Share a penny industry

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 17, 1999

So, when did the whole share-a-penny thing at the local gas station become an industry? I would imagine that a long time ago, somebody came up with an idea to put a little cup by the register so that people could drop their pennies in there for other customers to utilize when they were short a couple cents. Other people adopted the idea and now there's a share-a-penny cup at pretty much every gas station one goes to. In fact, the share-a-penny idea has advanced to the point where there are specialized cups made especially for placement on station counters.

Let's stop to think about this for a minute. This means that somewhere there's a machine (or possibly a whole factory of machines) punching out these custom penny cups. There are engineers designing bigger and better share-a-penny cups. Teams of marketing people are trying to build share-a-penny mindshare in the heads of gas station owners. Share-a-penny cup salespeople are out there going gas station door to gas station door selling their product. An army of delivery trucks are delivering these cups around the globe.

Does this seem odd to anyone else?