1897 Sam Houston Normal Institute Class Pin

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The Sam Houston State University Archives has many interesting small items in the collection. Pictured here is an example of a 1897 class pin. This class pin is example of various class pins in the University Archives collection.

In 1940, Dr.J.L. Clark, Professor History and Chairman of the Museum Committee, and the Sam Houston Museum put out a call to alumni of the Sam Houston Normal Institute and Sam Houston State Teachers College to donate their class pins to the college. “The Museum Committee is desirous of securing a class pin of every graduating class of the college,” said J.L. Clark in the December 1940 issue of the Ex-Students’ News Letter.

In December of 1940, three pins arrived at the museum including the pictured pin above. Mr. Robert Ernst, Sr. of the Ernst Jewelry Company of Huntsville presented this 1897 pin. According to Mr. Ernst, the pin was designed by SHNI’s fourth President H. Carr Pritchett and ordered for the students of Sam Houston Normal Institute by the jewelry firm of Randolph and Ernst. Made by McRae and Keele in Attleboro, Massachusetts, this pin was the last of the store’s stock.

The pin, which is only 1/2 x 3/4” inches, is in the form of a shield with a purple bar bearing the letters S.H.N.I. over a maroon bar with figures “97”. The shield is partially surrounded by a gold wreath.

Ernst Jewelers is still open here in Huntsville and is celebrating the stores’ 125th Anniversary this year.

To see this pin any many other class pins come visit the Sam Houston State University Archives in Room 400 of the Newton Gresham Library.

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