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RESEARCHING COSTUME JEWELRY
originally created and published by Dotty Stringfield on IllusionJewels.com
Written by Dotty Stringfield
Like many elusive jewelry signatures, the "Hedy" and "H" within a heart marks were mysteries. While searching the net for information on a jewelry company with a name that may have contained "Hed", I came across a Rhode Island government document that contained the name "Hedison Manufacturing". The document stated that Hedison Manufacturing's product had been jewelry. I began searching for more information on the company, which led me to Jane Civins of the Providence Jewelry Museum. She put me in touch with Corinne Heditsian, which was the key to solving the "Hedy" mystery.
Ms. Heditsian was a cousin of the Hedisons who had owned Hedison Manufacturing Co., and kindly agreed to give her cousin H. David Hedison, grandson of the founder, a list of questions. One of those questions was, did Hedison Manufacturing use the "Hedy" and "H" within a heart marks on/with their jewelry? Mr. Hedison's reaction was, "Now how the heck did she know that?" He was so pleased that jewelry collectors are interested in the jewelry his family's company created.
When he was 15, the father of Harry D. Hedison, Sr. came to the United States from Armenia. His last name was Heditsian, which was derived from the name of the village in historic Armenia in which the family's far ancestors lived. When some of those ancestors moved to the provincial capital city of Kharpet they were given the name of the village, with "ian" added. The "ian" ending means "son of " or "from the place of". Thus, the name Heditsian came to be. The name was changed to Hedison by most members of the family when they came to the United States.
Harry D. Hedison, Sr. founded Hedison Manufacturing Company in 1909 in Providence, Rhode Island. When he died in 1954, his sons Harry, Jr., and H. David continued the business until 1985. Over the years, the company operated as a jewelry importer/exporter, and a manufacturer and plater of costume, gold filled, and precious jewelry. They made jewelry for many other companies and also for their own line. Sometimes only the boxes of Hedison jewelry carried the company's marks and the jewelry inside was unmarked. The following marks that have been identified as Hedison, but the dates of use are not certain:
Two interesting tidbits: Harry, Sr.'s younger brother Albert started his own enameling business around 1940, which continued until his death in 1977. Actor David Hedison is his son. The heart-shaped pendant with pave' rhinestones that Arlene Francis, who was of Armenian ancestry, wore on "What's My Line" was made by Hedison.
Many thanks to Corinne Heditsian and H. David Hedison for sharing their family's history with me.
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