American Institute Medal
Bronze; leather, wood, silk
case: 3 5/16 x 3 5/16 x 11/16 in. ( 8.4 x 8.4 x 1.7 cm ) diameter: 2 3/8 in. ( 6 cm )
Inscription: obverse, on exergual line, at left: "G.H.LOVETT N.Y."
Bronze struck medal with obverse showing figure of Liberty holding laurel wreath and pole surmounted by Phrygian cap; at left are tools of agriculture and sailing ship in the background; at right -- symbols of American state and cornucopia; legend above: "AMERICAN INSTITUTE."; inscription in exergue: "NEW YORK." Reverse has space for engraving at center, enclosed within open laurel wreath, with legend: "THE MEDAL OF SUPERIORITY" and inscription below: "AWARDED TO/.Wm. H. Paine./For a Device for connecting/Cars with moving Propes/1879." Square black leather fitted case with purple silk velvet lining.
The American Institute was founded in NY in 1827 as a national organization dedicated to supporting the industrial and agrarian arts. Its annual fairs were in the words of Luther Bradish, former Governor of New York and 10th President of the N-YHS, "extensive and brilliant displays of the most valuable specimens of domestic skill and industry." W. H. Paine served as a surveyor in the Army during the Civil War. He was responsible for devising systems and tools to better facilitate the surveyors.
Harkness, Andrew. "The American Institute - Catalyst for the American Greatness." TAMS (Token and Medal Society) Journal 29, no. 4 (August 1989): 123-135.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.