PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 11, March 12, 2006, Article 25

WEST VIRGINIA ELONGATED COIN MACHINE ARTICLE

The Daily Mail of Charleston, West Virginia published an article
on March 6 about a former pipe fitter now in business operating
machines that make elongated cent souvenirs:

"In the lobby of the sophisticated Clay Center, surrounded by
valuable art, inventive displays and the impressive performance
hall, a little machine sits unobtrusively waiting to crank out
a rather simple souvenir.

The elongated penny machine could be overlooked easily by those
in line at the box office or those hurrying in to see the
intriguing offerings in the Little Shop of Wonders. But for two
quarters and one penny, a visitor can take away a little history
and a lot of nostalgia.

The Plexiglas and Formica machine, built by Fayetteville resident
Stewart Fernandez and owned by Jim Singleton of Hugheston, is
much like those that have been around for more than 100 years in
parks, zoos, museums and other tourist attractions. A simple turn
of the crank flattens a penny and imprints it with a design."

"I was reading a coin paper and I saw an advertisement to buy
a machine, said Singleton, a former pipe fitter. "I was just
fascinated. I had never seen one before."

With help from a die maker and a woodworker, Singleton designed
his own version of a machine that could take a penny and turn
it into a flattened oval with a picture cut into it."

"Smashing pennies is legal. According to the Web site squished.com
United States law does permit the altering of coins if they will
not be used for fraudulent uses. Once flattened by a machine, they
are no longer considered currency."

"Coins can be really expensive," he said. "But this is 50 cents,
and you can collect a lot of them. I talked to a guy last week
who had collected 250,000 of them."

"Singleton has also placed his hand-crank penny machines at
locations on the West Virginia Turnpike, at Cass Scenic Railroad,
Blackwater Falls and Natural Bridge, Va. With permission, he
installs the boxes for free where he expects at least 50,000 people
a year to walk by them, and then makes the rounds monthly to collect
the money."

"Polack said using a crank machine, like Singleton's, often draws
a crowd of children.

"Then they have to listen to my little speech," she said. "I tell
them it takes a ton of pressure to flatten that little penny. A
lot of times when the penny first comes out of the machine, it's
still hot."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V9 2006 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster