Screen actor and Newhall resident William S. Hart is featured on this 1¼-inch (3cm) celluloid pinback, made in Australia, late 1910s or early to mid-1920s.
The manufacture is identified on the edge: "A.W. Patrick Maker 3 Unley Rd. Adelaide."
The company is still manufacturing badges and buttons as of 2019 under the name of Patrick Australia Pty Ltd.
The company opened its Adelaide shop about 1918, which gives us an "earliest" date.
Excerpt from the company website (accessed 2019):
This is the story of 5 brothers and a national business that began with the eldest brother's interest in photographic display.
Arthur William (b.1864), Alfred Ernest (b.1867), Herbert Kearley (b.1869), Walter Francis (b.1872) and Victor Albert (b.1874) Patrick were all born in Ballarat, five sons in a family of 9 children of Joseph and Julia Patrick.
By 1903, Arthur William Patrick was living in Brisbane and working as a photo enameller. By 1913 he was established as a button badge manufacturer and photo enameller in Sydney, probably assisted by one, or all of his brothers who lived nearby. The Sydney business was later taken over by Arthur's brother, Alfred Ernest, and was then known as A.E. Patrick.
Once WWI began, patriotic fervour meant a ready market for the buttons and badges now being manufactured by the Patrick brothers.
Arthur established a business in Melbourne in about 1916 and in Adelaide by 1918. In each case he persuaded a brother to be the manager — Herbert and then Victor in Melbourne, and Walter in Adelaide.
Walter's profession was hairdresser and wig maker but the war years brought changes to hairstyles and his services were not necessary. He gave up his shop opposite the Stanmore railway station and took up his brother's offer to relocate to Adelaide. In 1918, Walter Francis Patrick and his wife (nee Margaret Ellen Emerson) arrived in Adelaide from Sydney with their four children — Edgar, Vera, Mavis and Cecil.
A property at 3 Unley Rd had been purchased, which later expanded to number 5 then to number 7. Of the 2 cottages on site, Walter and his family lived in one and the other became the printing shop. At this time, Walter and his wife, Margaret, were aged 46, eldest son Edgar aged 20, daughters Vera and Mavis 18 and 14, and youngest son Cecil, aged 10. Edgar was soon in charge of the machinery, probably having had some training in his uncles business in Sydney.
A brick frontage was built on to the cottage, and this housed the presses that cut out badges. The presses were driven from an overhead drive shaft by flat leather belts. The rest of the cottage was used for offices, a printing press, and for making photo medallions. The two backrooms comprised the kitchen and a small dressing room for the female staff. A brick building was built across the back of the block, and there were a couple of sheds for cars.
The brick building at the rear was used to set up a silk screening shop. The secret for silk screening was unknown in Adelaide and so the business was able to widen it operations to screening radio dials for Philips and other large companies. Walter had a young bloke named Eric Johnson working for him, whom he nicknamed Joe. Joe stayed there until the late 1950s. Joe taught Cecil's eldest son, Ron, the silk screen techniques.
Walter was such a workaholic that he preferred to walk along Unley Road to work before the trams started for the day. Edgar and Cecil took over the family business when Walter died in 1930. Cecil was then 22, and Edgar 10 years older. Their eldest sister, Vera, married in 1925 and moved to the country. Mavis worked in the office for her brothers until her retirement in 1972.
William S. Hart
Biography by Friends of Hart Park
When William S. Hart began his film career in 1914, he initiated a fresh approach to Westerns that continues to influence the genre today. Although Western motion pictures were already very popular, for the most part they were exercises in mediocrity, filled with "impossibilities or libels on the West," according to Hart in his 1929 autobiography, My Life East and West. But in the course of appearing in or producing more than 60 movies over an eleven-year span, William S. Hart created a film style that revealed a more authentic vision of the Old West. At the same time, he made a major contribution to film history by developing and embodying the prototype of the frontier hero. Fame, artistic recognition, and wealth were Hart's rewards.
A Childhood in the West
William Surrey Hart was born in Newburgh, New York, probably in 1864. During his boyhood, his family traveled extensively in the Midwest as his father searched unsuccessfully for the ideal site to build a gristmill and make a permanent home for his family. Young Bill was raised in a pioneer atmosphere; he had contact with Indians, ranchers, and cowboys and learned Indian sign language and a little of the Sioux language from his playmates. He gained a respect for Indians and their cultures that he never lost.
Hart's First Career
The Hart family returned to New York while Bill was in his early teens, and it was there that he developed an interest in the stage. By 1900 he had appeared in productions from New York to San Francisco to Montreal. He received critical acclaim for his own production of The Man in the Iron Mask and his creation of the role of Messala in Ben Hur.
Hart's first Western role was also in a stage production: in 1905, he was cast as "Cash" Hawkins in The Squaw Man. His subsequent stage roles were primarily Western and included the lead in an enormously successful production of The Virginian.
Two Gun Bill
While touring with the company of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine in 1914, Hart decided to move to California to make Western films. In his autobiography, he wrote, "I was an actor and I know the West. ... I had to bend every endeavor to get a chance to make Western motion pictures." Hart obtained parts in several Westerns and collaborated in writing screenplays, and his film career was launched.
As a filmmaker, Hart drew on his childhood experiences, insisting on using realistic costumes, locales, and situation. The public loved "Two Gun Bill" and his movies, and he obliged the fans with one success after another. He became one of Hollywood's top actors and most successful directors.
La Loma del los Vientos
Some of Hart's Westerns were shot on and around a ranch in Newhall, California. In 1921 he purchased the property from Babcock Smith. After completing Tumbleweeds (1925), his final film and one of his finest, Hart commissioned Los Angeles architect Arthur Kelly to design a magnifient Spanish colonial-style mansion, which Hart christened La Loma de los Vientos (Hill of the Winds) and occupied in 1927.
Hart filled his home with treasure reflecting his interest in the West, including Navajo textiles, Indian costumes, guns and weapons, and Western paintings and sculptures. In his retirement, he became active in the operation of his ranch and deeply involved in Santa Clarita Valley community affairs.
He wrote more than a dozen novels and short stories as well as his fascinating autobiography, My Life East and West.
Hart's reputation as a Western figure put him in contact with other prominent personalities of the day. Western enthusiasts, such as Will Rogers and Wyatt Earp, and important artists, including Charles M. Russell, C. C. Crisadoro, and James Montgomery Flagg, visited the ranch or corresponded with Hart.
The Hart Legacy
True to the spirit of Western heroes he had portrayed on screen, Hart was humbly grateful to the fans who had supported his film career. "While I was making pictures, the people gave me their nickels, dimes, and quarters. When I am gone, I want them to have my home." When he died in 1946, he left the bulk of his estate to the County of Los Angeles, stipulating that his house and the ranch property were to be used as a museum and public park.
Today, the Parks and Recreation Department of Los Angeles County operates and maintains William S. Hart Park, which includes hiking and nature trails, a large picnic area, a campground, an exhibit of farm machinery, an assortment of live animals including a herd of bison, and approximately 110 acres set aside as a wilderness area.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angles County is responsible for the interpretation of the historical portion of Hart's bequest, which includes his home and its contents and several other buildings. The Friends of Hart Park and Museum, an active group of local citizens, provides volunteer support services.
La Loma de los Vientos stands today not only as a tribute to William S. Hart but as a valuable and edifying museum. Hart's personal effects and movie paraphernalia are displayed in his home along with Indian artifacts and Western American art that he amassed. These materials form a major resource for understanding the American West as it was perceived in the early part of the century.
1. Note: Original piece from Friends of Hart Park said 1925.
Hart biography ©Friends of Hart Park • Used by permission.
LW3542: 9600 dpi jpeg from original pinback purchased 2019 by Leon Worden from a vendor in Australia.