One upon a time, the buttons used on infants and children’s clothing were the same as for adults: perhaps ‘daintier’. When realistic buttons became all the rage from around 1937, they were actually fashion for adults. In Australian newspapers, novelty animal buttons for children were first advertised in 1944.
In the 1950s several Australian manufacturers produced lines of children’s and babies’ buttons. Beauclaire had ‘Tiny Tots’, Woolworths had ‘Kiddietone’, Beutron had a series of 6 collectable cards, and also marketed babies’ buttons in their ‘Tecpearl’ range. Rex C. Norris had ‘Jack and Jill’ buttons.
Beutrons children’s range
Thanks so much to Marian Clark (a.k.a ‘the Crazyhaberdasher’ ) She has kindly shared photographs from her own collection of Beutrons children’s range:
Detail from a 1957 advert. A Beutron Mery-go-round!
The button cards were designed to be collectable; you could send away for a booklet.
Beutron Baby Buttons
Some card have the cotton at the top, some at the bottom of the card. Some have red/blue borders, some pink/blue. The two cards at the bottom right are MOP. The rest are plastic.
Beauclaire Tiny Tots
The dirty card is an original. The partial larger card shows these childrens buttons were sold before the ‘Tiny Tot’ marketing campaign.
Note: these are reproduction cards used to display a range of colours available in each design. They were not sold that way.
This was a Woolworths branding.
Although these are labeled as ‘Kiddietone’ this rabbit design can be clearly seen in the 31st May 1954 ‘Woman’s Day and Home’ magazine ad for Beauclaire ‘Tiny Tots’ buttons (see advertising page).
Hand painted squirrels.
The squirrels in green.
I have the lambs on a Woolworth card. It is obviously the same designer.
Jack and Jill
This was a Rex C. Norris branding.
Examiner,16th Jan 1953 page 9.
The Age, 8th July 1953 page 21.
In Robyn’s collection.
The card is not labelled, but this is a Rex C. Norris button.