These photos offer a glimpse into the production process of the medals and provides insight into the number of people involved in the operation, how many different stages were needed, as well as simply lets us see the walls and machinery of the company—something that is often lacking from historical context.
The origins of the Medallic Art Company began in 1902, when Henri Weil first gained employment with the Deitsch Brothers, makers of ladies’ leather handbags in New York City. His job was to cast decorative silver ornaments and trim. That same year, on a trip to Paris, Henri learned of the Janvier reduction machine and suggested that his employers purchase one. While there, he received training on the machine at the Janvier factory. In August, the machine is installed at the Deitsch Brothers factory, and the firm began to advertise their newly-acquired tool. By 1903, although he succeeded in making several finely-detailed patterns and cuts at a fraction of the price, the changing fashion of handbags required less-and-less ornamentation, and the firm deemed the machine useless.
for issuance. They have a design on one or both sides, and normally made of metal. They may be intended to be worn, suspended from clothing or jewelry in some way. They come in many sizes, from a fraction of an inch to several inches in diameter. Medallions are larger medals (generally four inches or larger) that are generally too large to be comfortably worn. They may be die-struck or cast in a mold. An artist who creates medals is called a medalist.
There are many, many approaches to create a piece of medallic art. The two primary methods split between cast and struck medals. This brief article describes the latter process—known as the bas-relief technique—as the basis of production used by the Medallic Art Co. (MACO).