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Two friends leave Colorado, bound for Florida, with nothing but their camera, clothing, sleeping bags, and a pocketful of hobo nickels.

A Nickel and A Nail- the Original Hobo Nickel Story

UPDATE: I added a couple of new rewards... Limited Edition Sterling Silver Hobo Skull ring for $250...  a $10 "Hobo Nickel Starter Kit," which includes your very own genuine U.S. buffalo nickel, a nail, and instructions for making your own hobo nickel... and a $100 hand carved Leech skull hobo nickel (a $150+ value!)

On January 1st, 2011, Adam Leech, a vintage shop keeper and hobo nickel carver, his friend Jim Dziura- a filmmaker and hobo nickel collector, and their pal Odus, a stuffed hobo doll that they believe embodies the true spirit of the road, set out on a journey of over 2,200 miles. Leaving in sub-freezing weather, with nothing but their bindlesticks, Jim's cameras, Adam's carving tools, and a couple of bucks scrapped together from the sale of a few hobo nickels the day before, the pair set their sights on Tampa, Florida, and the 19th annual meeting of the Original Hobo Nickel Society (hobonickels.org).

What they experienced was a true tale of American adventure and anonymity, with filled with characters that can only be found on the wild, open American road. Making their way from truck stop to truck stop, sleeping in ditches, and hustling hobo nickels for rides, the pair tried desperately, and in vein, to find anyone who had ever even heard of a hobo nickel, let alone wanted to purchase one. Their adventures finally bring them to the FUN show, an internationally renowned coin show presented by the Florida United Numismatists, with millions upon millions of dollars in currency, coins, and solid gold on display, culminating in an auction where a single hobo nickel sold for an astonishing $7,700! 

A Nickel and a Nail is a documentary film project that intends to not only tell their story, but the story of the Original Hobo Nickel, a truly unique and nearly forgotten form of American folk art that dates back 100 years. 

We are asking for this money ($38,013.05) in order to edit the footage we shot on the road, to finance the additional footage necessary to complete the project, to finance the initial digital film release and a limited edition 1st pressing of the DVD, obtain any licensing for music/stock footage, pay film festival fees, and to release a vinyl pressing of the film's soundtrack. Our goal is to have the film ready to premiere by January, 2013, and the limited edition first pressing release available March 4th, 2013, the 100 year anniversary of the Indian Head/Buffalo nickel, as well as the presumed 100 year anniversary of the Hobo Nickel.

A secret message is hidden in the amount we have requested. See if you can figure it out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised!

To read a blog Jim wrote about the journey, click here.

To join the Original Hobo Nickel Society, click here.

Thank you kindly.

FAQ

  • Basically, a "hobo nickel" is a nickel (or any small denomination coin) that has been carved, hammered, chiseled, punched, or otherwise altered to depict an image other than what was originally struck by the mint.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    4 backers

    At $5 you will receive a listing in the film's credits, and our eternal gratitude.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    7 backers

    At $10 you will receive a patented "Hobo Nickel Starter Kit" containing a genuine U.S. Buffalo Nickel, a Nail, and instructions on creating your very own hobo nickel!

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    6 backers

    At $15 you will receive a link to download an advanced copy of the finished film, before it is available to the general public.

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    17 backers

    At $25 you will receive a link to download an advanced copy of the finished film, before it is available to the general public, a film related sticker/button pack (yet to be designed), and a listing as a "backer" in the film's credits, plus all rewards for lower level backers.

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    16 backers

    At $50 you will receive a special "promo only" DVD copy of the final film when it is released to the general public, a film related t-shirt (yet to be designed) plus all rewards for lower level backers.

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    9 backers Limited (11 left of 20)

    At $100 you will receive an original hand carved Leech Skull hobo nickel, similar to the one pictured in the video intro. These have regularly sold on Ebay for upwards of $150, and will be limited to just 20 backers for this particular reward. (This reward is exclusive, and not included in the aggregate rewards, so if you need a t-shirt, be sure to make an additional pledge). Additionally, I will do my absolute best to have them carved and shipped BEFORE CHRISTMAS, 2011! Pretty cool, huh!

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    7 backers

    At $100 you will receive an autographed (by Adam and Jim) advanced "promo only" DVD of the final film, before it is available to the general public, a vinyl pressing of the soundtrack, plus all rewards for lower level backers.

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    1 backer All gone!

    This is the reward featured in Update #7...It is a hobo nickel sent all the way from Barcelona, Spain! It features a terrifying and brilliant portrait of Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King's "It," and was carved by Paolo Curcio, aka Mr. The. His coins regularly sell on Ebay around $250 but this one will be given to the first person to pledge at $200! I wish I was eligible to pledge myself!

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    3 backers All gone!

    For this reward you will receive a limited edition (#/6) sterling silver hobo nickel "skull" ring... Hand carved by Adam Leech and cast into silver rings by Steve P. McHone, the rings are ~.75 ounces of sterling silver, and can be fitted to your desired size. Available for Christmas 2011! For a picture check out update #11!

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    3 backers

    At $250 you will receive an original, hand carved Leech style hobo nickel, with the subject of your choosing, plus all rewards for lower level backers.

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    At $1,000 you will receive one hand carved Leech style hobo nickel, with the subject of your choosing, every year for 5 years, plus all rewards for lower level backers.

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    0 backers

    At $2,500 you will receive 1 hand carved Leech style hobo nickel every year for life (either Leech's or your own, whichever comes first... non-transferable), V.I.P. status at the premier screening, plus all rewards for lower level backers. Businesses and organizations that pledge at this level will receive logo placement inside the DVD packaging materials.

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    1 backer

    At $10,000 you will receive "Producer" credits for the film, plus all rewards for lower level backers. Businesses and organizations who pledge at this level will receive logo placement inside the DVD packaging materials, on the back cover of the DVD, and special thanks in the film's credits.

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Funding period

- (60 days)