Defining a Nation Through the Imagery of the Liberty Cap Half Cent

The US Mint issued their first half cent coin beginning in 1793. Minting continued till 1797 on the Philadelphia mint.Liberty Cap Half Cent obverse and reverse

Henry Voigt, who served because the Chief Coiner of the primary United States Mint, engraved the coin, nonetheless, consultants are unclear on whether or not or not he designed the piece. Voigt’s contribution to US foreign money is only one of his many ventures.

Voigt constructed steam engines, labored as a clock-maker, and even manufactured mathematical devices. He was a detailed buddy of Thomas Jefferson, who was a buyer of Voigt’s, often in want of watch restore.

He additionally contributed to the design and manufacturing of the primary operational steam boat that served in a business capability. Reflecting on Voigt’s contribution, John Fitch, who additionally designed the business steamboat remarked, “He’s a person most prepared of mechanical enhancements of any on earth, and I’m persuaded that I by no means might have accomplished the steamboat with out him.”

His function on the US Mint started in 1791 and by 1793 he oversaw the minting of the Liberty Cap Half Cent. The unique obverse design confirmed the bust of Liberty dealing with left with flowing hair. Behind her is a pole with a Liberty cap resting on prime. Officers determined to reverse this design the next 12 months. Beginning in 1794, Liberty confronted proper and the Liberty pole and cap remained behind her, now on the left aspect.

The reverse contains a wreath with “United States of America” in an arc across the middle which reads “Half Cent.”

Whereas Voigt was seemingly the principle contributor to the design, engraver Robert Scot was additionally concerned and engraved the “Liberty Going through proper” coin. He served as Chief Engraver on the US Mint from 1793 to 1823. His most well-known work is the Draped Bust picture which seems on many various US cash. The breadth of his work even expands past coinage.

Scot engraved fee stamp dies for each state. He additionally engraved greater than 20 copperplate of assorted scientific illustrations for Thomas Dobson’s 1788 publication (reprint) Pure Philosophy. Most notably, Scot engraved the Nice Seal of the USA in 1782. At the moment, Scot’s work is seen throughout almost each department of the federal government.

The Liberty Cap Half Cent is minted from pure copper. The rarest date of the sequence is 1796. The coin is an uncommon alternative to personal a part of the nation’s historical past. The design represents the nation’s earliest makes an attempt to outline itself by imagery. It’s also a reminder of the stark variations between residing within the late 1700s and residing at this time; the half cent worth had relevance throughout a time when most working wages have been $1 for a 10-hour day.

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