I still have an old 1899 Canadian penny, the thing is huge, larger than our $1 and $2 coins. I guess it must have reflected the value of copper. By 1920 electronics was booming, was probably why they reduced it to it's current size.
Money had real value back then. It's why nickles were larger than dimes. Dimes were made of silver, quarters as well. Nickles were made of... well, guess.
I think nickles these days are actually worth more than dimes in actual metal content. Money is valued based on a stupid confidence game. Unreal.
Edit: correction, The penny is not larger, just looked at it, but close. It's just a bit bigger than a quarter.