At the age of 100, William David Coolidge was admitted to the Inventors Hall of Fame. Earlier in his life, he was the recipient of many medals and honors including the 1926 Edison Medal of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Rumford Prize of the American Academy of Sciences, in addition to the 1926 Howard N. Potts medal described here.
Eighty-three patents were granted to William Coolidge, the most significant being Patent No. 1,082,933 for the method of making tungsten filament for use in the incandescent electric lamp and other purposes (such as X-ray tubes) and Patent No. 1,203,495 for the vacuum tube used in his X-ray generator. His patent concerning ductile tungsten was later invalidated on the basis that the ductile nature of tungsten was an inherent characteristic of the element and so Coolidge chose to refuse the 1926 Edison Prize with the citation "for the origination of ductile tungsten and the fundamental improvement of the X-ray tube." Instead, he received the 1927 Edison Medal for "contributions to the incandescent electric lighting and the X-rays art."
Citation of the Howard N. Potts Gold Medal (photocopy), The Franklin Institute, 6/2/1926 (302K)
Report of the Committee on Science and the Arts, Report on the Investigation of the Coolidge Tube invented by William D. Coolidge. Signed and sealed. 6/2/1926. (370K)
Committee on Science and the Arts,