Robert / Bob Birch was born in London but emigrated to the United States and created early pattern coins while the U.S. Mint was being first established. Although he is usually referred to as “Robert”, in the surviving mint records, he is listed only as Bob Birch.
The 1792 Birch pattern Cent is named after him, however exactly what other dies Birch may have engraved while working at the new Mint is up for debate. He was one of several engravers privately employed in the first year of the Mint working on coinage dies, that are today considered patterns, and he was never commissioned as an officer of the Mint. He most likely succumbed to the effects of the “yellow fever” epidemic in September 1793 along with Joseph Wright, as there is no mention or records of him past this time.