M18253 | Medal

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1868, 19th century
Gift of Dr. W. Bell Dawson
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Medal (34)
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Sir John William Dawson received this silver medal from the Natural History Society of Montreal. A well-known geologist and palaeontologist, as well as being the Rector of McGill University, Dawson was elected president of the Society 19 times between 1854 and 1899.

Created in 1827, the Natural History Society of Montreal was the first scientific organization founded in Canada. It played a key role in promoting and popularizing the natural sciences in the 19th century, as well as organizing lecture series and publishing the magazine The Canadian Naturalist and Geologist. It also provided access to its museum or "cabinet," which exhibited mineralogical, botanical and zoological specimens, in addition to a number of curiosities and handmade souvenirs. When it dissolved in 1925, it divided its collections among various McGill University libraries and museums, including the McCord Museum.