from the collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Bowdwin's pin commemorates the 400 years of slavery and the deaths of millions of Africans in the slave trade. This image of the slave ship was first seen in "The Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament," a book by Thomas Clarkson that was published in 1808.
Five cowrie shells hang from the bottom of the pin. The number five is a symbol of justice in African lore.
Special thanks to Emily Orr, Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary American Design, Andrew Gardner, Curatorial Assistant, and Matthew Kennedy, Publishing and Image Rights Associate, of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.