WASHINGTON – For Christine Henry,a museum curator,and Pete Morelewicz,a graphic designer,pennies are different. The married couple are the curators of The Squished Penny Museum,dedicated to pennies that have been flattened.
The Washington museum,which can be visited only by appointment,holds a collection of 6,000 elongated pennies and the crank-operated machines that smash the coins and imprint new designs on them. The machines are common at tourist attractions.
The couple's living room is devoted to squished pennies. Their collection,some of which they bought on eBay,includes an 1893 penny,believed to be the first squished penny. They rotate the pennies on exhibit and currently feature 250 pennies they squished on a month-long road trip all over the U.S.
The couple is so devoted to the subject that Morelewicz proposed to Henry by giving her a squished penny that said,”Will you marry me?”
Henry and Morelewicz do not like the idea of discontinuing the penny. “It's awful. It's all about copper mines and all of that stuff,” Henry said. “I think we should keep the penny right in its place.”
“I think they want to remove it because they have never squished,” Morelewiz added.