Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, London, 1939.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Hughes Medal is awarded in recognition of an original discovery in the physical sciences, especially electricity and magnetism.This example was awarded to British physicist George Paget Thomson in 1939. It shows a relief profile portrait of physicist David Edward Hughes (1830-1900) who invented a successful telegraph in 1855. It was the first telegraph system which printed the text at the sending and receiving ends, thus abolishing the need for a special alphabetic code.