Q:

Why does Lincoln face right on the penny?

A:

Quick Answer

Lincoln faces to the right on the penny because the original artist based the drawing on a photograph of Abraham Lincoln taken in 1864 in which he was facing right. The artist was Victor David Brenner.

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Why does Lincoln face right on the penny?
Credit: Mark Morgan CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

The artist was chosen by Theodore Roosevelt, who likely picked him because of a sculpture he had already made of Lincoln. That sculpture was based on the same photograph in which Lincoln faced right, and Brenner used that sculpture as the basis for creating the art for the penny.

Roosevelt commissioned the coin to celebrate what would have been Lincoln's 100th birthday in 1908. The nickel is the only other U.S. coin that has had a president facing right though it has only been minted that way in select years, including 2003 and 2005.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is Lincoln's face on the penny?

    A:

    Americans have President Theodore Roosevelt to thank for the creation of the Lincoln penny. President Roosevelt was dissatisfied with the design of United States coins in his day. He got the idea of putting President Lincoln's likeness on a coin after admiring a bronze plaque of Lincoln created by sculptor Victor David Brenner.

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  • Q:

    How heavy is a penny?

    A:

    A penny weighs 0.0081 ounces. Twelve pennies weigh approximately 1 ounce, and 182 pennies, or $1.82 in pennies, weigh approximately 1 pound. The penny is the lightest of all U.S. coins.

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  • Q:

    What is the history of the penny?

    A:

    According to the website Pennies, the first penny created in the United States was in 1787 by Benjamin Franklin. It bore the image of a sun and sundial above the message "mind your own business." The most recent design of the one-cent coin was unveiled in 2010. Pennies are used in several countries. Since 1787, over 300 billion one-cent coins with 11 different images have been created.

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  • Q:

    How old is the oldest penny?

    A:

    The first official U.S. penny was minted in 1787 according to coinfacts.com, so this would make the oldest U.S. penny 227 years old as of 2014. According to the Professional Coin Grading service, these coins are still in existence.

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