ‘AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH’ around the bottom edge. The reverse has stamped ‘ANDERSON SYDNEY BRITISH MAKE'”. Dated 1936.

Charles Anderson was born in 1838. He came to Australia from Scotland about 1880 with his wife Mary-Jane. He established a large hat factory on the corner of Nicholls and Albion Streets, Surry Hills, next to his home, Durham Hall. The business had it’s beginning a decade pre- federation importing hats and was initially called the ‘New Federal Hat Mills of Sydney’. From as early as 1895 he was described as a “military tailor”. The company was registered as ‘Charles Anderson and Company Limited’ in 1903 and was called ‘Anderson’s Industries Limited’,  by the time of his death in 1924. They supplied uniforms, trimming and buttons for the armed forces and police. Examples, like the above one,  are found in the Powerhouse Museum and Australian War Memorial collections. Here is an exert from N.S.W. tenders showing orders for buttons from the company in 1910.

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New South Wales tramways uniform buttons. Note the “British Make” , this indicates that the buttons were sourced from English makers.

NSW mounted Rifles 1892-1901 motto “TOUJOURS PRET” Always Ready. Backmark: C.Anderson Sydney.









Chapman & Rogers, Adelaide:

George Chapman (1847-1928) came to south Australia as a two year old in 1849. In 1861 he was apprenticed as a tailor. he later worked for Shierlaw & Co. In 1892 he went into business with Charles Rogers at 117 Gawler Place. The partnership lasted until 1918 when he continued with his son. George was very keen sportsman, particularly football, cricket and swimming.

The Advertiser, 20th July 1926.

News 30th December 1927. Mr G. Chapman.

His son, George W. Chapman, was also a sportsman, with a love of baseball.

The Advertiser, 1933. G. W. Chapman.

Chas. Jones & Co, Brisbane:

Dectoring find by Tim Jellicoe.

This company of drapers first advertised in 1878. They were located in the Kingsford’s Buildings, Queens Street, Brisbane. In 1890 the ‘bankrupt stock’ of the firm was being sold.

Mr Jones was Charles Henry Jones, born in 1848 in New South Wales. He moved to Brisbane in 1873 and stayed there until perhaps the time of the bankruptcy in 1890, before moving back to Sydney where he died in 1898, aged only 50 years.

Chas. Lane & Co, Melbourne:

Charles Lane ran a high class tailor’s in Flinders Street from 1902 until the business was absorbed into the business of a neighbouring tailor’s in 1929.

Table Talk, 5th April 1917.

On the label “Chas. Lane & Co. Pty. Ltd. Elizabeth St. Melbourne.

The Herald, 28th Oct 1921.

C. J. Lane, Melbourne:

Charles James Lane (1869-1925) advertised at Flinders Lane in 1888. from 1892-1896 he was the manager of the Woollen department of the Mutal Stores. In 1896 he purchased a  mercery and tailoring business at 230 Collins Street where he operated until moving to the corner of Elizabeth Street and Flinders Lane around 1917. Circa 1921 he may have sold the business (which was still advertising in 1933) and became a wool broker and importer. He was heavily overdrawn to his bank in 1921-2. In 1924 he sued his bank for damages  for erroneously dishonouring a promissory note. Although he was awarded 1000 ponds, perhaps the previous years of stress had taken their toll, for he died the next year, aged only 56 years.

Melbourne Punch 28th January 1897.

Chas. Jones & co, Brisbane:

Dectoring find by Tim Jellicoe.

This company of drapers first advertised in 1878. They were located in the Kingsford’s Buildings, Queens Street, Brisbane. In 1890 the ‘bankrupt stock’ of the firm was being sold.

Mr Jones was Charles Henry Jones, born in 1848 in New South Wales. He moved to Brisbane in 1873 and stayed there until perhaps the time of the bankruptcy in 1890, before moving back to Sydney where he died in 1898, aged only 50 years.


C. Hemsley, Sydney:

Charles Richard Hemsley (1839-1926) was an importer of ‘Men’s Mercery’ in partnership with John Gard as ‘Gard and Hemsley’ from 1869-1971. He continued the business own his own at 390 George Street, Sydney and advertised as supplying uniforms. In 1880 the business was bought by Gowing Brothers. the business continued under the name of ‘C. Hemsley’ until 1895 at 43 Erskine Street.

Sydney Morning Herald, 11th February 1876.

Christie’s, Sydney:








From their webpage:

“Our firm was established in 1895 in Sydney, and were one of the first tenants in the Strand Arcade. Over the years we have moved about within the city, and currently sell from our city store at 276 Pitt St as well as manufacturing and wholesaling from our factory/office at Marrickville.”

William Christie started his business as a specialist umbrella maker. His father had come to Melbourne from Scotland when William was young although he later moved to Sydney. The business also sold ladies wear, Scottish dress and accessories as well as military dress acessories and flags.

The Hebrew Standard of Australasia, 4th July 1952.


Christison & Burnett, Brisbane:

In 1923 this firm operated from the ‘Metropolitan Buildings, 85 Adelaide Street, Brisbane. Around 1940-141 they were in the ‘Primary Building’ then  after this the ‘Desmond Chambers’ at 303 Adelaide Street.

Burnett was probably Harold Stephen Burnett (1896-1978) who was president of the Master Tailors’ Association. Christison may have been David (1861-1946) or his son John William Christison (b. 1889).

C. K. Moore, Sydney:

Charles Kelso Moore (1834-1894) was an Irishman and merchant who lived in Sydney from 1859 onwards. His business supplied tenders for the public service and Post Office. He was very involved in public life, running as Major for Waverley, as well as being involved in the New South Wales Rifle Brigade and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

Queanbeyan (NSW), 30th October 1873.

Clayton and Croucher,  South Melbourne:

Published in Record, 1926.

All I can find is that these gentlemen were tailors/clothing manufacturers operating from the corner of Dorcas and Clarendon Streets, South Melbourne, in about 1925-27.

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C. Ledlin, Bathurst:

Bathurst Times 29th April 1913.

Charles Christopher Ledlin was a cutter for E.J. and D. Curran for 10 years before leaving to work on his own at 119 George Street in Bathurst. He was also a hotel owner. He died in 1947 at the age of 78 years.

Clifford & Fulton, Bendigo:

This partnership lasted from around 1931 until 1938, at Bath Corner, Bendigo.  Charleville (named after his birth place in Queensland) Clifford (1897-1955) was a  draper and mercer. He was bankrupt in 1940. I cannot work out who “Fulton” was, as no draper or tailor was listed by that name in the electoral rolls.

Advocate, 12th February 1931. Charling Cross was a tram stop at the intersection of  View Street and Pall Mall.

Cook, Son & Co. Ltd, Hindley Street Adelaide:

Daily Herald, 13th October 1919.

The back entrance of the store.

John’s son Filmer Wesley Cook, in 1939.

John Cook (1868-1948) was associated with the firm of ‘James Marshall & Co’ for 27 years, then was in the partnership of ‘Threlfall & Cook’. In 1914 ‘Cook, Son & Company Limited started. John Cook bought the business of Mr Harry Stephen Thwaites in Hindley Street and opened a “up-to-date tailoring, mercery, and clothing store”, renamed Cook, Son & Co.  He ran it with  his son, Filmer Wesley Cook, and partners William John Gilmour and Ralph Dillon Radford. They had an extensive mail order service.

Harry Stephen Thwaites. 1930.

Filmer Wesley Cook. 1942.









Ralph Dillon Radford. c 1915.















Cox & Lett, Parkes:

This button was found in 1987 in the ashes of a burnt home near Parkes. Thanks to Esther for sending it to me.

This was a (self proclaimed) enterprising and popular ladies clothing, mercery and tailoring business from circa 1914.. The partners were Milton Carl Cox and Harold Watson Lett. Their premises was called “The Red House” in 1917-18.

Western Champion, 10th October 1918.

In 1922 the partnership was dissolved, and Harold Lett moved to Cessnock. He would be awarded an OBE in 1958 for his “support of civil, charitable, educational and sporting activites”.

The Cessnock eagle and South Maitland Recorder, 22nd June 1945.








On April 3rd, 1934, Milton Cox, a wealthy businessman now living in Bexley with 2 sons and a newborn daughter, went missing. His abandoned car was found the next day near his shop, but on the 20th April he was still missing, and there was no further news regarding this. Did he met foul play, or leave to start a new life under a new name? His wife never remarried, and died in 1988, aged 93 years.

Cragie & Co, Melbourne:







William Cameron Craigie senior ran his tailoring concern from 1889 at 265 Little Collins Street. The button is just marked ‘Craigie & Co’ but the business was actually called ‘W. C. Craigie & Co’, and in 1933 was listed as a propriety limited company with his son Alexander Thomas Craigie. It continued after his death in 1936, last mentioned in the newspapers in 1941.

The Herald 27th June 1940.

Cramond & Dickson, Warrnambool:

In 1855 John Glass Crammond (1831-1910) and James Dickson ( 1831-1910)  started a general store specialising in drapery imported from London. The partnership was dissolved in 1886, with the business staying with the Dickson family until 1974.  It was the oldest store in Victoria trading under its original name.  James Dickson junior, who married the daughter of the co-founder, would manage the business after his father.

Sadly, the store has been demolished. For further information, see and

Crawford & Co, Melbourne:

In 1890, Abraham Crawford, a draper of Ballarat, went into partnership with Andrew King & Co who ran a warehouse at 250-252 Flinders Street.

Advocate, 18th October 1890

In 1895 the form was declared insolvent, with Crawford taking over at the same address. (One partner claimed that Crawford had manipulated the situation to get rid of his partners.)

In November 1897, “The Great Fire of Melbourne” which destroyed a whole city block, including Craig, Williamson P/L, also destroyed the warehouse. (see entry for this company on department store page.)

Leader, 27th November 1897

C. R. Hiam, Balaclava:

Charles Robert Hiam (1855-1924) established his tailoring business in 1887 in Carlisle Street,  Balaclava having previously worked for Gissing and Co. He advertised “cricketing and sporting garments made to order” and was at one time “the oldest established tailor in St Kilda.”

C. R. Martin, Melbourne:


The Age (Melbourne), 3rd July 1884.

Charles Roper Martin (1833-1910) arrived in Melbourne in 1852 on the same ship as my husband’s great-grandfather. In 1885 he established an importing business in Flinders Lane, particularly gold and silver lace. He was a pioneer of the Melbourne Cavalry Troop, and rose to the rank of Commanding officer, retiring with the rank of Major. His interest in military matters extended to importing/manufacturing of military trappings. The button above shows a Queen Victoria crown and was produced for the Queensland Railways. The one below is apparently a Queensland Volunteers uniform button. He was the brother of G. F. Martin, of Stokes and Martin. He may have sourced his buttons from them.

Weekly Times, 30th July 1910.

C. T. Hasler, Castlemaine:

Here is a draper better known for his accomplishments outside of work. He was a singer, choir master, organist and conductor. Born in 1863 he was a son of John Darby Hasler, draper, woollen draper, hatter, hosier, etc., of Market Square in Castlemaine. Presumably Charles took over the business after the sudden death of his father in 1896 due to pneumonia. Charles moveded to Melbourne in 1922 and died there in 1946.

David Campbell, Warracknabeal:

David (Davy) Campbell described himself as a Scotsman, but was born in Melbourne in 1875. He came to Western Victoria circa 1899 where he ran a tailoring business, first in Warracknabeal, then Horsham, then Dimboola before moving back to Melbourne. He died in Yarraville in 1945. He must have had quite a sense of humour ( and a ‘thing’ about camels)… just look at his advertising from the Warracknabeal Herald:

16th Jan 1914.

5th May 1914.

7th July 1914.

25th September 1914.

26th Oct 1915.

2nd November 1915.

David Moyle & Co., Ballarat:

Prior to setting up his own concern, David Moyle (1866-1916) had worked as a cutter for Twentymans (see tailoring pages). He worked in Moyle Street from 1907 until his untimely death in 1916. As an active member of the Lydiard Street Methodist Church, he was sorely missed.

Ballarat Star, 16th November 1907.

Davies & Leon,  Melbourne:

The Herald, 8th August 1940. The tailors were enlisting (“joining the The Colours”) and so sold their stock to Myer’s.

D. Cleary, Bendigo:

Dennis Cleary was born circa 1869 in Clare, Ireland. He came to Victoria in 1869. In 1873 he went to Bendigo and opened a tailoring business in McCrae Street. In 1905 it became D.Cleary & Sons. Dennis died in 1912. His sons continued to trade until around 1930.

Denton Bros”, Bendigo:

William James Greaney Denton (1862-1936) with his brother Frederick John Denton (1864-1934) started the ‘Eclipse Tailoring’  establishment in Mitchell Street, Bendigo, in 1886. By 1890 they had a branch in Melbourne, which ran until 1912.

From the “Lost Bendigo” Facebook page.

Another brother, James Greaney (1866-1939), who had been an auctioneer in Melbourne, took over the Bendigo branch some time before 1903. His son Keith Douglas Denton (1890-1970) joined the firm. The Bendigo branch closed around 1922, and Fred moved to Melbourne to continue tailoring.  James was remembered as a renown charity worker in Bendigo.

D. J. Humphreys, Sydney:

Mr D.Humphrey was listed as a tailor in Sydney from around 1863-1883.

Evening News, 28th June 1883.

D. M. Mackintosh, Melbourne:

The Herald, 26th December 1910.

Dobinson, Kyenton

William and his son Judson Dobinson were engaged in “the study of the philosophy of dress in all its ramifications” from 1852 in the ‘Hall of Commerce’,  and Alex Piper Street, Kyneton. They were drapers, outfitters, miliners, dressmakers, tailors and mercers, importers, wholesale and retail. William retired in 1866. The firm was known as Daniel and Dobson from 1873-1880 then the firm became A. & J. Dobinson around 1880,  the sons Judson and Alex continuing the business in Kyenton and Echuca.

Above: from the Leader, 16th September, 1893.

Picture from the Weekly Times, 1st December 1900

Donaldson & Co, Adelaide:

Originally this firm was known as Donaldson, Andrews & Sharland. It opened as  wholesale drapers in Rundle Street, around February 1866.  The founders where Alexander Donaldson, Robert Charles Andrews and William Henry Sharland.

William Henry Sharland, 1828-1911.


Alexander Donaldson left to live in England in 1870. His son George Frederick Donaldson also worked with the firm. In 1891 the became Donaldson, Andrews & Co, then around 1913 Donaldson’s Limited. In 1933-4 it was taken over by Glassons Limited. The firm expanded over the years to retail as well as wholesale, and became a department store. It had a store in Moonta.

Rundle st, c. 1860s. State Library Collection.


Moonta Store, Chronicle, 2 September 1899.

Available in store, 1900.

Dyer & Millar, St Kilda:

Dyer & Millar operated from 113 Acland Street, St Kilda from around 1913-1923. They were Leslie Eldred Dyer (1883-1957) and David Mitchell Millar (1889-1953).

Edwards & Veal, Maryborough:

Arthur Llewelyn Edwards (1897-1982) and Francis John Veal (1899-1990), both of Ballarat, bought the business of W.M. Collins, Maryborough, in 1921. They were in partnership until 1935, when Edwards continued alone, and Veal moved to St Arnaud, Shepparton then back to Ballarat. These two lived to ripe old ages, unlike so many tailors!

E.J. & D. Curran, Bathurst:

Edward J. Curran (originally Curren) was originally a cutter for W.G. Ward in Bathurst. He set up his own business, Curran and Taylor, in 1892,  then E.J. & D. Curran (with his brother Daniel) in 1895, which was very successful.

The building of E.J. and D. Curran, Bathurst.

National Advocate (Bathurst), 1st April 1932.

This remarkable man went back to school, studying science and law, and worked as a Barrister in Sydney. He then studied medicine, and went on to establish the Opthamologly Department at Kansas University, USA, becoming known as “the miracle man of Kansas”, and was a pioneer in the area of glaucoma. He was also the Professor of Human Anatomy and Physiology at the Kansas University. Not bad for a tailor! He died in 1962.

E. J. Gleeson, Ararat:

Edward James Gleeson was born in Maryborough in 1871. In 1902  he sold his tailoring business there and moved to Ararat where he lived and work for the rest of his line. He died in 1954.

Ararat Chronicle, 3rd January 1914.

Elliott Williams, Clare:

Elliott Williams was born in Burra in 1888. He ran a tailoring shop in Main Street, Clare for over 40 years, selling out to his sons Errol Elton and Horace Searle Williams. They, however, only continued the dry-cleaning section of the business.

E. Thomas, St Kilda:

Mr Elijah Thomas, tailor and outfitter of Grey Street,  St Kilda. According to the information found in , he came from England around 1900. Three generations of his family operated  “E.Thomas Pty. Ltd. Mercers and Men’s Ware” from then until 1980.

E. Storr & Son, Adelaide:

Edwin Storr and his son Francis ran this firm from 1897.

Critic, 29th March 1902.

Chronicle, 29th September 1928

F. A. Johnson, Richmond:

Frederick Adolph Johnson was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1888.  From 1930 he lived in Richmond, moving to Morwell around 1939.

F. A. Pearse, Corowa:

Frederick Arthur Pearse (1879-1952) described himself as  an ‘art tailor and mercer” in 1912.  He re-badged himself as a “Ladies’ and Gents’ Modern tailor” and advertised until 1932.

The Corowa Chronicle 1st May 1926.

The Corowa Chronicle 26th November 1927

F. Bourne & Son, Adelaide:

Unley Gallipoli Day program, 12th October 1918.

Frederick Bourne was born in 1855 in Kent and arrived in South Australia in 1873. He started as a tailor in 1888 in Adelaide, then in Kadina and Moonta before moving back to Adelaide in 1903. One of his 5 sons, a George Horation Bourne worked with his father and continued the business after Fred died of injuries sustained when a train hit the car he and three others were traveling in. (All 4 men died as a result of the crash.)

F. Budden & Son, Muswellbrook:

Frank Budden (1861-1939) was in business as a tailor from around 1885. In 1921 he sold the business to his son, Reginald Frank Budden, to be carried on under the name of Frank Budden and Son. The name changed to R. F. Budden & Co in 1933. It was still trading in 1953.

The Muskellbrook Chronicle, 21st December 1923.

The Muskellbrook Chronicle, 16th March 1934 page 5.

Fitzgerald Bros., Ballarat:

James Joseph Fitzgerald (1845-1895) came to Victoria from Ireland in 1865. He reached Ballarat in 1868 and opened a drapery store in Bridge Street in 1870.

Advocate 5th February 1870.

Later that year his brother Edward (1849-1918), who had arrived in 1869, joined him to form Fitzgerald Bros.

The Ballarat Courier 22nd July 1870.

His parents and siblings, including brothers John Michael (1851-1926) and Thomas Stephen (1852-1888) joined them in Ballarat in 1871 where his father John set up practice as a solicitor. These brothers also joined the drapery business. Things must have gone well, as in 1878 they bought a business in Errol Street, North Melbourne, next to the Empire Hotel which they purchased in 1884 and demolished in 1897 to expand their emporium.

Unfortunately, founding brother James died unexpectedly in 1895. At that stage they were described as “drapers and clothiers at Ballarat, North Melbourne and Dublin”. Thomas had also died by then. The remaining brothers had to sell the Ballarat store.

The North Melbourne store had to be closed in 1938. Apparently, the moving of the tram line from Errol Street reduced customers! A mail order section of the business continued until 1947.

James J. Fitzgerald Weekly Times 20th July 1895.

Leader 17th Jul 1909. Fitzgerald Bros. in Errol Street.

Fred Ogle, Mortdale:

Fred was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire in 1891. He came to Sydney in 1912. His first tailoring seems to have been done at Nathalia, near Echuca before moving to Mortdale by 1922. In 1926 his 11 month old son died, then in 1929 he was fined for illegal betting from his shop. He ended up having a nervous breakdown, and went missing for 2 days in the bush, before returning home in a bad state to receive medical care. He must have recovered, as he lived until the age of 92 years. Even in 1980 he still listed himself as a tailor in the electoral rolls. (He would have been 89 years!)

In a report  of early businesses by the Oatley Heritage Group he was remembered:
“On one side of our shop was Mr Fred Ogle’s tailoring business of our shop where he sat cross
legged on a table in the window sewing and finishing men’s suits by hand. Each day he would
disappear at 4:30pm for his walk to the Oatley Pub for his schooner.”
“He was almost a fixture in the street”

F. Williamson, Warrnambool:

Edward ( 1841-1925) passed his tailoring business on to his son in 1918. Fredrick ( 1880-1945) became the mayor of Warrnambool. He collapsed and died suddenly during a council meeting, soon after an operation.

G. Bailey, Daylesford:

George was born in Ballarat in 1859. He worked as a tailor in Daylesford from at least 1902 until 1909, perhaps even through to 1917. However, from around 1914 onwards his main employment was as the local rate collector. He died in 1942.


Advocate, 25th January 1902.

Geo. Volk, Marybrough:

George Volk was born in Victoria in 1868. His father Jakob moved around the gold fields. Sometime after 1885 they moved to Maryborough. He had a ladies and gentlemen’s tailoring business at 191 Nolan Street until he left for Melbourne in May 1918, leaving the business in his son Charles hands. He died suddenly the next year, aged only 58 years.

G. Griska, Preston:

George Feliz Griezka was born in Austria in 1877. He  married Mary Ann Duffy in Melbourne in 1904 and was naturalised as an Australian citizen in 1905.  His name was variously spelt as Griezka, Griczka and Griska. The couple moved to Wangaratta where Mary had family, but moved back to Melbourne in 1914. George operated his tailoring concern in Preston from 1924 until at least 1949. Mary died in 1930, and George remarried in 1945. He died in 1960.

Gilbert A. Parker, Melbourne:

Gilbert Alexander Parker was born in 1897 in Bunbury,  West Australia.  His family moved to Melbourne after the death of his father.  He started work as a tailor’s cutter,  progressed to tailor and then manager.  In 1929 to 1931 he advertised for sewers and machinists to work at 152 Elizabeth Street,  4th Floor.

The Age, 15th November 1929.

G. L. Fuller & Co.Ltd.: Sydney

The Telegraph, 22nd September 1932.

George Lawrence Fuller, son of Sir George Fuller (former N.S.W. premier) listed a company of tailors and mercers in September 1932 with a Mr George Newton. Not suprisingly, they were called Newton & Fuller Limited, operating from 84 Pitt Street, Sydney. The name was changed in November 1934 to G.L.Fuller & Co.Ltd, probably to take full advantage of the upper-class value of his name. The company advertised until 1945, after which George became a member of the Stock exchange, and in 1950 joined the partnership of J.Neil and Fuller. Unfortunately, he died in 1953 at the young age of 49 years.

The Sun (Sydney), 16th April 1935.

26th May 1938 The Bulletin

G. R. Barker, Wangaratta:

G. R. Barker. The Age 15th April 1950.

Sporting Globe, 24th January, 1934.

Mr George Raymond Barker (1898-1970) had a store in Murphy Street, Wangaratta from around 1918. He was heavily involved in the Victorian Country Football league. He also raised prize winning poultry.

In 1932 he had the unpleasant experience of fatally hitting a man with his car. The man had stepped out from behind his parked truck as George was driving past.

G. Stupart, Maryborough:

Pre 1911.

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, 16th April 1872.

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, 7th March 1936.


George Stupart was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1841. He moved first to London, then to Brisbane in 1862. In partnership with Mr John Young he had drapery and grocery stores in Ipswich, Helidon and Gatton, Queensland, around 1865. They sold up and moved to Gympie in 1868 during its gold rush, then to Marysborough in 1871 and established what became known as the “Drapery Palace”. Young left the business after a short while, Stupart continuing alone. The store was destroyed in a fire in 1876, but he rebuilt, only to suffer from a flood in 1893. None-the-less he prospered, and in 1911 the firm became Stuparts Limited. It was by then a department store, including a furniture department. He had been very active in the community, in the chamber of commerce, the Presbyterian Church and in 1890 he was the mayor of Maryborough. When he died in July 1918., he was remembered as the “Grand Old Man of Maryborough”.  The following year Allan & Stark took a controlling interest in the firm. In 1976 it was part of the Burns Philip & Co group of companies. The company  was still in existence in 1987, however, the store in Maryborough ceased to trade as Stupard’s sometime after 1974.

George Stupart.

G. T. Cooper Framlington:

There was a George T. Cooper listed at Camperdown around 1889-1907. No other details have been found.

Guest & Glover: Melbourne

Guest and Glover were tailors from around 1930-1952, at first on the second floor, The Block, then later at 234 Collins Street.

Advocate(Melbourne),  21st June 1934.

 G. Waldrop Pty. Ltd, Melbourne:

George Waldrop started his tailoring and mercers business around 1885. It was taken over by Roger David Pty. Ltd. in 1977.

Screen shot 2017-03-20 at 7.36.53 PM

Eltham and Whittlesea Shires Advertiser 14th October 1921

Haigh Brothers, Melbourne:


Haigh Brothers were tailors and outfitters in Collins Street from 1853 through until at least 1926.

The Argus 18th June 1853.

The Argus 27th November 1923.

Circa 1883.  Collins Street from Town Hall.

Harris & Boyd, Sydney

The Methodist, 3rd November 1923.

Mr H. E. Harris and Mr Omar Arthur Boyd operated as Harris & Boyd at 313 Pitt Street, Sydney, from around 1923 until 1929. Their slogan was “For a Better Suit”. Harris went on his own, but was in liquidation by 1931. He  joined Mr H. V. Harris (presumably a relation) in the Eldon Chambers on Pitt Street in 1932-3.

Mr Boyd registered the name Harris & Boyd as a Limited company in 1936 which operated until 1975.

The Methodist, 25th February 1933. Harris had left the partnership before this date.

Harry Davies & Co, Ballarat:

Harry Davies  (1848-1914) took over from S. Steele at 125-7 Sturt Street, Ballarat in 1882 for his drapery warehouse. His brother Frederick Gillies Davies ( 1857-1922) was his junior business partner.

Harry Davies c.1898

Fred Davies c.1898.

In 1919 His son, Harry junior, and his daughter-in-law, Avenel, died of the Spanish flu within hours of each other, leaving a one year old daughter orphaned. Another son had died the year before in the war.

 A not so subtle advert in The Ballarat Star 11th July 1894. The company became propriety limited around 1914.

Weekly Times 26th February 1898.

H. Brewer, North Fitzroy:

Henry (Harry) Brewer, 1868-1946, was a renown champion lawn bowler. He also was a tailor and cricketer!

Henderson & Goodisson, Bendigo:

Thomas Hope Henderson (1833-1899) and John Ralph Goodisson (1851-1907) took over the drapery and clothing business  in the “Beehive Store” in 1886.