[Between 2009 and 2011, I maintained a TypePad blog, “More Fiends,” intended to update my book Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines. Those posts can still be found in the archive.org Wayback Machine, but I stopped updating that site in 2011. Because this WordPress site promotes and updates all my books, I’d like to republish some of those earlier posts.]
I included images similar to those below in Baseball Fiends and Flying Machines with little explanation, other than noting they had been produced by followers of Lawsonomy.
I’ve been trying find out more about these, but without much luck. What little I know about them I learned from Jim Newman. There were two dies of different designs made to produce the elongated pennies, dated 1970. These were made using a rolling die similar to those found at tourist gift shops at landmarks and museums. The initials “VJSP” refer to the person who commissioned the coins, Vivian Smith. I’ve tried to get in touch with Vivian Smith via email, without success.
The silver medal is beautiful. There is an unconfirmed story that 100-200 bronze versions were cast, 10-20 silver, and one gold.
Both the penny and the medal have the number “678” on the wings of the airliner, which is not a number I have ever seen associated with the plane. Perhaps it had a special significance to Vivian Smith.