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Smithsonian Medals

The Hodgkins Medal, established in 1893 in memory of Thomas George Hodgkins who willed his fortune to the Smithsonian, is awarded "for important contributions to the knowledge of the physical environment bearing upon the welfare of man."

Recipients have been:

James Dewar, Royal Institution, London: University of Cambridge, England, 1899
J. J. Thompson, University of Cambridge, England 1902
Sydney Chapman, University of Alaska, 1965
Marcel Nicolet, Centre Nationale de Recherche de l'Espace, Brussels, Belgium, 1965
Joseph Kaplan, University of California at Berkeley, 1965
John Grahame Douglas Clark, University of Cambridge, England, 1967
Fritz W. Went, University of Nevada Desert Research Institute, 1967
Jule Gregory Charney, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969
Arie Haagen-Smith, California Institute of Technology, 1969
Lewis Mumford, Edinburgh University, University of Rome, 1971
Walter Orr Roberts, Harvard University, 1973

The Langley Gold Medal for Aerodromics was established by the Board of Regents in 1909 at the suggestion of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, to honor the memory of Samuel P. Langley, third Secretary of the Institution and a famous pioneer in aeronautics. The medal is awarded for "meritorious investigations in connection with the science of aerodromics and its application to aviation." It has been awarded to:

Wilbur and Orville Wright, 1909
Glenn H. Curtis, 1913
Gustave Eiffel, 1913
Charles A. Lindbergh, 1927
Charles Matthews Manly (posthumously), 1929
Richard Evelyn Byrd, 1929
Joseph S. Ames, 1935
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker, 1955
Robert H. Goddard (posthumously), 1960
Hugh Latimer Dryden, 1962
Alan B. Shepard, Jr., 1964
Wernher von Braun, 1967
Samuel Phillips, 1971

The Henry Medal, honoring Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian, is awarded for outstanding service to the Institution. Although never officially presented until 1967, a few medals were struck and given to Henry's friends and associates on the first anniversary of his death in 1879. Other later recipients have been:

David E. Finley, 1967, first Director of the National Gallery of Art
Frank A. Taylor, 1968, Smithsonian's Director General of Museums and Director, United States National Museum
Charles G. Abbot, 1970, Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1928 to 1944; prior to that, Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and founder and Director, Radiation Biology Laboratory
Fred L. Whipple, 1973, Director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Edward K. Thompson, 1973, Editor of [[italics]] Smithsonian [[/italics]] magazine
John Nicholas Brown, 1975, Regent of the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithson Medal, the Institution's highest award, was established in 1965 in memory of the founder of the Institution. It is given in recognition of exceptional contributions to art, science, history, education, and technology. Reserved for most outstanding achievements, it has been presented twice. The first recipient was Lord Howard W. Florey, who accepted it on behalf of the Royal Society of London, of which he was then president. The second award was made to Edgar P. Richardson in 1968, former Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts and Winterthur Museum, and chairman of the Smithsonian Art Commission.
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.