Although an example of an elongated coin is rumored to have been produced
some years earlier, it is generally accepted that these tokens were first made
during the 1892-1893 World's Columbian Exposition that was held in Chicago, Illinois
to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of America. There
were four different designs utilized during that event.
An elongated coin is made by a coin, token, medal or metal blank being forced
between two steel rollers. An engraving is on one or both of the rollers and as
the coin passes through the rollers it is squeezed or elongated under tremendous
pressure from the original round shape to one of an oval and the engraved design
impressed into the coin at the same time.
The rolling of elongateds seemed to be rather popular for the first 23 years
of their existence and a large amount were rolled between 1893 and 1916. Then
for some unknown reason there was a slack period between 1916 and 1932. After
1932 momentum seemed to regenerate and the amount of coins rolled has steadily
increased until today they are being produced at such a rapid rate that it is
nearly impossible for a collector to keep up with them all.
Some of the earlier collectors are still trying to get everything that is produced,
but the majority of todays collectors specialize in one or more fields and collect
only those coins which refer to a specialized subject. For example some collect
all pieces that refer to the space program, while others prefer political, Christmas,
or Expositions. Some collect by roller and try to obtain everything produced by
one specific roller.
There are four published books which catalog elongated coins. The latest and
the most comprehensive was authored by Angelo A. Rosato, "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE
MODERN ELONGATEDS" 1990 (1700 pages- hard bound).
Excerpts from this page are taken from
The Elongated Story
By Lloyd E. Wagaman
A wonderful website full of great photos of elongates by Tom Hoffman can be found here.