Chief Coiner Franklin Peale returned to the USA in 1835 following his two years of studying the mints of Europe. Among the improvements he introduced to the U. S. Mint was the French-designed steam powered coining press. The debut of this press was scheduled for February 22, 1836, the anniversary of President Washington’s birth, and Second Engraver Christian Gobrecht prepared dies for a medal to commemorate this momentous occasion. A mechanical glitch, however, delayed the first steam striking until March 23 (careful inspection of this medal’s inscription reveals the date “MAR. 23.” punched over the earlier intended date). Copper strikes were made at that time using cent planchets imported from England.