The Early History of
Pressed Pennies & Penny Press Coin Machines
The pressed penny history and stories that follow are a great place to start your visit here at ParkPennies.com. If they don't tell you all you want to know about a Disney pressed penny topic, they offer links to more extensive and focused pressed penny references like our well known pressed penny guides, variation indexes and infamous pressed penny articles. If there can be too much of a good thing, it's probably here and there is more on the way!
We also have a free ParkPennies.com pressed penny
offered on our Sorta Free* Pressed Penny page. (Just need to send a SASE. :-)
Pressed Penny Machine
Brings the Hobby to the People
Vance Fowler's Original Pressed Penny Machine
Above is a picture of the original Cimeter "Automatic Coin Rolling Vender". Acknowledged as the first modern day coin-operated penny press, it pioneered the industry that made possible the hobby as we know it today.
Although this machine wasn't ever in Disneyland park. It has an interesting Disneyland tie-in.
Want to know more? It's mentioned in our article about Mr. Vance Fowler, father of the coin operated penny press.
Most all early public penny press machines were hand powered, by an attendant. They were few and far between. Warning! Old guy starts telling about "back in the day"... The first time I had a penny pressed was in the 1970's. The man that operated the rolling machine charged a mere 25 cents plus the coin to be pressed. A real bargain and a real long line too!
ParkPennies' Boomer continues rambling... I remember waiting my turn to watch a man smash my humble cent into a wonderful souvenir of Ports 'O Call Village, in San Pedro, California. His press-to-order hand crank machine drew a nice crowd. Fun! Finding an attended penny press is still a real treat for me. Now and then I spot one at a coin show or fair. Sadly, it seems attended penny press machine locations are too few and far between.
Enter the modern day coin-operated penny press! A penny press that operates on its own, takes little space, vends a fun pressed penny, at a bargain price and all while you watch. Most importantly, the new machine design has made possible thousands of new machine locations. In turn, the thousands of new penny press machine locations have introduced millions of new innocent, unsuspecting people to pressed penny collecting.
many zoos, penny arcades, amusement parks, and tourist points of interest are new homes to coin-operated penny press machines. And it seems there are more every day! For example, Disneyland Park set their first two penny press machines on stage in 1987, followed by machines at Walt Disney World, and then machines around the world! Matter of fact, there are so many pressed penny machine locations today, that most collectors have to narrow their collections around a theme, location, or coin type.
As you may have guessed, now we specialized in collecting Disneyland Resort elongated coins. But, we started out in the 1980's collecting California Points of Interest elongated coins. Great fun, but, way too many locations and coins for us to manage. Matter of fact, given there are now four "Disneyland" Resorts, we may have to narrow our specialty down a bit more. Thankfully, as shown on the Pressed Penny Collections page, Disneyland coins can be collected from all parks around the world, or you can collect just your favorite character's pennies from just one park. All fun. Happy Collecting, Boomer :-)
The Very First Disney
Pressed Penny Machine Marquees!
Disneyland Park, USA Circa 1987
Centek logo elongated coin Image courtesy of
The Mark Brown Collection
The pictures above were given to us by a very kind fellow collector to share with the readers here at ParkPennies.com. The machines are long gone now. But, these are the signs you would have seen had you been in the park back in 1987. The machines were manufactured by Centek and each offered only one pressed penny image. (One of the coins, the DL0001, is pictured below.)
If you'd like to read a bit more about the first penny press machines, please see our article about the first two pressed penny machine marquees.
As you may know, Disneyland was the first Disney Park to have a pressed penny machine. Today, all Disney Resorts, save Euro Disney, have very busy penny press type machines. Related: The ParkPennies Pressed Penny Collections Diagram.
The DL0001 pressed penny pictured here is credited as the first Disney pressed penny ever on-stage, that is, the first coin within the grasp of general admission guests. The guides and articles here at ParkPennies.com will mention that there were two machines placed on-stage in 1987; The Mickey Rays DL0001 and the Bear Country DL0002. The electric penny press machines that vended these coins displayed the marquees I've pictured above.
Many readers like to see the very earliest park coins. It's easy to do because our guides are organized chronologically. So, to view Disneyland pressed pennies in the order of their glorious appearances, with pictures, guide numbers, and links to additional information about them, just start with the first coin on the first page of the DL Disneyland Pressed Penny Guide. The guides are indexed via our Pressed Penny Guides Introduction Page, or The Graphical Pressed Penny Collections Page for a visual, graphical collection overview and index. (Advanced collectors, may prefer to just click the direct guide links like those at the top of this page.)
Yes, I know, sneaky! That last link will take you to the first page of the first Disneyland pressed penny guide! We hope whether you are visiting this site to find information to start a new pressed penny collection or complete a collection you have worked on for decades, you will enjoy the site and share it with fellow collectors. It's a fun family hobby!
The pressed penny pictured to the right is the Mickey Rays DN0001 prototype coin designed in the mid 1980's! It pre-dates any pressed penny ever on-stage at any Disney Park and is the earliest example of a Disney pressed penny or elongated coin known to date. Because of the coin's history, it is a key listing in the ParkPennies.com DN Disneyland Neverland Prototype pressed penny guide and mentioned in our article about some of the scarcest Disneyland pressed pennies.
Of interest to avid collectors, the pressed penny reference guides linked at the top of this page offer more than just coins you might have seen at the various Disneyland parks over the years. The DN elongated coin prototypes Guide includes some of the scarcest and often most valuable pressed pennies known; the CM Guide Cast Member and Special Event pressed penny guide features many more coins that were never on-stage. Of course, such coins are often very hard to discover, track down or photograph. However, thanks to yourvisitor submissions and generous access to extensive private collections, we are able to include them here for visitors of ParkPennies.com.
At first, the DL0001 and DN0001 pressed pennies look alike to many people and can be easily confused. Here are some more examples of Mickey Mouse Pressed Pennies, as you can see, the look of the DN0001 was echoed by several descendants of the DN0001. No need to worry about correct attributions with ParkPennies.com reference guides, close-up pictures, detailed articles and variations comparisons handy. Maybe now would be a good time to bookmark this page?
Because this site is by and for Disneyland Pressed Penny Collectors, it includes stuff collectors have asked for like pressed penny news, history, guides, articles, pictures, machine locations, frequently asked questions, and more.
Accordingly, as you browse the site, you'll surely notice that ParkPennies.com was written by and is maintained by collectors, all in an environment of grammatical errors and web site design blunders seldom seen in the civilized world!
We welcome your suggestions and corrections. Given the casual appearance of the sight, you probably already guessed that we love the hobby and we aren't sponsored, approved or affiliated with Walt Disney Pictures Inc., Disney, or www.Disney.go.com. (Not that we'd turn down a check.)
We're here to help unsuspecting folks become irrecoverably absorbed in this contagious insanity. Er, ah, we mean share the hobby! Whether your collecting goal is just a single, special pressed penny or your collecting goal is just every single pressed penny! We hope you'll enjoy this great hobby and ParkPennies.com! If you have a question, comment or just want to send us large numbers of unmarked bills, here is how to reach us.
You can help too. It's the new coin submissions, reports and conformations by many that maintain and improve the quality of our guides for all. Information offered is intended not only to help readers build a dream Disneyland pressed penny collection, but, also to solicit feedback, submissions, reports and conformations from others. (ParkPennies.com of course, credits readers for their submissions / discoveries, unless they have specifically requested anonymity.)
Please visit often. The reference site is constantly growing as new coin issues are added from The Original Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, The Tokyo Disneyland Resort, Japan, The Disneyland Resort Paris, and The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. See an overview of various types of "Pressed Pennies" offered by these Disney Resorts. We are all ears if you have a unlisted coin to add or a bit of history to share with fellow collectors as previous submissions have been shared. For us, this is a fun, casual hobby. Okay , maybe it is an illness, but, it's a fun, casual illness. So, we are a "bit" fun and casual about the way we refer to these little treasures. Although we are often reminded that the "proper numismatic term is "Elongated Coins", being the rebels that we are, we often use that "proper" term interchangeably with the more casual, fun terms like pressed penny or flattened, crushed, squashed, rolled, mashed, smashed, stamped, squished, stretched, smushed, memory, keepsake or pinched souvenir pennies. Whew! On the other hand, spelling errors such as: alongated, pennys, pennyes, dsney, disnyland, desneyland and penney are unintentional bits of grammatical gaffe only, and are not meant to foster a belief in the ghastly syntax presented. (Unless they were included to aid fellow grammatically challenged collectors in finding us.)
This web site is for YOU!Let us know if there is something you'd like to add or have us add. If you like ParkPennies.com please share it with others via links in blogs, emails, web sites, bumper stickers.... If you don't like ParkPennies.com, please share a link with your enemies. We really need the "press".
Happy collecting, Boomer and the ParkPennies.com folks.