April 4th, 2012 will always stand out in my mind as the day that Eastern State Penitentiary finally got its penny machine.
As the Merchandise Manager, it’s my job to listen to our visitors and attempt to provide them with merchandise they are happy to leave with. Penny presses are common in museums all over the country, and the excitement people of all ages showcase when turning the crank proves how beloved they are by the public.
We had been talking about getting a penny machine for a long time, and with the remodeling of the new Museum Store and the increased amount of space, it was time! Weeks of planning out the designs and figuring out the artwork ultimately lead to four images:
- the façade of the prison
- the aerial view of the radial plan
- Al Capone
- dear old Pep.
For a mere 51 cents, visitors can now walk away with their own squished pennies to add to their collections!
The penny machine has only been here for a week, and the lines are already forming. Make sure you check it out the next time you’re at the prison!