Mr. Adee to Mr. Porter.

No. 657.]

Sir: The heirs of the late Anthony Pollok, of Washington, D. C., have decided to found a prize in his memory, to be known as the “Anthony Pollok Memorial Prize.”

Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Pollok were passengers on the steamer La Bourgogne, and were lost when that vessel sank after collision with the Cromartyshire off Sable Island, on July 4, 1899.

Mr. Pollok was held in the highest esteem by all who were privileged to know him and were aware of the many good deeds he did with a characteristic avoidance of ostentation. By his relatives and a wide circle of friends he is deeply mourned.

A graduate of the Ecole Centrale of Paris, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor of France, counselor at law at Washington, he owed his success to no happy incident, to no special favor of fortune, but to sheer force of character.

His name is prominently connected with many of the most important inventions of the last half of the nineteenth century, and will always be remembered as a potent factor in the development of the patent system.

He cherished a dream of universal patent practice embracing all the nations of the world, and inspired in France the first step toward its realization in the International Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, of which he was vice-president. When the United States at first refused its adherence he aroused the interest of the manufacturers, and appeared twice before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States Senate, answering objections and advocating the measure in printed briefs and oral arguments, finally attaining the object of his efforts.

With sorrowing hearts and profound respect, those who loved him and deplore his loss have founded this prize in sacred remembrance of their affection and as a crowning monument to honor and perpetuate the memory of Anthony Pollok.

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The prize is a donation of 100,000 francs, to be awarded to the inventor of the best apparatus for the saving of life in cases of maritime disaster, and is to be open to universal competition. This sum is now on deposit with the American Security and Trust Company, of Washington, D. C., whose reliability is beyond question, and will be paid over to the successful competitor when a decision shall have been rendered by an appointed jury, and formally communicated to the Secretary of State through the Commissioner-General of the United States to the international exposition at Paris in 1900.

The juror selected on behalf of the Government of the United States is Lieut. William S. Sims, U. S. N., naval attaché of the embassy of the United States at Paris. It is understood that the French Government will name a juror who, in conjunction with Lieutenant Sims, will select a third, to be chosen from one of the citizens or subjects of a state whose nation is a competitor.

In considering the award the jury will be governed by the following conditions:

The total amount of the prize may be awarded to a single individual, on condition that the invention is of sufficient practical value and importance to justify the proposed award.
Should several persons enter inventions of equal value the jury, as it shall consider right and just, may award a portion of the prize to each.
Should none of the inventions entered into be of sufficient value to entitle it to the prize, the jury may reject any and all of them, but at the same time shall be empowered to indemnify competing inventors in such amounts as may be deemed advisable.

The essential details as to this prize have been agreed upon between Mr. Ferdinand W. Peck, Commissioner-General of the United States to the Paris Exposition of 1900, and the Hon. Alfred Picard, Commissioner-General of the Universal International Exposition of 1900. They have also had the substantial assent and approval of the French federal authorities to the end that the competition for the prize may take place during the exposition.

In order that notice may be given to the different governments and that the fullest publicity and widest competition may be assured, it is necessary that you take an early opportunity to formally acquaint the Government of France with the desire of the heirs of the late Mr. Pollok and urge its cordial cooperation furthering their humane purpose.

The instructions to competitors will be issued in due season by the jury, with the sanction and approval of the authorities of the French exposition. These will be distributed upon application. Correspondence, however, may be addressed to the members of the jury at Paris, or to Mr. Charles J. Bell, president of the American Security and Trust Company, No. 1405 G street, Washington, D. C., U. S. A.

A similar instruction has been addressed to your colleagues accredited to all governments with which the United States has diplomatic relations. They have been directed to request that the information be given the widest possible publicity.

I am, etc.,

Alvey A. Adee,
Acting Secretary.