Woolworths Limited: 1924 ongoing

Woolworths Limited


The ‘Woolworths Stupendous Bargain Basement’ opened in Sydney in December,1924 and by 1959 the 300th supermarket store had opened. In 1958 they opened their first supermarket.

In The Sun (Sydney) 19th April 1928 page 15. You must have gone through buttons to need to buy a gross!

The Sun (Sydney) 8th August 1935 page 21.











News, 21st July 1954 page 13. On sale at Woolworths.


Possibly from the early 1950s they sold their own lines of buttons, supplied at first by General Plastics then after 1957, by G. Herring. There were ‘Spares’ (utility/workwear), Boilproof, Moonglow, Hi-Style and Kiddietone (see the Childrens’ button page). Around the mid 1950s they added the name ‘Woolworths’ onto the cards. After 1957, they moved to the Beutron style cards with added cotton.



 Probably mid 1950s – 1957









1957 onwards

The addition of G.Herring “added cotton” dates these.

Below, two slightly different styles to all those above:




The first Woolworths Food Fair (combined food and variety stores) opened at Dee Why in April 1959. The triangle logo with the ‘W’ and Southern Cross within it dates from 1960 in newspaper advertising. This logo continued in use until 1967.


Probably the cards without printed prices are older.


Grubby. Shown as it is identical to a style seen on ‘Spares’ cards, and also Embassy cards.

1966-7: dual pricing


Sew ‘n’ Save: 1968-1972

The Moonglow line was replaced by ‘Sew ‘n’ Save around 1968.

The Canberra Times, 16th April 1969 page 20.




Big W logo: 1973-87

This Woolworths logo came into use around 1973.

The duck and rose designs, featured on many brands of cards over decades.

Similar to Opal-Glo designs.







Spares: Possibly early 1950s

These seem to be marketed as utility (work clothes/pyjamas) buttons. Those marked with ‘Woolworths’ were sold later.

Similar cards exist that are stamped on the back “Made in China”.


Hi-Style: Possibly early 1950s








These have no printing on the back.


Boilproof: Possibly late1940s- early 1950s


These may be the oldest, as the cards a larger (7×11 cm) than became standard in the 1950s




















The G.Herring feature of added cotton dates these below to post 1957.


Grandway: 1969-1980s

This was a Woolworths label from 1969-1980s.











Thanks Helen for this find. Woolworths ‘Boilproof’ brand mid 1950s.