What Is the Pin?

Display of Godfery Lundberg's engraved pin headDisplay of Godfrey Lundberg's two engraved pins

The Lord’s Prayer Pin collection consists of two engravings in protective display cases, microscopes, stands, and associated historical memorabilia. One engraving is the Lord’s Prayer on the head of a gold pin and the other is the two letters “US” on the point of a gold needle. These were engraved by master engraver Godfrey Lundberg in Spokane, Washington during the years 1913 – 1915. The collection was first publicly exhibited at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915. It was then taken on tour for two years and was shown in 43 states and parts of Canada.

The following description is an extract from the professional inspection conducted by Mr. Brill Lee, ISA AM, on February 26, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Lee is an Accredited Member – International Society of Appraisers (Membership Number: 3995166).

The two specimen engravings are real and genuine and are of:

1) “The Lord’s Prayer” on the head of a smaller than ordinary gold pin, and

2) A two letter monogram of the abbreviation of the United States (of America):  “U.S.” on the point of a fine gold sewing needle with a point smaller than that of the ordinary sewing needle.

Both engravings are housed in their original sealed specimen containers to protect them from air, dust, and damage if they were dropped. Each of the sealed containers may be positioned on a stand in front of a microscope for viewing under magnification. A gold pin and a gold sewing needle were selected because gold is the only metal on which fine engravings will not corrode, rust, or become damaged from the elements.

Lundberg's engraved pin head in dsiplay caseThe engraving of the Lord’s Prayer contains 65 words totaling 254 letters and 19 punctuation marks and is on a gold pin that is 1.27 millimeters, or .0047 inches in diameter. Lundberg calculated that 1863 strokes of the hand-held graver (a stylus tool which he made for the projects as none so fine could be purchased from any manufacturer at the time) went into producing the scripture. The letters are so small that they cannot be seen without strong magnification. Each of the letters is plain and there is careful spacing between the words. In all there are 12 lines of words engraved over the tiny surface. The prayer can be easily read by viewing it with one of the two vintage 12.5; 48mm microscopes made by Bausch & Lomb Optical Company (Rochester, NY). The “Spokesman-Review” article stated that: “These two feats were thought to have constituted ‘the most remarkable engraving exploit that this country has seen’ (at the time).”

The engravings in their display containers are housed in a professionally hand-crafted storage/carrying box along with two stands to hold the engravings, two microscopes, and several steel dies chiseled by Lundberg.  He used these dies to mass produce replicas of the Lord’s Prayer pin in an enlarged form on stickpins and lapel pins which were sold in curio stores.

Close up of Lundberg's engraved pin headIn a compartment in the storage/carrying box is the original schematic drawing/layout on paper of the Lord’s Prayer and a scrapbook with newspaper and magazine clippings substantiating the engravings display at the San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition and a tour of the engravings to dozens of cities in at least 43 states during 1915 and 1916 by Godfrey’s two brothers, Carl E. Lundberg and Mauritz Lundberg (both of Spokane).

The overall condition of the engravings, their display containers and stands, the Bausch and Lomb Optical Company microscopes, and the storage/carrying box was very good.