In 1893 the first elongated coin made its first appearance at the Columbian Expo. in Chicago. Several designs were issued to commodate the fair, and are available to coin collectors today.
An elongated coin is made by a coin, token or metal blank being forced between two steel rollers. An engraving is on one or both of the rollers and as the coin passes through the rollers it is squeezed or elongated under tremendous pressure from the original round shape to one of an oval and the engraved design impressed into the coin at the same time.
The rolling of elongated seemed to be rather popular for the first 23 years of their existence and a large amount were rolled between 1893 and 1916. Then for some unknown reason there was a slack period between 1916 and 1932. After 1932 momentum seemed to regenerate and the amount of coins rolled has steadily increased until today they are being produced at such a rapid rate that it is nearly impossible for a collector to keep up with them all.
And that’s where I started. In 2010, Tim and I planed a camping trip to Knoebels, in Elysburg, PA. Through out the part I found penny presses. And souvenir coin albums. I was so intrigued that I just HAD to collect them all with in the park. And I did. With the exception of a few expired ones on the list. And from then on, just like geocaching, I research before a trip to see if there are any penny presses on our way or at our destination. I have also collected a few at local stores like Bass Pro Shops and a few along the PA Turnpike.
Over the Labor Day weekend Tim’s mom invited us to go to Hershey Park for free with the family. Well heck yeah, we will take it. The problem is I don’t ride rides and MacKenzie is way too young to ride them too. But seeing how it is a free pass, I went, and had a blast. My family usually goes to Knoebels because there isnt an entry fee. Just pay as you ride. Which works out perfect in our case. Hershey Park’s entry fee is 56.95 per person (children 2yrs and under Free) So basically. If I would have bought our tickets, I would have paid nearly 60 dollars to sit and watch everyone ride rides. That would have sucked. Not to mention the cost of food. I bought 4 chicken fingers and 2 small boats of fries. Tim got a taco bowl. Our bill came to $45! Oh and 2 large drinks! Unreal!
Anyway the point of telling you all about Hershey Park was because while everyone was busy with their adrenalin rushes MacKenzie and I proceeded to venture out and look for the penny machines. There was no way I was able to collect all of them. But I got a few to start my Hershey Penny Book.
So Next time your out and about look for the machines. They are tucked in mostly amusement parks. But of course local attractions and travel lodges have them also. If you look closely after pressing the penny, you can see Abraham’s head smashed. So you know its your coin going in and your coin coming out. By the way the new shinier coins are the better ones to use. The press on a clearer image.