Thursday, April 28, 2011

The size of the early penny

In this day and age we still make pennies. I have to ask why? I cannot see the use of them and I would rather round out a price like they do in many other countries. But here we just spent millions of dollars on the reverse of the Lincoln penny for his 200th birthday. I would have been welcoming of a new backing for the five dollar bill. At least that makes sense. But this is far off my topic. The penny as far as I am concerned is useless except as a piece you put into jars and get lots of. In fact pennies are hard to keep in circulation as many people just put them in jars and keep them.....So why have pennies? I guess cause we always have. But today's penny is much different from the first types made in this country. The first pennies and half pennies were produced in the 1790's. I have put one in this blog about a year ago or so. But from the 1790's to the 1850's pennies were very large. Made completely of copper and a substantial weight in your pockets. In the later part of the 1850's the Flying Eagle penny would come on the scene and it would be small. But till then the penny was around the size of a current half dollar I can be happy the penny is small now as we can put more in jars and containers. If they were still the same old size as before you could not save as many and it would be a lot heavier.

Some large pennies from the 1830's to the 1850's