21st March 2022

New Zealand: Vogue

I suspect these buttons are the same as late 1940s G. Herring “Wash” or “Tub” buttons, under another name for sale in New Zealand


Mid 1950s Beauclaire ‘Moonglow’ buttons.


A new form of glass buttons from Western Germany named ‘moonstone’ or ‘moonglow’ were imported into America (according to The Big Book of Buttons) around 1954. These featured an opaque, reflective, coloured base layer with a transparent, often clear, top layer. This resulted in a button with a swirling, glowing appearance. In 1954 General Plastics Limited started marketing plastic ‘moonglow’ buttons. This cannot be co-incidental: General Plastics presumably wished to take advantage of interest in these fashionable glass buttons to promote their own  competing version of G. Herring’s successful ‘Irridel’ then ‘Opal-glo’ plastic buttons. The plastic buttons do have a nice opalescent sheen, like the glass buttons, but much more washable!

Why then, did they gradually change the name from ‘moonglow’ to ‘superglow’ over the next several years? Had the marketing not been as successful as they wanted? Were customers confused between the glass and plastic versions of moonglow buttons? Did they wish to suggest that these were ‘super’, i.e. better, than glass “glow” buttons due to their washability? It may have simply been that they were supplying Woolworths with “Moonglow” buttons, and wished to differentiate their own product.

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