The Lincoln Cent was introduced in 1909 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The coin’s designer was Victor D. Brenner. The obverse featured a bust of Lincoln based on an earlier bronze plaque, and the reverse featured a pair of wheat ears. In 1959, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the reverse design was changed. It took on its familiar depiction of the Lincoln Memorial designed by Frank Gasparro.
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the 2009 Lincoln Cent saw its design changed once again. The 2009 Bicentennial Lincoln Cents feature four different reverse designs, each representing a different stage of Lincoln's life. The obverse of each coin featured the same likeness of Abraham Lincoln designed by Victor D. Brenner, now in use for an uninterrupted period of 100 years.
The four different reverse designs, listed chronologically, are as follows:
- Birthplace in Kentucky (1809-1816)
- Formative Years in Indiana (1816-1830)
- Professional Life in Illinois (1830-1861)
- Presidency in Washington DC (1861-1865)
The new designs were released approximately every three months throughout 2009. For the exact dates and further details, see 2009 Lincoln Cent Release Dates.