23rd October 2022

Beutron Opal -Glo

Although they marketed many button-types, including ‘Originals’, ‘Tecpearl’ and ‘Boil Proof Whites’, arguably their most successful line was ‘Opal-Glo’, sold from 1949 through until around 1960. The branding took over from ‘Irridel’, which was used only briefly in 1948-9. I suspect the plastic for Irridel and Opal-Glo was the same, or nearly so, as Irridel was described as opalescent, so the new name better described the quality of the plastic they were trying to promote.

1949 advert detail.

Opal-Glo buttons were sold on both large and small cards, and came in many styles; the brand referring to the plastic type (a casein blend) rather than a button design. The smaller cards were never advertised, whereas the larger cards of 1-2 dozen were advertised from 1948-1953. Presumably the smaller cards were sold at the same time, as the artwork is the same. Beutron was heavily promoting the small cards with matching cotton, and were likely wanting to move away from the larger cards as customers would ask for a few buttons to be cut off. If you only wanted 3-4 buttons, why would you agree to buy 1 or 2 dozen? This was not an efficient way to sell buttons. The store owner would be left with leftover scraps of cards to try to sell, deterring the ordering of new stock. Better to train the customers to buy one or more cards of the buttons they wanted, even if the number was more than the sewing project needed. This was promoted as a sensible way to have match spare buttons if one were lost.

From 1949. styles # 842 and 871.

style #660

Style #837

From 1949 the  cards marked “All Purpose Button” were sold with 3-7 buttons per card, depending on the size. On the back they were clearly identified as Beutron Opal-Glo buttons.

With a couple of changes in card artwork, Opal-Glo buttons were still advertised until late 1957. In 1960 the artwork of the button cards changed again, and the branding ‘Opal-Glo’ was left out, although similar buttons continued to be sold.

?Late 1950s.

Possibly from 1958-60, cards of “Beutron TecOpal” buttons were sold. They were never advertised, but the name is obviously an amalgam of Opal-Glo and TecPearl. Very few cards turn up; perhaps they were not produced for long?

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