In March of
1836 a steam powered coining press, imported from France,
was put to work in the United States Mint. Power to turn
the press was supplied by a belt from the steam engine.
It had a capacity of 100 coins a minute.
In 1837 Director
Patterson reported to President Andrew Jackson that the
workmen at the Mint were now busy building more steam
powered presses which were expected to replace some of
the human labor needed to operate the older screw presses.
He stated: ""On the 23rd of March last (1836),
the first steam coinage in America was executed at this
Mint; and the performance of the press, in which the
power of the lever is substituted for that of the screw,
has answered all our expectations." You can learn
more about how the lever and the screw make work easier
by reading Spotlight
on Simple Machines from the Franklin Institute of