Just for fun I thought that I would tell you about my smashed penny collection. Probably like every other kid I had a few of these collected on family vacations. I have no idea what happened to those first ones I owned.
For a long time they went out of fashion and you couldn't find anywhere to get them. As an adult, the first machine I saw was at the 1982 Knoxville World Expo, which was the last gasp of the phenomena that were the World's Fairs. I had to have one!
Since then, I've run into a few of the machines. You put in a penny, and 2 quarters to pay for the privilege of turning a crank that runs the penny through a die, which elongates it and imprints an design. Some machines will do multiple designs - for 51 cents each, of course! I try to get them all.
There are now 26 in my collection. I know, that's pretty lame for a collection, but it's fun! This one is the closest to where I live, and also the most unusual since it has a hole and bead chain attached. It is for the Big Sable Point Lighthouse at Ludington, Michigan.
Smashed pennies can be worth up to several dollars after a few years. Like any collectible, the value depends on the demand. The more unusual your penny, and the greater general interest, the more it is going to appreciate. You can even buy thin plastic booklets to store them in. However, I don't like how tightly the pennies fit in the pockets. I'd rather be able to pick them up and feel the designs.
It's really hard to choose a favorite, but I think it might be this one of Snoopy in a canoe, with two of his little bird friend campers!
I've included links to two sites about collecting smashed pennies.
See Penny Collector
See Smashed Pennies- America's Best Souvenirs
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