Random Thoughts

Time marches on

... or should I say gallops?

by Frank O'Callaghan

Let’s take one more trip down memory lane.

Cleaning out a closet the other day  I came across two old British pennies dated 1927 and 1946. Looking at them brought back some memories.

I recall as a youngster, just some of the things that a penny could buy. For example a newspaper or two candy bars. Two eggs, a long ride on a tramcar, two comic books such as, The Wizard, The Adventure, The Rover, The Skipper, The Hotspur, and so on. These books were published weekly and because of the wonderful stories, I, (as did thousands of other kids) learned to read at a very early age.

Same thing with fruit, a penny admission to a professional soccer match, maybe two of three pence, Oh! Don’t forget the ice-cream cone, believe it or not, some cheap jewelry. I am sure, also a host of other stuff that wouldn’t interest a young person.

In a fiscal sense, we are not just years from then, rather light-years. No need to bore anyone with the cost to kids for most of these items today. As the expression goes, ‘do the math.’ Going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon cost either a penny or two pence, I forgot which.

Feel free to include here other penny items from these bygone days. Of course these coins have been out of circulation for ages. Incidentally, there was also a half-penny coin, and believe it or not, a farthing which was worth a quarter of a penny. The old penny was about the size of a silver dollar. The half-penny about the size of a quarter, and the farthing similar in size to a dime.

Editor's note: Frank grew up in Scotland and Ireland. He has been connected to the SilverStringers for the past six years.

May 6, 2005

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