Verdex
Verdex
24 January, 23:47

Edward Thomason and his science medals

Edward Thomason and his science medals
The English industrialist Edward Thomason (1769–1849) inherited his father's business, where he set up the production of gilded buttons in 1793. Later, he expanded the range of products, and under his leadership, the manufactory began to produce cutlery, jewelry, as well as coins, tokens and medals.
Previously, Matthew Bolton, who issued private tokens and supplied the Royal Mint with modern equipment, occupied a leading position in the field of minting tokens. After Bolton's death in 1809, Thomason took his place, supplying factories with coin-like tokens that lacked small coins to pay wages. Since copper and bronze coins did not stand next to silver and gold in value, the official authorities were not opposed to issuing private money from base metals.
With the expansion of his business, Thomason switched to medals, and presented entire series dedicated to the Iberian War (20 medals), Parthenon marble reliefs (36 medals), scientific achievements (16 medals), Bible stories (60 medals), etc. In those days, many representatives the middle class, having enough finances, equipped home libraries, furnishing them with expensive furniture and adding various beautiful items to the interior, including medals. Coinage brought Thomason a good profit, and he firmly held his business in his hands. The inscription "THOMASON DIREXIT" on some copies indicates that the entrepreneur was in charge of the production process, even if he did not personally design individual medals.
The list of scientific topics that interested Thomason included geology, mineralogy, mechanics, hydrostatics, astronomy, and optics. He used various sources to present scientific data on the obverse and reverse of his medals. This list also includes the pseudoscience of phrenology, which is based on the statement about the relationship between the structure of the human skull and his mental abilities. In the 19th century, this discipline was taken quite seriously, and Thomason did not bypass it.

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