If you did not see Google’s doodle of the day yesterday, you missed out! It was one of the best I’ve ever seen on their home page—partly because it was something very familiar and dear to me. Yesterday was the 107th anniversary of Little Nemo in Slumberland (1905) by cartoonist Winsor McCay.
If you haven’t figured it out yet based on the graphic above, Nemo is not a fish. Oh, and for the artists out there, his work done before 1923 is under public domain! You should know however that giving no credit is just like stealing.
Eight years later in 1913, jewelry tycoon Brier Manufacturing in Providence, RI created a series of costume jewelry whose name was inspired by the popular comic strip. The insignia on the back of each piece was either “Nemo,” “Little Nemo,” “L N,” L/N,” “LN 25,” “LN/25,” or “LN 50″ as the known variations. The significance of the number after the letters is not understood. The company created jewelry for big names like Revlon and Disney. They went bankrupt however in 1970 right around the time they started the “no-jewelry look.” I am not really sure what that means, but I think it might be that they stopped designing elaborate costume jewelry, which a lot of women like myself love. Little Nemo jewelry, having been made by the second largest jewelry manufacturer at the time, is not really all that rare. You might just find a few brooches at your local thrift store!
You’ll find some of my favorites below. I really do think the style is very similar to the comic strip as well! McCay’s drawings were surreal and had a lot of circular shapes and colors, just like these.
If you are not much of a comic reader, I suggest you watch the underrated and little-known 1989 movie Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, directed by Masami Hata and William T. Hurtz (sci-fi writer Ray Bradbury, who died just this year in June, contributed to the concept). Try not to fall into “Slumberland”as you get past the cheesy soundtrack!
Sources: Past and Present Jewelry, Aurora Bijoux