John L. Lewis' Union Badge

John L. Lewis, one of America's foremost labor leaders, wore this badge at the 1936 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) convention. It is a metal gold-colored pin with "President" printed in blue. A red, white, and blue ribbon attaches badge to pin. The badge features a gold-colored relief of the U.S. Capitol Building with an eagle perched on a shield. “UMW ORG 1890” is printed in blue at the bottom.
Born in an Iowa coal-mining camp, Lewis went to work in the mines as a teenager. He rose quickly as a labor leader, becoming president of the UMWA in 1920, and later helped found the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Lewis led a successful struggle to organize industrial workers, improving wages, safety, and benefits.
Object Name
associated date
United Mine Workers of America
associated person
Lewis, John L.
United Mine Workers of America
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 9.5 cm x 5 cm; 3 3/4 in x 1 15/16 in
associated place
United States: District of Columbia
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Government, Politics, and Reform
Industry & Manufacturing
National Treasures exhibit
Labor Unions
See more items in
Political History: Political History, Reform Movements Collection
National Treasures exhibit
American Enterprise
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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