Header/Title Area

Almost all punchboards had a name of some sort, which was usually displayed in the header area of the board. Sometimes the name would be printed on a label, then affixed to a generic punchboard, which made it easy for operators or jobbers to customize the boards to their liking. Other boards used a fixed design, incorporating the header, payout table, and playing area into one consistent theme. Still other boards combined the best of both these worlds by having a fixed design for the header and section headings (if any), and a blank space designed to accomodate a label for customizing the board. Usually the label would be used for payout information, but might also feature a pin-up girl, tobacco emblem, or other images intended to make the punchboard more appealing to the potential player.

Occassionally operators or distributors would customize fixed-design boards by simply pasting a new label over the punchboard's payout information. The practice was crude, but sometimes effective in giving new life to unpopular old boards. Punchboard players never seemed to mind this shortcut approach to board design.

Our Odd Pennies Cigarettes punchboard has a header printed directly on the board, with just a bit of the edge covered by a payout label. This would seem to indicate that this board was either designed to be customized, or was customized by an operator or distributor. Considering that the label appears to be very close to a perfect fit, and has division lines that match the divisions of this board, it is reasonable to assume that the label was designed for use on this particular punchboard or one very much like it. There are a couple of inconsistencies to consider, but more about them in the Payout Table section.

Odd Pennies is an interesting name, and rather widely used in punchboard titles. It is possible that several manufacturers made boards using an Odd Pennies theme. The name makes sense (and cents) when you think about it, since many punchboards were displayed next to cash registers, where a patron could use the change he received back from a purchase to try his luck.


1. Punchboard Header
2. Payout Table
3. Section Header
4. Holes
5. "Union Made" Emblem