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FRIDAY FUNNY: A Penny For Your Thoughts

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Construction & Renovation, Friday Funny

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on January 15, 2010 with No Comments

The engineering mind is a fascinating thing. When an engineer comes on the scene, the most common objects—a stack of pennies, for instance—can be transformed into just about any architectural masterpiece.

“Distracted Programmer” Mitch Fincher has published a Web page based on a talk he gave while studying civil engineering at Texas Tech University. He explains the science behind his creations:

“The following is the basic pattern for building cantilevered structures with pennies. Although it looks trivial, we can build amazing structures with these pillars.

“All penny columns are 10 high per stack. Two side-by-side pennies held in place by a penny above them is called a triad. (Pictured at left is a stack with two triads resting on top.)

“All stacks of coins were created without any glue. Only the weight of the coins provides the support.
Fincher’s site has collected numerous examples of amazing coin stacks, which he calls “a fun hobby for kids, college students and adults.”

The video below demonstrates how one “stacker” has designed a three foot bridge with over 2,000 coins:

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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