The Lowell National Historic Park located in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, serves as the subject of the 46th issue in the 5 oz. Silver America the Beautiful (ATB) series. Lowell is considered the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America because of the large number of textile factories that helped to establish the town. The Lowell National Historic Park site was created by Congress on June 5, 1978. Begun in 2010, the ATB series features one historic site or park from each state. Each example is struck on 5 oz. of .999 pure silver planchets.
The reverse design of this issue features a mill girl working at a power loom in a textile mill. Young women who worked in the mills were called “mill girls.” They lived in company sponsored housing and earned cash wages. They contributed to the social climate of the time by demanding better working conditions, supporting the abolition of slavery, and supporting education. The view from the window in the image features the Boott Mill clock tower in Lowell, MA. The image was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
The obverse used in the series is based on the familiar left facing profile of First President of the United States, George Washington. The portrait was originally designed by John Flanagan for use on the 1932 quarter dollar. Flanagan’s design was based on a marble bust sculpted by French artist Jean-Antoine Houdin which was sculpted during Washinton’s life. The actual bust now resides at his home in Mt. Vernon. The Flanagan portrait was modified with a lower-relief version for use on the ATB series and the prior State Quarter series by U.S. Mint Designer-Engraver William Cousins.
Provisions authorizing the enduring, popular 5 oz. ATB program are included in Title II of the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. The ATB Silver Bullion 5 oz. Coins contain five ounces of .999 pure silver. They are the largest silver bullion coins issued by the U.S. Mint. The obverse design of the coins duplicates the obverse of the circulating quarter dollar. The reverses feature a design that honors one historic National Park in each state or territory in the U.S. The series was introduced in 2010 and will conclude in 2021 with the 56th entry in the series.
The coins are struck at the Philadelphia branch of the U.S. Mint on a German coining press purchased specifically for producing this series. The press was installed on March 1, 2010 and is capable of producing over one million coins annually. The 5 oz. silver planchets for the series are supplied by Sunshine Minting, Inc. of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.