A bit of a mystery label – Triad was apparently a Toronto jewellery company founded in the 1940s and in business until at least the 1960s. There are a number of pieces that come up for sale through online sites, mostly rhinestone brooches and earrings, but there is very little information available. Anybody know more about this company?
Michael and Joseph Chernow founded their New York monogramming business ‘Monocraft’ in 1927. They began by making custom decals of people’s initials to put on their cars (monogramming was a popular fad in the late 1920s.) They then expanded into making metal monograms that resembled family crests including small versions for women to monogram their purses.
In 1934 they hired jewellery designer Edmond Mario Granville, who had trained with Cartier and would remain with the company until 1969. The first jewellery produced was a brooch style called ‘Click-Its’ that customers could personalize by clicking in their initials at the time of purchase.
In 1937 the company was renamed Monet and focussed on the production of high quality costume jewellery that emulated designs by Chanel and Schiaparelli. During the war their Providence Rhode Island factory retooled to make bullet and shell casings but also made some metal jewellery, mostly in sterling silver, as well as enamelled figural pins and war-related propaganda jewellery. They became the official Royal Air Force jewelry maker for the Bundles for Britain campaign, which raised money for civilians recovering from air raids.
As hairstyles became shorter in the late 1940s, the demand for earrings rose. Clip-on styles became a Monet strength, as did triple plated heavy gold metal chain-link necklaces and bracelets. For the teen market the Monettes line was created with delicate necklaces and themed charm bracelets.
In 1977, Monet launched Ciani, a line of fine jewelry in 14-carat gold, sterling silver, semi-precious stones, and pave diamonds. Monet expanded their product line in the 1980s to include accessories like watches, pens, and belt buckles, and in 1988 began offering their products via mail-order. Monet acquired the license to make Yves St. Laurent costume jewelry in the U.S. in 1981 and in 1995 also acquired the license to manufacture Christian Lacroix costume jewelry. The company was bought out by Liz Clairborne in 2000 and has changed hands many times since.
Albert Horwig was born April 4, 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina. The family name was originally Hurwitz, but was changed to Horwig by his father. Albert married Rose Hoffman in 1932 and by 1938 had founded his New York based jewellery company. He registered the mark Viking Craft in November 1938, which produced primarily sterling brooches and earrings in a Nordic style originally developed by Georg Jensen in Denmark. No date is currently available for the company closing. Albert Horwig died in 1980 in Palm Beach, Florida.
When Robert Haven was at the museum last summer we had a donation of several kimonos come into the museum. Robert was good enough to share with us the traditional way Japanese kimono are folded for storage:
Founded in Montreal by Naila Jaffer on February 3, 1986, K’Ien Art Concept Ltee. was listed as a wholesale distributor of jewellery. This means they didn’t manufacture the pieces, but had them made (probably in Canada) with their label.
The company didn’t survive the early 90s recession. Their last annual general meeting was held in 1991, they failed to file after 1994 and were dissolved for non-compliance by the Canadian government on March 6, 2000.
International Safety Pin day is observed on April 10 every year to mark the date Walter Hunt patented his safety pin. He called his invention a “dress pin” for the purpose of using it for dressing where previously a straight pin had been used.
Among Hunt’s many inventions and improvements to existing inventions were designs for a repeating rifle, flax spinner, knife sharpener, bullet casings, fountain pens., rope making machine, and many more.
International Safety Pin day is April 10, because, on that date in1849, Walter Hunt received a patent for his invention of the safety pin. Legend says he invented it in about three hours after he was pressured to repay a $15.00 debt or about $400 in today’s dollars. He patented it and sold the patent for $154 and paid off his debt.
Nowadays the dry cleaner bags I get are always clear, but until the 1980s they were usually printed with advertising. Even though the bags are flimsy and disposable, we often get donations come to the museum in old dry cleaner bags that feature colourful advertising and interesting graphics. I used to just throw them out without thinking twice, but then I realized that if we don’t document them, nobody will remember, so I now photograph all the bags that come in with donations and then thrown them out (they tend to be brittle or sticky, and filthy, so not keepable). A few years ago I photographed a mid 1960s bag that had a statement about not letting your child play with them – but these ones have no such warnings:
These interiors are from Bullocks downtown Los Angeles store and were designed by Tony Duquette in about 1940 to represent various seasons in the season-less Los Angeles climate. I found this interesting lecture by Hutton Wilkinson, who was Duquette’s business partner. Wilkinson talks about Duquette and the various people he knew and worked with (Vincent Minelli, Gilbert Adrian, Elsie De Wolfe), and there is a lot of good fashion information.