A 1909 Hudson-Fulton Celebration Medalet by Bill Groom
Medalets are small medals that typically commemorate events or celebrate famous people. They often come holed to facilitate being worn on clothing; this, usually on a lapel. When an event concluded, the medalets were often tossed in dresser drawers or jewelry boxes. Of course, true collectors would house them in a coin cabinet, album or display case. Regardless, they were souvenir pieces, mementos that would endlessly stimulate conversation. Pictured above is one of the smallest copper medalets that this writer has seen; with its being about the size of a dime. Likely, there was once a small ribbon, a lapel tie, that accompanied it English explorer, Henry Hudson, is portrayed on the left. He was credited with discovering the Hudson River in the early 1600’s. Robert Fulton appears on the right. He and Robert Livingston developed the first, commercially successful, passenger steamboat that operated on the Hudson River, between NY City and Albany. It took the boat, Clermont, thirty-two hours to make the 150 mile journey. It began service on August 17, 1807. This was a huge step forward for transportation and settlement in America.