American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Hand-drawn and colored illustration from a booklet on Brazilian military medals

Harrold Edgar Gillingham papers, 1915-1942
0.7 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Biographical note
Harrold Edgar Gillingham (1864-1954) of Germantown, Pennsylvania, was a transportation executive, collector of American antiques, and a numismatist scholar noted for publishing a series of monographs on medals of merit and decorations of honor. He was born in Hainsport, New Jersey, and attended Lauderbach Academy and Germantown Academy. He became an associate member of the American Numismatic Society in 1916, a life fellow and council member in 1918, and treasurer from 1924 to 1938. In 1931 he was awarded a Huntington Medal in recognition of his outstanding contributions to numismatic scholarship. Gillingham also served as vice president of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies, writing articles on topics such as Philadelphia silversmiths, ship building, and early fire defenses of Philadelphia and New York City.

Correspondence, notes, and drafts of writings on Central and South American medals and decorations, including photograph plates cut and pasted (1928-1931). Includes a typed booklet of Brazilian military medals (1809-1918) with hand-drawn and colored illustrations; a list of paper money issued by the colonies along with photographic prints, negatives, and copies of 18th century news articles and paper currency; a letter, with accompanying photographs, from C.F. Gunther to Bauman L. Belden discussing Peace Medals (1915); clippings and other materials (1935-1942) relating to his research on the War of 1812 and silversmiths; letters from the American Consular Service regarding medals of Morocco (1922) and Madagascar (1923); Materials relating to the Victory Medal, including a copy of the New York Times Book Review and Magazine (July 4, 1920) and other articles featuring the medal and its designer, James Earl Fraser; two photographs of Fraser carving a clay model; a photograph of a woman sewing the medal; a photograph signed by Fraser of the medal’s plaster cast; a sample of ribbon; and an application for the medal. There is also a photograph of Victory Button designer A.A. Weinman in what appears to be his studio, along with a photograph of the button.

Archival Collections