It is a little hard to disentangle the manufacturer from the distributor in this case.
D. C. Quinn Pty. Ltd.
The manilla coloured cards above appears to be marked ‘Manufactured by D.C. Quinn’.
D. C. Quinn Pty Ltd, the manufacturer of Delphi buttons, was registered on 1st October 1952 and deregistered on 9th October 2012. They were listed at 3-5 Athol Street, Leichhardt, NSW. As these are two 1930s style red brick homes, the factory must have been small, perhaps set up across the backyards.
Although described up to 1969 (at least) as a button factory, they also undertook metal work. A 1970-71 report regarding casein button blanks (amongst other items) with regard to import duties as impacted by Free Trade Agreements with New Zealand included the following companies as interested:
If you wish to read more of the report see https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2085080650/view?partId=nla.obj-2088230610
Quinn was described as a small outfit producing blanks for their own use. So despite the fact that Delphi branded buttons were only advertised from August until December, 1954, they kept making blanks and finished buttons. But for how long? I have a Delphi card with dual pricing, which dates the brand to 1966-67.
It is possible that Quinn originally marketed their products as ‘Cygnet’, or supplied buttons to a distributor who distributed Cygnet buttons and buckles. I have an identical buckle on both Cygnet and Walker cards.
The cards appear in two design: one with cursive script and a swan illustration, and the other in block capital lettering.
E. Walker & Son Pty. Ltd.
Ernest Richard Walker was described as a fancy goods manufacturer under the name ‘Ernie Walker’ in Sydney, from 1919 until 1923. Then a new company, ‘Walker and Darling’, was established. In 1936 they were described as haberdashery warehousemen. In 1948 the company was reinvented as E. Walker & Son, warehousemen. So the origins of this firm may have been in manufacturing, but graduating to distribution.
This version of the company was listed in directories from 1947 and listed on the stock exchange on 23rd December,1954. Registered names associated with this company include ‘E. Walker & Son’ (1954-1982), ‘Walkers Fashion Accessories’ (c.1984-5), ‘Walkers BHS’ (1986 onwards), and ‘Bertram Fabrics’ (1979-1991). From 1991 they have traded as Bertram Pacific Pty. Ltd. They did not manufacture buttons themselves, but imported and distributed buttons. In 1981 it was noted that they were selling costume jewellery, handkerchiefs, belts, buckles, buttons and sewing accessories.
Note that the registration of ‘E. Walker & Son Pty. Ltd.’ coincides with the time that advertising of ‘Delphi’ buttons ended, possibly due to a new distribution contract requiring the buttons to be marketed as ‘Walkers’.
Imported glass buttons
Sample Cards: all post 1966.