Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/98

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
92
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY

The celebration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Franklin, held at Philadelphia last year under the auspices of the American Philosophical Society, has now been completed by the publication of a volume containing a full account of the proceedings. These proceedings were unusually impressive. The Pennsylvania legislature made an appropriation of $20,000, and all the arrangements were carried out with admirable skill by the officers of the society. The commemorative addresses by Dr. H. H. Furness, President Chas. W. Eliot and the Hon. Joseph H. Choate are models of thought and expression. A special session was held to honor Franklin's researches in electricity, when addresses were made by Professor E. L. Nichols and Professor Ernest Rutherford. It is not necessary to repeat here all the features of the program, but attention may be called to circumstances which give opportunity to reproduce from the volume two interesting portraits of Franklin.

??At the instance of the committee of the society, the congress passed an act enabling the secretary of state to have struck a medal to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Franklin, one single impression in gold to be presented to the Republic of France and one hundred and fifty copies in bronze to be distributed by the president of the United States and the American Philosophical Society. The medal, designed by Louis and Augustus St. Gaudens, has under the face of Franklin the words "printer, philosopher, scientist, statesman, diplomatist," while on the reverse history writes in the presence of Literature, Science and Philosophy. This medal was presented by the secretary of state, the Hon. Elihu Root, and accepted by his excellency the French Ambassador, M. Jusserand.

The occasion of the Franklin bicentenary was taken by Lord Grey to present to the United States a portrait of Franklin painted in London in 1759 by Benjamin Wilson. This portrait hung in Franklin's house in Philadelphia, whence it was taken by Major André and given by him to the great grand-

PSM V71 D098 The franklin medal.png

The Franklin Medal.