The Old Cent. The cent was proposed in 1782 by Robert Morris, the great financier of the revolution, and was named by Jefferson two years later. It began to make its appearance from the mint in 1792. It bore then the head of Washington on one side, and a chain of thirteen links on the other. The French revolution soon created a rage for French ideas in America, which put on the cent, instead of the head of Washington, the head of the goddess of liberty - a French liberty, with neck thrust forward and flowing locks. The chain on the reverse was replaced by the olive wreath of peace. But the French liberty was short lived, and so was her portrait on our cent. The present staid classic dame, with a fillet round her hair, came into fashion about thirty or forty years ago.