About a year and a half ago, my (ex)boss' wife came to me with a box full of jewelry she wanted to upcycle and create something new with. Two of the items immediately grabbed my attention. They were the tiniest bracelets I ever saw. She had the hospital identification bracelet given to her when she was born, and she had her husband's too. I was stunned when I saw them. At first, I didn't believe her when she told me they were hospital bracelets. The nurses actually sat there and strung bracelets for every baby born ??? SHOCKING! I thought maybe her hospital was special, but she killed that thought when she told me her and her husband were born in different hopsitals.
I went home and did a web search for "beaded hospital name bracelets". Of course, Google returned 238,000 results. When I sifted through the results, I found out that the bracelets were not very uncommon. From approximately the 1940s through the 1960s, they WERE used to identify newborns. Although I read that information on a few sites, I still didn't really believe it.
Shortly after, I decided to add a little blurb about the bracelets in one of my monthly newsletters, and asked my readers if they have ever heard of them or if they themselves had one. To my surprise, I received many responses, many of them saying they had one or their parents did.
One of the projects my (ex)boss' wife commissioned me to do was to take both her baby bracelet and her husband's and turn them into bracelets that she can wear now and eventually pass down to her children. She wanted the finished product to maintain the baby feel but also look classy enough for her to wear everyday. It's a little hard taking 50 year old letter beads and pink and blue plastic beads and incorporate them into something classy. Nonetheless, I designed two bracelets that she now proudly wears.
After successfully creating what she envisioned, I decided I would try to market the idea and turn more baby bracelets into wearable memorabilia. I named them "Baby Boomer Bracelets" and highlighted them on my website. Since then, I received several custom orders for them and created various different styles.
It's pretty cool! I still can't get over the fact that nurses really beaded them; one of the ways our healthcare system has changed over the years! I think Baby Boomer Bracelets have become one of my favorite things to make. It is pretty amazing to hold something so small and something that was probably the first thing someone ever wore in your hands.
Have you ever seen one of these hospital identification bracelets? Were you or someone you know given one at birth? If so, please share what you know about them? I'd love to learn more. And of course, remember, Mother's Day is around the corner; what a great gift!
If you are interested in custom ordering a Baby Boomer Bracelet, please click here.
Hope you enjoyed the read.