22nd March 2023

Tailor’s Buttons

London American, Melbourne

 Bear with me, this is a little convoluted:

Arthur Wellesley Ferne, clothier, joined ” The Wholesale Clothing Company”, started by J. T. Middleton, in 1879. Middleton left the business, with Mr Ferne taking over in 1880. By then there were several branches in Melbourne, including at the Eastern Market. These were sold to a Mr Sigismund Jacoby in June 1881.

The Argus (Melbourne), 2nd July 1881 page 10.

Ferne then set up a new store in Ballarat called the American Wholesale Clothing factory, run by the original Mr Middleton, so the two men had kept a business relationship. Ferne also set up the first “London and American Tailoring Company” in Sandhurst (Bendigo) in 1883  which ran until 1893, with a brief revival from 1902-8 under Middleton’s stewardship until closing due to his ill health.

Bendigo Advertiser, 17th January 1883 page 3.

There were several branches in Melbourne, operating from 1887 until at least 1956. Both the names The London American Supply Stores’ and the ‘London and American Tailoring Company’ were used; the former until 1919, the latter still existing in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, today.

NSW Government Gazette, 7th May 1897. The stores in Melbourne and Sydney, at least, had been linked. The partnership between Ferne and Doyle dissolved in 1899, with Ferne continuing alone.

There were branches of the ‘London and American Tailoring Company’ in West Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales.

See https://londonamericanstores.com.au/history/  NB: This page has some nice photos, but the history is in error.  The “London & American” business was not at the Eastern Market from 1878-1960 as claimed on this webpage.

This is another of the form’s buttons, from the Bendigo branch.

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