Here we showcase tailoring buttons, from the individual to large emporiums.
The buttons are listed alphabetically as the names were printed onto the buttons.
G. Bailey, Daylesford
George was born in Ballarat in 1859. He worked as a tailor in Daylesford from at least 1902 until 1909, perhaps even through to 1917. However, from around 1914 onwards his main employment was as the local rate collector. He died in 1942.
Geo. C. Goudie, Port Adelaide
Not only did George Cavanagh Goudie (1890-1964) take over his father’s tailoring business when he retired, the Port Adelaide Racing Club also asked him to take over from him as handicapper in 1925. His work as handicapper for about 20 racing clubs did not result in his retiring from tailoring until some time after 1934. See also P. Goudie (his Dad).
Geo. Volk, Marybrough
George Volk was born in Victoria in 1868. His father Jakob moved around the gold fields. Sometime after 1885 they moved to Maryborough. He had a ladies and gentlemen’s tailoring business at 191 Nolan Street until he left for Melbourne in May 1918, leaving the business in his son Charles hands. He died suddenly the next year, aged only 58 years.
G. Griska, Preston
George Feliz Griezka was born in Austria in 1877. He married Mary Ann Duffy in Melbourne in 1904 and was naturalised as an Australian citizen in 1905. His name was variously spelt as Griezka, Griczka and Griska. The couple moved to Wangaratta where Mary had family, but moved back to Melbourne in 1914. George operated his tailoring concern in Preston from 1924 until at least 1949. Mary died in 1930, and George remarried in 1945. He died in 1960.
Gilbert A. Parker, Melbourne
Gilbert Alexander Parker was born in 1897 in Bunbury, West Australia. His family moved to Melbourne after the death of his father. He started work as a tailor’s cutter, progressed to tailor and then manager. In 1929 to 1931 he advertised for sewers and machinists to work at 152 Elizabeth Street, 4th Floor.
G. J. Plenty & Son Coy., Hindmarsh
George James Plenty (1877-1946) ran this firm from 1895. In 1928 they moved to 63 Port Road, Hindmarsh to larger premises near the Town Hall, where they were still operating from in 1936. I’m not sure which son was involved with the firm, as none were listed in directories rolls as tailors.
G. L. Fuller & Co.Ltd., Sydney
George Lawrence Fuller, son of Sir George Fuller (former N.S.W. premier) listed a company of tailors and mercers in September 1932 with a Mr George Newton. Not surprisingly, they were called Newton & Fuller Limited, operating from 84 Pitt Street, Sydney. The name was changed in November 1934 to G. L. Fuller & Co. Ltd., probably to take full advantage of the upper-class value of his name. The company advertised until 1945, after which George became a member of the Stock exchange, and in 1950 joined the partnership of J.Neil and Fuller. Unfortunately, he died in 1953 at the young age of 49 years.
G. Loudon, Eaglehawk
George Loudon, a native of Stirlingshire, Scotland, arrived in Victoria in 1853. He tried his luck on the goldfields before setting up as a tailor around 1888 in High Street, Eaglehawk. He was a local councillor, including mayor, for 27 years, and reknown as a keen and talented draughts player. He died in 1908, at the age of 75 years.
G. Meakin, Bendigo
George Meakin was a third generation tailor. His grandfather Benjamin (1822-1909) brought the family from London to New South Wales, then to Bendigo in 1857 where he had a tailor’s shop in High Street. George’s father Reuben John (1851-1931) took over the business, then George (1876-1951), all at the same location.
G. Peirce, West End House Sydney
George Peirce was located in the West End House, King Street from around 1865-1873. He described himself as a tailor and woollen draper.
G. R. Barker, Wangaratta
Mr George Raymond Barker (1898-1970) had a store in Murphy Street, Wangaratta from around 1918. He was heavily involved in the Victorian Country Football league. He also raised prize winning poultry.
In 1932 he had the unpleasant experience of fatally hitting a man with his car. The man had stepped out from behind his parked truck as George was driving past.
G. Stupart, Maryborough
George Stupart was born in Stirling, Scotland in 1841. He moved first to London, then to Brisbane in 1862. In partnership with Mr John Young he had drapery and grocery stores in Ipswich, Helidon and Gatton, Queensland, around 1865. They sold up and moved to Gympie in 1868 during its gold rush, then to Marysborough in 1871 and established what became known as the “Drapery Palace”.
Young left the business after a short while, Stupart continuing alone. The store was destroyed in a fire in 1876, but he rebuilt, only to suffer from a flood in 1893.
None-the-less he prospered, and in 1911 the firm became Stuparts Limited. It was by then a department store, including a furniture department. He had been very active in the community, in the chamber of commerce, the Presbyterian Church and in 1890 he was the mayor of Maryborough. When he died in July 1918, he was remembered as the “Grand Old Man of Maryborough”. The following year Allan & Stark took a controlling interest in the firm. In 1976 it was part of the Burns Philp & Co group of companies. The company was still in existence in 1987, however, the store in Maryborough ceased to trade as Stupard’s sometime after 1974.
G. T. Cooper, Framlington
There was a George T. Cooper listed at Camperdown around 1889-1907. No other details have been found.
Guest & Glover, Melbourne
Guest and Glover were tailors from around 1930-1952, at first on the second floor, The Block, then later at 234 Collins Street.
G. Waldrop Pty. Ltd, Melbourne
George was born in Collingwood in 1860 and started working as a bricklayer’s labourer when he was 13 years old but was soon apprenticed to a tailor and would become his partner. Aged 25 years, he started his own tailoring and mercers business in 1885 in Collingwood. In 1914 it commenced business in Elizabeth Street. Mr Wardrop died in 1932. In 1935 the firm opened a modern 3 story building at 52 Elizabeth Street . The firm was taken over by Roger David Pty. Ltd. in 1977.
G. W. Dinsmore, Albury
George Wesley Dinsmore opened his tailoring shop in 1882. He was still in business around 1920, and died some time before 1936.
G. W. Jenkins, Eaglehawk
Gilbert William Jenkins (1878-1959) had a tailoring shop in High Street, Eaglehawk from 1906 onwards.
G.& W. Shierlaw
See also under Shierlaw & Co.
The firm of outfitters ran under this name from 1860-1890, when it was renamed Shierlaw & Co.
Hagen Bros., Sydney
Born in Tasmania, brothers Frederick Henry (1857-1888) and William Albertus Hagen (1861 -1941) set up Hagon Bros, merchant tailors, in 1882, operating at first from Pitt Street, then from 1885 also in Oxford Street, with agencies in the country. From March 1886, William operated alone (still under the name Hagon Bros). Fred took a nine month trip to “the old country”, then returned in 1887 to operate a new enterprise in King Street. Sadly, under the influence of business and gambling losses as well as heavy drinking, he committed suicide the following year. Another brother, Tasman John Hagon (1863-1943) had an interest in the Oxford St branch from after 1887 until 1894 when another brother, Edward Arthur Hagon (1854-1931) bought an interest in the business. William retired in 1907, with Edward continuing under the name of Hagon brothers in Oxford Street, but a Mr Barnett Phillips operating the business at Pitt Street under the same name, having bought the rights from William. This was the subject of a court case in 1911, with an undisclosed settlement reached. However, both the Pitt Street and Oxford Street stores continued to trade under similar names with the involvement of various brothers. It appears William, despite having retired, must have rejoined the firm, (at least as a business partner), as he was reportedly leaving the “Hagon Bros” partnership held with his brother Edward in 1917, then in 1921 the Pitt Street business was wound up. The Oxford St branch continued with Edward and Tasman until 1927, then Edward retired.
In 1954, Mr Clement Ronald Scott, a partner in the firm died. This is probably when the firm closed.
Yet another brother, Richard Charles Hagon, was a tailor, but ran his own firm under the name R.C. Hagon from 1880, merging with Vereys in 1954. This was not part of Hagan Bros. In the Bulletin, 22nd December 1894 the separate businesses can be seen advertising side-by-side on page 16.
Haigh Brothers, Melbourne
Haigh Brothers were tailors and outfitters in Collins Street from 1853 through until at least 1926. The brothers were English born Samuel and Bradley Haig. Samuel’s son also joined the firm. Bradley returned to England by 1856, although he made trips back to Australia.
Harris & Boyd, Sydney
Mr H. E. Harris and Mr Omar Arthur Boyd operated as Harris & Boyd at 313 Pitt Street, Sydney, from around 1923 until 1929. Their slogan was “For a Better Suit”. Harris went on his own, but was in liquidation by 1931. He joined Mr H. V. Harris (presumably a relation) in the Eldon Chambers on Pitt Street in 1932-3.
Mr Boyd registered the name Harris & Boyd as a Limited company in 1936 which operated until 1975.
Harry Davies & Co, Ballarat
Harry Davies (1848-1914) took over from S. Steele at 125-7 Sturt Street, Ballarat in 1882 for his drapery warehouse. His brother Frederick Gillies Davies ( 1857-1922) was his junior business partner. All the pictures below come from Weekly Times, 26th February 1898 page 7.
Harry Davies junior became a director of the firm. In 1919 he and his wife died of influenza within hours of each other, leaving a one year old girl orphaned.
H. Brewer, North Fitzroy
Henry (Harry) Brewer, 1868-1946, was a renown champion lawn bowler. He also was a tailor and cricketer.
Henderson & Goodisson, Bendigo
Thomas Hope Henderson (1833-1899) and John Ralph Goodisson (1851-1907) took over the drapery and clothing business in the “Beehive Store” in 1886.
Mr Henderson was born in Roxburgh, Scotland, and came to Victoria in 1852, settling in Bendigo several years later. Such was the regard held for this well liked man, who had been involved in many public roles in Bendigo, that flags were flown at half mast upon his death and a full sized portrait was commisoned to be displayed in the Bendigo Art Gallery.
After his death, Goodison and members of the Henderson family continued with the store. Mr Goodisson was born in Carnow, Ireland, and came to Victoria in 1870. He retired from the business in 1903, which was continued as Henderson Bros.
Henry Buck’s, Melbourne
Henry Buck was born in London in 1860, although he grew up in Yorkshire. In 1887 he came to New South Wales as he was suffering from tuberculosis. His health improved, he moved to Melbourne for his fiance’s sake, where he would start his men’s shirt business in Swanston Street in 1890.
He was a very successful businessman, and involved in many organisations and charities. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his work for the Red Cross during World War 1. His son-in-law, Frederick Dennett, was invited to join the firm, and became a director. Henry died in 1933 whilst in London on an extended holiday. The firm remains a family owned menswear and accessory specialist to this day.
H. F. Axon, Brisbane
Herbert Fisher Axon came to Australia as a young man in 1885. From around 1888 he traded as a hatter, mercer and hosier at 156 Queen Street, Brisbane, moving in 1892 to larger premises. His shop was the first to have lighted windows in Brisbane, which is sweet as his son, Sir Albert Edwin Axon became a prominent electrical engineer involved in setting up Queensland’s State Electricity Commission in 1936.
From 1892 he served as the the secretary of the Brisbane Gymnasium, where amateur boxing was conducted, and was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Sydney. Maybe it was this link with sailing that saw him supply shipping buttons, or possibly uniforms. In 1933 he retired, with his remaining stock being sold by Allan & Stark. He died in April 1942, aged 82 years.
H. G. Parker, Adelaide
Henry George Parker was born in London in 1850. He was a merchant tailor in Adelaide from around 1884, originally as Parker & Company at 666 King William Street. The firm’s name changed to H. G. Parker some time after 1915. His son, Alfred George Parker (!888-1948) had worked with his father until setting up on his own in Currie Street in 1921. Henry retired around that time.
H. J. Bean, Melbourne
Herbert Josiah Bean was a tailor and clothier who operated from Elizabeth Street from 1913 until 1920 when the building was sold. He was later described as a merchant and an investor, and would hold the office of president of the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria from around 1930-33.
H. J. L. Worthley, Hindmarsh
Hercules John Lyall Worthley (1885-1954) worked as a tailor from around 1908. He advertised a ‘tailoring club’ that you could join for 2/6 per week to get “at least one Worthley’s suit a year”. He moved to Hindmarsh in 1909. Around 1928 the business became known as Worthley’s.
It wasn’t until 1984 that ‘Worthleys Tailors Pty. Ltd.’ went into liquidation.
State Library of SA https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+13672
H. Lorenz, Bendigo
Henry was a tailor at 170 Mitchell Street from at least 1895 until 1936. He died in Bendigo in 1949.
In 1839 three tailors came to Sydney from London; Wiliam Müller, John Frederick Holle and Henry Stone and set up in George Street. When Mr Müller died in 1841, the others continued as ‘Stone & Holle’ until 1855.
Mr Holle left the colony and traveled to Europe until 1860 when he advertised that he was recommencing business at no. 277 George Street. John Holle was born in Bremmen, Germany in 1813 and died in Sydney in 1892. He was well acquainted with tragedy. Four children had died in infancy. A 6 year old son died and an 8 year old drowned. A 26 year old son suicided and later the same year, a 27 year old son also died. John, however, died in his 80th year on the 23rd February, 1889. The firm continued as J. F. Holle and Co. Pty. Ltd., and went into liquidation in 1957.
The Sun (Sydney), 7th September 1951 page 13.
Howes and Howes, Sydney
Howes and Howes opened in Pitt Street in 1889, and started to be wound up in 1971. One of the original “Howes” was Alfred Howes; the other may have been a brother. His father, George Howes was also a tailor in Sydney from at least 1854, and was considered a father of the trade in that city, having trained or employed many of the city’s tailors. He died in 1909 at the age of 81 years. Alfred was born in Sydney in 1864, and died after surgery for appendicitis in 1919. In his will Alfred left the business to be run as a limited company, with his family and old employees as the founding shareholders.
Hughes & Co, Sydney
Edward Hughes was the owner of this establishment, which operated from Erkine Street, Sydney, from around 1894 to 1931.
I. & J. Roff, Ballarat
Brothers Isaac (1819-1892) and Joseph (1827-1894) Roff started the firm of I. and J. Roff in 1854. As ‘Tailors and Colonial Manufacturers’. Under Joseph’s management, they claimed to be the oldest tailoring firm in Ballarat. The brothers also had a ‘bill posting’ and advertising contracting business with offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Ballarat. Isaac was the director of the Melbourne office in Little Flinders Street. His son (also called Joseph) would join the tailoring firm, which was still going in 1928.
The button below is mistakenly marked J. & J. Roff
Ince Bros., Melbourne
Richard Ince and his brother Arthur owned this tailoring firm. Richard was born in Collingwood in 1863. Soon after the family moved to Ballarat were his father, Richard senior, was a cutter for L. S. Christie & Co, before going into partnership as ‘Young and Ince’. The sons also worked with this firm. Around 1887 Arthur moved to Geelong and Richard moved to Melbourne. They operated as Ince Bothers, with Richard located in Swanston Street. They would travel to country towns such as Camperdown, Kyneton and Yackandanda to take fittings for suits.
In 1901 their mother died in Ballarat. Richard senior re-married in 1903, at the age of 71 years, to a 25 year old woman in Melbourne. Having married in the afternoon they booked into a hotel. Twenty minutes after retiring, the new bride ran to the manager for help; her husband lying dead in his bed. Oh dear!
Ingerson Ltd., Adelaide
See Syd Ingerson entry on Q-Z page.
Jack Meyer, Adelaide
Johann (Jack) Meyer operated from 36 Grote Street, Adelaide, from 1917. He seems to have been quite the character, judging from this story published in The Mail, 19th June 1948:
Jack Torranhce, Camperdown.
How annoying to have your name misspelt! There is no ‘H’ in Torrance despite what the button proclaims. John Westland Torrance was born in Otago, New Zealand, in 1893 and worked as a tailor from at least 1915. He served in WW1. Around 1930 he moved to Australia with his family, quite possibly to escape from some legal/financial problems.
From the advertising below, Jack was working for Harry Taylor in 1933, and probably before that.
In December that year he was set up in his own business. He left for Warrnambool in 1938 to work for Fletcher Jones, and died there in July 1955.
Jacobs, Pizer & Co., Geelong
In 1935 Sam Jacobs (1852-1932) and Pizer & Co (ran by Abraham Pizer, 1879-1955) amalgamated.
In 1916 (with war-time sensitivities) there were questions asked as to whether Abraham and his brother Solomon were of German or Russian origin, despite being naturalised. They were Jews born in Pyzdry, Prussia (now Poland).
Jas. Coultas, Perth. W. A.
James Coultas (1850-1910) “the well-known Melbourne tailor” was the brother of Southwell Coultas (mentioned previously) and had worked with him in Melbourne from around 1881-1888. He had set up on his own in Collins Street, but struggled, filing for bankruptcy in 1892. In 1896 he commenced business in Barrack Street, Perth. His health was poor and he died in 1910.
J. B. Gunn, Pt. Adelaide
James Benjamin Gunn (1885-1975) had a tailoring store in Divett St, Port Adelaide from 1910. James took his brother into partnership in 1914 but continued under the business name of ‘J. B. Gunn’. He moved to Largs Bay around 1938.
J. B. Leach, Melbourne
John Benjamin Leach was born in Hampshire, England. He was in partnership with William D. Fetherston and Charles R. Dyson as “The Melbourne Tailoring Company” in Bourke Street, Melbourne from circa 1883. At the end of their lease, in 1894, Leach continued on his own. “Davies & Davies” succeeded Leach running The Melbourne Tailoring company in 1920. He died in 1929. His son John Benjamin jnr., was also a tailor.
J. B. Milton & Co. Melbourne
In 1860 upon the dissolving of a partnership “by the effluxion of time” (the end of a lease or agreement through natural course of events) Mr Milton continued in this new style at 54 Collins Street.
John Barrow Milton supplied military uniforms:
His death in 1891 is a reminder of the danger of the ‘flu! Get vaccinated!!
From a long article about the early life of Melbourne:
The firm continued, and in 1919 was restyled as “E. W. Roach and J. B. Milton P/L” and continued until 1937 when it was taken over by James Thelwell & Co.
J. B. Wakley, Cessnock
See also J. Wakley
John (Jack) Bagg Wakley advertised from 1919-1934 as a high class tailor in Vincent Street, Cessnock.
He made a change, becoming the proprietor of the Premier Hotel in Newcastle in 1934. He died in Newcastle in 1955.
J. C. Rowe, Ballarat
John C. Rowe worked for David Moyle (see post from 12th July 2019). After Mr Moyle’s untimely death in 1916, John continued on his own until at least 1927 in Sturt Street, Ballarat.
J. Davies & Co., Sydney
In 1874 J. Davies took over the drapery business of the late J. Exton at 301 George Street, Sydney. In 1889 they moved to 46 Carrington Street where they remained until at least 1894. The advert below comes from the Evening News, 5th January, 1884.
J. Dorance, Naracoorte
James was quite the gypsy. In 1896 he moved from Albury to Bunbury, West Australia. He sold his tailoring business in 1903 “due to ill health” and traveled to England to recuperate. In 1910 he was back in West Australia, tailoring in Narrogin. In 1919 he moved to Dimboola Road, Horsham, then to Narracorte about 1924 for 5 years. In 1929 he moved to Kadina in South Australia as he wished to set up a massage clinic (?He had studied this whilst overseas.) He died in 1951, aged 86 years. At least we can date this button to a 5 year period, from 1924-1929.
J. E. Buchan, Bendgio
John Edward Buchan was born in Melbourne, but moved to Ballarat as a child. He was a tailor situated at “Bath Corner”. In 1885 he partnered with Mr Jackson to form the “Gold Mines Clothing Company”. Several year later Jackson had to retire due to ill health and John continued alone. Unfortunately John contracted pneumonia and died in December of 1897, aged only forty-one years.
J. F. Holle and Co. Pty. Ltd., Sydney
In 1839 two tailors, John Frederick Holle, a native of Bremen, Germany, and Henry Stone arrived in Sydney aboard the ship ‘Eurphrates’ from London with a tailor named William Mueller to work for him. As Mr Mueller died in 1841, they established a partnership.
Holle was well acquainted with tragedy. Four children died in infancy. A 6 year old son died and an 8 year old drowned. A 26 year old son suicided and later the same year, a 27 year old son also died. John,however died in his 80th year on the 23rd February, 1889. The firm continued as J.F. Holle and Co. Pty. Ltd., and went into liquidation in 1957.
J. F. Lewis, Sandhurst
John Francis Lewis also came to the colony around 1853, reaching Sandhurst by 1858. He went into the partnership of Henry Hoad & Co. In 1865 he continued the business alone under the name of J. T. Lewis until his early death in 1885 at the age of 54 years.
J. H. Cutler, Sydney
Joseph Handle Cutler opened a tailoring shop in Sydney in 1884. It became the tailor to Sydney’s elite, and continues today as a 4th generation family firm of bespoke tailors.
J. Hood, Gympie
James Hood arrived in Gympie in 1884 and started his tailoring business. He would live in the town until his death in 1938.
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld), 5th August 1938 page 10.
J. J. Keneally, Sydney
Jeremiah Joseph Keneally (1867-1955). From around 1901 until 1910 he operated from 646 George St, Bickfield Hill, then from 1911-1922 from Adam’s Chambers, 482 George Street. A fire gutted the chambers and he restarted in Daking House, Rawson Place Sydney. He retired sometime between 1937 and 1945.
J. J. Larkins, Daylesford
John James Larkins (1857-1919) was born in Ballarat, and was a partner in the firm of Harrison, Larkins & Co until 1885. Harrison continued in Ballarat, with Larkins working from Vincent Street, Daylesford.
J. J. Punton, Wallsend
John James Puncton was born in Egerton, Victoria in 1871. Soon after, his family moved to the mining town of Wallsend, New South Wales. There he would work as a tailor from around 1896 through until shortly before his death in 1955.
In 1936 his car ran off the road and into a creek. Luckily the occupants suffered only minor injuries and hypothermia.
J. J. Scotchmer, Lismore
John James Scotchmer was born in England in 1854. He moved to New South Wales and started tailoring, first in Milton in 1880, then in Nowra from 1883, and then at Woodlark Street, Lismore from 1907. From 1922 his son Randolph Charles Scotchmer (who had worked with Hooper and Harrison) joined him, so the business became J. J. Scotchmer and Son.
J. McAnna, Adelaide
John McAnna moved to Adelaide in 1874 and set up in Rundle Street. He retired around 1915, and died in 1927, aged 84 years.
Joe Taylor, Melbourne
Known as ‘Joe Taylor, The Tailor’ operated from at least 1906 at 109 Bourke Street and 69 Swanston Street. They were successful enough to open branches in Footscray, Richmond, North Melbourne, Brunswick and Sydney. He was a master of self-promotion, and claimed ancestry to a line of notable English tailors who had dress royalty and Prime Ministers.
He made a big deal of selling bargain price (5 pound) suits of quality tweed post war, and this was part of his undoing. The price was not sustainable, and he used cheaper quality material, passing it off as the brand name product. This resulted in him being found guilty of breach of contract and fined. He was insolvent from 1922 to 1924.
Johnston (of) Hobart
John Ross Johnston was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1865. He had moved to Hobart around 1876, and apart from a couple of years in Melbourne, remained there for the rest of his long life. He worked from around 1878 to 1886 as a manager for Bidencope’s, before entering a partnership as ‘Johnston and Mason’ at 37 Murray Street, Hobart.
This lasted until 1889 when he continued alone as ‘John R Johnston & Co” until 1903.
In 1903 he went into partnership with James Miller as ‘Johnston and Miller’ as tailors and drapers.
Although partners stayed in Murray Street, they moved to the “New Buildings”, with Smale Bros commencing in Johnston’s old store. They were so successful they moved again four years later.The business became a propriety company in 1922. James Miller died in 1940.
By 1954 the store was described as a department store.This site still retains the name of ‘Johnston and Miller’, but is now a bistro/venue.
Mr Johnston was a great contributor to the city of Hobart, at times the president of the Early Closing Association, officer of the Drapers and Grocers Assistants Association, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Master Warden of the Hobart Marine Board, chairman of the Hobart Hospital Board, company director and member of other societies and clubs. He died in 1957, aged 91 years.
J. Payne & Co., Ballarat
These are buttons that can be dated to a narrow era. James Payne opened took lease on a store in Sturt Street, Ballarat in 1902. He was 35 years old at that time, so had worked elsewhere, or for some other firm before then.
On Boxing Day of 1903 he embarked on a world tour that did not see him return to Ballarat until October 1904. In 1907 in was reported that he was well established as a wholesale woollen merchant in New Zealand.
J. P. Jorgenson, Marysborough
Julius Peter Jorgenson was the son of a Danish born tailor. He set up as a tailor in Maryborough, Queensland.
J. Rees, Wangaratta
James Rees (1882-1930) styled himself as “Wangaratta’s leading tailor”. He advertised from 1924. In 1935, five years after his death, his son Laurence Talbot James Rees (1908-1981) changed the name to L. J. Rees.
J. Scovell, Footscray
In 1903 Alexander John William Scovell (a.k.a. John, 1880-1960) was engaged to manage the tailoring workroom of C. Forge in Footscray. The next year he bought this branch of the Forge business. In 1906 he joined in partnership with David Spurling to form Scovell & Spurling, which lasted until 1982. The button above thus belongs to a narrow time frame, from 1904-1906.
J. Sinclair, Melbourne
James Sinclair, who died in 1908, was his father, and had started the business around 1896 in Swanston Street. His son, Arthur James, did not change the company’s name until c.1921.
See also Sinclair’s.
J. T. Hill, Bendigo
In 1853, along with so many others, James William Hill (1828-1898), a native of London and known as William, arrived in the colony and made his way to the goldfields. From 1867 until 1889 he worked as a hatter (he had been apprenticed as such in London) in Pall Mall, Bendigo. When he retired his son James Thomas (1855-1932) took over as J. T. Hill and continued as a hatter, outfitter and tailor until he retired to Melbourne in 1916.
J. Wakley, Cessnock
See also J. B. Wakley
J. W. Jones, Rockhampton
With many years of experience in drapery, Jospeh Wellesby Jones (1869-1931) was the manager of Mr Charles Gilbert’s Rockhampton branch of tailoring company, when in 1902 his boss offered him the chance to by the store located in East Street. He renovated and set up the firm of J. W. Jones Limited.
In September 1931, Mr Jones died, aged 61 years. He had been active for many years in the local School of Arts, a lodge member as well as a keen bowler and tennis player. In January 1932 the firm of J. W. Jones Limited was in liquidation. The stock was sold by Kirby’s, and a new drapers set up in his former store.
Keast & Co., Castlemaine
M. Keast & Co purchased the millinery and draper stock of Messrs. Best & Co in Barkers Street in 1879. Only the next year they “had made other business arrangements” and so were having a clearing sale. Despite that they continued in Castlemaine until 1888. (Perhaps the other business deal fell through?)
John Buckley Keatch of the firm (I have not been able to find out who “M. Keatch” was; only his sisters and mother had names starting with ‘M’) then left Castlemaine and managed a tailoring depot in Brigport Street, Albert Park. He died there in 1906.
Kersley & Crawford, Sydney
See also E. E. Kersley, Sydney
George Buchanan Crawford (1874-1928) and Ernest Edward Kersey (1870-1945) were in partnership as mercers and outfitters from c.1909 until 1923 when Kersey continued trading under the name of ‘Kersey & Crawford’ alone. The firm operated from 365 Pitt Street, Sydney.
Kewley & Millsom, Melbourne
See also W. D. Kewley
William David Kewley and Henry Alfred Thomas Millsom were high class tailors, ladies costume and habit makers in the Empire Arcade, 266 Flinders Street next to the Mutal Store, from around 1906 until their partnership was dissolved in 1914. Mr Millsom moved to Queensland and later Numurak Victoria, with Kewley continuing in Flinders Street.
J. C. Killalea, Singleton
James Charles Killalea was, like many tailors, robbed in 1938. What made it unusual is that despite having a revolver pointed in his face, James fought off the thief, who was later sent to jail. He died suddenly in 1940, aged 70 years.
See the entry for M. Kino
Kitchener & Co. Ltd., Sydney
From 1910 the first version of this company, owned by William Charles Chorley (see also the entry further down page) was named Kitchener Tailoring Co, becoming Kitchener Ltd in 1911. It was a naval and military outfitters in George St, then Hunter Street, Sydney. It existed under this name until at least the 1990s. (Some items are labelled as Sandhurst. Kitchener & Co. Pty. Ltd. )
L. & A.T. Co Mitchell St.
See also London American, Melbourne below.
The London & American Company operated from Mitchell Street until 1892, when Pool & Williams opened their business in this premise. The firm then moved briefly to a new location in Pall Mal, Bendigo before closing down. The store re-opened in 1902, however, due to illness, the business was offered for sale in 1908.
Lasker & Lasker, Sydney
Abraham (David) Lasker, was a merchant tailor in Newcastle from 1874. From his large large family, mostly born in Victoria, several of his sons would join the business which became Lasker and Sons then Lasker Bros: Isaac (1863- 1939), Manassah (Arthur) (1865- ), Harris (Henry) Benjamin (1869-1929), Joseph (1872- ), (Emanuael (1872- ) and a probable grandson, Victor Emanuel (1900- ). Around 1897 they opened for business in George Street, Sydney. The name then changed to Lasker & Lasker.
The Newcastle branch of the business ended around 1927, the Sydney branch around 1931.
Layton Bros, Traralgon & Yarram
Brothers Alfred Ernest (1880-1969) and Arthur Layton (1878-1964) bought the stock of Messers Groga and Maxwell in 1907. They operated a grocery and draper store until selling up in 1936 to return to Melbourne.
Lenthall Tailors, Adelaide
William FitzHerbert Lenthall (1865 -1956 ran his “clerical tailoring and outfitters” concern in Grenfell Street, Adelaide for many years. He was very active in the Church. From around 1931 Mr Trevorah, who had worked for him, took over the business.
Leviathan Ltd., Melbourne
In the 1850s the firms founder, Mr. Sanders, had his first small shop (of Sanders & Co) at the corner of Swanston and Bourke Streets. The Leviathan Limited was a tailoring/retail firm from 1863 until 1972. The Leviathan Building was constructed in 1912-13, the ground floor of which has been separated into smaller stores since the late 1970s. The firm had a link with another Victorian icon, Fletcher Jones, as Mr David Fletcher Jones was a director of Leviathan Ltd in the 1950s.
Lewis & Corbould, Ballarat
William Corbould, a native of Bath, came to Ballarat in 1858 to work as a tailor. From around 1877 he was in partnership with Abel Lewis until he retired due to ill health in 1883. Unfortunately, as reported in Ballarat newspapers on 29th July 1885 …
“Mr Abel Lewis, tailor, died at the Koh-i-noor Private Hospital last night. He was a comparatively young man, and had drunk too much. It is a co-incidence that his late partner, Mr Corbould, a much older man, has been in bed over 18 months with cancer, and his death has been expected for a long time.”
Abel was born in 1844, so was 41 when he died. His erstwhile partner in fact did not die until 1914 at the age of 87 years, although he had been in a wheelchair for years.
Lincoln Stuart & Co., Melbourne
Francis (Frank) Stuart lived 1844 -1910. He was apprenticed to a draper in Sydney, but when he eloped with his bosses’ daughter, he high-tailed it to Melbourne in 1866. He worked for McIvor & Lincolnwhich became Lincoln Stuart & Co. Ltd in 1882. In 1885 they were contracted to supply uniforms for the NSW Sudan regiment. The Australian War Memorial has a doublet from a uniform of the Victorian Scottish Regiment (circa 1900) and Museum Victoria has a straw boater hat from the company. The company was taken over by John Snow & Co. Ltd in 1926, but continued to trade under this name. The company was finally deregistered in 1994.
See more in his biography; http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/stuart-francis-frank-8704
This button’s story was a little hard to chase down. Here’s the details as far as I can work out:
The Lineker family came to Australia from England in 1878. Brothers George Law Frost (1851-1931) and Robert Alfred (1857-1927) Lineker were both tailors. George was originally based in Sydney as a tailor then a mining broker, but seems to have joined Robert from around 1889 as the name ‘Lineker Bros’ was used from then until 1924, Robert moved around Victoria; c.1889-1893 at Ararat, c.1887-1904 Hamilton, c.1901-1903 Nhill, c.1903-1905 Dimboola and c.1907-1927 Ballarat.
George was back in Sydney from around 1905. Robert’s son Robert Law Lineker (1885-1968) also became a master tailor. After the war and his father’s death he continued as a tailor until at least 1948.
Liversage & Green, Footscray
Messrs William Liversage (1980 -1935) and Edgar Charles Green (1881-1959) announced opening their factory employing six hands at “Shaw’s New Buildings” on 5th October 1907. They were still at that address in 1922. Mr Green went into real estate after that, moved to Williamstown and died there in 1959. Mr Liversage remained in Footscray until his death in 1935.
L. J. Brownbill, Geelong
Lindsay John (Jack) Brownbill was born in Geelong West in 1896. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to Bright & Hitchcocks. He enlisted in the A.I.F. in 1915. After the war he advertised as a high class tailor working in the Corio Chambers at the corner of Yarra and Malop Street before moving to Thacker’s Building in Ryrie Streets.
London American, Melbourne
See also L. & A. T. Co Mitchell St above
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.
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.
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.
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.
London Stores, Melbourne
Frank Samuel Meyers (1869 -1931) established this tailoring firm in Adelaide in 1896. He expanded to Melbourne, Launceston, Hobert, Colac and Castlemaine and publicly listed the company in 1911. Franks’s son Valleck continued the business after his father’s death. They made uniforms during WW2.
Louis Epstein Pty. Ltd., Melbourne
Louis Aaron Valentine Epstein was born in England in 1879. His family emigrated to Melbourne in 1889. Of his ten children three sons, Keith, Phillip and Garth, joined his tailoring business which was located in Epstein House, 133 Flinders Street, Melbourne. They maintained the firm until retiring, gaining a reputation as bespoke tailors as well as uniform and equestrian clothing manufacturers (they supplied Victorian police uniforms). The firm was the first importers and retailers of Levi Strauss jeans in Australia.
Lowes Ltd., Sydney and Newcastle
Founded in 1898 as W. Lowe and Company, tailors and outfitters, and still trading as a chain of men’s, boys’ and school wear stores. In 1911 it was reformed into Lowes. It started as a single store in Sydney, then two, until expanding in 1948.
L. Sullivan, Euroa
In 1919-1920 Laurence Sullivan advertised his tailoring shop in the former E. T. Stammers (also country tailors) store.
Lunn & Holmes, Shepparton
In 1922 Arthur Lunn and Tom Holmes, who had previously worked for John Zimmerman’s tailoring concern in Maryborough, established their own business in Shepparton at 170 Wyndham Street. They prospered and listed the company in 1929. Tragically, Mr Lunn died suddenly of a seizure whilst driving his car. He was only 47 years at the time. The company continued until 1958.
L. V. Howard, Lt Collins St
L. V. Howard (1884-1943) was described as a high grade tailor and mercer, from 1909 until 1954, so the business continued after his death. Leon Vernon Howard (1884-1943) operated from the Block Arcade before this. He was a keen cyclist, competing in cycling races.
In 1913 he had the unfortunate experience of an elderly (62 years!) man stepping in front of his motorcycle with fatal consequences.
Lyons & White, Ballarat
In April 1898 James Lyons ( formerly of Twentyman’s) and William White (formerly of J.B. Manning & Co) started ‘Lyons & Williams” at 12 Bridge St, declaring they were “Premier Tailors” as well as hatters and mercers. James died shortly after suffering from a stroke whilst watching a local football match in 1924, aged 65 years. He had been a very keen member of the horse racing and the football communities. The business continued to operate until around 1939. Perhaps William retired at that time, as he died in 1946.