25th May 2021

Mystery solved?

Last month I wondered about a mystery uniform button, the image of which had been sent to me by Colin Hornshaw. Whilst browsing through my collection, the penny dropped …

maker unknown

This presumably graced the uniform of a attendant working in a New South Wales “Hospital for the Insane”. The NSW State Archives inform me that from 1811 the NSW government ran “lunatic asylums”, with the first purpose built facility opened in 1838. The names also included “psychiatric clinic” and “mental hospital”. As the term ‘hospital for the insane’ was not used in official titles, I questioned my indentification. However, the following article indicates that it was in fact ‘official’.

Empire (Sydney), 23rd January 1869 page 4.


Sydney City Council Law Enforcement Officer

No makers mark.

Council Officers police the City Council’s by-laws and regulations. The following article outlines the kind of actions taken in Melbourne in 1916, and were probably similar in most cities. Just remember, don’t cause a nuisance when feeding your horse!

The Herald (Melbourne), 29th April 1916 page 6.