American Innovation® $1 Coin – Maine
The American Innovation $1 Coin representing Maine honors Dr. Bernard Lown and his invention of the direct current defibrillator.
Dr. Bernard Lown was a Lithuanian-American cardiologist who was a pioneer in the research of sudden cardiac death. In 1962, Dr. Lown, in cooperation with engineer Baruch Berkovitz, developed a new method for correcting dangerously abnormal heart rhythms, called fibrillations. At the time, fibrillations were believed to be responsible for 40 percent of fatal heart attacks in the United States every year.
Dr. Lown’s device used direct current precisely timed to certain points in the heartbeat’s cycle. He administered jolts through the chest walls of 11 patients, some near death, and restored normal heartbeats to all. He had the device manufactured by the American Optical Company, and by 1964, thousands of hospitals were equipped with the device.
This breakthrough became a lifesaving technique used worldwide. It led to new cardiac resuscitation techniques and technological developments, including modern pacemakers and defibrillators implanted in the chests of heart patients that automatically detect and correct abnormal rhythms.
The obverse (heads) design features a dramatic representation of the Statue of Liberty in profile. The obverse also includes a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation.
The reverse (tails) design presents a profile portrait of Dr. Bernard Lown with his direct current defibrillator in operation below.
- UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- BERNARD LOWN, M.D.
- DIRECT CURRENT DEFIBRILLATOR
Incused (edge) Inscriptions
- Mint mark
- E PLURIBUS UNUM
Mint and Mint Mark
- Phebe Hemphill, Medallic Artist