This military brass button with motto AUT PACE AUT BELLO (either in peace or in war) was excavated at the Commonwealth Block site between 1988 and 2003. Buttons such as this were used by the Victorian Volunteers in the nineteenth century between 1880 - 1892, when the motto was changed to PRO DEO ET PATRIA, VICTORIA (for God and country). Brass buttons were worn by regular soldiers within the force.

Working in Little Lon.
Alongside the tightly packed cottages, commercial enterprise thrived in little Lon. Shops sold food and 'fancy goods'. Factories and workshops manufactured bellows, furniture, waterproof clothing and ice cream.

In the 1880s grocers flourished, and in the 1890s clothing firms and Chinese cabinet-makers dominated the local manufacturing scene. But Little Lon's most numerous businesses were the myriad hotels and brothels.

It is easy to overlook the 'invisible' work carried out in people's homes. Because such work was rarely documented we rely on things left behind to tell the story. The abundance of lace bobbins dug up at Little Lon hints at a lace-making industry and busy lives otherwise hidden from history.

Physical Description

Round military button, with shank Marked: AUT PACE AUT BELLO Used by the Victorian Volunteers in the nineteenth century. Advice from the Australian War Memorial Curator of Military Heraldry says that such buttons date from c.1880 to c.1892, when the motto was changed. Brass buttons were worn by regular soldiers, unranked, within the force.

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