Series 100 - Benjamin Franklin Medal

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Identity area

Reference code

RSA/PR/GE/100

Title

Benjamin Franklin Medal

Date(s)

  • 1956- (Creation)

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Includes files and working papers on the selection of candidates, arrangements for ceremonies and general administration, as well as photographs of medal presentation ceremonies

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RSA Journal vol.105 (1956-57), pp. 183-4, RSA Journal vol.109 (1960-61), pp. 913-4

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This award was instituted in 1956 to be made annually 'to individuals who have attained early distinction, with the promise of future achievement, in the promotion of arts, manufactures and commerce'.\n\nIn 1961 the Council decided that, in view of Benjamin Franklin's own work in the cause of better Anglo-American relations, it would be more appropriate if the award named after him were to become a means of acknowledging present-day endeavour directed to this end. It was accordingly agreed that from 1962 onwards the medal should be given 'in alternate years to a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the United Kingdom who in the opinion of the Society, has, in contributing to the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, forwarded the cause of Anglo-American understanding'.\n\nThe medal was named after Benjamin Franklin in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of his birth, and the 200th anniversary of his election of the membership of the Society.\nThe first medal was awarded to Professor Fredrick C Williams OBE Dsc MIEE FRS 'for his contributions to electrical engineering'.\n\nThe medal was designed by Mr Christopher Ironside. The obverse of the Medal shows a portrait of Franklin. On the reverse is a winged genius bearing a torch, representing promise, flying upwards above a group of putti (child-like figures, naked or in swaddling clothes) engaged in industry and the arts.\n\nWinners of the Benjamin Franklin medal are offered Honorary Fellowship of the RSA.

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Creator Victoria 26/08/1998

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