Artist Name

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You can click on the medals to see the reverse.

National Surety Company Silver Jubilee Medal1929
NSC-25
Bronze

The medal's obverse bears Joyce's bust facing left. At left and right edge, JOYCE SILVER - JUBILEE; at left and right, 1904 / 1929; signed on neck, J.J.

The medal's reverse bears displayed eagle on stylized sun; panel with wreath at bottom of sun. Around, NATIONAL SVRETY COMPANY / FOR DISTINGVISHED SERVICE; on sun, WORLDS / LARGEST / SURETY / COMPANY; in panel, AWARDED TO; inscribed to J.C. MURPHY

The edge is marked with MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y.

The National Surety Company was an early competitor to the United States Fidelity and Guarantee Company in a competition that was characterized by agent raiding and fierce rate wars. William Joyce had apparently promised to deliver business to USF&G following a sellout of National Surety. Instead, the firm was reorganized and Joyce became first Vice President and then President of the National Surety Company. The personal rivalry between USF&G's founder John Randolph Bland and National Surety Company's Joyce led to a twenty year business war that only ended when the two reconciled in 1922, one year before Bland's death.

The medal was given to employees upon their silver employment jubilee.

This circular medal measures 63mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

Oskar Barnack - Leica Award Medal1936
JJ-OBL
Bronze with tan patina

The medal's obverse bears bust of Oskar Barnack facing three quarters right. Around bottom, OSKAR BARNACK - LEICA INVENTOR; at top right, 1879 / 1936; signed under truncation, (J / J. monogram)

The medal's reverse bears laurels and palm frond flanking LEICA / EXHIBIT / AWARD / OF / MERIT; inscribed, 19 / GAIL GORDON / PITTSBURGH / 38

The edge is marked with MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y. BRONZE

This medal celebrates the life of Oskar Barnack (1879-1936), the inventor of 35mm photography. Barnack was an avid hobby photographer who suffered from asthma. Due to his poor health he had trouble carrying the heavy and bulky camera equipment around with him, so he invented a more portable camera. The Leica brand was born in 1925 when his employer (Ernst Leitz) took a gamble and produced 1,000 cameras for sale to the public. They chose "Leica" as the brand name. The name was derived from Leitz camera.

On the hundredth anniversary of Barnack's birth, World Press Photo instituted the Oskar Barnack Award; this award is now administered by Leica Camera.

The medal measures 76mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: MACo 1936-010

Alexander Schwarcman - Creator of Synthenol1939
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Bronze with tan patina

The medal's obverse bears bust of Alexander Schwarcman. Around top, ALEXANDER SCHWARCMAN; to left of bust, CREATOR / OF / SYNTHENOL; signed to right, J.J. / 1939

The medal's reverse bears branches of Tung trees with blossoms and nuts. Across image, CASTOR OIL / REPLACES TUNG OIL; in exergue, PRESENTED BY / Spencer Kellogg and Sons, Inc. / TO / DR. ALEXANDER SCHWARCMAN / FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT / IN CHEMICAL INVENTION / · 1939 ·

The edge is marked with MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y. BRONZE

In the 1930s American industry was relying heavily on a chemical product called Tung Oil which was produced by pressing the nuts of Tung trees native to China. The war in Asia disrupted supplies and prices skyrocketed. Alexander Schwarcman developed an efficient and inexpensive way of replacing Tung Oil with Castor oil, which could be produced from seeds imported from Brazil, India, and Manchuria, i.e. countries from which bulk shipping was still possible. Not only did this have a profound economic impact but it also proved to be relevant for the war effort that was still in the future in 1939.

This is a beautiful medal and the botanical imagery on the reverse is of very high quality. It is also nice that an inventor whose name has otherwise been almost forgotten (and whose name is usually identified as a probable misspelling of "Schwartzman") is thus immortalized.

This medal measures 76mm in diameter and was struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

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This section has yet to be written.