Rochester Mechanics Literary Association Medals


From "THE COMMON-GOOD of Civic and Social Rochester", Vol. 4, October 1910
     The Mechanics Literary Association was founded February 10, 1836. by sixteen practical mechanics. Their object was "their own mutual advancement in scientific and literary knowledge and the mental and moral culture of apprentices and poor young men."
     Their library began with donations amounting to 500 volumes from citizens generally. This was afterwards increased by the proceeds of several annual fairs. Their association flourished for six or eight years, their library expanded to 2000 volumes and some of their debates were chronicled as great gladiatorial combats. Then they failed gradually until the number of members was reduced to 20. In its declining days the library developed a migratory character, moving four times in ten years.
     By 1877 the Association had become all but non-existent with the books becoming the property of Mortimer F. Reynolds and George S. Riley; eventually becoming the Reynolds Library in 1884.

Literary Association / Washington Temperance Society Mule

Greenslet GM- 67, GW-173, white metal, 41mm

Greenslet GM-67, GW-173, copper, 41mm

Greenslet GM-67, GW-173, bronze, 41mm

Greenslet GM-67, GW-173, brass, 41mm


                                       Entrance to the Reynolds Reference library within    
the Rochester Public Library 

Literary Association / House of Temperance Mule

Greenslet GM- 68, bronze, 41mm

Postcard to George S. Riley announcing the Trustees meeting for the Rochester Atheneum and Mechanics Institute, the remnants of the Literary Association becoming part of this group.

Literary Association Award Medal

Greenslet GM-69, bronze, 41mm
(on line image)
     I suspect that the 'AWARDED TO' die was the original pairing with the Franklin die, the other two combinations being later mulings. It is almost certain that Robert Sr. produced these dies but he was not known for producing mulings such as these. Of course his son George H. was and he was working with his father around this time as well as probably obtaining his father's dies after his death. It would be just like him to combine two unlikely dies and produce medals in limited quantities for the collector market.
     Greenslet list the GM-67 in bronze, copper, and white metal, Musante list a brass version. GM-68 is listed in bronze only. GM-69 is only listed in bronze but the example below indicates some were struck in silver.
Unlisted, silver, 41mm

(image courtesy of Roger Brewer)