Our son, Duane, scratch that, I should say all four of our sons are so much like their
father. Not so much look-a-likes, but always searching out something new to learn. Some times their interests range in things reminiscent of the past and sometimes of the future, like the 3D printer. My husband just acquired one of these printers and now is spending hours learning how to use it. Actually the machine is small and easy to operate, but being able to design items to make on it, is another learning project. A person can make the most incredible things on this machine. Since I have difficulty explaining what 3D printing is, I went to Google and here is their
explanation: “3D printing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. An object is achieved using additive processes, by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created.” Unlike ink being printed on paper, the objects are actually three dimensional and are made from plastic or nylon. 3D printing allows you to make anything you want. Duane’s dad, recently, surprised him with an object made on his new printer, but wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Duane has a penny pressing machine, located at “Sweet Valley Cottages,” a business enterprise he and his wife Annette, own and operate. It bangs out four different images promoting this vacation spot. The machine has two steel rollers pressed against each other with sufficient force, 2500 pounds of pressure, to deform the coin. One of the rollers is engraved with a design that imprints a new image on the coin. He’s been interested in this project a long time, probably beginning with the day, when as a kid, he placed a penny on the railroad tracks. He has scoured the internet for antique machines, but his latest acquisition is a recently manufactured one. The 3D printer may be new to you, but everyone knows of penny pressing machines. Do
you know, however, that the first one was available at the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exhibition. But, it wasn’t until 1965 that commercial elongated machines were introduced into the market place. You are sure to find them at Disney World, malls and almost any place you visit. Getting close to home, Knoebels Amusement Park has a number of them on the grounds. There are Locator Books published to help collectors look for the machines, which can be found in every state and in many countries. Such practice is legal here in
the U.S. but not in all countries. I can’t begin to estimate how many pressed penny collectors there are in the states, but I do know that they are actually sought by young and old collectors alike, in fact my husband and I started a collection, but have misplaced our penny books. Some pressed coins being rare, may change hands for substantial sums of money. Maybe by the time we find our collections they will be rare. I have seen pressed pennies made into jewelry. Holes are pressed into them and jump rings are used to attach them to chains and and bracelets. Now getting back to
Duane. His dad surprised with a rather unique holder that encases the pressed penny. Designed with a loop through which a ring is attached it makes a perfect key tag. It was made on his new 3D printer. What was Duane’s reaction? “Hmmm, I’m very interested in the 3D printer.” He pointed to an old wooden ice cream freezer he was working on. It needed a, no-longer-available, part replaced. “Do you suppose it could be made on a 3D printer?” And so, another new interest may be in the making for Duane, as well as his dad. By the way, my husband and I will be at Knowbels, next weekend, June 14, 15, joining COAA, “Carousel Organ Association Of America.” We will have our band organ there, “Shirl Belle,” along with many other COAA menbers and their band organs. We invite you to come out to enjoy the park and be sure to bring along some extra pennies. Scroll down to see the rest of the photos, then write your thoughts on the topic I’ve chosen for this week’s Shirl and You.