Pinkney, Noah

Noah Pinkney Plaque, 1951

This bronze plaque honors Noah Pinkney for years of dedication and service to the college community. The plaque was dedicated during alumni day in 1951 as part of commencement week activities. Pinkney, who had been enslaved earlier in life before making his way to Pennsylvania, sold pretzels, ice cream, and sandwiches to students and staff for over 40 years. He was often found with his cart in front of East College or just outside the East College gate. This plaque was placed on the Class of 1905 Gate on N. West Street during the tenure of President William W. Edel, a member of the class of 1915 who had fond memories of Pinkney. The plaque bears the words, "Rest here a while, Dickinsonians, near the East College Gate where for more than forty years Noah Pinkney, former slave and Christian gentleman, sold pretzels and gave lavishly of friendship. 'Fine as silk, sah, fine as silk.' To many generations of Dickinsonians 'Pink' was as much a part of the college as the mermaid on Old West. Born in 1846, he passed over Jordan on August 6, 1923, 'And all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.'"

This plaque had gone missing sometime in the 1970s, and a new plaque was put in its place around 1978. The original plaque was later discovered near Philadelphia and returned to the college in 1983.

Artifact/Collection Number: AC 00104

Location: Shelf 3 (housed with 00104-00107)

Subject: Commemorative Plaque, Carlisle

Format: Plaques/Trophies

Pinkney Plaque (second edition)

This rectangular bronze metal plaque hung by the old East College gate, replacing an earlier plaque that had been stolen but not recovered until after this replacement was created. The plaque features a passage written in honor of Noah Pinkney. Though never an employee of Dickinson College, Pinkney sold pretzels, sandwiches, ice cream, cakes, and pies to Dickinson students and staff members. He was fixture in any around campus for decades, and was very fondly remembered by generations of Dickinsonians. 

This plaque was removed in 2011 during repairs and restoration to the East College gate, and a newer plaque with updated language was installed in its place in 2012. 

Artifact/Collection Number: AC 00790

Location: Shelf 16

Subject: Commemorative Plaque, Plaque

Format: Plaques/Trophies

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