2nd March 2021


Qantas has changed its logo and uniforms multiple time since its inception in 1920.

The Argus (Melbourne), 19th October 1920 page 13.

The Bush brother: a quarterly paper, September 1926: Qantas plane at Brunette in 1926.

In 1934 Qantas and Imperial Airways ( a forerunner of British Airways) formed Qantas Empire Airways Limited (QEA). The first services were between Brisbane and Darwin, extending to Singapore in 1935. Most of the fleet were used for war service during WW2. Post war, services were extended to Britain.

Both by Stokes & Sons.  Worn until 1967.

National Library image #40511083. 1945.

Button by A.J.Parkes Brisbane. On stewards uniforms dating from ? 1959 or 1964-69.


Walkabout (magazine), 1st November 1954 page 10. Note the winged kangaroo on the tail.

In 1944 a kangaroo logo was first introduced. In 1947 this changed to a blue ‘flying kangaroo’. In 1968 the flying kangaroo turned red. This logo lasted until 1984 when the wings were dropped.

1974 to 1987 Pilot button

1969-1987 button with a ‘map of Australia’ button.







These buttons have no backmarks, and may have been made in China, as the uniforms were.

1993-2003 all contact staff

2003-7 Pilot’s button

Pointy leg. ?post 2007 Crew button

1989-1994 corporate wear









In 1934 there was a smart new uniform of khaki. The tropical uniform consisted of “biscuit coloured shorts, shirt, and tunic, with a khaki sun helmet.”

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 4th April 1938 page 7.

The  crew uniforms were changed in the years , 1959, 1965, 1969, 1971, 1985, 1994, 2003, 2008 and 2016.

National Archives.# 7462187       1954.

National Archives. #8144880

The Canberra Times, 19th May 1985 page 38. The  1971 design uniform.

The Bulletin, 25th March 1972 page 67.

The Canberra Times, 28th December 1993 page 16. Midnight blue uniform designed by Gross and Watt.

Qantas Designed by Morrissey Vest 2003: image used with owners permission.










Thanks to Darren for information on dating the buttons.

1st March 2021

Uniform Buttons


No backmark.

CityRail was the branding of passenger services in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong from 1989-2003. In was superceded by Sydney Trains and NSW Trainlink. The logo on the button was used until 2010.


Hobart Fire Brigade

Stokes & Sons Melb.

The first 1859 the first Hobart Fire station was established. In 1879 the Hobart Town Fire brigade advertised that it was maintained “soley by the undermentioned Insurance Companies”, naming eleven in all, and warning that the brigade would not service businesses not insured by those named!! In 1883 the Governing Council approved a new Hobart Fire Brigade to take over the existing fire tower and fire fighting equipment. In 1911 the headquarters was moved from Bathurst Street to Argyle Street.

Libraries Tasmania image # PH30-1-1641. 1900

Libraries Tasmania image #PH30-1-1628. Hobart Fire Brigade Station 1910.






28th Febrauary 2021

A story from WW1 …

Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld), 21st March 1941 page 2.


Hawthorn Tramways Trust

The Hawthorn Tramways Trust was formed in 1914 to construct and manage electric tramways within the cities of  Melbourne, Richmond, Hawthorn and Camberwell. They also purchased a horse tramway. At that time most tramways around Melbourne were the cable type. In 1920 their responsibilities transferred to the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways, when all the  separate tramways were amalgamated.

They operated the Hawthorn Tram Depot and set up Wattle Park in Burwood in 1916, which was officially opened in April 1917.

Punch (Melbourne), 14th March 1918 page 24. The Hawthorn Electric Tramways Trust Official Group.



27th February 2021

 Naval Auxiliary Patrol

Thanks to Colin.

See also Cossum page 58.

The N.A.P. were sponsored by the Navy on 25th June 1941 to patrol the whole coastline of Australia . It absorbed the existing  Volunteer Coastal Patrol, formed in 1938, originally with ten Sydney Yachtsmen but growing to over 1000 men in  ports and inlets from Queensland to the border of South Australia. In May 1942 the NAP was transferred into the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve. The strength was over 3,000 men until 1944, when the risk of enemy attack was low enough to reduce to a minimum strength. Full time service volunteers became members of the RAN and received naval rates of pay and wore naval uniform.

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 25th July 1941 page 5.


The Telegraph (Brisbane), 17th January 1942 page 4.

Australian War Memorial, image #055967. 1943: New entry N.A.P. seamanship class.

See  https://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/publications/naval-auxiliary-patrol

25th February 2021


Tailors’ Buttons, Again!

McPherson, Callander Pty Ltd

Alexander McPherson had run a tailoring business since 1908. The partnership with Roy Milton Callander (1892-57) ran from 1918 until 1952.

Numurkah Leader (Victoria), 29th October 1919 page 2.

Shepparton Advertiser (Victoria), 19th December 1921 page 6.


E. Scheding, Sydney

Eric Otto Gabriel Scheding was born in Sweden in 24th March 1892. He came to Sydney in 1925 and applied for naturalisation in 1930. He was a tailor from 258 George Street, Sydney.


G. W. Jenkins, Eaglehawk

Gilbert William Jenkins (1878-1959) had a tailoring shop in High Street, Eaglehawk from 1906 onwards.

The Bendigo Independent (Vic), 18th December 1913 page 6.




24th February 2021

A tailor’s button

W. Small, Germanton

This small button is a relic of pre-WW1 times, before the Germanic place names were rejected in  a tide of nationalism and xenophobia. According to  https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/ww1/germanton-or-holbrook over 90 place names changed during WW1. Some, such as Lobethal (changed to Tweedvale in 1917) reinstated the original name after hostilities ended (12th December 1935 in South Australia). Others remained changed; Germanton remained  Holbrook from 1915, named for a naval hero, and graced with his submarine in the local park despite its distance from the sea.

In 1894 William Small and William Carr Low  set up in business in Germanton as ‘Small and Low’. In 1900 they moved to a new brick shop near the intersection of Young and Albury Streets, Albury.  There was also a branch in Newtown. In 1912  Mr Small bought out his partner, and continued as ‘W. Small’ in Dean Street, Albury.

Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), 5th March 1914 page 29.

His son, William Ambrose Small, born in Germanton in 1900, was also a tailor, then later a grazier. Presumably the above button dates prior to the partnership with W. Low in 1894.


Scouting buttons


No backmark.

XVIII Commonwealth Games

No mark.

These Games were held in Melbourne in 2006. The button come from clothing sold as merchandising for the Games.

Detail from a polo shirt.





23rd February 2021

New Finds

Strange Maxart packaging:

The price dates this to the early 1960s. It looks like shrike wrapping, but unlike, say Astor buttons, without a backing card.


Confirmation of the Manufacturer of Embassy branded buttons:

I previously identified General Plastics as the manufacturer from  identical button designs appearing on both Embassy and Beauclaire cards (and, for that matter, on Woolworths cards). This refill card confirms that G. J. Coles stores ordered their buttons from General Plasticd Ltd.

From 1957 General Plastics was merged into G. Herring (Beutron), with embassy and Woolworths cards of buttons supplied G. Herring.

22nd February 2021

Now for a short break from tailors’ buttons, Carol has some new Disney items.

This one is cute, but I don’t think Donald Duck ever wore a mortar board in cartoons.

And now Mickey:

Wooden button.







Just because we love Scotty dogs:


21st February 2021

Yet more tailors’ buttons


W. Lowe & Co., Sydney

Evening News, 10th October 1903 page 5.










William Lowe came to Australia around 1889. He started in 1899 as a hat and mercery importer and manufacturer in Oxford Street, with just two employees. Prior to this he had worked at Gowing Bros., and Mark Foy’s.

The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 12th September 1906 page 653. The first store in Oxford St.

They soon expanded next door. Another sign of success was the registering of a trademark, and expansion into outfitting.

Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales, 30th July 1901 page 5873

The Catholic Press (Sydney), 13th November 1902 page 24.

They continued to expand, purchasing a four storey building in George Street in 1903, then extended to next door in 1904. That year they opened a footwear department and started mail order.

The Bulletin, 26th January 1905 page 21.

Evening News (Sydney), 7th September 1904 page 3.












For the first anniversary of the George St store, every 25th customer received his or her money back! By 1905 over 300 people were employed by the firm. In 1906 the Oxford Street branch became exclusively for ladies apparel, and the George Street store for boys and menswear. By 1907 they no longer traded in ladies wear, “owing to the great growth of their tailoring, hat, and ready-to-wear clothing for men and boys. The George St building had a four storey expansion  started in 1910. In 1911 the business was registered as a company, Lowe’s Ltd. The business extended to Newcastle in 1916.

‘Bill’ Lowe died of pneumonia in August 1936, aged 61 years. The business then comprised eleven stores and employed more than one thousand people. He was a well liked boss who had promoted better wages for retail staff.

The Argus (Melbourne) 14th August 1936 page 10.

The Newcastle Sun (NSW), 13th August 1936 page 10.


See also  http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/branded-buttons/branded-buttons-tailors-buttons-g-l/#L