24th March 2023

New Finds

G. J. Coles & Coy Ltd/Embassy brand

Coles sold buttons on their own brand cards from the mid-late 1950s until 1992. Cards with rounded corners were used until G.Herring (Beutron) took over from General Plastics (Beauclaire) in supplying Coles sometime around 1960.

Post 1971 cards (new logo).

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 23rd November 1966 page 1972. Nylon slips and briefs. Wow! The map of Australia logo as seen on the earlier button cards hovers above her arm.



Woolworths also sold branded buttons from the mid 1950s through until the 1980s, although non-branded buttons had been sold since the 1920s.

Mid 1950s.

Feb 1966-Oct 1967.


The Australian Woen’s Weekly, 14th August 1957 page 14.

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23rd March 2023

Tailor’s Button

W.Koska, Bendigo

Wilhelm Martin Koska worked at “The Beehive” before opening his own store in Mitchell Street in 1909.

The Bendigo Independent (Vic), 27th February 1909 page 4.

He had been born in Prussia in 1873 and moved to Victoria by 1904. He lived  there until his death in 1937.

Sunraysia Daily (Mildura, Vic), 29th July 1939
7 page 4.

Leviathan Clothing Company

A picture of the building built in 1913 is shown on the branded buttons entry for the Leviathan. Below is a nice photo of the earlier building.

The Leader (Melbourne), 15th June 1895, page 4 of supplement.

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22nd March 2023

Tailor’s Buttons

London American, Melbourne



 Bear with me, this is a little convoluted:

Arthur Wellesley Ferne, clothier, joined ” The Wholesale Clothing Company”, started by J. T. Middleton, in 1879. Middleton left the business, with Mr Ferne taking over in 1880. By then there were several branches in Melbourne, including at the Eastern Market. These were sold to a Mr Sigismund Jacoby in June 1881.

The Argus (Melbourne), 2nd July 1881 page 10.

Ferne then set up a new store in Ballarat called the American Wholesale Clothing factory, run by the original Mr Middleton, so the two men had kept a business relationship. Ferne also set up the first “London and American Tailoring Company” in Sandhurst (Bendigo) in 1883  which ran until 1893, with a brief revival from 1902-8 under Middleton’s stewardship until closing due to his ill health.

Bendigo Advertiser, 17th January 1883 page 3.

There were several branches in Melbourne, operating from 1887 until at least 1956. Both the names The London American Supply Stores’ and the ‘London and American Tailoring Company’ were used; the former until 1919, the latter still existing in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, today.

NSW Government Gazette, 7th May 1897. The stores in Melbourne and Sydney, at least, had been linked. The partnership between Ferne and Doyle dissolved in 1899, with Ferne continuing alone.

There were branches of the ‘London and American Tailoring Company’ in west Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales.

See https://londonamericanstores.com.au/history/  NB: This page has some nice photos, but the history is in error.  The “London & American” business was not at the Eastern Market from 1878-1960 as claimed on this webpage.

This is another of the form’s buttons, from the Bendigo branch.

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21st March 2023

Tailors’ buttons

A. Miller & Sons, Ballarat

Just a quick explanation: I have listed tailors/store buttons on the “branded buttons” pages in alphabetical order, as written on the buttons, not alphabetically by the surname, as naming on the buttons is inconsistent. For example, from this tailor traded under the above name, but for 1918 changed to just ‘Millers, Ballarat’. See http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/branded-buttons/branded-buttons-tailors-buttons-m-r/

Davies & Swaine, Fitzroy

These tailors were located in Brunswick St, Fitzroy from around 1909 until 1926, when their shop fittings were being sold (so presumably the business had ceased).


Ball & Welch  Prop’ty Ltd

An unusal way to abbreviate ‘propriety limited’. See also http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/branded-buttons/branded-buttons-department-store-buttons-a-g/#B

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20th March 2023

New Finds from Carol: Beauclaire

Partial card of pearl dress ornaments from ? circa 1950.

Hand painted figural fish. These pre-date the 1954 advertising for “Tiny-Tot” buttons, as this style of card dates around 1950-53. The stripes on the tail would have been pains-taking to do.

Diamente embellished buttons were fashionable in the mid 1950s.

And a lovely button & buckle set carded for Myers around 1939 (probably imported).

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19th March 2023

New Finds from Carol: Beutron

Beutron buttons were only marketed as “Irridel” for a short period from 1948-9 (like below), then again in 1957. Strange that they resurrected an old branding.















Collectable novelty cards from 1957. You could send away for a colouring book to paste them in.











Just before and after decimal currency was introduced on 14th February 1966.















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18th March 2023

Military Mode 1930-1939

The military look dominated in 1936-7.

Advocate (Burnie, Tas), 27th April 1933 page 7.

Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld), 2nd December 1933 page 4.

Bowden Independant (Qld), 2nd August 1935 page 6.

The Maitland Mercury (NSW), 26th March 1936 page 3.

“A feminine expression of the military mode is this silver embossed lame cocktail jacket, with its frog fastenings.”

Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 31st May 1936 page 29. “The military mode is strongly emphasied”.

The North Midland Times (Moora, WA), 12th February 1937 page 6.

The Sun (Sydney), 11th February 1940 page 1: From top to toe; all aspects of appearance were effected. Hair styles changed to accommodate military style hats; stockings were heavier; hand bags large enough to be a “carry all” for air-raids; shorter heels and hemlines; and there were military style collars and accessories.

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17th March 2023

Happy St Patrick’s from Patricia!

Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration on the 17th March. This is by tradition (since the early 17th century) the date of the death of the patron saint of Ireland.

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16th March 2023

Military Mode 1920-1929

Fashion was less inspired by uniforms during this decade, but this was to change in the following decade, as international tensions rose.

Western Argus (Kalgoorie, WA), 18th April 1922 page 18.

The Brisbane Courier, 23rd April 1927 page 24. “Somewhat reminiscent of “Trilby” ids the suit militaire, tailored in blue serge and trimmed with gold shoulder adornments.”

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15th March 2023

Military Mode 1910-1915

As previously discussed, world events influenced many aspects of daily life, including fashion. Did this arise from a desire to feel a kinship with the men, to express one’s support, or just part of the pervasive zeitgeist of the times?  Perhaps the donning by women of ‘military’ styles was daringly ‘mannish’? Following are some examples of this from the pre WW1 and WW1 era.

The Sydney Mail and NSW Advertiser, 30th March 1910 page 48. ‘The tri-corne in black beaver … with give an excellent idea of the “military” modes of the hour.’

The Week (Brisbane), 12th November 1915 page 7. “The strappings on the blouse are indicative of the prevailing military modes.”

The Australasian (Melbourne), 5th February 1916 page 36.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 17th February 1915 page 5.

National Leader (Brisbane), 28th December 1917 page 3.

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