Leda (General Plastics then G. Herring)

Leda buttons were produced by General Plastics as a separate brand from around 1958, the name ‘Leda’ having been trademarked in September 1957. Advertising in 1958 referred to ‘Leda by Beauclaire’. Many of the buttons were simply re-issues of Beauclaire styles.

In 1963 F. W. Williams Holdings Ltd. bought a 50 percent share of Beutron Australia Ltd., and made an ultimately successful offer for General Plastics Ltd, which was described as being “integrated” with Beutron. Some Leda cards had the free cotton wrapped around the card, which was a G. Herring/Beutron design. General Plastics copied this from 1958, much to G.Herring’s dismay. They took the issue to court, but were unsuccessful in stopping it being copied. It must have been sweet revenge to takeover a firm that copied your registered design!

The Bulletin, 30th May 1964 page 77.

Spotted by Carol, but unfortunately not for sale.

A box that can hold around 6 cards of buttons.


Entries from the 1960 Sydney ‘Pink Pages’ directory: General Plastics made the buttons, but Roger Berry distributed them.




Leda had various labels on the cards, including Boil Proof, Fashion Buttons, Permaloid, Permalon and Permalite. Whether this actually refers to varying plastics or not is anyone’s guess without chemical testing! Often the same button appeared with different names, as seen below, so I doubt there were real differences between the button types.

Fashion Buttons c.f. Boilproof

Permaloid c.f. Fashion Buttons

Fashion Buttons c.f. Permalite


Leda-Beauclaire cards, 1957-58

The cards so marked possibly date before the examples simply marked “Leda”. There would have been a need to introduce the new brand to existing customers, before the name Beauclaire was dropped. Also, none of the ‘Leda-Beauclaire’ cards have the feature of added cotton which was introduced (copied from G. Herring) during 1958.














The card design was updated:

The card on the right was cut overlapping two adjoining cards that should have been separted.



Many of the cards labeled ‘Boilproof’ and ‘Fashion Buttons’ are in poor condition. I think they were made by poor quality/brittle cardboard. The blue versions are a copy of G. Herring’s ‘boil-tested whites’ that were mounted on blue cards.









Fashion Buttons

Faux-leather on the right

Matt and gloss versions

Real MOP








Matching buttons and buckles.





Change of card graphics:  Possibly early 1960s






Unusual blue variants.








Another change in card graphics c. 1965

The coloured background is textured to look like fabric.

1966-7: dual pricing

On these cards a change from cursive to block letters for the name ‘Leda’ is seen.









1967 onwards

The colour/texture is dropped, although the layout is the same.

A re-order card











Sample Cards: late 1950s-1960s

The Graphic design in the left top corner  of the first 3 cards below appeared on some store cards marked Leda-Beauclaire, so date around 1958.

The top 3 buckles were supplied with the board, but not attached with the original yarn. They still may have been Leda buckles, just not the original examples.

This design was sold on Beauclaire branded cards during the early 1950s.

The three buttons on the bottom left were supplied with the card and are a Leda design, but are not original to the card.






A sample book from the late 1960s


Leda Buttons Sold Under Other Brandings

Leda style buttons are found on Embassy (G.J. Coles brand) and Kencrest (David Kennedy brand) cards. See below for comparison:



Bias binding:

On a button covering machine.