68 mm (2.72"), 156 grams
OBVERSE: In 1937, the 341-foot-high Genissiat Dam began construction on the Rhone River. Construction was delayed during World War II, but by 1948 the dam and power plant were commissioned and began generating power. The completed dam is shown in the background, framed by a youthful Marianne, the national symbol of the French Republic, reclining on a pipe, which is discharging a flow of water. She is holding aloft a torch, symbolizing life, and creating a bolt of lightning, symbolizing the regeneration of power. The signature “G. SIMON” is inscribed in the lower right corner of the medal. I have been unable to identify this person in any artist reference guides as to age, gender, or nationality.
REVERSE: “COMPAGNIE NATIONALE DU RHONE,” the hydroelectric company of France, was established in 1933 to build and operate dams along the Rhone River. The background of this medal depicts the Genissiat power plant. A gear displays the name of the recipient of this award: “PAUL PEYNOT.”A torch dominates the right quadrant of the image.
EDGE: The word “BRONZE” is engraved on the bottom edge, preceded by the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint) director’s hallmark “Cornucopia.”