24th February 2021

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.

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