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Did You Know Who Invented The Penny Press Machine? Bet You Don’t!

Do you own a pressed penny? Have you seen a penny press machine? Are you intrigued by how this machine works? You might know that Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition first introduced the device to the public in 1893. But who invented this machine?

The penny press machine causes a coin to get elongated. Many children, adults, and even coin enthusiasts are always amazed by this popular attraction.

Per history, the first pressed penny designer is Charles Damm. He created the elongated coins for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. It remains unknown, however, who was the genius mind behind the penny press machine. All people know is that the first time the penny press machine was available to the public, it was during a fair in Chicago, Illinois.

During that time, many designs got made to commemorate the fair. The first penny press machine that was used was a jewelry mill. People used it to flatten gold back then, but it was also perfect for elongating a penny. Most pennies that got pressed at this fair had a “Columbian Exposition 1893” engraving. These coins are available in the elongated coin collecting community today. The elongated coins during this time were referred to as the oldies.

Later, modern elongated coins were produced. Many private individuals came up with rollers to design and sell these elongated coins. Some popular private rollers were Angelo A. Rosato, Cee Ceven, Don Adams, Dottie Dow, Elmer Anderson, Ralph W. Jobe, and Ralph Jones.

As time went by, a stand-alone elongated penny press machine was introduced to the public. Here, people can make their elongated coins through a coin-operated penny press machine. It became available in the year 1971. The coins from these penny press machines are called Contemporary Elongateds. Vance Folwer and his group designed this type of penny press machine. They got to put up some of the devices they designed at the May Company Stores and the Disneyland Resort branch.

Of all the coins in the United States, Pennies got chosen for the press machine because of their worth. Because a penny is just worth a cent, it was the least valuable coin people can elongate. Once the money gets pressed in a penny press machine, people can no longer use it for purchasing anything. Another reason why pennies are those elongated is that it is made up of darker metals. The engravings are then easily seen when a penny gets used for a penny press machine.

In the United States, it is not illegal to press a penny as long as it does not get used for purchasing anything. However, in Canada, it is unlawful to deface their coins.

If you haven’t seen an elongated penny yet, be sure to spot one and even use one during a fair. These modern penny press machines are automated and no longer need cranking. If you want an older version, try looking it up on the internet as to where you can find one.


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