'Time Capsule' Cent Roll
Have you ever fantasized about going back in time, and grabbing a random roll of coins and just looking through it to see what it contained? Well, such an opportunity presented itself recently when my brother called me to relate a recent experience.
He's in the vintage automobile business, and while buying a collection in Topeka, Kansas, he ran across a 1928 Model A Ford Hot Rod that had been parked in a barn in 1954 by its owner (who drove it in high school) and has been untouched until now. As they were going through the car, they found a full roll of pennies under the front seat.
Opening it and examining it revealed the contents of a typical roll of pennies from 56 years ago. The oldest coin was a 1915, then 39 years old. So the equivalent "find" today might be a 1971-D. 11 of the coins were close to new (1952 or 1953) and the scarcest of the bunch was a 1922-D. Even though only about VG, it's worth about $15.00 today. Surprisingly, it listed for 75¢ in the 1954 Redbook in Fine, so even then, it would have been a decent find. Being in the midwest, all three mints were well represented, although later-date "D" mints predominate.
While relating this story to an older friend of mine, he immediately turned to me and said: "Well, you know why there was a roll of pennies under the seat, don't you?" I did not. He smiled and told me that street racers back then often kept a roll of pennies under the seat in the event of a "dispute." Seems a roll of coins in a clenched fist makes for a very powerful punch, and served as a very handy thing to have in the event of a fight...