|Title||South Central Agricultural Society trophy|
|Dimensions||H-6.625 W-5.5 D-3.875 inches|
|Signature||"E.J. Johnston/ MACON, GA"|
|Signature Location||on bottom|
|Makers inscription||engraved and hand chased image of cotton gin on front and inscribed "Awarded by the S.C.A.S./at their 6th Anl Fair, Oct. 1851/E. T. Taylor & Co./For the Best Cotton Gin/For Fine Cotton"|
|Credit line||The General Acquisitions Fund|
Agricultural fair prizes, or premiums, were often engraved silver objects rather than cash money. The silver premiums, it was hoped, would become treasured family mementos and foster continued innovation in farming communities because agricultural experimentation and adaptation were paramount to the success of American farmers of the nineteenth century.
E.J. Johnston worked as a silversmith and jeweler in Macon for several years, but gained his greatest fame as a manufacturer of swords and other edged weapons during the Civil War. He is known to have supplied swords to Columbus businessman William H. Young, as well as artillerymen from Columbus. He also served as silversmith for the prizes for the South Central Agricultural Society throughout the 1850s.
E.T. Taylor & Co., headquartered in downtown Columbus, appears in several 19th- and early 20th-century publications as a prominent cotton gin manufacturer. In 1854, it became W.G. Clemons, Brown, and Company, before its final incarnation as the Lummus Cotton Gin Company after Franklin H. Lummus purchased the company in 1867. Lummus gins became synonymous with Columbus manufacturing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Lummus gin on view in the Legacy Gallery is one of the Museum's most recognizable artifacts.
Columbus Georgia Industry
E.T. Taylor & Co.
Lummus Cotton Gin Co.