"Betsy Ross House - Philadelphia PA" Some time back, Brady and I visited the Betsy Ross house and found some of the most boring penny designs ever. This is not one of them, I guess they've updated the machines there. Also, I have know idea where I got this coin. If you sent it to me let me know.
"Philadelphia Zoo - Red Panda" The red panda looks kind of like a raccoon. Another coin, all copper this time, sent to me by Ken Halbe of Newtown, PA. He found it in a pile of rejected coins from the change counting machine where he works. Thanks Ken!
Gee whiz, this scan is awful! I know you can't see what the penny is at all, but that's not going to make me rescan it, no way. Believe me when I tell you it's from the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia and it shows the silhouette of a seaman in a storm turning the wheel of a ship. Just believe me.
At the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, there are two 4 die Pennymen machines, one inside and one outside at the dock. This one came from the inside machine.
When you go to the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, bring plenty of quarters because they wouldn't give me any when I was there and I had put a whole bunch into a parking meter on the street, so I only got pennies from one of the two machines there. Oh well..
Brady was mad when we were at Penn's Landing getting these coins. We were in Philadelphia and really didn't have enough time to do anything, but too much time to just go straight to the airport for our flight home. All we really had time to do was get some pennies, and then I didn't have enough quarters and then she just got, ok we both got, kind of cranky with each other. I can tell you this: I'm not going back for the other pennies there.
We visited the Franklin Institute in December 1997 on our annual trip to visit Brady's family in Pennsylvania. It was a veritable treasure trove of smashed penny opportunities. Brady, Travis, and I picked up eight different designs there! They only had two machines, but each one could do 4 different pennies.
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. That's my fingerprint there on the left. Oh well.
The Liberty Bell. I never get tired of seeing it. When you go to see it, be sure to rub the crack.
This one shows the Philadelphia skyline and reads "The City of Brotherly Love". We decided this design deserved our only all copper penny.
This one has a picture of Albert Einstein and reprints his famous relativity formula "E=Mc2", just in case you forgot it.
This one depicts old number 60000, an innovation in steam locomotives when it was built. Now housed in the basement of the Institute, you can still ride it. Not very far, but you can.
You can't smash a penny at the Franklin Institute without a nod to Ben himself. The inscription reads "A penny saved is a penny earned." I must agree.
The Franklin Institute has a very cool aeronautics display. We had a great time demonstrating Bernouli's principle to each other. The penny reads "The Wright Brothers".
The Franklin Institute is a science museum with a heart, in fact it has one so huge you can walk right through it, and learn a little bit of cardiology on the way.
Betsy Ross House
In June 1998, Brady and I visited Philadelphia again. On our way to Christ Church, we ran across the Betsy Ross House totally by accident. After taking the self guided tour through the house, much to our surprise and delight we found ourselves staring straight at two 4 die penny smashers! Below are the results of our efforts.
The liberty bell is one of Philadelphia's most enduring icons. I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a penny smasher in Philadelphia without the Liberty Bell in it.
Of course you know that Betsy Ross sewed the first American Flag, at least that's what Improv group performing in the courtyard outside the place tried to get across to us.
The tools of the trade, Ol' Betsy presumably used a needle and thread as she made that flag by hand.
You can never be too safe. Just think what would've happened had Betsy pierced her thumb at a critical moment of productivity...maybe we'd have had to settle for only 11 stars.
Just in case you forgot where you were. If you hadn't noticed, the designer of these pennies seems to have run out of inspiration...maybe he or she just didn't have much time.
The Franklin Institute has a big heart, but apparently the Betsy Ross House is THE heart of Philly.
"Philadelphia, The City of Brotherly Love"...Hey! that's the same exact heart!
This one is my favorite of the pennies I got at the Betsy Ross House, it really represents the place to me and vividly stirs my memories of the wonderful times we had.
Academy of Natural Sciences
In December 1998, Brady and I visited Philadelphia again. (Three times in one year!) It's a pretty standard science museum, very similar to the one I'm used to in San Francisco, you know, taxidermied examples of african animals in realistic poses, fossils, dinosaur bones, and Brady's childhood favorite, a gem exhibit. It was cool, but it was a good thing we got in free with our Exploratorium membership.
One very cool thing they had was a butterfly exhibit. I expected hundreds of multicolored lepidoptera pinned to boards, but I got hundreds of multicolored lepidoptera fluttering around!
It's true! they were growing them right there in the museum. They had a whole section walled off and turned into a tropical environment. It was about thirty degrees outside, but inside the exhibit it was 80 degrees and 80% humidity!
After the butterflies, we were a little thirsty and looking for water so we wandered down to the basement where the refreshment stand/cafe is and found it closed and deserted. (It was almost closing time for the museum) However, we did not come away empty handed for right there in front of the cafe was the 4 die penny smasher!
I realize I haven't described the pennies at all. Here goes: They all say "Academy of Natural Sciences." The first one has long necked amphibious dinosaur; the second, a pterodactyl; the third penny has a triceratops skeleton; the last one here has a happy long tailed dancing dino! The machine seemed to be out of adjustment and didn't quite smash the pennies flat enough so most of mine don't have the all the words readable.