The United States Mint American Innovation $1 Coin Program is a multi-year series to honor innovation and innovators with $1 coins from each State, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands. The United States Mint is proud to celebrate innovation and honor the spirit of America with the 2020 American Innovation $1 Reverse Proof Coin from the State of Connecticut— the first release of 2020.
Before the invention of the graphing calculator, scientists needed a clear, quick, and simple solution to understand and solve problems of scale. The invention of the Gerber Variable Scale was that solution.
Heinz Joseph Gerber (1924–1996) invented the device while studying aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1945, a few years after escaping Nazi-controlled Austria with his mother. The earliest version of the variable scale had been fashioned from an elastic band removed from a pair of pajamas. Gerber created a rubber rule and scale that could flow with a curve, expand, contract, and turn a corner. It allowed for the direct numerical reading of curves, graphs, and graphical representations.
Because of its ease of use and quick solutions, the Gerber Variable Scale was a huge success, and by the 1950s, it was considered the universally accepted tool for engineers and architects all over the world.
This reverse design depicts the Gerber Variable Scale being used to increase a geometric shape by 200 percent, a shape which resembles the State of Connecticut. The inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “GERBER VARIABLE SCALE,” and “CONNECTICUT.”
The obverse design features a dramatic representation of the Statue of Liberty in profile with the inscriptions “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “$1.” The obverse also includes a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation.
The edge-incused inscriptions are “2020,” “S” mint mark, and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”