For explanation of the design, click here.

American Chemical Society

Division of the History of Chemistry

ACS logo


Plaque Description

The HIST Award plaque consists of four parts:

  1. A 12” x 9” felt backed wooden board painted black.
  2. A 3.5” x 3” x 0.25” magnesium reverse etched gold plate.

    The design, in gold, is a copy of the design on the frontispiece of the Plicto de Larte de Tentori che Insegna Tenger Pani Telle Banbasi et Sede si per Larthe Magiore come per las Comune by Gioanuentura Rosetti, published in Venice in 1548. Sidney M. Edelstein and Hector C. Borghetty published a translation of the 1548 edition (The Plichto of Gioaventura Rosetti Instructions in the Art of the Dyers which Teaches the Dyeing of Woolen Cloths, Linens, Cottons, and Silk by the Great Art as Well as by the Common MIT Press, 1969). In the Introduction they state "Rosetti's Plichto is the first basic printed book on dyeing."

    HIST Award Plichto Detail

    Plate from HIST Award plaque
    plichto1548-small.gif - 58307 Bytes

    Frontispiece from Plichto(1548)
    showing only the relevant image

    As to what the figures in the image represent, one can only speculate as Edelstein and Borghetty did not address this point. The three-faced figure is likely time - past, present, and future. The words are Tempus (Latin time), Giugus (this is not Latin, but might be Latin spelled the way Italians spoke the word. If so, this could be GIUDicia, therfore iugum, meaning yoke, burden, or obligation. Italian for yoke is giogo), Aura (Latin breeze, wind, heaven), and Domat (from Latin for dominus, "a lord"). What does that all mean? Literally, it could be "Time overcomes a/the yoke/burden with (the help of) a breeze." Or it might not. Intentional ambiguities many times abound concerning this type of art. [Thanks to Bruce Swann and Alvan Bregman of the University of Illinois Library for help in the translation.]

    This image does not appear to be a printer's mark (the printer of the 1548 edition was Augustino Bindoni). It is possible that the image is a coat of arms or armorial device connected to a dyers guild, but there is no evidence to support that statement.

  3. A 3” x 0.625” x 0.25” magnesuim reverse etched gold plate with the name of the award engraved on it.
  4. A 4.5” x 4” x .25” engraved with the recipient’s name, an explanation of the nature of the award, and the name of the presenter, the History of Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society.

An image of the award presented to William Newman, the 2013 HIST Award Winner.

The award is manufactured by the Stellar Kent Corporation.