Abbott Laboratories - 50th Anniversary1938
by Raymond Loewy & Rene P. Chambellan
RL-AL
Gilded and silver-plated Bronze

The obverse bears stylized chemical vessel with wings and snake. Below, ABBOTT LABORATORIES

The reverse bears a hand reaching from bottom to stylized palette with allegorical representations of the secrets of life. In lower left quadrant, six alchemical symbols. Around, ABBOTT - CHANGING IDEAS - CHANGELESS IDEALS - 1888 - 1938

Side view of medalThe edge is marked MEDALLIC ART CO.N.Y. - RAYMOND LOEWY. The side view to the right shows the beautiful and complicated surface treatment.

Abbott Laboratories was founded in 1888 by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott as the Abbott Alkaloidal Company. At the time, he was a practicing physician and owned a drug store. His innovation was the use of the active part of a medicinal plant, generally an alkaloid (morphine, quinine, strychnine and codeine), which he formed into tiny pills which he called "dosimetric granules." This was successful since it allowed more consistent and effective dosages for patients.

By 1931 the company's overseas sales and reputation had grown and Abbott had to consider adjustments to its success, so it started its international expansion with its first international office in Canada. 1938, the 50th anniversary year, falls into the time when Abbott was still mostly an American company.

Raymond Loewy was a French-born American industrial designer who achieved fame for the magnitude of his design efforts across a variety of industries. He was recognized for this by Time magazine and featured on its cover on October 31, 1949.

This medal is, unfortunately, Raymond Loewy's only medallic design. In one small object it manifests all qualities that made him so famous. He was called "The Father of Streamlining" and the way he combines the mysteries and intricacies of alchemy with the clear lines of Streamlining and the bold abstractions of art deco is absolutely masterful.

The medals was sculpted by Rene P. Chambellan, one of the American masters of medallic art.

I am curently trying to find out more about this beautiful medal. In particular, I would like to know the mintage.

The medal measures 70mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York.