ID bracelets confirmed a person’s identity, but they were so much more useful than that.
When boys gave their sweethearts their ID bracelets, that couple was telling the world that they belonged to each other, that they were “going steady”. And not only that, but they were willing to have it etched in metal.
The identification bracelet featured a metal plate engraved with the boy’s name, and when he gave a girl his ID bracelet, she might have either her own name or a little love message engraved on the band as well.
“Going steady” was an important step in the dating world of the 50s. Dancing and dating were all fine and good, but if you wanted to be more than friends, well, you were going to have to deliver some kind of symbol of your seriousness.
Fraternity pins and class rings were great for the older teens, but for younger boys, nothing beat the ID bracelet.