Branded buttons: tailors’ buttons (S-Z)

Table of Contents

Here we showcase tailoring buttons, from the individual to  large emporiums such as The Leviathan.

The buttons are listed alphabetically as the names were printed onto the buttons.



Sam Jamieson, Ballarat

Samuel Jamieson (1856-1938) had his tailoring business in Ballarat from 1901 until 1917, when he took up a position with W. H. Bruce Ltd., tailors of Melbourne, as a traveling representative in Tasmania. He had been the secretary of the Victorian Band Association for 9 years. He retired back to Melbourne and died there in 1938.

The Ballarat Star, 15th June 1907 page 10.


Samuel Holden, North Fitzroy

Site of the shop in Brunswick Street.








Samuel Holden (1869-1935), then later his son Samuel Garth Holden (1894-1958), were tailors with a shop in Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy.  Samuel senior was listed in local directories as a tailor from 1888. It seems he had some employment issues:

The Age, 1st December 1906 page 15.


S. Bowring & Co. Ballarat

Sydney Bowring had been a cutter for Twentymans when he started in Sturt Street, Ballarat. See

Ballarat Star, 14th May 1895 page 2.

By 1896 he had relocated to Prahran. Sadly, he died of typhoid in 1898, aged only 38 years.


Shierlaw & Co., Adelaide

See also G. & W. Shierlaw, Adelaide

The Shierlaws were a Scottish family who came to South Australia around 1852. Three brothers, George, William, Joseph then later also a nephew, Mr F. B. Shierlaw, ran the tailoring firm of ‘Shierlaw & Company’ from 1860 until around 1920. Shierlaw and Co. were tailors, outfitters and merchants who had a large mail order business. They supplied uniforms for South Australian military forces from around 1877. They also supplied uniforms for the Railways, the Cadet Corps and the Police. For many  years they were the government’s sole supplier of uniforms. In 1906 when they opened a new store of “excellent design” in Gisbourne, New Zealand. The firm folded when Joseph Craig Shierlaw retired in 1920.

Published in The Advertiser (Adelaide) on the 25th September 1860 page 1. The brothers George and William Shierlaw started their partnership at this time. The name was changed to Shierlaw & Co. on the death of George in 1890.

South Australian Contingents to South Africa 1899-1902.

The Express and Telegraph, 18th June 1904 page 5.


Sinclair’s Pty. Ltd., Melbourne

See also J. Sinclair.

Arthur James Sinclair started a tailors and costumers around 1910. It must have been a bit posh as it was known as ‘Sinclair’s of Collins Street’. The business went into liquidation in 1938.

The Argus, 30th July 1938 page 4.Detail from advert for The Mutual Men’s Store, who were selling Sinclair’s remaining stock.


S. J. Dalley, Melbourne

Samuel John Dalley (1868-1923)  operated from the first floor of the Finks Building around 1901-1905.

The Finks Building stood on the corners of Elizabeth and Flinders Streets, opposite the station.  It was one of the tallest buildings erected in the boom-time of the 1880s in Melbourne. In 1898 a fire nearly destroyed a whole city block, including this building. It was rebuilt some years later, but the original ornate roof-line was not restored. The building was finally demolished in 1960.


S. J. Derrett, Bellingen

Samuel John Derrett was born in Queensland in 1886. His father, a chemist and optician, moved the family to Sydney around 1900. Sam went into partnership with Claude James as ‘Derrett and James’ from 1911 to 1914, when he moved with the rest of his family to Bowraville, advertising as a ‘tailor, hatter and mercer’. He moved to nearby Bellingen by 1915, although he continued to visit Bowraville professionally once a fortnight. He moved to Sydney for the years 1930-34, but perhaps he didn’t enjoy city life, as he moved back to Nambucca Heads, operating as a storekeeper until he retired around 1958. He died in Coffs Harbour in 1961.


S. J. Woods, Melbourne

Thanks to Andrew Casey,

Samuel James Woods was a tailor who arrived in Adelaide in 1888, the moved to Melbourne in 1891. From around 1891- 1922 he worked in the Australian Buildings at 44 Elizabeth Street. He travelled to the country, servicing places such as Wagga, Cobrum, Numurkah and Benalla.

Postcard of Elizabeth Street printed in Germany. The Australia Building is multistory red brick with white stripes on the left.

Completed in 1889, it was at the time perhaps the 3rd tallest Building in the world, with 2 hydraulic lifts. It was unfortunately demolished in 1980.

Champion, 5th September 1896 page 11.

From 1905-1922 he formed a partnership with William Peter Manson (1871-1941). After the partnership finished, he again traded under the name S. J. Woods, moving to Collins Street.

See the entry for W. P. Manson & Co, Melbourne


The Argus, 4th October1922 page 10.

The button therefore either dates from 1891-1905 or 1922  to around 1931. (He was still advertising in 1931.) He died in 1943.

Celebrity note: The home were Gough Whitlam  was born in 1916 was sold by the Whitlam’s to Samuel Woods and his wife in 1917.


Skurrie & Son, Carlton

Joseph Skurrie (1855-1927) worked from 267 Lygon Street from 1879. His son Archibald Henry Skurrie (1882-1958) continuing unit at least 1935.

Advocate, 19th August 1911 page 44.


Sloan’s, Wangaratta

Robert Macombe Sloan (1874-1956) was in partnership as ‘Clarkes & Sloan’ until 1912, then continued as ‘R. M. Sloan’ in Murphy Street, Wangaratta.

Wangaratta Chronicle 10th January 1914 page 4.


Smale Bros, Hobart

In 1903 Frederick William and John Penwell Smale took over the business of Mr J. R. Johnston in Murray Street, Hobart. Ten years later they opened a flash new store in Collins with electric lighting and with “lavatory provisions (that) are as near perfection as attainable” The firm was still running in 1954.

The Mercury (Hobart) 23rd May 1932 page 6. John Smale (1866-1932).

The Mercury, 27th January 1939 page 11. Fred Smale (1877-1939).










Sol Davis, Melbourne

This hat pin is an example of “sweetheart jewellery” when a uniform button is fashioned into a brooch or hat pin, to honor your man in uniform.

Solomon (Solly) Davis was a tailor born in Melbourne in 1881. After marrying in 1902 he moved to Sydney for 18 months then returned to Melbourne where he lived with his long suffering wife in several locations. During 1906-08 he styled himself as a importer. From 1911-1919 he was listed as a clothing manufacturer at 41 Russell, then 24 Russell, then 353 Lonsdale Streets.  He  started “Carter’s Pty. Ltd.”, drapers, tailors and furriers, in 1927 with Solomon Lyons. The two listed a new firm in 1929, Sol Davis Pty. Ltd. in Carlton. They were soon being sued £500 for rent, and being denied the Trademark “Bond”, as being too similar to “Bonds” which was already in use. When he lost a government clothing contract ‘Sol Davis Pty. Ltd.’ clothing manufacturers went into liquidation in 1931. It was not the first time he had been bankrupt, having previously manufactured clothing in Sydney where he had lost money on racehorses and business speculation. His wife sued for divorce on the grounds of infidelity and desertion in 1932.

He was fined in 1898 for trying to avoid paying duties and in 1924 for not paying staff according to the award. I don’t know what became of him after 1932.

The Herald (Melbourne), 21st November 1932 page 4.


Southwell Coultas & Co, Melbourne

Australian Women’s Weekly, 1965 page 4.

The beginning of this high class tailoring firm that would including royalty and other leaders was known as Scourfield and Coultas. They started in 1875 in Swanston Street, but  moved to Collins Street later that year. In May 1881 it was reported that “the shop and land in Collins-street, between Swanston-street and Russell-street, with a frontage of 33 ft, in the occupation of Messrs Stokes and Martin, was sold to Messers Scourfield and Coultas for 3712 pounds 10 shillings”. Robert Scourfield left the partnership in 1889 to run his own establishment, which however amalgamated with the original firm in 1897 after the death of Mr  Southwell Coultas in 1895. (After Mr Coultas death there was an extraordinary court case, with a lady suing his estate for ‘breach of promise’, claiming he wooed her and told her to stop working, when she did not realise he was already married.) Mr Scourfield died in 1909, having retired to Woodend.

The firm traded as ‘Southwell Coultas & Co’ from 1889 until 1896, then as ‘Southwell Coultas Ltd.’  it went up for sale in 1909, but continued trading and was registered as Southwell Coultas P/L  in 1926. Then from 1962 until 1993 the firm traded as Southwell Coultas and Co. P/L.Therefore, this button dates from  1889-1897.


S. Solcberg & Son, Melbourne

Polish born Samson Solcberg (1821-1882) was in Melbourne from 1854. He had a period of insolvency in 1858. In 1861 his only daughter Freda married Ferninand Ehrmann. He made his son-in-law a business partner, and changed the name to S. Solcberg & Son, which is touching.

The Argus, 27th February 1863 page 8.

Samson’s health was not good, and in 1868 he had been forced to retire, leaving the business running under the control of his son-in-law. However, he must have rejoined the firm, as in 1877 he took sole control of the firm whilst Ehrmann was overseas. Unfortunately he was again insolvent by 1880. (This resulted in him being bashed by a man he owed money to.) He died in 1882, aged only 62 years.


S. S. & S., Melbourne







Someone and son? S. Solcberg & Son as above?


Syd Ingerson,  Adelaide

Philip Alfred Sydney Ingerson (known as Syd) was born in South Australia in 1882. He worked for Parker & Co, tailors and outfitters in King William Street, Adelaide. Early in January 1906 he opened a store in Argent Street, Broken Hill known as ‘The Don Tailors’

Barrier Miner 31st October 1906 page 3.

By around 1923 he had opened a second store back in King William Street, Adelaide and in 1925 established a new company, ‘Ingerson Limited’, with the Adelaide branch trading as ‘Syd Ingerson’.

The Diggers’ Gazette 21st April 1921.

Ingerson’s in King Williams, 1926.   Street State Library of SA

The Sun(Sydney) 11th November 1943 page 5.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) 11th December 1954 page 1. The firm moved to Gawler Place in 1953.


















T. G. Brown & Son, Adelaide

Carol’s collection: Customs uniform button.

Thomas Gattey Brown (1813-1884) welcomed his son, T.G. junior, into his business, and opened new premises.

The South Australian Advertiser, 11th September 1878, page 3.

In 1897  T. G. Brown & Son was taken over by the firm of Mackintosh & Co, who was in turn taken over by E. Lucas & Co in 1903. The firm had made uniforms for many services, including South Australian Volunteer Forces, Military Band, Telegraph Department, the Police and  Customs Departments.


T. H. Dunstan, Castlemaine

Thomas Henry Dunstan (1866-1936) worked for Mr Christian Duus, in Hargreaves Street, Castlemaine, from 1882. On his death in 1888 Thomas took over the business. He remained there until around 1913 when he moved his family to Clifton Hill, a suburb of Melbourne.

Mount Alexander Mail, 22nd February 1888 page 3.


T. H. French, Melbourne

Thomas Henry French was born in Cambridge, England in 1854. I don’t know when he came to Victoria, but he was married here in 1883. In 1916 he was listed as working from 291 Swanston Street. He died in 1917 at the age of 63 years.


Thomson, Son & Co., Sydney

The company was established in 1902 and was listed as a limited company in 1930. It was last mentioned in print in 1947 as a propriety limited company. In 1916 the premises were seriously damaged by fire. Mr Thomson senior was James Thomson (1844-1927), born in Scotland. The son in the firm was James Stevens Thomson (1883-1956).

The Sydney Stock and Station Journal, 25th April 1902.


daily Pictorial (Sydney), 22nd July 1930 page 14.


Thos Bourke, Launceston

Thomas Bourke (1846-1924) had a tailors, mercers and hatters establishment in Brisbane Street, Launceston from 1881 through to 1952.

Daily Telegraph, 12th September 1921 page 2.

Examiner, 28th March 1929 page 6.


Thurling & Hamilton, Melbourne

Walter Ernest Thurling ( 1898-1933) and William Herdam Hamilton (1864-1917) traded at 45 Elizabeth Street from  around 1895-1912. After that, Walter worked for Southwell Coultas, another Melbourne tailoring establishment, whilst William changed career and worked as a traveling salesman.


Tippett & Clemence, Ballarat

In August 1885 “the tailoring and outfitting business of the late Mr A. Lewis, in Stuart Street, will in future, we are informed, be carried on by two of the deceased gentleman’s employees, they having purchased it. The new firm will consist of Messers Tippett and Clemence, both sons of well known residents of Ballarat.” These men were George Francis Tippett and Edward Treganza Clemence. In 1890 the partnership was dissolved as Edward was in poor health. He died sooner after at the age of only 25 years. Tippett continued alone until 1895 when he went into partnership as an undertaker with the firm of Jordan and Tippett. He died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 54 years.


T. J. Miljoen & Co. Melbourne

Mr Theodore John Miljoen operated at 204 Collins Street from at least. He and his family appear to have arrived in Melbourne in 1909. They lived in Brisbane from at least 1910 until 1915 before returning to Melbourne.

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 30th June 1932 page 8.


T. L. Nicholson, Sydney

Cam Smith’s button: NSW Artillery button (1871-1890 according to Cossum).

Cumberland Mercury, 3rd May 1879 page 1. He did not advertise as a tailor before 1879.

Mr Thomas Lovedale Nicholson( 1831-1891) was a Naval, military and civil tailor in Kings Street. He was born in Paramatta who had been “a bit of a bohemian” before joining the Independant Order of Good Templars (a temperance organisation) around 1877 and straightening himself out. This lodge seems to have been politically active. Tom became an alderman then mayor of Ashfield. Perhaps it was the influence of the Order that secured him large government contracts. He had a large family of 13 children (11 who were alive in 1881) and had been a keen cricketer.

He had a mixed career as a business man. He had a failed foray into mining. In 1867, as a cordial manufacturer in Dubbo, he was insolvent. Back in Sydney by 1875 as a tailor he was again insolvent in 1876, then again in 1884. He died 21st July, 1891.

The Bulletin, 11th June 1881 page 4.


T. O’Farrell, Wagga Wagga

Thomas Joseph (Tom) O’Farrell was a tailor at 112 Baylis Street from 1923. Unfortunately he died suddenly from pneumonia in 1935, aged only 56 years. His brother “Dick” took over and continued tailoring at the same address until 1953. Tom is remembered as a keen sportsman. He was involved in cricket, rugby, athletics and shooting. He is best remembered for starting the O’Farrell Cup in 1925, a competition that continues today.

Daily Advertiser (Wagga) 9th June 1939 page 8.


T. P. Britton, Wollongong

Thomas Patrick Britton (1874-1951) became a partner in the tailoring business of William James Coogan in King’s Street, Sydney in 1908-9, named  Coogan & Britton, with Coogan retiring in 1911. He then moved to Wollongong in 1918 and opened a new business in December 1921. The business was still active in 1946.

South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus (NSW), 16th December 1921 page 13.

Illawarra Daily Mercury (Wollongong), 24th December 1951 page 4.


Twentymans, Ballarat

Twentyman & Stamper were established around 1858 at 23 Bridge Street, Ballarat. When Thomas Stamper retired in February 1878 the partnership between Stamper and John Twentyman was dissolved, with John continuing alone as ‘ J. Twentyman, The People’s Tailor”. He died in 1899, aged seventy, his son Thomas inheriting and continuing the business under the same name. He had been born in Exter, England, came come to Victoria in 1854. He was remembered as a benevolent and charitable man. The business was succeed in 1909 by ‘Brown and Morris’.

The Ballarat Star, 30th November 1909 page 3.


T. Woodcock, Brisbane

Thomas Woodcock, born in Lancashire in 1832, arrived in Brisbane in 1863. He was in partnership with Peter Phillips until 1877. Although he died in 1905, his firm continued until around 1924, moving from Albert Street to the new Fitzroy Buildings in Adelaide Street in 1913. I don’t know who continued under his name, as all his sons had died, and his daughters remained unmarried.



Vereys, Sydney

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) 7th August 1933 page 12.










Vereys operated as “tailors for men who care” from around 1909. In 1929 they moved across the road to new  premises. The business closed down in 1953.

The Daily Telegraph, 2nd October 1929, page 35.



W. Ackerley, Moruya

William Henry Ackerley (1865-1936) was born in Hamilton, Victoria. He operated as Don Tailor in Moruya from around 1899-1905.

The Cobargo Chronicle (NSW), 21st July 1899 page 3.

Unfortunately, he was bankrupt by 1905, and left the town the following year.


W. Adam & Sons, Maryborough

Truth (Brisbane) 12th August 1928 page 12.









William Anderson Adam was born in Glasgow in 1833. He came to Melbourne in 1864 then reached Queensland by 1864. He settled in Maryborough in 1874. In 1881 he started a drapers store with partners Messrs. Bailey and Bartholomew. In 1886 he continued alone as “Glasgow House Drapers”, presumably named after his home town. On the first of January 1902 he welcomed two of his sons,  Charles Henry (1884-1934) and Samuel Bettison (1868-1934), into partnership. The next year he died, aged 69 years.  Although Charles and Samuel both died in 1934, the business was still in operation in 1947.


Wardrop Pty. Ltd., Melbourne

See entry for G. Wardrop.


W. Balfour, Genelg

Walter James Balfour(1888-1961) moved around quite a bit. After leaving the employ of William Bros he partnered with Alfred Ray Norman as ‘Balfour & Norman’ in 1914-15 in King William Street, Adelaide, before working for L.S. Starr in Glenelg from 1916.

Glenelg Guardian, 12th February 1920 page 2.

In 1920 he started on his own Glenelg working from Moseley Street, then in 1923 Jetty Road, then in 1929 in Piere St, then in 1929 Rundle Street then a detour to Broken Hill in 1930 before going back to Jetty Road in 1931.  He moved to Whyalla from 1940-49 then on to Port Augusta. Therefore the button dates c. 1920-1940.


W. Barnard, Melbourne

Below is a rare Victorian Volunteer Artillery Regiment button dating from 1856-1859.






There was a William Barnard operating from 133 Little Bourke Street east from 1854-57 who was variously described as a working jeweller, a watchmaker, and a gilder. He was paid for striking medals in 1857, so he may have been a die-sinker as well (or subcontracted it).

The Age (Melbourne), 16th July 1855 page 1.


W. Beckefeld, Albert Park

From 1921 until circa 1933, the premises of William Frederick Beckefeld’s tailoring business was in Bridport Street, Albert Park.


W. Butler, Port Melbourne

William John Butler (1869-1932) commenced in Bay Street in 1898 as a tailor and later also as a mercer, until at least 1914. When he died in 1932 he was remembered as a champion bowler, and as a lodge member.

Standard, 25th January 1902 page 2. I had to look up ‘Vicuna’. Apparently the fleece of the Vicuna, a Perusian cousin of the Llama, is the most expensive in the world, and prized for its fine, warm, silkiness. Two years ago the fleece was fetching 5-8 times the price of cashmere.


W. Chorley, Sydney

Royal  Australian Navy

‘Made in England for Chorley & Co Sydney’

Pre 1901 NSW Military Forces.

Royal Australian Artillery, 1910-1936.

From Helen’s collection: P & O uniform button, marked Chorley & Co.

White Star Line from VBCC magazine August 2016.








William Chorley (1860-1935), tailor, came to Australia from England in 1883. ‘Chorley & Co. Tailor and Robe Maker’ in George Street, Sydney, became well known, specialising in formal court dress and service uniforms. The firm opened a store  Canberra, and phased out the Sydney store. His son Henry, then grandson Eric continued with the firm until 1980, when his grandson retired. The business was sold to Neville Stuart and Santo Lagana. 

William also ran a military uniform tailoring firm (see Kitchener & Co).

William Chorley

The Canberra Times, 21st January 1984 page 2. Eric Chorley Graham, grandson.




The Bulletin., 18th August 1921, page 36.


W. Colyer, Adelaide

William Colyer (1864-1933) took over his father’s business in 1891. His father, George (1822-1897) had arrived in Adelaide in 1857 and operated as a tailor in King William Street at several locations. Around 1910, William moved to Pirie Street. He advertised at that location until 1924.

Detail of photo in State Library of SA collection.King William Street, 1875George Colyer’s store front can be seen on the left.

Southern Cross (Adelaide) 16th December 1910 page 26.


W. Croft, Wollongong

William Croft started tailoring in Wollongong around 1854.

South Coast Times and Wollongong Argus, 20th April 1901 page 9.

The Daily Telegraph, 9th August 1909 page 8.


W. Denton & Co. Sandhurst

See also Denton Bros. entry in the Tailoring pages.

Messrs. W. Denton & Co, of the Eclipse Tailoring Establishment,  corner of Mitchell and Hargraves Streets, announced they had a a splendid lot of “Scotch checks” and other goods at prices that defied competition! The firm was still in operation when the town’s name was changed, but were by then known as Denton Bros merchants and military tailors at Royal House, 253 Bourke Street, as well as the original store.

From the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. The Bourke Street store. c.1890. Denton Bros is at the right of the photo.


W. D. Fetherston, Sydney

William Daniel Fetherston, tailor, advertised from 1919. The business was bought by Farmer’s department store in 1930. He died in 1954.

4th September 1930. The Sydney Morning Herald page 1.


W. D. Kewley,  Melbourne

See also Kewley & Millsom.


The Maffra Spectator 18th March 1920 page 1.

After the partnership of Kewley & Millsom was dissolved (see post 27th March 2017), William David Kewley continued to work from the Empire Arcade, off Flinders Street, from 1914 until around 1942. Born in 1879 in Emerald Hill (now Richmond), he was a keen golfer. he died in 1955.

The Herald, 27th September 1938 page 28.


W. D. Ramage, Bendigo

See R. Ramage.


W. F. Cock, Melbourne

William Frederick Cock (1885-1967), born in Fitzroy, claimed to have been a head-cutter in a London tailoring concern.

Lancefield Mercury and West Bourke Agricultural Record (Vic), 7th December 1917 page 2.

Table Talk (Melbourne), 25th February 1915 page 25.

In the advertorial above, he claimed to have set up on the 5th floor of the Australia Building, Elizabeth St, Melbourne in 1908. However this was his location from around 1916 onwards. He was located  in Glenhuntly and Collins Street in 1914-5. He was still at the Australia Building in 1930. In common with other tailors , he would visit country locations on a regular basis to take orders.

The Australia (or APA) Building, on the corner of Flinders Lane, Elizabeth Streets, is one of Melbourne’s lost gems. Built in 1889, it was at the time the world’s 3rd tallest building at 150 feet, and the first in the world to use hydraulic elevators. In 1950 it was described as ” … the crusty old Australia Building”. It was demolished in 1980.

National Library ID 58563952. APA Building c.1897

State Library Victoria ID 2565309. ?date.


W. Gribble & Co, Ballarat







W. Gribble and Co., tailors, were located at 27 Sturt Street, Ballarat. They used material from the Ballarat Woollen Mills for their expertly cut suits. They bought out an existing business in 1887 and were still trading in 1954.

The Ballarat Star, 27th September 1923 page 4.

Postcard in Sovereign Hill Museum. 1896. Object no. 527.81.

W. G. Scates,  Swanston St., Melbourne

The Age, 8th September 1939 page 13.

Werribee Shire Banner, 1st February 1934 page 4. What pray-tell, is a practical tailor?


W. H. Bladwell, Goulburn

Button dug up by Mick Thompson.

William Henry Bladwell, from Bath, Somerset, opened a tailoring establishment in Goulburn in 1882 in conjunction with his father. This firm ran until around 1950.

Goulburn Herald (NSW),  21st October 1882 page 4.


Wheeler Ltd., Adelaide

In 1910 Mr Walter Harrison Wheeler (1881-1944) came from Victoria and together with his brother Louis Winslow Wheeler (1878-1943), started a tailoring and mercery store in Grenfell Street. In 1917 they purchased the established firm of William Bros at 12 King William Street, Adelaide which seems to have been used for their ladies’ tailoring department, whilst they had men’s wear stores at North terrace and Hindley Street.

Critic, 27nd April 1921 page 18.

The Register, 15th November 1923. Despite the sale of the store, Wheeler’s continued to lease this address until around 1930-2, when they moved to Currie Street.


W. Hillier, Mt. Gambier

William Hillier was a tailor in Mount Gambier from at least 1871 until 1881.


Whitelock & Carter, Bendigo

In 1908 partners Horace Egbert George Whitelock (1881-1923) and Gordon Carter  (1885-1965) started tailoring at View Street, Bendigo. As greater room was needed, they moved to Pall Mall. During the war they were required to provide uniforms. In 1918 they built  larger premises. Horace’s father John was working with them, as was Mr L. Makepeace. The firm was still in business after Whitelock’s death until at least 1925.

Detail from a Rose Postcard of Bendigo’s Pall Mall.  The name can be seen behind the lamp post. See State Library

Swan Hill Guardian and Lake Boga Advocate 5th July 1915 page 4.

In Carol’s collection: a matchbox cover.


Whiteside, Ballarat

The Ballarat Star 12th September 1865 page 1.

Myles Pennington Whiteside, born in Lancaster, England in 1831, arrived in Melbourne in 1854 and moved to Ballarat the following year. He opened his own tailoring and general mercery establishment in Ballarat in 1865. In 1867 he was described as a military tailor. Around 1891 his son Norman Ernest Whiteside joined the firm, now called Whiteside and Son, then after his death in 1908, Whiteside’s.

The Ballarat Star, 26th October 1920 page 2.

State Library Victoria: detail of Ballarat photo

Wilkins & Jones, Bendigo








In 1889 James Berriman Wilkins (1863-1937) and John James Jones (1860-1939), both late of Cahill’s tailoring, started their partnership, “The “Busy Bee”, first in High street then from 1912, Charing Cross, Bendigo.

In 1915 the partnership dissolved with Wilkins continuing as ‘J. B. Wilkins’. He had lived all his life, except for a short while in Echuca, in Bendigo. Wilkins was still listed as a tailor in 1936, the year before he died. He had been a native of Cornwall.


William Young, Ballarat

William Young took over the firm of J. Payne & Co in 1903 in Sturt Street, the Beehive store. He died in 1924, aged only 50 years.

Creswick Advertiser, 5th October 1917 page 4.


Williams & Weller, Dandenong

These were storekeepers around 1888-9.

The Age (Melbourne), 9th February 1888 page 6.


Wilsons, Sturt St. Ballarat

Mahlon Stacey Wilson (1871-1951) was in a partnership, Purser and Wilson’ from around 1897-1904. Wilson continued on alone from the 79 Sturt Street store, moving to 209 Sturt Street by 1910. He remained a batchelor, leaving his estate to a bother, Lewis John Wilson, also a draper. The store ceased to advertise in 1924.

The Ballarat Star, 16th September 1922. page 12.


Wiseman Bros.,  Melbourne








In the 1880s Albert and Walter Wiseman ran a business in Flinders, Melbourne, as soft-goods warehousemen. Along with their brother Arthur they were well regarded as philanthropists.

The Herald, 31st July 1913 page 4. The 5 story warehouse used by Wiseman Bros in Flinders Lane, demolished in 1913.

W. J. Armstrong, Warrnambool

Warrnambool Standard, 28th September 1918 page 2.

Unfortunately, only 4 years of local newspapers from Warrnambool are available on Trove, so all I know is that Mr Armstrong moved from Kepler Street to Liebig Street in 1918.


W. J. Jackson, Bendigo

Button dates ?1892-1895 or 1899-1911.









William Jabez Jackson was born in Chester, England, and  came to Castlemaine with his family in 1857. He worked as a tailor in Castlemaine and Bendigo, before retiring from business and moving to Melbourne for a few years. Perhaps life in Melbourne didn’t suit him, as he returned to Bendigo in 1892 and opened a new tailoring store in Hargreaves Street. From 1895-1899 he was in partnership with one of his sons, as W. J. Jackson & Son, then continuing on his own.

Bendigo Advertiser, 28th August 1905 page 7.

He died in 1911, aged only 60 years of heart failure, with Mr Robert C George buying his business.


W. Johns, Brisbane


Australasian United Steam Navigation Company.








William Johns was born in Cornwall, England in 1867. He had come to Queensland by 1894, and by 1905 was living in Edwards Street, Brisbane. In 1906 “W. Johns & Co”, drapers, bought the business of Sidle & Co, and were located at the corner of Edwards and Queen Street. By now they described themselves as an Emporium. In 1908 they had expanded to a “department store” although it was in reality a large drapery. There were a men’s, fancy goods, toys, milinery and ready-made costume “departments”. In 1913 the company purchased the business of Edward Shields Ltd, and were calling the store “the Crystal Emporium”.  In 1923 they opened a second store at Fiveways, Woolloongabba, called “The Fiveways Supply Store”. The Queens Street store was being advertised for sale as an ongoing concern mid 1929, with the Fiveways store later the same year. Perhaps William was retiring? He died in 1942.

The Telegraph, 27th August, 1929 page 18.


W. Koska, Bendigo








Mr Koska worked at “The Beehive” before moving to Mitchell Street in 1909 As a “ladies’ and gentlemen’s tailor” he was there until at least 1935.

The Bendigo Independant (Vic), 27th February 1909 page 4.

Sunraysia Daily (Mildura, Vic), 29th July 1939
7 page 4.


W. Lowe & Co., Sydney

Evening News, 10th October 1903 page 5.











William Lowe came to Australia around 1889. He started in 1899 as a hat and mercery importer and manufacturer in Oxford Street, with just two employees. Prior to this he had worked at Gowing Bros., and Mark Foy’s.

The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 12th September 1906 page 653. The first store in Oxford St.

They soon expanded next door. Another sign of success was the registering of a trademark, and expansion into outfitting.

Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales, 30th July 1901 page 5873

The Catholic Press (Sydney), 13th November 1902 page 24.

They continued to expand, purchasing a four story building in George Street in 1903, then extended to next door in 1904. That year they opened a footwear department and started mail order.

The Bulletin, 26th January 1905 page 21.

Evening News (Sydney), 7th September 1904 page 3.












For the first anniversary of the George St store, every 25th customer received his or her money back! By 1905 over 300 people were employed by the firm. In 1906 the Oxford Street branch became exclusively for ladies apparel, and the George Street store for boys and menswear. By 1907 they no longer traded in ladies wear, “owing to the great growth of their tailoring, hat, and ready-to-wear clothing for men and boys”. The George St building had a four story expansion  started in 1910. In 1911 the business was registered as a company, Lowe’s Ltd. The business extended to Newcastle in 1916.

‘Bill’ Lowe died of pneumonia in August 1936, aged 61 years. The business then comprised eleven stores and employed more than one thousand people. He was a well liked boss who had promoted better wages for retail staff.

The Argus (Melbourne) 14th August 1936 page 10.

The Newcastle Sun (NSW), 13th August 1936 page 10.

See also


W. Lucas, Adelaide

Willie Lucas, 1870-1931, came back from London with his first class diploma to run his business from Grenfell Street. He was involved with teaching and examining tailoring, and the treasurer for the Master Tailors’ Association. He sold the firm as a going concern in 1915, the new owners keeping the name until 1920.

Australian Christian Commonwealth (South Aust), 1st March 1901 page 10.


W. Mayger, Broken Hill

Mr William Frederick Mayger worked as a tailor in Broken Hill from 1898. In 1906 he bought the business of  Mr C. Painton. He retired to Sydney in 1933 and died in 1936, and was remembered as a keen member of the Druid’s Order, the Mason’s Lodge and the Friendly Society.

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), 22nd July 1908 page 6.


W. McDonald, Warrnambool

William Donald McDonald (1880-1947) was born in Wangoom. From at least 1912 until 1934 he was listed as living and working in Warrnambool as a tailor. He served during WW1 in the AIF.


W. McElwee, Melbourne

William Colin McElwee (31/10/1889-1978) advertised as located at Union House, 284-6 Little Collins Street around 1930-33.  The eight story Union House was built in 1922-3 and demolished in 1939 to make way for the extension of G. J. Coles Bourke Street store, now occupied by David Jones.


W. Monckton (a.k.a. Mockton or Moncton), Fitzroy

This is a rare button from the Country Fire Brigade. 

The Age (Melbourne), 25th November 1892 page 5.

Walter was born in Fitzroy in 1856. Around 1870 he was apprenticed as a tailor, and with his brother John continued in this trade until retirement. He first traded, from 1885, in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, and later from around 1899 in Flinders Street, Melbourne. He emigrated to Surrey, England some time after 1919 and lived out his years there.

W. Moncton Melbourne, 1899-1903.





Walter had an ongoing relationship with the Victorian Cadet movement.

Advocate (Melbourne), 18th July 1908 page 20.


This reference came from a 1913 street directory;

Queensland Times 11th February 1911 page 6. This article references Mockton and Co. as one of many firms accepting contracts for uniforms.


W. Morrow, Port Pirie

The Journal (Adelaide), 29th July 1914 page 4.











William Morrow was born in Bairnsdale, Victoria in 1872. From 1891-1915 he was a tailor in Port Pirie, South Australia. After that he was a member of the South Australian parliament until his death in 1934.  He had been the mayor in Port Pirie and was prominent in the South Australian Churches of Christ.


Wm Young, Ballarat

See above entry for William Young.


W. N. Wigney, Bairnsdale

William Norman Wigney’s  tailoring concern existed in Main Street, Bairnsdale from around 1928. His grandfather William had previously been a tailor in Ballarat , and his father William a tailor in Hamilton. He died in Bairnsdale in 1965, aged 64 years by which time he was listed as a farmer.


Worthley’s, Adelaide

See  H. J. L. Worthley, Hindmarsh on the tailoring pages.


Woulfe & Son, Brisbane

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 2nd April 1948, page 4.









Patrick Woulfe (1888-1948) set up his tailors establishment in Adelaide Street, Brisbane, in 1913.  He was a successful businessman. By 1939 he employed 400 people with outlets in other Queensland cities. The family continued with the business after his untimely death, with it finally being wound up in 1972.

Brisbane Telegraph, 25th November 1954 page 15.

Brisbane Telegraph, 3rd November 1953, page 29. I love ‘Harry high-pants’ with his tie tucked in. Obviously wide pant-legs were fashionable!


W. P. Manson & Co, Melbourne

In 1922 William Peter Manson finished his partnership of ‘Woods & Manson’ and bought a tailoring business at the corner of Bourke and Queens Street. He registered it as a propriety limited company in 1929  along with George Thomas Pender Gibbs. it was still trading in 1954.

The Argus, 13th April 1954 page 23. “where Men Shop”.


W. P. Miller, Geo. St., Sydney


Mr Miller had  been in partnership with Charles Robert Baxter as tailors from 1920-22, so may have continued under his own name after that. He advertised from 1927 until 1947 at Roma House, George Street.

From City of Sydney Archives. ‘Roma House’, 537-539 George St, 1940.


W. R. A. Clarke, Rockhampton

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) 27th April 1946 page 5.









William Robert Archerbald Clarke (1894-1972) had a tailoring store in Williams Street, Rockhampton, from around 1920 until 1932. He moved to larger premises at 39 East Street and was still advertising in 1949. He was an alderman of the city council for many years, and a keen lawn bowler.


W. Small, Germanton

In 1894 William Small and William Carr Low  set up in business in Germanton as ‘Small and Low’. In 1900 they moved to a new brick shop near the intersection of Young and Albury Streets, Albury.  There was also a branch in Newtown. In 1912  Mr Small bought out his partner, and continued as ‘W. Small’ in Dean Street, Albury.

Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), 5th March 1914 page 29.

His son, William Ambrose Small, born in Germanton in 1900, was also a tailor, then later a grazier. Presumably the above button dates prior to the partnership with W. Low in 1894.


W. T. Walsh, Ararat

Button dates to 1882-1892.







William Thomas Walsh moved from Hamilton in 1882 to Ararat where he was a tailor and outfitter until his business became bankrupt in 1892. He was the manager for the Palace tailoring Company in Wangaratta from around 1900-1904, after which he moved to Melbourne. He became the head cutter for Messers Davies, Deery & Co, and died in 1935.


Yong & Ince Ballarat

See under Ince Bros entry.