The Herald (Melbourne), 13th August 1947 page 9. Post WW2 the need for an updated uniform was addressed. As it can be seen, the men were sick of polishing buttons! The following news in 1948 would have been welcome:
It was noted that the old stocks of uniforms were expected to last until mid 1949, so that dates the modern “Staybrite” (anodised aluminium) buttons from 1949-1950 on Australian uniforms, although they had obviously been developed in 1948 if not earlier. Aluminium uniform buttons (possible not anodised?) occurred much earlier.
When aluminium was first developed in 1825 it was as expensive as gold. When bars of aluminium were exhibited in Paris in 1855, Napolean wished to equip his army with the light-weight metal. As it was too expensive, he settled for aluminium buttons for his own uniform and a set of forks and spoons. Aluminium buttons and Belt fasteners were advertised in Australian newspapers from 1861. In 1886 a 22 year old American chemist discovered how to produce it inexpensively. From then on fashion buttons and uniform were made of the metal.