10th anniversary of death of Matthew Boulton medal
It is very appropriate that this medal was struck to commemorate the life of Matthew Boulton, as he was the person who did most to introduce modern industrial techniques to the making of coins and medals. An entrepreneur with wide interests, he also modernised other industries and is best known for his partnership with James Watt. The firm of Boulton and Watt designed steam engines that were much more efficient than earlier ones and developed the first successful rotative engines for turning machinery in factories.
Born in Birmingham, England, in 1728, Boulton inherited a modest button-making business and built an empire that included the Soho Manufactory, Soho Mint and Soho Foundry. He became Birmingham's leading silversmith and successfully lobbied the government for an assay office to be set up in that city. He also lobbied for the coinage to be improved and for more small change to be struck to pay the wages of the increasing manufacturing workforce. Having designed new machines for striking coins and made many coins and medals at his steam-powered Soho Mint, he sold complete mints to the British and foreign governments.
Debbie Rudder, Curator, 2009