30th September 2022

A Button Bulletin

The Australian Worker (Sydney), 24th February 1937 page 5.

Beutron Quilter’s Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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29th September 2022

Buttons in the News.

The Brisbane Courier, 7th June 1928 page 19.

Above: In 1928 the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr Winston Churchill) delivered a budget statement. Amongst other changes to custom duties was one for a 33¹⁄3 percent duty on “buttons used for fastening or decoration” (are there other types?).

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 19th September 1931 page 10.

Above: In 1929 Burns Philp (a once major shipping and merchant company), with encouragement from the federal government, started the ‘Australian Pearlbutton Manufacturing Co. Ltd.’ to make MOP buttons. There had long been over-enthusiastic hopes for such an industry in Australia (see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/australian-button-history/pearl-shell-button-industry/). Employing only 24 people at its start in May 1931, it was hoped to employ up to 250. Despite high tariffs to protect this infant industry, by 1938 the company was making significant losses and in liquidation. The tariff, as seen above, had not been popular with local garment manufacturers.

 

The Labor Daily (Sydney), 14th March 1936 page 10.

In September 1931 the Japanese invaded the Chinese Province of Manchuria, with ongoing hostilities until the end of WW2. I can’t vouch for the story. Did the Chinese really use that quantity of European style buttons (as opposed to ‘frogs’) in 1936?

Late 1950s.

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28th September 2022

More Button Wisdom

The Queenslander (Brisbane), 7th April 1923 page 7.

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 25th January 1939 page 2.

Avon Argus and Cunderin-Meckering-Tammin Mail (WA), 10th September 1953 page 2.

Seven pennies for a buckle …

Early 1950s

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27th September 2022

Button Wisdom

The Brisbane Courier, 28th February 1924 page 15. 

Woman’s Mirror magazine, 1st May 1945 page 12.

 

Beutron buttons from 1966-67.

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26th September 2022

Woolworths Sew’n’Save

After branding their cards of buttons ‘Moonglow’ for over a decade, Woolworths changed to the “Sew’n’Save” branding from about 1967-1975 before changing to the “Big W” logo.

Wow! A crocheted nylon gown! Who said the 70s was the decade style forgot?

The Canberra Times (10th August 1972 page 17.

Sew’n’save card with the styles of cards that followed.

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25th September 2022

Beauclaire Presents …

The Precious Metal Look.

I can’t see that these buckles have a “precious metal look”, but that’s marketing for you. These are a good example of how the large (12 x 18.2 cm) cards left retailers with the options of either cutting up the cards as individual buckles were purchased, or else prising them off the card, leaving it looking tatty. No wonder that during the 1950s smaller cards of individual buckles were adopted, as well as smaller cards with a lesser number buttons. Much easier for the retailers.

Now some crafty ideas for making your own earrings!

The Daily Telegraph (Brisbane), 29th October 1953 page 22.

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24th September 2022

Woolworths: 1924 onwards

Although we now know Coles and Woolworths (and previously Safeway; absorbed into Woolworth in 2008) as supermarkets, they were originally variety stores. The move into food retailing occurred during the post WW2 years, but the selling of household items such as haberdashery continues to this day.

The City of Sydney Archives #048\048051. The first store shared the basement of the Imperial Arcade with a newspaper and billiard room, but was cheap!

The Sun (Sydney), 28th December 1924 page 18. Woolworths had only opened several weeks earlier on the 5th December.

Woolworths was started by five men, H.P. Christmas, S.E. Chatterton, C. Scott Waine, G.W.P Creed and E. R. Williams. Haberdashery was sold from the beginning, with cards of buttons advertised in newspapers from 1930.

From an article in the Australian Women’s Weekly, 28th June 1967 page 16.

Variety/bargain stores such as Coles and Woolworths had done well, even through the Great Depression:

Smith’s Weekly (Sydney), 4th November 1939 page p.

The war limited supply of good, but it was reported that this was easing in March 1946. They then controlled over 100 stores. By 1956 they had over 200 stores, and by 1967 they had nearly 1000 stores, employing nearly 30,000 Australian and New Zealanders.

Like Coles, they invested in home brands. The first, in 1928, was simply called Woolworths’. Later came Chevron, St Mark’s, Tania, Grandway, and Home Brand.

Australian Women’s Weekly 16th October 1974, page 35, showing the 5 home-brands of that time. The big, red ‘W’ was used from 1972.

This is a variation of the logo used from 1957-1967.

They now sell Korbond brand haberdashery. Korbond Industries Pty. Ltd. is an Australian firm, founded in Sydney in 1956, specialising in the manufacture and distribution of haberdashery.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 3rd February 1982 page 68.

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23rd September 2022

G. J. Coles: 1914 onwards

Although we now know Coles and Woolworths (and previously Safeway; absorbed into Woolworth in 2008) as supermarkets, they were originally variety stores. The move into food retailing occurred during the post WW2 years, but the selling of household items such as haberdashery continues to this day. They now sell Korbond brand haberdashery. Korbond Industries Pty. Ltd. is an Australian firm, founded in Sydney in 1956, specialising in the manufacture and distribution of haberdashery.

The Herald (Melbourne), 5th October 1922 page 22. Detail from 1922 sale, showing haberdashery items.

The Herald (Melbourne), 3rd May 1923.

 

Labor Call (Melbourne), 19th September 1935 page 9.

In 1936 G. J. Coles reported that although they originally spent 50 percent on overseas goods, by that year 80 percent of the goods sold in their stores were of Australian manufacture, principally from Melbourne and Sydney.

The Herald (Melbourne), 21st August 1940 page 5.

Trade restrictions during the war were challenging for firms such as Coles, due to restrictions on importation, the introduction of rationing in 1942, also restrictions on the manufacturing of civilian goods.

The Age (Melbourne), 24th August 1944 page 4.

The following year there were still shortages of staff and imported goods, as well as problems with logistics.

Embassy

For embassy branded buttons, see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/australian-button-history/g-j-coles-embassy-brand-1929-1994/

The home brand “Embassy” first appeared on gramophone records in 1929, with the number of items increasing from 1947 onwards. Other home brands included Starlet for cosmetics, Amassador for menswear and Farmland for food.

Part of a large advertisement for the opening of a new Coles store, in The Herald (Melbourne), 29th August 1929 page 13.

The Bulletin, 1st September 1973, page 65.

The Telegraph (Brisbane), 29th January 1947 page 6. The word ‘Embassy’ appears below the map of Australia.

The Canberra Times 6th December 1956 page 15. Alternative “Embassy Logo”.

The Canberra Times, 27th March 1958 page 11. Showing alternate artwork for the Embassy label.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 25th November 1959 page 83. The word ‘Embassy’ inside the map of Australia seems to date from 1959. This lasted until 1970.

From a 1972 advert.

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22nd September 2022

Very Australian Buttons

Gumnuts

I can’t imagine they would wash well!

Settlers & Co were a furniture/homewears outlet in Melbourne from 1987 until 2018.

For other seed pod buttons see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/its-un-australian/the-wide-world-of-materials/#Nutskernels

Barramundi Leather Button

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Wikipedia, Barramundi is a loanword from a Koori (Australian aboriginal) language from the Rockhampton region meaning “large-scaled river fish”. It has been applied for marketing purposes to  fish also known as the Asian or Australian seabass, although that was not the original fish of that name. For other references to fish skin leather, see http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/its-un-australian/the-wide-world-of-materials/#Leather

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21st September 2022

New Finds

Kencrest

Kencrest buttons were sold by David Kennedy. David Kennedy was a distributor/wholesaler. He was listed as a button merchant at a warehouse at 118 Flinders Lane in  the 1935 and 1940 phone directories. The prices indicated these buttons were sold from the late 1950s to mid 1960s. Some of the buttons are the same as those sold on Leda cards, so they were supplied by General Plastics and/or Beutron. See http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/australian-button-history/distributers-wholesalers-importers/#Kencrest

 

Early 1970s Beutron

Early 1970s Embassy

Originally supplied by General Plastics, after 1957 Embassy buttons were supplied by G. Herring and so appeared on Beutron-style cards with added thread.

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