The Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) was instituted in 1864 as a memorial to Prince Albert, who had been President of the Society for 18 years. It was first awarded in 1864 for "distinguished merit in promoting Arts, Manufactures and Commerce". In presenting the Medal, the Society now looks to acknowledge individuals, organisation and groups that lead progress and create positive change within contemporary society in areas that are linked closely to the Society's broad agenda.
Through the Albert Medal, the Society acknowledges the creativity and innovation of those that work to tackle some of the world's intractable problems. Each year, the RSA identifies issues by asking the Society's Fellowship to suggest problems and subjects linked to the Society's programme. These proposals are reviewed and recommendations made to the Trustees and Council, who are responsible for selecting one upon which the Fellowship will be asked to nominate worthy recipients.
1864: Sir Rowland Hill KCB FRS 'for his great services to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, in the creation of the penny postage, and for his other reforms in the postal system of this country, the benefits of which have, however, not been confined to this country, but have extended over the civilised world'
1865: The Emperor of the French (Napoleon III) 'for distinguished merit in promoting, in many ways, by his personal exertions, the international progress of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, the proofs of which are afforded by his judicious patronage of Art, his enlightened commercial policy, and especially by the abolition of passports in favour of British subjects'
1866: Michael Faraday DCL FRS 'for his discoveries in electricity, magnetism, and chemistry, which in their relation to the industries of the world have so largely promoted Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce'
1868: Joseph Whitworth LLD FRS 'for the invention and manufacture of instruments of measurement and uniform standards by which the production of machinery has been brought to a state of perfection hitherto unapproached to the great advancement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce'
1869: Baron Justus von Liebig Associate of the Institute of France ForMembRS Chevalier of the Legion of Honour etc. 'for his numerous valuable researchers and writings, which have contributed most importantly to the development of food economy and agriculture, to the advancement of chemical science, and to the benefits derived from that science by Arts, Manufactures and Commerce'
1870: Ferdinand, Viscount de Lesseps Member of Institute of France HonGCSI 'for services rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by the realisation of Suez Canal'.
1871: Henry Cole 'for his important services in promoting Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, especially in aiding the establishment and development of International Exhibitions, the Department of Science and Art, and the South Kensington Museum'
1872: Henry Bessemer FRS 'for the eminent services rendered by him to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, in developing the manufacture of steel
1873: Michel Eugène Chevreul ForMembRS Member of the Institute of France 'for his chemical researches, especially in reference to saponifciation, dyeing, agriculture, and natural history, which for more than half a century have exercised a wide influence on the industrial arts of the world'
1874: Carl Wilhelm Siemens DCL FRS 'for his researches in connection with the laws of heat, and the practical applications of them to furnaces used in the Arts; and for his improvements in the manufacture of iron; and generally for the services rendered by him in connection with the economisation of fuel in its various applications to Manufactures and the Arts'
1875: Michel Chevalier 'the distinguished French statesman, who, by his writings and persistent exertions, extending over many years, has rendered essential services in promoting Arts, Manufactures and Commerce'
1876: Sir George Biddell Airy KCB FRS, Astronomer Royal 'for eminent services rendered to Commerce by his researches in nautical astronomy and in magnetism, and by his improvements in the application of the mariner's compass to the navigation of iron ships
1877: Jean-Baptiste Dumas ForMembRS Member of the Institute of France 'the distinguished chemist, whose researchers have excised a very material influence on the advancement of the Industrial Arts'
1878: William Armstrong (later The Lord Armstrong) CB DCL FRS 'because of his distinction as an engineer and as a scientific man, and because by the development of the transmission of power – hydraulically – due to his constant efforts, extending over many years, the manufactures of this country have been greatly aided, and mechanical power beneficially substituted for most laborious and injurious manual labour'
1879: William Thomson (later The Lord Kelvin) OM LLD DCL FRS 'on account of the signal service rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by his electrical researches, especially with reference to the transmission of telegraphic messages over ocean cables'
1880: James Prescott Joule LLD DCL FRS 'for having established, after most laborious research, the true relation between heat, electricity and mechanical work, thus affording to the engineer a sure guide in the application of science to industrial pursuits'
1881: August Wilhelm von Hofmann MD LLD FRS, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Berlin 'for eminent services rendered to the Industrial Arts by his investigations in organic chemistry, and for his successful labour in promoting the cultivation of chemical education and research in England'
1882: Louis Pasteur Member of the Institute of France ForMembRS 'for his researches in connection with fermentation, the preservation of wines, and the propagation of zymotic diseases in silkworms and domestic animals, whereby the arts of wine making, silk production and agriculture have been greatly benefited'
1883: Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker KCSI CB MD DCL LLD FRS 'for the eminent services which, as a botanist and scientific traveller, and as Director of the National Botanical Department, he has rendered to the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce by promoting an accurate knowledge of the floras and economic vegetable products of our several colonies and dependencies of the Empire'
1884: Captain James Buchanan Eads 'the distinguished American engineer, whose works have been of such great service in improving the water communications of North America, and have thereby rendered valuable aid to the commerce of the world'
1885: Henry Doulton 'in recognition of the impulse given by him to the production of artistic pottery in this country'
1886: Samuel Lister (later The Lord Masham) 'for the services he has rendered to the textile industries, especially by the substitution of mechanical wool combing for hand combing, and by the introduction and development of a new industry – the utilisation of waste silk'
1887: The Queen (Queen Victoria) 'in commemoration of the progress of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce throughout the Empire during the fifty years of her reign'
1888: Professor Hermann von Helmholtz ForMembRS 'in recognition of the value of his researches in various branches of science and of their practical results upon music, painting and the useful arts'
1889: John Percy LLD FRS 'for his achievements in promoting the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, though the world wide influence which his researches and writings have had upon the progress of the science and practice of metallurgy'
1890: William Henry Perkin FRS 'for his discovery of the method of obtaining colouring matter from coal tar, a discovery which led to the establishment of a new and important industry, and to the utilisation of large quantities of a previously worthless material'
1891: Sir Frederick Abel Kt KCB DCL DSc FRS 'in recognition of the manner in which he has promoted several important classes of the Arts and Manufactures by the application of Chemical Science, and especially by his researches in the manufacture of iron and of steel, and also in acknowledgement of the great services he has rendered to the State in the provision of improved war material, and as Chemist to the War Department'
1892: Thomas Edison 'in recognition of the merits of his numerous and valuable inventions, especially his improvements in telegraphy, in telephony, and in electric lighting, and for his discovery of a means of reproducing vocal sounds by the phonograph'
1893: Sir John Bennet Lawes Bt FRS and Sir Henry Gilbert PhD FRS 'for their joint services to scientific agriculture, and notably for the researches which, throughout a period of fifty years, have been carried on by them at the Experimental Farm, Rothamsted'
1894: Sir Joseph Lister Bt FRS 'for the discovery and establishment of the antiseptic method of treating wounds and injuries by which not only has the art of surgery been greatly promoted, and human life saved in all parts of the world, but extensive industries have been created for the supply of materials required for carrying the treatment into effect.'
1895: Sir Lowthian Bell Bt FRS 'in recognition of the services he has rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by his metallurgical researches and the resulting development of the iron and steel industries'
1896: Professor David Edward Hughes FRS 'in recognition of the services he has rendered to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, by his numerous inventions in electricity and magnetism, especially the printing telegraph and the microphone'
1897: George James Symons FRS 'for the services he has rendered to the United Kingdom by affording to engineers engaged in the water supply and the sewage of towns, a trustworthy basis for their work, by establishing and carrying on during nearly forty years systematic observations (now at over 3000 stations) of the rainfall of the British Isles, and by recording, tabulating and graphically indicating the results of these observations in the annual volumes published by himself'
1898: Professor Robert Bunsen MD ForMembRS 'in recognition of his numerous and most valuable applications of Chemistry and Physics to the Arts and Manufactures'
1899: Sir William Crookes FRS 'for his extensive and laborious researches in chemistry and in physics, researches which have in many instances developed into useful practical applications in the Arts and Manufactures'
1900: Henry Wilde FRS 'for the discovery and practical demonstration of the indefinite increase of the magnetic and electric forces from quantities indefinitely small, a discovery now used in all dynamo machines; and for its application to the production of the electric search-light, and to the electro-deposition of metals from their solutions'
1901: The King (Edward VII) 'in recognition of the aid rendered by His Majesty to Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, during thirty-eight years' Presidency of the Society of Arts, by undertaking the direction of important exhibitions in this country and the executive control of British representation at International Exhibitions abroad, and also by many other services to the cause of British Industry'
1903: Sir Charles Augustus Hartley Kt KCMG 'in recognition of his services, extending over forty-four years, as Engineer to the International Commission of the Danube, which have resulted in the opening up of the navigation of that river to ships of all nations, and of his similar services, extending over twenty years, as British Commissioner on the International Technical Commission of the Suez Canal'
1904: Walter Crane 'in recognition of the services he has rendered to Art and Industry by awakening popular interest in Decorative Art and Craftsmanship, and by promoting the recognition of English Art in the form most material to the commercial prosperity of the country'
1905: The Lord Rayleigh OM DCL ScD FRS 'in recognition of the influence which his researches, directed to the increase of scientific knowledge, have had upon industrial progress, by facilitating amongst other scientific applications, the provision of accurate electrical standards, the production of improved lenses and the development of apparatus for Sound Signaling at Sea'
1906: Sir Joseph Swan MA DSc FRS 'for the important part he took in the invention of the incandescent electric lamp, and for his invention of the carbon process of photographic printing'
1907: The Earl of Cromer GCB OM GCMG KCSI CIE PC FRS 'in recognition of his pre-eminent public services in Egypt, where he has 'imparted security to the relations of this country with the East, has established justice, restored order and prosperity, and, by the initiation of great works, has opened up new fields for enterprise'
1908: Sir James Dewar MA DSc LLD FRS 'for his investigations into the liquefaction of gases and the properties of matter at low temperatures, investigations which have resulted in the production of the lowest temperatures yet reached, the use of vacuum vessels for thermal isolation, and the application of cooled charcoal to the separation of gaseous mixtures and to the production of high vacua'
1909: Sir Andrew Noble Bt KCB DSc DCL FRS 'in recognition of his long-continued and valuable researches into the nature and action of explosives, which have resulted in the greater development and improvement of modern ordnance'
1911: The Hon Sir Charles Algernon Parsons KCB LLD DSc FRS 'for his experimental researches into the laws governing the efficient action of steam in engines of the turbine type, and for his invention of the reaction type of steam turbine, and its practical application to the generation of electricity and other purposes'
1912: The Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal GCMG GCVO LLD DCL FRS 'for his services in improving the railway communications, developing the resources, and promoting the commerce and industry of Canada and other parts of the British Empire'
1913: The King (George V) 'for nine years President, and now Patron of the Society, in respectful recognition of His Majesty's untiring efforts to make himself personally acquainted with the social and economic condition of the various parts of his Dominions, and to promote the progress of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in the United Kingdom and throughout the British Empire'
1914: Chevalier Guglielmo Marconi LLD DSc 'for his services in the development and practical application of wireless telegraphy'
1915: Professor Sir J. J. Thomson OM DSc LLD FRS 'for his researches in physics and chemistry, and their application to the advancement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce'
1916: Professor Élie Metchnikoff ForMemRS 'in recognition of the value of his investigations into the causes of immunity in infective diseases, which have led to important changes in medical practice, and to the establishment of principles certain to have a most beneficial influence on the improvement of public health'
1917: Orville Wright 'in recognition of the value of the contributions of Wilbur and Orville Wright to the solution of the problem of mechanical flight'
1918: Sir Richard Glazebrook CB ScD FRS 'for his services in the application of science to the industries of peace and war, by his work as Director of the National Physical Laboratory since 1899, and as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics'
1919: Sir Oliver Lodge DSc LLD FRS 'in recognition of his work as the pioneer of wireless telegraphy'
1920: Professor Albert Abraham Michelson 'whose optical inventions have rendered possible the reproduction of accurate metric standards, and have provided the means of carrying out measurements with a minute precision hitherto unobtainable'
1921: Professor John Ambrose Fleming FRS 'in recognition of his many valuable contributions to electrical science and its applications, and specially of his original invention of the thermionic valve, now so largely employed in wireless telegraphy and for other purposes'
1922: Sir Dugald Clerk KBE DSc LLD FRS 'in recognition of his important contributions, both theoretical and practical to the development of the internal combustion engine, who in its latter forms has rendered aerial navigation possible, and is also extensively employed in the motor car, and in the submarine and for many other purposes'
1923: Major-General Sir David Bruce Kt KCB DSc LLD FRCP FRS and Colonel Sir Ronald Ross KCB KCMG DSc LLD MD FRS FRCS 'in recognition of the eminent services they have rendered to the Economic Development of the World by their achievements in Biological Research and the Study of Tropical Diseases'
1924: The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) 'in recognition of Services rendered to the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce as President of the British Empire Exhibition, and by his visits to the Dominions and Colonies'
1925: Lieut-Colonel Sir David Prain CMG CIE ME LLD FRS 'for the application of Botany to the development of raw materials of the Empire'
1926: Professor Paul Sabatier Member of the Institute of France ForMembRS 'in recognition of his distinguished work in science and of the eminent services to industry rendered by his renowned researches in Physics and Chemistry, which laid the foundation of important industrial processes'
1927: Sir Aston Webb Kt GCVO CB PRA PRIBA FSA LLD 'for distinguished services to Architecture'
Sir Frank William Brangwyn (12 May 1867 – 11 June 1956) was an Anglo-Welsh artist, painter, water colourist, engraver, illustrator and progressive designer.
Brangwyn was an artistic jack-of-all-trades. As well as paintings and drawings, he produced designs for stained glass, furniture, ceramics, table glassware, buildings and interiors, was a lithographer and woodcutter and was a book illustrator. It has been estimated that during his lifetime Brangwyn produced over 12,000 works. His mural commissions would cover over 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2) of canvas, he painted over 1,000 oils, over 660 mixed media works (watercolours, gouache), over 500 etchings, about 400 wood engravings and woodcuts, 280 lithographs, 40 architectural and interior designs, 230 designs for items of furniture and 20 stained glass panels and windows.
Brangwyn received some artistic training, probably from his father, and later from Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo and in the workshops of William Morris, but he was largely an autodidact without a formal artistic education. When, at the age of seventeen, one of his paintings was accepted at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, he was strengthened in his conviction to become an artist. Initially he painted traditional subjects about the sea and life on the seas. His 1890 canvas, Funeral At Sea won a medal of the third class at the 1891 Paris Salon. The murals for which Brangwyn was famous, and during his lifetime he was very famous indeed, were brightly coloured and crowded with details of plants and animals, although they became flatter and less flamboyant later in his life.
Henry Edward Armstrong FRS FRSE(Hon) (6 May 1848 – 13 July 1937) was an English chemist. Although Armstrong was active in many areas of scientific research, such as the chemistry of naphthalene derivatives, he is remembered today largely for his ideas and work on the teaching of science. Armstrong's acid is named for him.
Sir James Dewar FRS FRSE (20 September 1842 – 27 March 1923) was a Scottish chemist and physicist. He is best known for his invention of the vacuum flask, which he used in conjunction with research into the liquefaction of gases. He also studied atomic and molecular spectroscopy, working in these fields for more than 25 years.
Sir (Samuel Henry) William Llewellyn (1858–1941) was a notable English painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and served as President of the Royal Academy from 1928 to 1938. Awarded the Albert Medal (Royal Society of Arts) in 1933.
Llewellyn has 67 paintings in British national collections, including a portrait of industrialist and philanthropist Sir Alexander Grant held by the University of Edinburgh.
This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.