Saturday, April 26, 2014

Collection 22: Smashed Pennies

This collection isn't really vintage like most of my others, but it is kind of old fashioned. Since I was a little kid I've loved making smashed pennies. I'm sure you've seen the machines. You see them a lot in museums and at zoos. They have TONS of them at Disney World. I don't have lots of them still from when I was a kid, but I have a few! Smashed pennies are a great souvenir because they are inexpensive (they usually cost 50 cents, plus the penny) and don't take up much room.
Here is my current collection:
 I have a LOT of zoo ones. We used to go to any zoo we could get too. 
If you aren't from Tennessee you might not have heard of Opryland but it was a huge fixture in my childhood! It was a country music themed park in Nashville that closed and became an outlet mall in 1997. People my age who grew up here still mourn it. I can remember how scared I was waiting in line for the sky ride. Which is so dumb because it isn't even really a ride! Hah!
They are notoriously hard to photograph. Here are my four different Elvis pennies. There really is a range of resemblance here.
 This weiner mobile one is of my favorites! I think collecting these appeals to me because you usually find them at tacky roadside places, or more old fashioned attractions. When I plan a trip, I often check out the city on Penny Collector so I can get some ideas of places to visit. I'm not as serious as most of the people on that site, though I have picked up some great tips! For example, using a penny that is pre-1982 usually gets you a better press. After that they starting making pennies from zinc with just a copper coating. With the zinc you often get a lot of the silver color coming through.
 When we were dating Travis' parents took him and his brother on a trip to Disney World. When he came back he brought me this penny book filled with smashed coins. It was such a thoughtful gift, and it meant he was thinking of my throughout his trip because he got these pennies all over multiple parks! It was very romantic to 17 year old me. It's still pretty romantic to me now!
 I have one penny from overseas. A friend brought me this back from her honeymoon to London! Another friend brought me a penny from New Orleans. My dad collects them too and used to bring me some home from his business trips. I always loved that!
 I always have that little cat pouch full of pre-1982 pennies and a few quarters on me. That piles are the pennies I've made since last summer. I finally put them in the books after taking these photos. I even got a smashed quarter at Disney Land last summer! I like how those look, but they seem so expensive. You  have to pay a dollar on top of the quarter to smash!
Hope you enjoyed seeing one of my favorite little collections! Do you have any of these? What do you collect when you travel? When I was a kid I loved keychains too and had a huge box full of them. I've always been a collector. 


  1. Such a unique collection. I only have a few from Disneyland. I love the Elvis ones.

  2. I collect smashed pennies too, Chucky & I always make sure to hunt the machines down whenever we are traveling. I need to get a snazzy little book to keep them in instead of the little box they live in now. I stash change in the zipper pocket of my wallet especially for them, but I keep the current year's pennies on hand to smash to help when we are old & senile with the remembering of when we got each penny & had never heard about using pre-'82s. Thanks for the tip :)

  3. I have never heard of anybody collecting those things before but it's really cool once you have a bunch all together like that. I'll see if I can find any penny press machines around here, there must be, it's a super touristy city.

  4. I have the same collection (#25) and love picking them up when I see one of those machines. Travis did great coming home from his Disney trip years ago with some for you..that guy is a keeper!

  5. I really like this one! I only have a few and I keep planning on making them into necklace charms but never do it.

  6. That is super cool. I really like it.

  7. Oh man if you love smashed pennies I could send you some from around Toronto. I know the Zoo here has some. :D

  8. Very cool collection! I have a little jewelry box full of them. They're great inexpensive souvenirs.


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