Souvenirs: Pressed Pennies in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne has two pressed penny machines that are available year round, and one pressed penny machine that is only available during Cheyenne Frontier Days (held the last full week in July).

Wyoming State Museum, 2301 Central Ave.

The Stretched Penny Machine in the foyer of the Wyoming State Museum

  • Machine title: Souvenir Penny
  • Images: 4.

Boot, Buffalo, Bucking Bronco, Triceratops

  • Cost: 50 cents, plus 1 penny.
  • Operation:  Manual.  Crank must be turned.

Old West Museum, 4610 Carey Ave.

Penny Pincher machine in the foyer of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum

  • Machine title: Penny Pincher Souvenir Coins.
  • Images: 3

Buffalo, Four Cowboys, Cheyenne Frontier Days Logo

  • Cost: 50 cents, plus 1 penny.
  • Operation: Manual. Crank must be turned.

You can also purchase a Stretched Booklet Album from the Old West Museum Gift Shop.

The Penny Pocketbook Souvenir Penny Album

Old Frontier Town at Cheyenne Frontier Days (seasonal – last full week of July). 1210 W. 8th Ave.

This machine offers the same coins as the one in the Old West Museum.

About Stretched Pennies

People have been collecting “smashed” pennies since the invention of the railroads – kids would place coins, usually pennies, on the tracks just before a train came. Afterwards, some kids would engrave the now featureless elongated discs with a design of their own.

Other terms are “Elongated pennies,” “Stretched pennies” and “Pressed pennies.”

Machines that press/smash/elongate pennies are called “rolling mills.” There are two rollers inside the machine – one is the die with an image engraved upon it, the other is featureless.

The user rotates the rollers using a handle, or in some machines which are electronically activated simply presses a button. The penny is pressed and elongated in about 30 seconds.

Many top tourism spots will create Collector’s Albums into which collectors can place these elongated coins.

It’s an inexpensive and fun way to purchase souvenirs on one’s travels!

Click to read more articles at Wyoming in Motion by Barbara Peterson.

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