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In the '30s, the company achieved a higher profile by finally...

Bohemia, which is now a part of the Czech Republic, played an important role in the history of costume jewelry.

Patented in 1869, Celluloid was not the first man-made plastic—that honor goes to Parkesine, which was formulated in 1865 by a Birmingham, England, inventor named Alexander Parkes, who combined collodion (used in tintypes and ambrotypes), camphor, and vegetable oil so it could be rolled into sheets and adhered to cloth, making the resulting material waterproof.

Unfortunately, Parkesine proved brittle, its key ingredient, collodion, was highly...

Hobé Cie was founded in 1887 by goldsmith Jacques Hobé, but when costume-jewelry collectors think of Hobé, they picture the tasselled and beaded necklaces made by Jacques’ son, William, who established an American offshoot of the company in 1927.

That put Hobé at the beginning of the American costume-jewelry boom between the two world wars.

In the 1990s, collectors realized that the clever shapes and bright colors of the company's cheaply made plastic leaves and baubles possessed a unique beauty.

For nearly 30 years after its 1904 founding, Lisner imported and sold Elsa Schiaparelli's Parisian jewelry in the United States.

Over the past two decades, we have all become fatter.

In 1994 in Denmark, 7% of women and 8% of men were classed as obese. This is according to a study carried out by the National Institute for Public Health.

In fact, some scholars believe that Hobé actually had a hand in the phrase “costume jewelry” itself....