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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 14, April 2, 2006, Article 10

AMERICAN INSTITUTE MEDAL INFORMATION SOUGHT

Lynn Tumulty writes: "I read Katherine Jaeger's article on
medals and minting. It was sent to me by a librarian at the
New-York Historical Society because I had inquired about
the origin of a medal from the American Institute in my
possession.

Ms Jaeger's update was interesting as well. I'm trying to find
out more about this medal. It was awarded to an ancestor of mine
in 1867 and it is signed by G.H.L.  - George Lovett, her ancestor.
It was awarded to F. Gleantzer who I think was a silver or
goldsmith for Cartier's in New York working on the molds used
to make large sterling silver platters, etc. but I'm not certain.

How could I find out more about him and this piece? Can I tap
into the records on line?  Maybe Ms. Jaeger has run across his
name in her research."

I forwarded Lynn's query to Katie Jaeger. She writes: "I looked
it up in the 1989 Harkness Token and Medal Society article and
she has a Harkness 110, the "Large Gold Medal" struck between
1856 and 1867.  I asked her to measure it, to confirm the I.D.
Harkness says these 35mm medals were intentionally made the same
size as the U.S. $20 gold piece, because the institute wanted to
use $20 gold pieces as planchets. He states "none have been
located in gold," which apparently holds true for her piece,
which has pits.  It does look to be gilded, however, so was
probably intended as a gold medal.

I assume her ancestor's fair entry merited some special recognition,
to have won the larger medal.  I don't have any records for 1867
here, but in 1857, there were only 20 large gold medals awarded
(as opposed to 12 small gold, 100 small silver, 114 large silver,
and 250 bronze.)  It may seem like they awarded medals up the wazoo,
but in fact each fair had 2000+ entries so winning a large gold
was a real accomplishment.  It may well be she will find her
ancestor in the newspaper recaps of the fair."

Katie in turn forwarded a request to Kay Freeman, who specializes
in silver and goldsmith research. Katie adds: "My friend K.O.
Freeman with newspaper access found exactly what her ancestor,
Gleantzer, won in the 1867 fair recap: "a third premium for a
banjo."   So her medal is plain ole bronze!

Lynn Tumulty writes: "Now I know he didn't invent the banjo, but
I can't imagine what he did to one to make it so special."

[Can any of our readers suggest additional places to look for
information that haven't already been discussed in The E-Sylum?
For example, were there printed programs with information on
exhibitors? Awards banquet programs?  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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