This Premium of John Hyacinth deMagellon of London was given to Dr. Charles Stark Draper by the American Philosophical Society in November 1959 for his development of inertial guidance systems for rockets and missiles. The award's history began with deMagellon's offer to the American Philosophical Society in 1785 to sponsor a "yearly scientific prize" for discoveries or useful improvements in the areas of navigation or natural philosophy (the Society would later add astronomy). The Society's president at the time, Benjamin Franklin, accepted the offer. The Premium has been given to twelve navigational engineers, twelve philosophers, and eight astronomers since the first award in 1786. Dr. Draper donated a collection of his awards, including this medal, to the National Collection in 1974.
Gift of Dr. Charles S. Draper