This historical Elisha Kent Kane Award Medal was made by the A.C. Frank Company, in solid 18 karat gold, and was presented to William C. Farabee by the Geographical Society of Philadelphia, in 1916, for eminent geographical research.
Elisha Kent Kane was a famous American medical officer and explorer who took part in two Arctic expeditions in an attempt to rescue Sir John Franklin. The Geographical Society of Philadelphia was founded in 1893 "to promote the discovery of the many wonders of our world", and awarded the Elisha Kent Kane Gold Medal for eminent geographical research.
The extremely attractive obverse displays a high-relief portrait of Elisha Kent Kane. Text reads "Elisha Kent Kane Medal - Founded 1900", and is signed by "A.C. Frank".
August Conrad Frank moved to America from Germany in 1893. A year later, in 1894, he founded the A.C. Frank Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Frank was a master engraver and diesinker who designed and produced medals.
The reverse side of the medal also has a high-relief design of a globe at the center. The text reads: "For Eminent Geographical Research - Geographical Society of Philedelphia - Per Terram Et Mare - Inc. 1893 - Awarded To William Curtis Farabee".
"Per terram et mare" translates to "by land, by sea".
William C. Farabee was the 2nd person in history to graduate from Harvard with a doctorate in physical anthropology. He was a Harvard professor who published works on genetics, many studies involving human hands. After his work in genetics, Farabee began geographical research in South America. He went on a total of 3 expeditions to the Amazon basin, each for several years at a time. On the last trip, he contracted a serious illness which would take his life, in 1925
The medal has been tested by a Thermo-Scientific device, and it tests slightly higher than 18 karat. It has a gross weight of approximately 1.6 ounces.