22nd September 2023

New South Wales Police

Tudor Crown: 1902-1952

Although there were multiple die-sinkers able to produce uniform buttons within Australia, we still sourced from England, such as this example. Backmarks seen on Australian uniform buttons include Smith & Wright Ltd, E. Stillwell & Son London, W. Jones & Co. London, Green & Baker Birmingham, J. R. Guant & Son London, Hobsons & Sons London, Doughty & Co. London, Firmin & Sons London, G & W Almond London, Hebbert & Co London, Beckworths Ltd London, Bryan Bros. London, Fraser Ross & Co. Glasgow, H. W. Martin London, Green & Baker. It is important to realise that the backmark does not always indicate the button manufacturer: it may be marked for the outfitter who used them when making uniforms, or the supplier/distributor who on-sold them.

As well, there were generic marks such as Extra Rich Standard, Superior Quality, and buttons with the backs left blank.

This button has a rather ‘busy’ back: with the words ‘Crossed Sword’, “Sword Make trade mark”, the logo and ‘Made in England’.  The ‘Crossed Sword Trade mark’ was used by Thomas Carlyle Ltd., one of several British button manufacturers who amalgamated to form Buttons Limited in 1907. (The company used the trademark, and others, after the merger, but with the new name.)

G & W Almond were probably not button manufacturers.  As their name appears on shakos, and buttons, and they tended for mail bags, perhaps they were softgood manufacturers, warehousemen or distributors. George W. Almond described himself as a merchant in a court case in 1863.,

Hebbert & Co were military outfitters/contractors from 1852-1895 turning to police and railway outfitters later on in the century. In directory listings they were described as  army helmet, cap and clothing manufacturers, also as a accoutrement maker.  ( Accoutrements are a soldier’s outfit usually not including clothes and weapons). However, buttons were not specified.

Hebbert & Hume existed from 1815 until 1829. After that Charles Hebbert operated from 1830-1839, Charles Hebbert & Co from 1940-44, Hebbert & Co  by 1852-1894 then Hebbert & Co. Ltd. from 1895-1904 ( possibly 1907).

Beckworths Ltd. London, were probably accourement makers or suppliers.

The Bryan family were military hat makers as early as 1817. They traded as Bryan Brothers & Co from 1869-1894, then just Bryan Brothers from 1895-1899. In an 1882 directory, they were described as hardwaremen/wholesalesmen of army and navy buttons.

Fraser, Ross & Co were clothing manufacturers at 106 Brunswick Street, Glasgow, with James Fraser and John Ross going into partnership in 1890.

H. W. Martin: This name appears on the back of various pre-federation uniform buttons, but I can find no information on them. They were not listed as button makers in London directories, but may have been outfitters or warehousemen.

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21st September 2023

Suspender/Pants/Trouser Buttons

I have mentioned “Best Ring Edge” and “Double Ring Edge” buttons previously, now I have been sent an image of a “Solid Ring Edge” button found at Sandy Creek, Victoria, close to the Hume Dam. Gold was discovered there in 1854, with tin and gold dredging continuing until 1918. It is now a small town (pop. 167 in 2016) in a rural area.

Chronicle (Adelaide), 25th December 1930 page 60.

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20th September 2023

 New Finds from the 1970s.

All 3 designs were originally made by General Plastics in the 1950s. The heart shape was shown on an advertising flyer  included along with a sewing pattern.

“You’ll fall in love with these tiny heart shaped buttons.”

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18th September 2023

Bright Colours in the 70s

In the 1970s “earth tones” were popular. There were also bright, clashing colours. I’ve matched advertising from The Australian Women’s Weekly with similar coloured Woolworths buttons.

8th May 1974 page 47. Mothers’ have always been stuck with pastels and florals.

29th November 1972 page 81. Did floral undies for men exist before flower power of the hippy period?

Loving the hair. This advert shows some of the styles in fashion for men’s shirts in the 70s: paisley, stripes, bold colours and earth tones.

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16th September 2023

Bright Colours in the 70s

In the 1970s “earth tones” were popular. There were also bright, clashing colours. I’ve matched advertising from The Australian Women’s Weekly with similar coloured buttons.

26 April 1972 – Page 28

24 April 1974 – Page 6

10 April 1974 – Page 6


25 September 1974 – Page 82.

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15th September 2023

“New Ways to Fasten”

Sydney Mail, 7th April 1915 page 43.











Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld),14th July 1936 page 3.

The Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic), 26th September 1942 page 3.

Is there really anything new under the sun? Buckles had been used to fasten shoes and belts, whilst lacing  and hooks were a common form of fastening for women’s clothing in the 18th century.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 21st August 1941 page 19.”Fastening shoprtage is overcome by using gay bows to fastena suit, one end atteched in place of buttons to slip through buttonhole and tie with end on outside.” That hat is unforgiveable.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 1st July 1944 page 19. “Bows are engaging fastening …”

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14th September 2023

1960s Beutron Buttons

In 1960 it was still ‘de rigueur’ to wear gloves and hat to go shopping for buttons. She is matching a swatch of material to the buttons on the handy self-service unit.

The large size of these polyester buttons makes for a beautiful reflective surface;  the buttons really seem to glow.

They are similar to the buttons shown in this 1963 Women’s Weekly  advert.

6th November 1963 page 50.

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13th September 2023

1950s Beutron Buttons







Were these very buttons boiled for one hour before leaving the factory? Surely not, unless the boiling was part of the curing process? Surely it means a sample would boiled for quality control?


Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 18th February 1951 page 10. This ad shows the same style button. I have it in 5 sizes and a couple of visually differing plastics.

Australian Women’s Weekly, 2nd November 1955 page 10. The buttons were given a rebranding as “snow whites”.















Australian Women’s Weekly 25th September 1957 page 60. Another image update: now they are Tropical Whites.


The odd one out here are the glass buttons on the right, even though they are sewn onto a card printed for “Opal Glo” (casein plastic) buttons.

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12th September 2023

Buttons by Rex

Eight pennies each or 4 shillings? Surely the whole concept of smaller cards with fewer buttons was for customers to buy the whole card? if you only needed 1/2/3 buttons, why not buy them from a tube of buttons? Max Wilson (of Maxart) developed the packaging of buttons in tubes post WW2, and it remains a popular way of packaging buttons.

A Marvelous Rabbit

Carol found this beauty, and wondered if it was the white rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 ‘Alice in Wonderland’. If the plastic was bakelite/catalin then it would originally have been white. In the original text the rabbit is described as “white with pink eyes” who takes “a watch out of its waistcoat pocket”. The original illustration by John Tenniel had him wearing a jacket over the waistcoat.

The Disney version adds the Pince-nez glasses upon his nose. The button rabbit seems to be wearing a tailcoat, unlike the original illustration, or those that followed. I do remember that Bugs would wear a tailcoat when conducting a cartoon orchestra, but it doesn’t look like him! His pose is more like that of Peter Rabbit, but with a different jacket.

In summary: I think he is a handsome rabbit who owes a little of his heritage to both the White Rabbit and Peter Rabbit, and I wish it was mine.

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11th September 2023

Neat n’ Trim

This uniform designer and supplier was established in 1962 to making health care uniforms. It now covers industries such as beauty, hospitality and corporate work-wear.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 1st September 1971 page 91. Groovy pant suit and midi fashion uniforms!

The Canberra Times, 1st November 1973 page 17.

The Australian Jewish News (Melbourne), 14th September 1990 page 44.

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