The first design in the Smithsonian collection by Retro 51 is the Corona twist-top rollerball pen. Its deeply etched barrel is reminiscent of the ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice that covers the outside of the National Museum of African American History and Culture building in Washington D.C..Lead designer David Adjaye pays homage to the intricate ironwork crafted by enslaved African Americans in Louisiana, South Carolina, and elsewhere through the use of this design. Each rollerball pen is numbered on the top ring and complete with matte black nickel accents and loaded in a commemorative Smithsonian NMAAHC tube.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this pen will support and further the Museum’s educational mission on what it means to be an American, and to share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.
The Retro 51 Tornado Pen can easily be converted from rollerball to ballpoint by changing the refill. The Retro 51 Tornado pens use a Retro 51 rollerball refill (included) or standard international ballpoint refill.
Retro 51 abides by the motto that "Life is too short to carry an ugly pen!" The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and produces fashionable gift items that combine modern design with vintage quality.