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American Telephone & Telegraph: The Art of Telephony, 1916

A Memorable Evening

Conducted in the Auditorium of The Franklin Institute, the 1916 awards ceremony saw the presentation of both the Franklin Medal and the Elliott Cresson Medal. As explained in the original documents pictured on this page, the Franklin Medal is awarded to "those workers in physical science or technology, without regard to country, whose efforts, in the opinion of the Institute, have done most to address a knowledge of physical science or its applications." Awardees were Professor Theodore William Richards of Harvard University, recognized for his contributions to Chemistry, and John J. Carty, Chief Engineer of AT&T, awarded for his contribution to telephone service.

The Elliott Cresson Medal is awarded for "discovery or original research, adding to the sum of human knowledge, irrespective of commercial value; leading and practical utilization of discovery, invention, methods or products embodying substantial elements of leadership in their respective classes, or unusual skill or perfection in workmanship." This honor was bestowed on AT&T, and received by renowned President Theodore Vail.