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I have taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to post here as I am able.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Smashed Penny Collection

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

web ad income Nov 16 (4 blogs, 2 web sites, writing):
Adsense $.01
Adgitize $.62
Project Wonderful $.04
Clixsense $.09
Chitika $.03
Neobux $.07
Total: $.86


John | Retro Programming said...

They look like quite a neat thing to collect. They don't take up too much space and they're reminders of places you've visited. Do you collect anything else?

I collect quite a few weird thing including computers from the 1980's! :-)

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hey, John! Collections? I'm one of those people who thinks that 3 of anything has now become a collection. I'm a pack rat extraordinaire. I have several computers from the 1980s but that's mostly because I don't getting around to disposing of them. I missed my chance. I have a Timex Sinclair with the 64K ram module, and for a while they were selling for quite a bit on eBay, but it seems that everyone who wants one now has them. No market. I did a ton of stuff on that little almost-a-computer!

John | Retro Programming said...

I have a Sinclair Spectrum, it's the machine I learned to program on :-) It's amazing what it could do with 48K of RAM and a 3.5MHz processor. Nowadays it's a struggle to work with anything less than 1GB and 2GHz.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

John- That is cool. I knew a lot of programming... trying to remember the timeline... Fortran IV in college was certainly pre-Sinclair. But the Sinclair was definitely my first PC! Then I took Fortran 7, Pascal, taught myself 3 versions of Basic, Microsoft Basic, and HTML. About that time Windows appeared and knowing how to program was no longer a skill of value unless you wanted to work for some company. Wish I knew Visual Basic, but I haven't made the plunge. Dabble a little in javascript- just enough to be dangerous. Things change SO fast that if you don't use it all the time you are just dust.