The other day I posted some photos of my haul from my latest antique show trip. (Read about it in my blog post, “To the Early, Go the Spoils“). I wrote that sometimes I see the same thing over and over, at different booths and wonder to myself why. Is it because I just never noticed them before and they were there all along or what? Which came first, the chicken or the friendship bracelets?
Anyway, it doesn’t matter because this time I bought 5 of them! I’ve had one of these before, the second one down in the photo to the left. On the back of it it says “forget-me-not” and stamped Sterling. (All of these are Sterling silver except the top one which I think is gold-plate.) I was really happy to see all the varieties at the show. I had just used my last 2 links of my former bracelet and really loved it. The one I had had all boys names on them. This group I bought last Friday had a variety of names and initials. I was intrigued! I was led to believe that girls would have the names of their suitors and/or boyfriends engraved on the links. (I assumed my last bracelet belonged to a rather slutty young lady since all her links had boys’ names on them!). I came home with my stash and did a little detective work.
The bottom bracelet, with the blue ribbon woven through, really is my favorite and a bit of a splurge. I adored the design and the engraving was so wonderful. And then there’s the names. No Brittany’s or Tiffany’s in the bunch! The names on the blue-ribbon bracelet are: Father, Mother, Mary, Dr. Bass, Martha, Timmy and Judy.
The names on the other Forget-Me-Not bracelet are: Mom, Thelma, Bev, Edythe, Doris, Kay Claire, Joyce, Marilyn, and Hazel.
So, my research on these 2 types dates them to WWII era! Women would collect the links engraved with the names of loved ones.
But, even older are the other 3 bracelets – they date from 1915-1920! They were simply called “Friendship Bracelets”. Again, names or initials of special friends were engraved on the links. They were typically made in St. Louis, Missouri, and production started in 1915. Here are the names on these types on the ones I bought: Myrtle (when’s the last time you met a Myrtle?!), Kate, Mary, Mildred, Eleanor, Marie, Raymond, Lucile, Lalla (?), George, Bessie, Mother, Gertrude (!!!), Hilda, Janet, Father, Jessie, Eugene, Polly, another Father and another Kate.
I haven’t used any of these yet but will soon! If you see a name that has meaning to you and want me to make something custom for you to give them (or yourself) drop me an email!