“I received this wonderful story from Suzanne G. Beyer about her family history and the development of the first expansion bracelet,” writes Debbie Schrodt of the Essex shop Pink Pig.
“Every day for 15 years, I’d don my bracelet and my watch, comprising the morning ritual. The bracelet shined with a gold-plated surface, which covered its underlying base metal. For an expansion bracelet, it fit comfortable on my left wrist.
One day, a link broke. The bracelet loosened, almost falling off my wrist. I’d pay any cost to have it repaired as the bracelet represented both my mother and my grandmother. It had been passed down through the generations. When I wore it, I felt closer to them.
“Can you fix my bracelet?” I asked the neighborhood jeweler.
He broke the bad news, that it was so old there’d be no way he could restore it and that I should retire it to a jewelry box for safekeeping, His words hit me like a death in the family.
Only with my aging, did the age and history of the bracelet become important to me. My mother always believed her uncle, Art Hadley, invented it. Upon further research into the pages of the Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent Office, I discovered it was collaboration between Mom’s Uncle Art and his co-worker Charles P. Kuehner. It was patented on February 11, 1913, (the date inscribed on the bracelet link) and manufactured in my Great Uncle Art’s jewelry shop…”[Continue reading.]