America's First Scientific Award: The Magellanic Premium of the APS

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On September 17, 1785 Jean-Hyacinthe Magellan sent a letter to the American Philosophical Society inquiring if the Society would be willing to accept 200 guineas to establish a yearly scientific prize. In the 215 years since Magellan offered the Premium, the APS has awarded only 32: twelve for navigation, twelve for natural philosophy, and eight for astronomy.

This exhibition explores the genesis, rules, applicants, and awards of the Megallanic Premium.