1062781 | FRANCE. Louis Philippe I.
(King, 1830-1848). 1833 Bronze Essai 5 Francs. PCGS SP66RD (Red).
By Nicolas Tiolier. LOUIS PHILIPPE I - ROI DES FRANÇAIS. Bust right, Engravers signature below truncation of neck /
AU ROI / THONNELIER / AUTEUR / DE LA PRESSE / MONÉTAIRE / 1833. Dedication in wreath inscribed in French on 6 lines. Maz.-1152.
Superb and exceptional.
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The Paris machinist, Thonnelier, devised the first "powered" coin presses operated by steam. His presses were perfected from similar technology borrowing on inventions by the German mechanical engineer, Diedrich Uhlhorn (1764-1837). Uhlhorn's developed his knuckle-joint action press of 1812 and his lever press in 1829.
Rather than building the presses himself, Thonnelier sold drawings and plans to mints who either had to build their own or hire "constructors." Initially, Thonnelier urged the Paris mint to purchase his press as they soon proved to double production output and required 15% less labor. In 1840 he installed his press at the Paris Mint which and they finally purchased it from him five years later, in 1845.
Among his customers was the growing operation at the United States Mint, who bought plans from Thonnelier around 1833. Philadelphians Merrick, Agnew and Tyler had the press imported in 1836 and by 1840, Franklin Peale of the U.S. Mint had the press rebuilt to improve its strength, furthering the innovations of the powered coining press.