From Nobel Prize medals to the beribboned gold disks handed to famous athletes, the Smithsonian Institution storage rooms contain many of the physical artifacts bestowed upon accomplished people or to commemorate extraordinary events.
Among the thousands of photographs at the Smithsonian Institution Archives are another type of historical record – the press releases and publicity photographs that accompanied announcement of an award. Not every award ceremony featured white ties, brass bands, and applauding audiences but every one of them did celebrate, with a handshake and sometimes a banquet, an important accomplishment for the honoree.
This slide show features a selection from thirty years of engineering and scientific awards from the Science Service biographical morgue.
Record Unit 7091, Science Service, Records, circa 1910-1963, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Smithsonian Exhibit Celebrates 100 Years of the Nobel Prize, Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History
Medals, National Air and Space Museum
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