1st November 2021


Woolworths sold drapery from its beginning as a bargain basement store in Sydney in 1924, and soon added haberdashery.

Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney), 25th September 1924 page 5.

The Sun (Sydney), 4th December 1924 page 15.

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 9th May 1928 page 11. This is the earliest mention of buttons I have found in Woolworths advertising.

Unfortunately, little items like cards of buttons seemed to attract shoplifters;

News (Adelaide), 20th February 1952 page 2.

Why shop lift inexpensive items such as buttons? According to Wikipedia; “Motivations for shoplifting are controversial among researchers, although they generally agree that shoplifters are driven by either economic or psychosocial motives. Psychosocial motivations may include peer pressure, a desire for thrill or excitement, impulse, stealing because judgment is clouded by intoxication, or doing so because of a compulsion. Depression is the psychiatric disorder most commonly associated with shoplifting. Shoplifting is also associated with family or marital stress, social isolation, having had a difficult childhood, alcoholism or drug use, low self-esteem, and eating disorders, with bulimic shoplifters frequently stealing food. Some researchers have theorized that shoplifting is an unconscious attempt to make up for a past loss.”

Some Woolworth cards of buttons can be dated by the logo used.

This logo was used from 1957-1972. However, the “Sew’n’Save” branding was used on button cards from 1967-1972.

This logo was used from 1972-1987.









The earlier cards featuring W logo from 1972-1987 had “Made in Australia” printed on the cards, with prices raging from 20 to 70 cents. The cards below range in price from 65 cents to one dollar 15 cents, so date later in this period. Perhaps they were not made in Australia?