Category Archives: Uncategorized

24th January 2023


This article written on the retirement of Captain Joan Streeter provides a good history of women serving in the Navy. It was published in the Royal Australian Navy News, 27th April 1973 page 3.

Captain Streeter pioneered the return of women after marriage into the WRANS in 1968, reducing the entry age of recruits from 18 to 17 years. Unlike the WRAAC and the Women’s Air Training Corps, the WRANS did not have a distinct button design, just the RAN design.













The Age (Melbourne), 7th December 1950 page 5.


For any comment or query, please use the Contact page.

23rd January 2023

New Finds

It has been slim pickings for me lately, but at last here are some new buttons for my collection.

University of Sydney

Backmark: Stokes & Sons Melbourne

Unlike my other example, this one is a flat 2-piece button (face and shank), not a 3-piece (face, back and shank). It dates before 1963.

Valley Horn

Tamrookum is an inland region  (pop. 91 in 2016) in Queensland.









On the back of the card is printed:

” Horn with its beautiful texture and colour has been used for centuries to produce essential household items such as combs, drinking vessels, buttons, spoons – the list is endless.

 In our Tamrookum Valley workshop we manufacture this traditional range as well as items with a  Australian character.

To maintain the beauty and polish of natural horn, wash only in warm water without detergent.”

Tasmanian Bush Buttons

These were sold by Touchwood (a craft outlet, accommodation and cafe) in Stanley, Tasmania (125 km west of Devonport), of “horizontal scrub”. This is the common name of Anodopetalum biglandulosum, which is, according to Wikipedia, “known as horizontal scrub due to the habit of its slender trunk (primary shoot) bending down horizontally under its own weight. This fallen stem sends vertical branches up its length (secondary shoots), which in turn bend down and branches arise (tertiary shoots), forming an impenetrable horizontal scrub.”

For any comment or query, please use the Contact page.

22nd January 2023

Design Problems from the Army.

The Canberra Times. I am not sure if these are buttons are being referred to, but many collectors will be aware the coating on some “Staybrite” anodised uniform buttons did not wear well.


Army newspaper, 21st April 1983 page 11.


The term “housewife” dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century, when soldiers were issued with a pouch containing spare buttons, cotton, etc. The term is now considered as being sexist.

21st January 2023

Corps Buttons

Australian Army newspaper, 15th October 1964 page 11.


From 1984: can you believe this from the Army?

Army newspaper, 1st November 1984 page 11.

No; He wasn’t asking about how the buttons were sewn on; he wants to button up his jacket. Surely this was obvious?!!!

For any comment or query, please use the Contact page.

20th January 2023

Introduction of the “Skewered Roo” button: 1998-99

Army newspaper, 24th November 1998 page 3.



As mentioned above, there was talk in 1980 of a single Army button:

Army newspaper, 4th December 1980 page 15. Part of a criticism of post WW2 corps regalia. At this time, many soldiers were favoring the concept of a ‘single’ Army uniform button.

Army newspaper, 12th November 2009 page 2. It appears the roll out of the unified butyon was not complete, even in 2009.

For any comment or query, please use the Contact page.

19th January 2023

Teenage Fashions: 1980s

The concept of teenage fashion by the 1990s was so accepted, so everyday, that journalists no longer seemed to comment on it. However, department stores had dedicated sections catering for these clients, for example, “Myers Miss Store”( which started in the late 1960s), although there were cross-overs with children’s wear.

The Canberra Times 13th September 1981 page 11.

The Canberra Times, 9th August 1984 page 24.

The Canberra Times, 28th March 1985 page 15.

Times (Victor Harbor, SA), 17th May 1989 page 12. Views from a couple of teenagers.

For any comments or question, please use the Contact page.

18th January 2023

Teenage Fashions in 1970

What a difference from the last decade. I’m not convinced that “teenage” fashion was really different from adult fashion, but the mini dresses undoubtedly suited young people more! Farmer’s in Sydney now had a “Teen Scene Shop”, recognising these customers as a seperate entity.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 19th August 1970 page 47. A sleeveless maxi-coat worn with a mini-skirt; an “ensemble chosen for a teenage reader”.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 14th January 1970 page 40.

The Australian Women’s Weekly,27th May 1970 page 53.  A mini dress worn with/without pants.


























The Australian Women’s Weekly, 18th February 1970 page 4.

For any comment or query, please use the Contact page.

17th January 2023

April 6th, 1960.

















The shoes are (mostly) pointer than a decade ago. Gloves still appear. Many fashions are still the same as for older women, but some are quite ‘boyish’.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 24th August 1960 page 61. “Princess-line frock for the fashion-conscious teenager. Sophisication is no longer a bad thing for a teen.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 7th September 1960 page 69. A “full skirted summer frock for the teenage.”

















The Australian Women’s Weekly, 27th April 1960 pages 8 and 9 of its ‘Teenage Weekly’ section.











The Australian Women’s Weekly, 2nd March 1960 page 1 of its ‘Teenage Weekly’.






16th January 2023


“Australian girls dress as well as girls overseas – says noted Melbourne designer” (Linda Patricia), quoted in the Argus (Melbourne) newspaper on 32st August 1950, page 24. Note the unintentional sense of cultural inferiority! The shoes are “sensible” and gloves common.

Truth (Brisbane 20th August 1950 page 22. Circle skirts and ‘mix-and-match’ separates.

“Gay, young fashions for teenagers bear the same important styles as those for adults, but with the avoidance of any exaggeration.”

Truth (Sydney), 20th August 1950 page 39.”Boat neck edged in white eyelet embroidery trims this slim-hipped, full skirted afternoon dress of rust shantung. The same eyelet edging follows the tiny rows of buttons and simulated peplum. The model is Jane Powell, a 21 year old MGM star, so not quite a teenager.

“Bolero suit with a high cut skirt of grey and white, topped with a snug little jacket of brilliant coral. Blouse is of white pique.”


















The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate (NSW ), 24th October 1950 page 4. “A smart suit for teen-ager”.  Why is this a teenager suit? The short sleeves?

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 27th May 1950 page 60.

For all comments and queries, please use the Contact page.

15th January 2023


War-time restrictions limited the styles available.

Johnstone River Advocate and Innisfail News (Qld), 23rd August 1940 page 5.














The Sydney Morning Herald, 6th May 1941 page 5. “This neat spectator sports outfit in blue novelty crepe or lightweight flannel has white embroidery on the skirt and a smart loose-fitting jacket.”

The Sun (Sydney), 30th August 1942 page 5.














The Age (Melbourne), 30th October 1945 page 5. ‘Black satin worn by the debutante need not bring sophisicstion”. Sophistication was a bad thing for a teen in 1945.

“A casual button-up frock for a fashion-conscious teen-ager. Note the large cape sleeves.”

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 10th May 1947 page 30.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 27th November 1948. Dior is not referenced, however all these dance frocks have his soft shoulders and exaggerated waist. Very different to the uniform-like square shoulders of the preceeding years.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 31st December 1949 page 44. A “shortie for a teenager.”

For any comments or question, please use the Contact page.