The Franklin Institute Logo
Case Files logo

Elmer Sperry: Gyroscopic Compass, 1914

Sticking to the Rules

The Committee on Science and the Arts took care to compile a report on each invention or improvement its committee members judged worthy of the premium and accompanying medal. That report was then published three times in the Journal of The Franklin Institute, with the first publication occurring three months before the Committee would make an official recommendation to the Council on Minority Trusts. These publications allowed the public to review the inventions, and to raise objections as to their originality. If no such objections were made, the Secretary of The Franklin Institute certified the recommendation of the award to the Committee on Minor Trusts of the Board of City Trusts. You can access the full set of rules outlined by the Committee on Science and the Arts in its founding year by clicking on the links to the rules below. Digitalized documents pulled from the Sperry case file illustrate the process that resulted in his receipt of the John Scott Legacy Medal.