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 Massachusetts — the second release of 2020.
On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell—scientist, inventor, and innovator— received the first patent for an “apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically,” a device he called the “tele-phone.” Three days after his patent was issued, Bell and his assistant, Thomas Watson, made the first successfully transmitted message. Pressing the receiver against his ear, Watson heard Bell’s message: “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”
Bell’s large box telephone was one of two he used in a demonstration conducted between Boston and Salem, Mass., on November 26, 1876. It featured an iron diaphragm, two electromagnets, and a horseshoe permanent magnet. When used as a transmitter, sound waves at the mouthpiece caused the diaphragm to move, inducing a fluctuating current in the electromagnets. This current was conducted over wires to a similar instrument acting as a receiver. There, the fluctuating current in the electromagnets caused the diaphragm to move, producing air vibrations that could be heard.
The obverse (heads) 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.
This reverse (tails) design depicts the dial of an early rotary dial telephone. The inscriptions are “MASSACHUSETTS,” “TELE-PHONE,” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
The edge-incused inscriptions are “2020,” “S” mint mark, and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”