William Nichols Medal

William Nichols Medal

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Leo Baekeland applied for his first patent on Bakelite in June 1907, and announced the new material to the public in February 1909. Soon thereafter he won the William Nichols medal for “original research in chemistry.” Funded by a man who had prospered in the chemical supply business, and given by the New York Section of the American Chemical Society, the prize consisted of $5,000 and a gold medal. This is that medal. The inscription on the obverse reads: “The / Wm Nichols / Medal / Awarded to / L. H. Baekeland, Sc. D. / For / Researches On / Bakelite / Nov. 5th 1909.” The image on the reverse represents Dr. Faust in his laboratory as described by Goethe.
Currently not on view
Object Name
William Nichols Medal
date made
Physical Description
gold (overall material)
overall: 6.3 cm; 2 15/32 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. William Karraker
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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