"half-dollar"/"50 cent piece" Was: Recovering the ROM of an IBM 5100 using OCR

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Tue Jul 2 00:54:17 CDT 2019

>> USA paper currency used to be the size of punchcards.  So, if one were to
>> have a LOT of it, you could use the same trays, and counting machines,
>> etc.  Do you suppose that Hollerith had a lot of paper currency?

On Mon, 1 Jul 2019, Rich Alderson via cctalk wrote:
> Actually, Hollerith designed his card that size precisely so that storage
> drawers for bank notes could be used.

I deliberately inverted that, in a futile attempt at humor.

>> Pennies used to be copper.  Now, they are mostly zinc, due to copper
>> costing more than a penny.  But, they managed to maintain the copper
>> color.  During WW2, pennies were briefly made out of steel.
> Technically, they were bronze, a copper-tin alloy.
> Sometime in the 1970s, IIRC, pennies became copper (or bronze) coated aluminum.

I've always heard copper plated zinc from 1982 on.  They seem a little too 
heavy to be aluminum, although the newer pennies are slightly lighter.
The Wikipedia article says that 1.5 million were made of aluminum in 1974, 
and then that was rejected, and supports the copper plated zinc that I had 

> Pennies will never stop being minted--the members of Congress representing the
> state of Illinois would not stand for it.

In spite of costing more to make them than they are worth.

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