The best souvenir at the Cleopatra exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum
It cost me 50 cents (and I had to provide the penny). In addition it was (in my opinion) the best souvenir they had (and not just by value). The machine was located just outside of the souvenir shop (of course) which is - as is typical now - at the end of the exhibit.
I ‘collect’ these souvenir coins - you know - the ones where you drop a penny and two quarters into a machine and it smashes - either automatically or via your own manual labor - the penny through a die - which creates the embossed image. I have about 18 of these that I’ve collected over the last decade and I plan to display them in a future post.
If you are going to Cleopatra in Milwaukee, make sure you take 51 cents - and make sure you take a shiny penny - mine wasn’t so shiny and that’s the mis-coloration/oxidation you see above.
Now - HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART - make sure the penny is from 1982 or older.
Everything from 1983 to the present has vastly less copper. If you use a newer coin, the zinc core will show through and this makes for a much less pleasant impression and image - as you will see when I show the rest of my collection (I didn’t always plan ahead).
If you look at the smashed penny above - you can see the Lincoln Memorial image ghosted across Cleopatra’s face - at a slight downward (left to right) angle. Sometimes you’ll get Lincoln’s face depending on which side gets embossed.
By the way - the Cleopatra exhibit was fascinating. Kristen and I went a couple of weekends ago and we learned a ton. The archeologists are constantly learning more about her and the history of the time period - Caesar / Marc Anthony (Marcus Antonius - not the ex Mr. Lopez) etc.
And interestingly, MPM is one of four U.S. sites for this exhibit (sorry - I’ts not coming to Detroit)