The Origin: I’ve acquired a fair amount of pins and coins over the years as older members of my family pass away. They all have emotional significance and I wanted to figure out a way to display them as art rather than keeping them hidden in a jewelry box.
The items within the shadowbox are varied, but the idea to display items this way is from Jess Lively’s jewelry display.
1: The Eastern Star pin belonged to my maternal grandmother. She and my aunt were long-time members.
2: A pin from my great grandfather (father’s mother’s father) who graduated from my alma mater in 1907. He was an engineer, and this pin was given to graduates of that college. It features the letters E, M, A, and S for Electrical, Mechanical, Agricultural, and… I’m not sure what the S is for, so guesses are welcome.
3: This dragonfly hairpin was purchased for me by my aunt when we were in Boston for my great aunt Alice’s 100th birthday party in 1999.
4: Another pin from my maternal grandmother’s collection.
5: My great uncle Bob, brother of my paternal grandmother, donated blood every time he was eligible for the majority of his adult life. When he passed away in 2005 the Red Cross presented us with a beautiful tribute. This particular pin marks him as a 9 gallon donor (!!!).
6: A University of Illinois lapel pin from my great grandfather.
7: A flower pin that made it’s way to me via my great uncle Bob. It likely belonged to his sister, Jan.
8: A bus token from the Chicago & Calumet District Transit Company – the local bus company in Hammond, Indiana, where my maternal grandmother spent part of her youth.
9: Another flower that made its way to me via my great uncle Bob.
10: A token from the Chicago Surface Lines – the streetcar predecessors to today’s Chicago Transit Authority. This token was likely acquired on a trip my paternal grandmother and her siblings, Jan and Bob, took from their Hammond home to Chicago.
Read the rest of the series here.