Home 

Auction $ 
Sy - Index
Grif - Index
A - Z Index
Scrapbook 
Animations 
Slide Show 
Feedback 
 YouTube \
Puzzles
Foundry 
Search 
Links 

 Join    

 Adv    
What's New 
Web Notes 
 
MBCA
Members
Web
 
A-Z Index  
Date Index 
Conventions 
Scrapbooks   
European Tin 
Videos 
Notes  
 

 

   Click on title to view full articles with photos and illustrations.                    
 

   To search for each instance of key words, use Control+F or Edit, Find on this page.
 
  
 

   Control+F
will open a Find box where you can search
   the text on this page by key word. (Windows-Explorer).

 
......or, select Edit followed by Find
 on this page
to open the Find box.

 
Bank Teller Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1951

     Collectors of mechanical banks will be interested in this unusual specimen. F.H. Griffith, who recently procured the bank writes:
     "Dr. Corby is the only other collector to have one of these and he obtained his approximately fifteen years ago. This bank is one of the real rarities, and as you can see by the picture, in excellent condition. It operates perfectly. When you insert a coin in his extended left hand, he lowers his arm, drops the coin in the bank and nods his head. It was patented August 1, 1876 under patent number 180574 by Mr. Arthur C. Gould of Brookline, Mass. In the patent papers, copy of which I have, he calls the bank "Androidal or Automatic Cashier." The bank is made of cast iron with the exception of the left arm, which is made in two sections of a metal stamping. The grill work is black with colored trimming and the man has a black frock coat, gray trousers and skin colored face and hands.
     "This bank is also known as the Tall Teller, Tall Man in Frock Coat Beside Three Sided Grill and Preacher In The Pulpit. However, I believe the name Bank Teller is the more proper name.
     "I purchased the bank of Erwin H. Gold of Hollywood, California. I had three telephone conversations with him in order to obtain the bank and he informed me that he found the bank in Los Angeles, California.
     "I am not certain what foundry made this bank, however, I feel sure it was made in New England and possibly by Stevens. A number of the mechanical banks whose action is caused by the weight of a coin were patented by a man named Hall and made by Stevens. These included Hall's Lilliput, Hall's Excelsior, Tammany and others."

Freedman's Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1951

     The Freedman's Bank is the most desirable and rarest of all mechanical banks because of its vivid intriguing action, interesting background and scarcity. It is different from the usual cast iron type being made of wood, cloth, white metal, with metal frame, clock works and one brass hand and fingers.
     The bank was made by Jerome B. Secor in Bridgeport, Conn., from about 1878 to 1883. It originally sold for approximately $7.50 retail, around 1880 which was quite a price for a toy in those days.
     The bank pictured was obtained from Mark Haber of Wethersfield, Conn., who in turn obtained it from the original owner, D.L. Wale of Windsor, Conn., in 1944. Mr. Wale was given the bank by an uncle in 1879. It is the only perfect original specimen so far found. There are three others known to exist in collections. One with a replaced head and new clothes - one with no legs on the figure or table - and the last consisting only of the clock works.
     The bank operates as follows: First, a coin is placed on the table by his left hand, then a lever is pressed, the figure then turns his head from side to side and scoops the coin with his left hand into a hole in the table top, he then raises his right hand to his face holding his head still and thumbs his nose, moving each finger independently in a realistic way, he then lowers his hand and shakes his head in derision. Two positions of the operation are shown.
     It is interesting to note that the bank pictured has the original label on the back with instructions to operate and the original label on the bottom of the table from the store where it was purchased.

Clown Harlequin and Columbine Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1951

     The Clown Harlequin and Columbine Bank rates second as the most sought after bank from a collector’s standpoint. Certainly it is the most desirable and rarest of all mechanicals made of cast iron.
     The bank was undoubtedly designed by J.H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., who also designed Darktown Battery, Creedmore, Bulldog Bank, Owl, Two Bullfrogs, Monkey and Cocoanut, Girl Skipping Rope, Cat and Mouse, Spise A Mule, and The Calamity, whose operation principle is similar to the Harlequin. It’s interesting to note that the construction of the figures on the Calamity and the Harlequin is the same. The Harlequin Bank for sometime has been attributed to patent No. 196966 issued to J. Blanc, November 13, 1877, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, however, the bank actually wasn’t made until 1906 by Stevens in Cromwell, Connecticut, and all indications show the workmanship of Bowen.
     The bank pictured was obtained from A.L. Cooper, of Dayton, Ohio, he obtained it from Mark Haber of Wethersfield, Connecticut, who in turn purchased it from the late James C. Jones collection.
     The bank operates as follows: The three figures are moved from the position shown, on an axis under the Clown so that they are in the reverse position. The coin is then inserted between the figure of the Harlequin and the Clown. A lever on the right is pressed and the figures automatically reverse themselves causing the figure of Columbine to spin and the coin is automatically deposited in the bank. The entire action is quite realistic and intriguing and the bank is painted in bright attractive colors of red, yellow, silver and white. So far there are six of these banks known to be in private collections.

Merry-Go-Round Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1951

     If there is anything that can take a person back to their childhood quick as a flash certainly the sight of a merry-go-round does just that, and apparently this is an outstanding point contributing to the desirability of the Merry-Go-Round Bank. Its nice action coupled with its attractive appearance and rarity rank this bank in the third position.
     It is not definitely known as yet what company manufactured the bank, however it is interesting to note that the same type of four-leaf clover perforated casting is used in the base plate on the Roller Skating Bank, the Confectionery Bank and the Merry-Go-Round. Also the same type solid figures appear both on the Merry-Go-Round and the Roller Skating Banks. There is no definite information on the Roller Skating Bank either, however it is known that the Confectionery Bank was manufactured by Kyser and Rex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and with the above similarity between the three it is fairly reasonable to assume that they manufactured the Merry-Go-Round and further that it was designed by R.M. Hunter. The bank was probably made in the 1880’s.
     The particular bank pictured was obtained through L.C. Hegarty, well known collector, who in turn obtained it from A.W. Pendergast.
     The bank operates as follows: First a coin is inserted in the slot beside the small man with whip in hand, then a crank is turned and the man moves back and forth as though whipping the animals or knocking the coin in the bank. The coin actually drops in automatically. As the crank is turned the animals suspended from the canopy revolve and a bell rings. The colors are quite bright and gay, the canopy being red, white and blue and the base is red, gold and tan, while the animals and figures are painted in natural colors. It is interesting to note that the animals consist of an elephant, a camel, a swan, a pony, and an ostrich which is significant because the older, better type merry-go-rounds consisted of different animals rather than just horses.
     It might be well to point out at this point in these articles that the desirability or value of a mechanical bank is not necessarily governed by its age or rarity. As example, there is only one known specimen of Little Moe but its value does not compare with the Harlequin of which at least six are known to exist. As further example, the Halls Excelsior Bank dated 1869 is the earliest known dated cast iron bank but at the same time the most common and least expensive to purchase. The value and desirability is further enhanced by the action, the subject of the bank and then, of course, its general condition as to paint and proper operation.

Shoot The Chute Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1952

     The selection of the fourth most desirable mechanical bank poses quite a problem as there are a number of rare and wanted banks that come into the picture after the three obvious leaders, namely Freedman’s, Harlequin, and Merry-Go-Round, which have been covered in previous articles. However, considering the various things that rate a bank among the top in desirability, the Shoot the Chute would seem to qualify for fourth position.
     The bank was designed by Mr. Charles Bailey, unquestionably the leader in the field of mechanical bank designing, and manufactured by Stevens in Cromwell, Connecticut. It was patented March 27, 1906 and shown in the Stevens Catalog of that year.
     The bank pictured was obtained from V.D. Howe who in turn had purchased it from an antique dealer in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. A point of interest is the fact that the antique dealer found the bank in an old department store where they were disposing of an accumulation of items that had been gathering dust for years in an unused room.
     The bank is attractively painted in bright red and gold and has as its theme the ever popular Buster Brown and Tige riding in the car. It operates as follows: First the extension part of the chute is raised as shown in the picture. Normally this is flat against the back of the base. A coin is then placed midway on the chute and the car is released from the top of the extension. As the car slides down the chute it hits the coin and knocks it in the bank, as the coin goes into the bank it hits a lever which raises a hook at the end of the chute. The car hits the hook and Buster Brown and Tige are dumped from the car head over heels.
     It is interesting to note that the use of a coin is necessary for the proper action to take place. This bank, of course, could be played with as a toy and to the ordinary person it would not at first appear to be a bank. However, the fact that a coin is necessary to cause proper action is a very desirable feature from a collector’s viewpoint.
     There are eight of these banks known to be in private collections, not, however, all with original cars and bases. The bank shown is original throughout and in mint condition.

Mikado Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1952

     The Mikado Bank, of which there is so little known as to origin, ranks in the fifth position among the top mechanical banks.
     To the best of the writer’s knowledge, it is not definitely known who manufactured or designed the bank and there is no patent information to trace. However, from certain indications such as the coin trap, inside construction, and design, it would seem to be the work of Kyser and Rex, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They manufactured the Baby Mine Bank and the coin trap on that bank and the Mikado are interchangeable.
     The bank pictured was obtained through the good help of Dr. Arthur E. Corby who, by the way, was among the first to collect banks.
     Ordinarily without patent information it would be difficult to say just when a bank was manufactured. However, in the case of the Mikado, we have definite information in the Selchow and Richter Catalog of 1886 in which the bank is pictured. Let’s quote from this catalog which will also cover the operation of the bank:
     "We present this year a Japanese Magic Bank. Place the coin in the recess in the top of the cabinet under the hat in the Mikado’s right hand and when the lever is turned the coin will disappear and reappear under the hat in his left hand where it will remain until another coin is deposited, when the first coin will drop into the bank. A sweet chime of bells will be heard when the lever is turned. The bank is richly painted and decorated and packed each in a wooden box. Price $8.50 per dozen."
     The bank pictured is original throughout. A note of interest is the fact that this bank was made to use the old large copper pennies and only operates properly when such coins are used.

Germania Exchange Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1952

     In arriving at the selection of the mechanical bank which ranks in sixth position, again we are confronted with one of which there is little known as to actual origin, namely, the Germania Exchange Bank.
     As is the case with some other top banks, there is no definite proof as to who manufactured or designed the bank, and again there is no patent information to trace. There are, however, certain salient features, such as the goat which is made in lead or white metal, and the general characteristics of the Germania Bank that would lead one to the top bank designer, namely Mr. Charles Bailey. It is known that Bailey made the Bismark Bank and this consists of a cast iron pig with a lead or white metal figure of Bismark popping out of the pig’s back. Also, since Mr. Bailey spent so much time at the Stevens Factory in Cromwell, Connecticut, we can assume that they manufactured the bank.
     The bank shown was added to the writer’s collection through the good help of Mr. Mark Haber of Wethersfield, Connecticut, who obtained it from the late James C. Jones’ collection. Mr. Jones had in turn obtained it from the late Norman E. Sherwood who made a business some years back of selling mechanical banks to collectors.
     So far all banks shown in these articles have been in original condition with no repairs. The bank pictured here has had some slight repairs made to the horns and one of the brackets holding the barrel. It might be well to point out here that in the case of rare banks, minor repairs of this nature do not greatly affect the value. The bank is painted in bright colors, the barrel being tan with red striping, the bracket feet are red, and the goat is painted in a realistic way with black tail and horns. To operate the bank, the coin is placed in the goat’s tail, then the handle on the spigot is turned. This causes the goat to rise on its hind legs, the coin automatically drops into the bank, and the goat stands up holding a gold mug in its two front paws.

For sometime there has existed a story that this particular bank was made years ago in celebration of a brewery party that was held at a hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. However, it is definitely the writer’s opinion that this was actually a mechanical bank manufactured for sale in stores, the same as the other mechanical banks. Some proof of this is brought out by the fact that the specimen owned by Mr. L.C. Hegerty is painted differently than that in the writer’s collection. The barrel and the supporting brackets on his specimen are japanned or lacquered and it was definitely painted this way originally. The painting on the Germania bank in Dr. Corby’s collection is identical to that in the writer’s collection. Had this bank been manufactured for any particular occasion as a one-time proposition all of them undoubtedly would have been painted alike. Then, too, had this bank been made for a special occasion to advertise a brewery, there would have been some other wording on the bank other than "Germania Exchange Bank", such as the name of the brewery or its product.
     It is interesting to note that in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there existed a Germania Savings Bank which was organized April 8, 1870 and went out of existence sometime in 1919. This bank originated through German-American extraction and could conceivably have some bearing on the manufacture and naming of the Germania Exchange mechanical bank.
     There are four of these banks known to exist in private collections.
     Germania Exchange Bank – Referring back to the article on the Germania Exchange Bank in the March issue, evidence supporting the opinion that this bank was not made for any special occasion or party has come forth in an interesting letter from Mrs. Harvey Warner of Michigan. It seems that her husband’s parents purchased a Germania Exchange Bank for him when he was a small boy, as she says in her letter "probably 50 or more years ago." The bank was purchased in a store in Cleveland, Ohio, and has been in his possession ever since.
     This letter from Mrs. Warner substantiates the expressed opinion that the Germania Exchange Bank was sold as a commercial item in stores.

Girl Skipping Rope Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1952

     In placing the Girl Skipping Rope Bank in 7th position in the numerical classification of mechanical banks based on desirability and rarity, the writer expects that a number of collectors will question the ranking of this bank. It is to be admitted that there are certainly rarer banks which are also quite desirable that would on the surface seem to be logically ahead of the Girl Skipping Rope. As example, Roller Skating, Springing Cat, Circus Bank, Giant, Old Woman in the Shoe, Sportsman’s Bank, and Little Red Riding Hood. However, there is no other bank that rates over the Girl Skipping Rope as being a "must" in any collection of mechanical banks. Furthermore, this bank in the past few years has increased in monetary value far ahead of many other rare banks. Then, too, it has become increasingly scarce over the same period as more collectors have come into the field. The writer in placing the bank so high has tried not to be influenced by personal opinion or favoritism.
     The bank was designed and patented by Mr. J.H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1890. It was manufactured by the Stevens Company in Cromwell, Connecticut. Some years ago the writer was fortunate enough to talk to several men who had helped to make this bank in the Stevens foundry and found they had more difficulty with it than any bank they had ever manufactured due to the involved casting of the enclosure covering the mechanism. This was due to the problem of having the metal flow properly into the mold, necessary to make the two-piece curved intricate casting.
     The bank was obtained from an antique dealer in Albany, New York, some years back and is original throughout and in perfect working condition. It is painted in bright colors, the base being red, green, yellow and gold, and the girl’s dress is painted yellow and green. It operates as follows: the coin is inserted, as shown, by the squirrel, then a key which winds up the mechanism is inserted just above the squirrel. The lever located between the girl and the mechanism is pressed and the following action takes place: the coin automatically drops in the bank, the rope revolves, the girl moves up and down, each leg moves back and forth realistically, and at the same time her head turns from side to side. The whole action is quite realistic and it is the most mechanical of all the banks.
     Very few of the mechanical banks were made for girls only and obviously the Girl Skipping Rope comes into this category. Originally this bank was called the Jumping Rope Bank and it is listed as such in one of the old Stevens’ catalogs. However, for some years now it has come to be called the Girl Skipping Rope Bank.

Bread Winners Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1952

     The articles in this series have reached a point where we now have a fair size group of rare wanted banks which are difficult to classify numerically. Here we enter into a phase where personal opinion and preference would govern, to a large degree, the numerical listing. In other words, there are a number of banks that are quite rare and desirable which are all on a fairly equal level. In this group there is a fine dividing line in ranking one ahead of the other.
     The Bread Winners Bank is ranked in eighth position due to its nice action and rarity plus the two additional features involving the clever inference to the labor problem of that period. Also there are very few specimens that are in original condition without repairs.
     There are no patent markings, numbers, or dates on the Bread Winners Bank, and to the best of the writer’s knowledge, the design of the bank was never patented. Using the figures on the bank as a guidepost there are definite characteristics indicating the work of Charles Bailey and it is known that the bank was manufactured by the J.&E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, in the 1880’s.
     The bank pictured was obtained by the writer in an antique shop on Charles Street in Boston, Massachusetts, a few years ago. It was found by the dealer in a house in New Hampshire where it had been packed away for years in a trunk in an attic. The fact that the bank had been carefully packed away for sometime, no doubt, accounts for the excellent condition of the paint and also that it is original throughout with no repairs of any kind.
     On each side of the base of the bank there are inscriptions. On the left are the words "Send The Rascals Up" and on the right "Bread Winners Bank." A figure of a banker with his head sticking out of a sack is shown. The sack bears the wording "Boodle, Steal, Bribery." The rascal in the center is holding a club in his hands and on this is written the word "Monopoly." On the loaf of bread which is to the right of the anvil is inscribed "Honest Labor Bread." The figure on the end represents an honest laborer who is being threatened by the rascal. The significance of this is the familiar controversy between labor and capitalism, the banker shown up to his neck in boodle (or money) using the rascal by bribery to wave the club of monopoly at labor who in turn is trying to earn an honest living.
     To operate the bank the hammer is raised to the position shown in the picture, then a coin is inserted in the end of the club held by the rascal. There is a small lever in the back of the laborer which is pressed. This causes the hammer to come down with a sound blow on the club held by the rascal. He flies up in the air and the coin is deposited in the loaf of bread. The story portrayed by this action of course is that labor wins over monopoly and the wealthy banker.
     The operation of the bank and the way it is made are two reasons there are so few in original condition. In the first place construction of the labor figure is such that the operation of the spring mechanism usually causes the casting of the figure to break. Also the figure of the rascal is loosely attached to the bank and is usually missing. Due to its rather delicate construction very few of the banks remained intact after any slight degree of rough treatment which could be expected as these banks were still essentially children’s toys.
     The bank is painted in bright colors, the base being red on one side and blue on the other and the figures themselves are painted realistically.
     To sum it all up, the Bread Winners Bank, is an extremely desirable specimen to have in a collection not only because it is rare and its action interesting, but also it stands out from all the rest with its theme of a seemingly never ending controversy.

Sportsman Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1952

     The Sportsman Bank with its appealing subject, a hunter, plus its rarity and good action is the ninth ranking bank in our numerical listing.
     The bank has a patent date of June 14, 1892 which is inscribed on the spring release mechanism that causes the bird to go flying through the air. It was manufactured by the J.&E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut the most prolific of the bank manufacturers.
     The pictured specimen was added to the writer’s collection through the help of Mr. Ellis who had the Ellis Old Toy Shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He obtained this bank from its original source in a home outside Philadelphia.
     The bank has very nice action and operates as follows: First the loop spring that holds the bird is depressed and the bird placed thereon as shown. Then a coin is placed just forward of the hunter in a slot in the base, the lever is then pressed and all action takes place simultaneously. The bird goes flying off into the air and the hunter swings with the flight of the bird and fires his gun. A string attached to the bird pulls it down realistically just as though it had been shot. The gun is so arranged that it will fire a cap and of course this adds to the realism.
     The bank is painted in nice colors, the base is yellow and red and the hunter in a tan outfit. The bird is gold.
     As a rule when one of these banks turns up the bird is usually missing. Another drawback in finding this bank in original condition is the fact that the figure of the hunter is attached to the bank by a small casting which turns the figure and the entire part is very easily broken off.
     The Sportsman Bank differs from most others in that the hunter’s figure is a smooth casting and the defining lines of the clothing are painted on. Usually the figures on the banks were cast with detail parts of the clothing defined, such as belts, ties, wrinkles, and the like.
     It is interesting to note that this bank in recent years has been called the Fowler Bank by collectors. However, in old catalogs and Stevens’ literature it was definitely named the Sportsman Bank. There is no name cast on the bank itself.
     The bank shown is original without repairs with the exception of the bird which is cast from an original specimen. The paint on the bank shows an interesting amount of wear in that it was obviously used by a child. In some cases banks are found in so called mint condition, that is they have had little or no use at all. Further, some have been found in original wood boxes. It is a matter of opinion as to preference in banks that show some wear or ones that are mint. Personally the writer prefers some signs of use but naturally with good paint.
     There is also a difference of opinion as to leaving bank as they are found, dirty or not, or cleaning them up. Also, a few collectors keep banks in their collections whether they operate properly or not. The writer first takes apart any banks he gets and cleans them very carefully. Care must be used on painted parts as some of the old paints are soluble in soaps or scouring powders as made today. Every part is then waxed and reassembled and the bank put in perfect working order. After all, one of the most interesting things about mechanical banks is their fascinating operation. As to repainting a bank or touching it up, this should be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary. Here again it’s largely a matter of opinion.
     Some banks are found repainted, the repainting having been done years ago. This was rather common in the mechanical bank period as toys were often repainted and given to the child over again at Christmas or a birthday. It’s possible to get down to the original paint when this has been done. Usually the bank was not cleaned before repainting and this leaves an oily surface between the old paint and repaint. Careful work and time can accomplish removal of the outer paint.
     By the way, it would be good advice for antique dealers to leave banks as found and sell them that way. Many a bank has had its value decreased by poor repair work or removal of most of the paint by improper cleaning. Let the collector do with them as he chooses.

Giant Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1952

     In occupying tenth position in our listing of mechanical banks, an uglier, more grotesque, less attractive bank than the Giant couldn't be picked. Of course, this fact in itself is the contributing factor that makes it rare and extremely desirable to a collector.
     Apparently there isn't too much known about the background of the Giant bank. There are no markings of any kind and so far no patent papers have been found. It was definitely made in the 1880's as an old catalog discussed further on in the article proves this point. There are certain features that would indicate the work of the H.L. Judd Company of Wallingford, Conn., who in the 1880's made a number of mechanical banks such as Gem, Dog On Turntable, Mosque, Miniature Bucking Ram, and others. These banks have one thing in common with the Giant and that is the use of a brown or bronze type lacquer finish. However, it's also possible that the Giant could have been manufactured by the Trenton Lock and Hardware Company of Trenton, N.J., who made the Pelican bank. Their type workmanship and paint on the Pelican is similar to that of the Giant.
     The bank shown was obtained from B.H. O'Connell of Binghamton, N.Y. The paint which is entirely different from that on the banks covered so far is in excellent condition. The base is a brown colored lacquer and the figure a gold tinted lacquer. The bank is original with the exception of the lever protruding from the base, which when pressed causes its operation. This lever was supplied through the good help of Andrew Emerine, one of the leading collectors of mechanical banks. The upper part of the rock-type formation in the back of the figure has one peak broken off. This missing piece in no way affects the operation of the bank and the fact it's broken off is not too obvious from an appearance standpoint so no repair has been made.
     Through the years of collecting the writer has had only one opportunity of obtaining a Giant bank and, of course, it is the one pictured. It has always been a policy to have as near perfect specimens as possible in the collection. As example, over the period of time in collecting banks the writer has owned three Girl Skipping Rope banks, finally getting the nice specimen now in the collection. Of course, the rarer and more desirable a bank is, the more difficult this is to accomplish. Generally speaking a collector buys a bank in most any condition as long as he doesn't have it. This particularly applies to rare banks.
     The Giant operates as follows: The lever is first pressed and he raises both arms threatening the operator with the club in his right hand. At the same time his lower jaw drops and he sticks out a red tongue. The coin is put on his tongue and the lever released. He swallows the coin and it is automatically deposited in the rock-like formation in back of the figure. His arms drop to the position shown.
     Needless to say, the appearance of this bank contributes to its rarity. Picture yourself, in the period, buying a bank for your small son to encourage his saving. If there was a Darktown Battery or most any of the other mechanical banks on display with the Giant, you would probably not buy the Giant due to its unattractive appearance.
     The writer was fortunate recently in adding to his collection a rare catalog which pictures the Giant bank. This was obtained through the help of C.E.H. Whitlock of New Haven, Conn. The catalog was issued in 1885 by the Unexcelled Fireworks Company of New York City. In with the toy pistols and other fireworks is the picture of the Giant Bank. A sub-title calls it "The Giant That Jack Killed" and lists it at $8.50 a dozen. It was a point of unusual interest to find that a fireworks concern had sold a mechanical bank. Then too, the authentic period of manufacture is established by the date of the catalog.
     There are eight of these banks known to exist in private collections.

Roller Skating Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1952

     Mechanical banks, while fascinating from a number of angles, are certainly intriguing in the wide subject matter they cover and represent. Take for example, the variety of subjects we have already covered in the first ten banks: the Civil War period as represented by the Freedman; an Italian and English fantasy in the Clown Harlequin and Columbine; a merry-go-round at the park; a Japanese magician; a shoot-the-chutes; a goat on a beer barrel; a girl skipping rope; a labor-capitalist problem satirized; a hunter shooting a bird; and finally a giant.
     Now we move into the pleasant thoughts surrounding the fun of roller skating as we rate the eleventh bank, namely, the Roller Skating Bank, with its appealing subject, nice action, and rarity.
     Here again, as is often the case with the rarer banks, we are confronted with the problem of having practically no factual background knowledge. There are no markings or dates on the bank and apparently no patent papers exist. There is one definite similarity between this bank, the Confectionery Bank, the Chimpanzee Bank, and the Merry-Go-Round Bank, and that is the same clover leaf type perforations are cast in the base of the bank. Since we know the Confectionery and Chimpanzee were both made by Kyser and Rex in Philadelphia, it’s reasonable to assume they also manufactured the Roller Skating Bank, probably in the period of the 1880’s. Further, it’s very likely that it was designed by R.M. Hunter.
     The bank pictured is one of the few obtained by the writer first hand in a home. It was in the possession of a family who live in a small town in Ohio. They had a general interest in antiques and their home was nicely furnished with them. Some years ago they found the bank in an old blacksmith shop and persuaded the smithy to part with it. They in turn used it to entertain children who came to visit them, and if memory serves correctly, specifically one grandchild. The children were allowed to operate the bank with coins but not play with it and this contributed to its nice condition.
     The bank operates as follows: First, the figures of the boy and girl are moved into the position shown in the picture, then a coin is placed in the slot located in the top of the skate rack to the rear of the bank. When the button between the two skaters is pressed they skate in half circles to the boy holding a wreath in his hands. He turns and presents this to the girl and at the same time the coin drops into the bank automatically.
     The bank is painted in bright colors, the base is gray with red trim and the figures are done in a natural way. It is entirely original with no repairs and the paint is in excellent condition.
     It is interesting to note that the designer of this bank very carefully put roller skates on the boy and girl skaters, but the two prone figures who apparently are supposed to have just fallen have no skates on at all. This is a curious oversight when you consider the degree of meticulous detail used by the majority of the bank designers.

Springing Cat Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1952

     A very rare and unusual bank, the Springing Cat, is our choice to occupy the twelfth position in the numerical listing of mechanical banks.
     The bank was patented July 18, 1882 by Charles A. Bailey and manufactured completely in his own workshop in Cobalt, Conn. This bank was made before he became affiliated with the J. and E. Stevens Company in Cromwell, Conn. Unlike all banks covered so far, with the exception of the Freedman’s, it is not made of cast iron, the base and figures being lead or pewter-like metal and the bottom plate of wood with a round wood coin trap. Some people erroneously think that this bank is white metal. An unusual feature of the bank is the fact that the base parts are assembled by means of soldering and the wood base plate held in place by small brads.
     Mr. Bailey employed a well known theme with clever action when he designed the Springing Cat Bank and it operates as follows: The cat is placed in the position shown in the picture at the right end of the bank. A coin is then inserted, as shown, in a slot provided for this purpose. The ring type lever is pulled and the cat springs through the air. At the same time a little mouse appears and knocks the coin in the bank and immediately disappears back into the base just as the cat completes his leap toward him. During operation the cat’s mouth which is hinged swings open and closes. The bank is painted with a green base embellished with red and gold figures, the cat is yellow with black striping, and the mouse, of course, is gray. The specimen shown is original throughout and the paint is in exceptionally nice condition for this particular bank.
     Another unusual point of interest in connection with the bank is its very definite foreign looking appearance. There are strange Hindu-like figures on each end of the base and the cat itself is a wild-eyed eerie-looking figure. It was at first believed to be of foreign manufacture until the patent papers turned up identifying the bank with Mr. Bailey.
     In collecting mechanical banks there have been many unusual and interesting circumstances surrounding the obtaining of individual specimens. The story in back of the eventual retaining of the Springing Cat Bank now in the writer’s collection is one of the more intriguing of these stories.
     Some years ago in New England in the early 30’s the first specimen of the Springing Cat that had turned up was found in Worcester, Mass. Of course this was in the early stages of collecting banks as far as the writer goes and it offered great possibilities from an advantageous trading standpoint. It is, of course, never a good policy to trade any rare item: however, in the formative stages of a collection hobby there are certain advantages to it from the angle of adding a number of specimens at one time. Later on, however, as the collection progresses the collector is very apt to have remorse and regret due to the fact that he let some rare item go which he didn’t realize at the time might never be replaced. Certainly the Springing Cat Bank in the case of the writer has been the exception that would prove this rule.
     As mentioned above, he traded the first one to a well-known collector and at the time it was a very advantageous trade so far as adding a number of specimens to the collection. Not more than a year passed, when he turned up the second one of the banks in an antique shop in Boston, Mass. At the time this also seemed a little too odd an item to keep and a trade was made with the late James C. Jones, a well-known collector. A number of intervening years and an increasing degree of remorse and regret ensued before the opportunity arose a few years back to obtain again a Springing Cat Bank. This time the bank was purchased from A.L. Cooper of Dayton, Ohio.
     When this specimen was obtained he decided that the third time was a charm and this one definitely would not leave his collection. However, fate with its peculiar workings, decreed that at this moment the opportunity of a lifetime should arise to obtain a Freedman’s Bank, which meant trading the Springing Cat before it even had a chance to be placed in with his other banks. It might be pointed out that the writer had long ago definitely made up his mind that he would one way or another obtain the first Freedman’s or Clown, Harlequin and Columbine that was offered to him even if it was necessary to dispose of some other rare bank. It was with very good fortune, not too long after getting the Freedman’s Bank, that J.P. Hurd of Beverly, Mass., obtained a Springing Cat Bank from an original owner for the writer, and this is the one pictured.
     There are five or possibly six of these banks known to exist in collections and it is an unusual circumstance to have owned four of them. Since the writer has been fortunate enough to have acquired the top banks that he has always wanted, it is safe to assume now that the Springing Cat Bank shown is a permanent fixture in the collection.
     In closing, the writer might suggest that it isn’t usually advisable to trade rare items from a collection even in the early stages. After all, the real value and greatest pleasure lies in the rarities, not in the quantity or number of items in the collection. Here again the collector must judge for himself.

Circus Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1952

     We have reached the point in our listing where the traditionally unlucky number thirteen comes up. Certainly any collector who has in his collection our choice to occupy the 13th position will be considered lucky in possessing the Circus Bank. It is not only quite rare but extremely desirable from an action and subject standpoint with its appealing inference to a circus.
     The bank was patented September 18, 1889 by Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams and manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, N.Y. This concern was one of the more active manufacturers of mechanical banks in the period of their popularity. They used colored advertising cards to help sell their banks and these cards are quite valuable today. The banks such as Trick Pony, Picture Gallery, Speaking Dog, Circus, and others were pictured on one side and the other side contained a description of the individual bank with its operation principle and the company name. The J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., was also a prolific user of these advertising cards in both color and plain, along with their fine catalogs containing interesting pictures of many of the banks they manufactured.
     The collecting of advertising material pertaining to mechanical banks is a hobby in itself and offers an interesting but scarce field. This consists, of course, along with the advertising cards and manufacturer’s catalogs, of catalogs issued by department stores, mail order houses, toy concerns, hardware companies, and even fireworks concerns. Also along with the advertising materials are the patent papers on various of the patented banks. These offer a wealth of information from a background standpoint.
     The Circus Bank pictured is in practically mint condition as to paint and entirely original with no repairs. It has the original crank to operate the bank and this is often missing as it is loosely fastened to the operating shaft. The bank operates as follows: The cart is placed to the rear of the bank beside the box-like container by turning the crank, A coin is then set on the raised platform as shown and the crank is turned, the pony bucks up and down and the cart moves around the circle as the wheels on the cart revolve. Just as the clown reaches the point where the coin is on the platform he raises his left arm and pushes the coin off into the slot with his hand.
     The bank is painted in bright colors, the base red and yellow with gold lettering, and the clown and pony are realistically colored with the clown wearing a bright yellow and red striped costume.
     The specimen shown was obtained some years ago from Thomas W. Richardson of Washington, Pa. It has always been of interest to the writer that Mr. Richardson had this bank locked up in a chest of drawers in the front of his shop. The apprehensive anticipation waiting for him to get the chest unlocked to see if it was the real Circus Bank will never be forgotten. It might be well to point out that many dealers erroneously call the Clown on Globe the Circus Bank and the writer had numerous false alarms before finally obtaining the proper one.
     It was through sheerest chance that the bank didn’t land on a dump heap and it was actually in with some rubbish to be thrown out. It seems that a wealthy family in Washington, Pa., were disposing of various possessions after the death of the owner. Mr. Richardson left a large basket at the home each day for things they were going to throw in the rubbish. The bank showed up among these things and if it hadn’t been for Mr. Richardson it would have wound up in the junk pile. It obviously had been stored away for years untouched with the exception of when it had originally been played with by some child for a limited length of time. This is apparent due to the excellent all around condition of the bank.
     The writer is not certain of the exact number of Circus Banks that exist in collections but he is sure that the number is very limited. In any event it is one of the most attractive and desirable banks to have in a collection.

Initiating Bank First Degree
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1952

     According to tradition there was a time when secret societies and fraternal organizations used a goat in their initiation proceedings. Typical of these times, with its obvious reference and name, is the Initiating Bank First Degree, our choice to occupy fourteenth position in the numerical classification of mechanical banks.
     The Initiating Bank was patented in 1880 by George W. Eddy of Plainville, Conn., and assigned to Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Conn. Mr. Eddy was one of the owners of this company and they made a number of mechanical banks during this period of the 1880’s. One of the banks they manufactured was a companion to the Initiating Bank First Degree and it was called the Initiating Bank Second Degree. This is known today as the Goat, Frog, and Old Man Bank which is merely a more descriptive title as there is no name inscribed on this bank.
     It might be well to point out that many of the banks have been given names that are descriptive of the bank itself. The reason for this, of course, is to enable dealers and others who aren’t too familiar with mechanical banks to identify them more easily. This has been necessary to a large degree due to the fact that many of the banks have no name inscribed on them. For example, it would be difficult to identify Paddy And His Pig as the Shamrock Bank which is the name it originally went by when sold in stores. The same applies to French’s Automatic Bank now called Boy On Trapeze and Baby Mine, now called Mammy and Child, and others. Even some banks with names inscribed on them have been given another name to better identify them. As example, the Motor Bank now commonly called the Trolley Car Bank. It does seem best, however, to leave well enough alone and use the name that is inscribed on the bank.
     The Initiating Bank shown was adopted some years ago from Bob Spar of Canton, N.Y. The bottom base plate was missing and there was a crack across the top where the goat is fastened to the bank. A base plate was supplied through the help of the late James C. Jones. The crack was repaired by means of welding using wet asbestos to protect the paint. This method of repair carefully done left no sign of the break and preserved the original paint. A minimum amount of touching up with matched paint right at the former crack finished the job.
     The bank operates as follows: The goat is pushed down into the position shown in the picture and the frog automatically sits down on the base at the same time. A coin is placed on the plate held in the darky’s outstretched hands, the lever located in front of the goat is pressed, and he lunges forward butting the stooped-over figure in the rear. The figure falls forward and the frog raises on his hind legs to receive the coin in his mouth. The action is well timed, and the coin goes through the frog’s body into the base of the bank.
     The name The Initiating Bank First Degree is inscribed on each side of the bank along the beveled edge of the base. On one end of the base is the word "Eddy’s" and on the other end is the word "Patent". It is painted in attractive colors, the darky with a red scarf around a white collar and yellow trousers, the goat and frog in a brownish lacquer, with the frog having a red and yellow mouth and green head. The base is green on top with brown lacquer sides and red trim on the beveled bottom edge.
     The Initiating Bank is one of the largest of the mechanical banks in overall size. Because of its action it has a special appeal to the men who collect banks. Also, it is one of the more difficult banks to find in good condition due to the operation and method whereby the figures are attached. A little rough treatment by a child and these would break off very easily.
     The exact number of the Initiating Banks that have survived and exist in collections today is not certain. However, it is a limited number and any collector that does not already have one will rate it among the top to obtain for his collection.
     A point of interest is that the figure of the so-called frog is actually a toad, however, its mouth is painted like that of a frog.

Motor Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1952

     Mechanical banks, with only about ten percent of their total number being of foreign manufacture, are definitely Americana. Their wide subject matter in the period of their manufacture recalls nostalgic thoughts of the past to many. To those who are younger, they offer an insight into an interesting period of our history. The Motor Bank is a typical example of this as it is a fairly accurate replica of the old trolley cars. Its unique action, entirely different than any of the other banks, plus its rarity and desirability rank it in the 15th position in our numerical listing.
     The Motor Bank was patented in 1889 by A.C. Rex and manufactured by Alfred C. Rex and Company of Frankford, Pa. This company was originally called Kyser and Rex and continued under this name until 1884. Their line of mechanical banks made under both names of the company was an important one and they were a definite factor in this field.
     The Motor Bank has also been attributed to J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. It seems they acquired the patent rights to the bank, but whether or not they ever actually produced any of the motor banks is not definitely known.
     The specimen pictured, which is original with no repairs, and in nice paint condition, was obtained some years ago with the help of Dr. Arthur E Corby, well known collector of New York City.
     The operation of the Motor Bank and a general description of the mechanism is definitely in order in the case of this unique bank. To operate, the bank is first wound up by a key inserted on the end of a rod protruding from one end underneath the platform. The bank is then set on a flat surface and a coin is inserted and pushed into the slot located on the roof of the car. The coin trips the mechanism and the bank automatically goes forward as a bell rings inside the car.
     The center-raised section of the roof is the lock-on coin trap. This is opened with a key to remove the coins. A lever on one end of the platforms disengages the gears so the bank can be played with as a regular push or pull toy. This, of course, contributes to its rarity as these banks were probably played with in and out of doors like a regular wheel toy. Consequently, the possibility of breakage was far greater in the case of the Motor Bank than with most any of the other mechanical banks.
     The spring that operates the bank is wound on the rod located underneath the floor of the car between the four wheels. This rod has a gear on the end that meshes with the gear on one of the set of wheels. A ratchet arrangement inside rings the bell as the wheels revolve.
     The bank is painted in attractive colors, with a red roof and yellow and green body. The platforms are red, as well as the lettering of the name. The wheels are black. The number 125 appears under the windows on each side and this apparently has no significance other than to represent the number of the car.
     A desirable feature, of course, is the fact that the use of a coin is necessary to cause the bank to operate. This same feature, that is, the insertion and pushing in of the coin itself causing the action to take place by moving an inside lever, exists in a limited group of the mechanical banks. The banks in this group, along with the Motor Bank, are Panorama, Zoo Bank, Mamma Katzenjammer, Pelican, Rabbit In Cabbage, Owl (Slot In Book), Owl (Slot In Head), North Pole Bank, Bill E. Grin, Schley Bottling Up Cervera Bank, Moody and Sankey, Turtle, Bear Standing (Slot In Chest), Bowling Alley, Camera Bank, Weeden’s Plantation, and Ding Dong Bell Bank.
     There are other banks whereby a coin is necessary to cause the action to take place. In this group the weight of the coin itself operates the bank, or in some cases trips the lever to start the mechanism. These will be dealt with later on in another article.
     To the best of the writer’s knowledge there are four or possibly five of the Motor Banks in private collections.
     It might be well to note that this bank is often referred to as the Trolley Car Bank.

Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1953

     One of the more intriguing aspects of mechanical banks is the ingenious method of operation employed on certain of the banks whereby the coin is deposited mechanically while taking part in the action. Probably the outstanding example of this is Professor Pug Frogs Great Bicycle Feat. This feature, plus its extremely attractive appearance and desirability, rank it in the sixteenth position in our listing.
     Other than the top few banks, there are no two specimens more desirable to have in a collection than Professor Pug Frog and The Girl Skipping Rope. This seems to have become a tradition in the lore of mechanical bank collecting, and deservedly so. Pug Frog, from a rarity standpoint, was apparently manufactured in fairly large quantities and a number of examples have survived through the years so it is not an extremely rare bank. It was very easily broken, however, due to its method of operation and finding one in good paint condition with no repairs is rather difficult.
     Apparently the bank was never patented as so far no papers have turned up and there are no markings or dates any place on the bank. However, it’s definitely known the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, manufactured Professor Pug Frog and various features indicate that the designing work was done by Charles A. Bailey. The writer has in his possession an early Stevens catalog which features the bank on the cover. Judging from the contents of this catalog it dates in the late 1880’s or early 1890’s.
     The specimen pictured is original throughout with no repairs and in nice paint condition with enough wear to indicate it was in a child’s possession.
     Before describing the operation of the bank, there is a story of interest surrounding the placing of the coin on the bank so that it operates properly. Some years ago in the early collecting days it was generally taken for granted that the coin was placed in the mouth of the frog and it was supposed to drop from there into the basket held by the clown. This not only didn’t work but a number of banks were damaged this way. It was then thought, of course, that it was a poorly designed bank and certainly didn’t operate efficiently. The writer happened to be influential in discovering the fact that the coin should be placed over the rear wheel of the bicycle. When placed there the bank operated properly.
     In operating this bank the crank located in the center of the large front wheel is given a few turns to wind up the spring. Then a coin is placed as described above and the protruding lever by the small rear wheel is pushed. Professor Pug Frog rides his bicycle in a complete circle fast as a wink returning to the original position. During the action the coin is thrown into the basket and the book held by the singing Mother Goose, on the right end of the bank, is pushed into her face causing her tongue to wag about. There is a clever double catch on the operating lever that always stops Pug Frog after one complete trip of the circular ride.
     The bank is painted in bright attractive colors, the drapery in the center is white with red edging and the basket yellow. The figures are in red, blue and yellow costume and, of course, Pug Frog is green with a yellow throat and red mouth. The bicycle is aluminum color. The lettering of the name is painted in red and inscribed on the book are the words "Mother Goose Circus" painted in black.
     Perhaps it might be well to explain what is meant by a coin being mechanically deposited while taking part in the action of the bank. In the case of Pug Frog the coin is thrown from the back of the bicycle into the basket when the bicycle revolves. Another example is Darktown Battery Bank where the pitcher throws the coin to the catcher. In both these banks the coin is part of the action and at the same time automatically deposited by the mechanism.

Bank Teller Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1953

     The fact that a bank is extremely rare or even the only known specimen isn’t the one governing factor that ranks one bank ahead of another. In placing the Bank Teller Bank in 17th position in our listing certainly rarity is quite a factor as it is probably the rarest bank covered so far in the articles. Of course it’s a desirable bank, not from the standpoint of action, but due to the fact that it is so definitely a savings bank. The theme, of course, being that of a teller in a bank who receives and deposits your money for safe keeping.
     The Bank Teller was patented August 1, 1876 by Mr. Arthur C. Gould of Brookline, Massachusetts, and probably made by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. The patent papers call it the "Androidal or Automatic Cashier." Whether or not this name or some other name was used when the bank was originally sold is not known. To the best of the writer’s knowledge there have been no catalogs or other advertising material turned up as yet listing or picturing the bank. Collectors have referred to the bank as "The Tall Teller", "Tall Man In Frock Coat Behind Three-Sided Grill," and "Preacher In The Pulpit". However, Bank Teller Bank seems to be a more appropriate name for obvious reasons. Also, there actually is a Preacher In The Pulpit Bank and it is sometimes confused with the Bank Teller.
     Before describing the operation of the bank a point of interest is the fact that the weight of the coin itself causes the action to take place. This is also the case in a number of other banks, namely Boy On Trapeze, Halls Excelsior, Tammany, Halls Lilliput, the patent model Halls Yankee-Notion Bank, Bow-ery Bank, Circus Ticket Collector, Clown On Bar, Dog Tray, Guessing Bank, Jumbo, National Savings Bank, Peg Leg Beggar, Preacher In The Pulpit, Registering Dime Savings Bank, and Tabby Bank. Also in this category are the Dapper Dan and Horse Race. However, in both these banks the weight of the coin trips a lever that starts the operation.
     Mr. John Hall who was one of the early bank designers seems to have liked the idea that the weight of the coin would cause the action to take place. This is obvious, of course, by the action of various of the banks that he designed and some of which bear his name. He continually applied for patents protecting this feature and any possible variations. The Halls Lilliput Bank is a typical example with the many patents issued covering minor changes. His banks were manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company.
     The Bank Teller Bank pictured was obtained from Erwin H. Gold of Hollywood, California and is in excellent condition. It operates as follows: A coin is placed in the extended left hand, he lowers his arm and the coin is deposited in the bank. At the same time he nods his head forward in a polite gesture of thanks. Of course his arm returns to the original position automatically, ready for another coin.
     The bank is made of cast iron with the exception of the left arm which is made in two sections of a metal stamping. It is in excellent condition with no repairs. The paint is in exceptionally good condition for a bank with such an early date of manufacture. The grillwork is black with gold trimmings and the name "Bank" is also gold. The frock coat is black with gray trousers and the face and hands are naturally painted. Unlike most of the banks with either the conventional round coin trap or lock with key, this bank has a section of the grill by the feet of the figure which swings out to remove the coins. The bank itself is dated 1876 and this appears in front of the figure on the counter.
     So far there are two of these banks known to exist in private collections. There have been rumors of another one and possibly two more, but so far nothing has come to light to substantiate these rumors.

Old Woman in the Shoe Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1953

     An old favorite nursery rhyme that whisks one back to their childhood is fondly brought to mind as we list the Old Woman In The Shoe Bank as No. 18 in our numerical classification. It is quite a rare bank with a more or less unusual background and certainly has appeal from a subject matter standpoint. There is not a great deal of action to this bank, however, this is more than compensated for by its other very desirable features.
     The bank was designed by William S. Reed of Leominster, Massachusetts. He was granted a design patent June 5, 1883 and a regular patent on November 27, 1883. The original patent papers which the writer is fortunate enough to possess are quite interesting as they picture the bank on wheels with a full figure of the woman at the top of the shoe. The rear wheels were originally intended to move the left arm up and down. It might be well to note that in many cases the banks when actually made were at variance with the patent papers. Of course this is a further interesting phase in the study of the background connected with collecting mechanical banks.
     It is pretty well established that Mr. Reed had his banks cast by a foundry located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is not certain that they were made in any large quantity and production was probably on a limited scale.
     The writer was fortunate some years ago in talking with Mrs. Reed, who at the time was 82 years old. She told the story of how Mr. Reed originally thought up the Old Woman In The Shoe while in church one Sunday morning. They were apparently a regular churchgoing couple and he was a little reticent and embarrassed about thinking up the plans for the bank while in church.
     Mr. Reed also took out a design patent April 8, 1884 for a Puss and Boots Bank but this was apparently never manufactured. So far none have turned up. He is also credited with designing the Little Red Riding Hood Bank. The writer is not certain of this even though it logically follows through with his apparent nursery rhyme theme. There were no patent papers covering this bank in Mrs. Reed’s possession and she made no mention of it at the time of the writer’s visit.
     The bank pictured is in exceptionally nice condition and is in the fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty. Naturally this is one of his prides, and deservedly so. It operates as follows: First the lever, located at the back of the shoe just above the heel, is pressed down. This lever, by the way, is in the shape of a child’s foot. As the lever is pressed the woman raises her left arm holding the stick and the boy on the shoe rears back. The coin is placed on the boy’s out-stretched arms and the lever released. The boy drops forward depositing the coin in the bank and the old woman lowers her arm as though swinging the stick at the boy.
     The bank is painted in attractive colors. The shoe is black and the children coming out of the shoe in various places are in colors of red, blue and yellow. The old woman is painted in red and yellow apron with natural face and arm coloring. The stick is gold.
     The coins are removed by a lock-type coin trap located under the heel of the boot. This trap was missing when the bank was originally found by a used car dealer located in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He in turn had found the bank in an old foundry in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where it had sat on top of a desk in the office for years.
     To the best of the writer’s knowledge there are only two of these banks in private collections. One in Mr. Hegarty’s and the other in the extensive large collection of Dr. Arthur E. Corby. It’s a hard bank to find and a rare addition to any collection.

Girl in the Victorian Chair
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1953

     One of the banks that was obviously made exclusively to appeal to little girls is our choice to occupy 19th position in our numerical classification of mechanical banks. The bank is called The Girl In The Victorian Chair and, while it is the least mechanical covered so far, it does have a quaint charm and appeal and is quite rare and hard to find, particularly in nice condition.
     There is very little known about The Girl In The Victorian Chair, either as to when it was made, who designed the bank, or what company manufactured it. From certain characteristics it definitely resembles the work of Charles Bailey. Along with banks he also designed a bell-ringing pull toy called Christmas Morn. The original pattern of this toy was studied rather closely by the writer some years ago when it was in the possession of the late Norman E. Sherwood. There is a definite similarity between the girl on the toy and the girl on the bank. The facial work in particular looks like the work of Bailey. Unfortunately there are no patent dates, markings inside the castings, or anything else that would serve as a helpful clue to trace the bank to its origin.
     The bank pictured is entirely original with no repairs and in practically mint condition. It was obtained from Mr. J.P. Hurd of Beverly, Mass.

The bank, as already mentioned, is not very spectacular as to its mechanical action, but it definitely is a mechanical bank and the action does take place in conjunction with the coin entering the bank. First a coin is placed at the top of the chair as shown, then a small lever in the back of the chair is moved. The coin drops in the bank and the dog held in the girl’s lap moves toward her. When the lever is released the dog returns to its original position.
     This is the first bank covered so far that has to be taken apart in order to remove the coins. This is done by removing the screw located under the lever in the back of the bank. This screw holds the two-part casting together. Also, it is in order to mention the dimensions of this bank as it is very tiny and one of the smallest of the mechanical banks. The overall height is exactly four inches. It is two and one-eighth inches wide, and two and one-eighth inches deep at the base of the chair. The dog is one inch high.
     The casting of the bank is very nicely done showing tassel or fringe-like indentations from the chair seat to the bottom. The back of the chair has lattice-like markings. It’s a proportionate little bank and the girl and dog are also nicely made. As to color, the chair is lacquer bronze with gold highlights. The girl has blonde hair with blue eyes and natural color skin. The dress is painted blue and the dog is brown and black.
     The bank has been called The Girl In The Victorian Chair by collectors mainly from a standpoint of identification. To the best of the writer’s knowledge the original name the bank was sold under is not known as so far no catalogs or other advertising material have turned up showing the bank. It could have been called Girl And Dog Bank, or Girl In The Chair, or some other similar name. But the name it goes under is properly descriptive and a good long one for so small a bank.
     The bank has a very definite charm and appeal as mentioned, and could very easily fit in a doll collection. It’s interesting to note that banks are often found in other than bank collections. A collector of elephants will often have or want the various elephant banks, both mechanical and still. The writer knows of a Jonah And The Whale Bank in a collection of whaling items. Also, dog collectors have an interest for the various mechanical and still dog banks. This phase of mechanical banks even goes so far that the writer knows of another collector near Philadelphia, Pa., who is interested in items pertaining to frogs and has a number of the banks that have a frog or toad on them! This continues on down to personal interest and historical items and these phases will be dealt with in subsequent articles.
     The collector who has The Girl In The Victorian Chair in his collection is quite fortunate. Those who don’t have a rather scarce item to find. There are about ten of these banks known to exist in private collections.

Jonah and the Whale Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1953

     An added point of interest in collecting mechanical banks is the historical aspect connected with certain of them. They form a special group unto themselves and these will be dealt with in subsequent articles as we are concerned with one in particular at this point that has both historical and biblical reference. This is Jonah And The Whale, No. 20 in our listing.
     There has existed some degree of confusion about Jonah And The Whale as there are two types that were made. One is quite rare and the other is more or less common. Their operation is entirely different and appearance-wise they don’t look anything alike. Then too, the more common type has the name Jonah And The Whale cast on the side in very large letters while the rarer type has no name inscribed on it. At present we are concerned with the rare specimen as shown, and the other type will be covered in a future article.
     The bank shown is in the excellent collection of Andrew Emerine, one of the pioneer collectors of mechanical banks, and through his courtesy he furnished certain information about the bank.
     Unfortunately, to date, there exists no information as to the origin of the bank. There are no markings or patent dates on the bank and no patent papers or catalogs have appeared describing or picturing it. It is even difficult to date the time or period of the bank’s manufacture. Mr. Emerine obtained the bank from an antique dealer, Robert Beveridge of Albany, N.Y., in the middle 1930’s. It was the first one to turn up at the time and, of course, created quite a sensation among the mechanical banking clan.
     The bank shown is in mint condition in all respects and undoubtedly was never in a child’s possession for any length of time. It operates as follows: A coin is placed in the small boat-shaped holder located by the whale’s tail, then the lever, located midway on the base beside the whale, is pressed. The boat-shaped holder shoots forward and the coin drops through a slot into the square-shaped receptacle located under the whale. At the same time, the whale opens its large mouth and the head and shoulders of Jonah emerge from the whale face up. The whale also flips its tail up in the air during the action. To reset the bank a small knob-like lever located at the end of the tail is pulled back and the figure of Jonah goes back inside the whale.
     The bank is painted in attractive colors. The top of the base in front of the whale is a replica of the seashore with stones, shells, and a turtle, all painted in natural colors. From there back, blue waves are shown. The whale is a true whale color with red eyes and light color underneath the jaws. Jonah’s face is painted naturally and he has a black cloak. The sides and ends of the base are a dull red with gold trim.
     The bank is a very rare and interesting item and difficult to find. Apparently a limited number were manufactured and it must not have sold too well originally. Perhaps the subject matter of Jonah coming out of the whale didn’t appeal to the public but, of course, this makes it all the more interesting to the collector today. The opposite is true of the other Jonah And The Whale and it obviously had wide popular appeal in the period of being on the market.
     It might be well to note that the rare Jonah And The Whale is often referred to as Jonah And The Whale On Pedestal and Jonah And The Whale-Jonah Emerges From Whale. So far there are only two of these banks known to exist in private collections.

Dentist Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1953

     Certainly the thoughts surrounding a visit to a dentist are not particularly pleasant. However, there is a dentist in New York the writer always finds it a distinct pleasure to visit and he is Dr. Arthur E. Corby, and naturally the visits, in the case of the writer, evolve themselves around the fine collection of mechanical banks in his possession. Also, quite naturally, one of his outstanding favorites is the Dentist Bank which brings us to the 21st bank in our numerical classification of mechanical banks.
     The bank, so far as accurate factual background, is pretty much an unknown quantity. Up to now it has been a matter of speculation as to the designer or manufacturer of the bank. There are no markings, patent dates or other types of identification on the bank. Also, no patent papers or catalogs have turned up which would help to identify the bank with a certain designer or manufacturer. The face of the colored patient in the chair is similar to that of the colored man driving the cart on the Bad Accident bank. This bank was made by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     In both these banks the faces seem to bear a striking resemblance to that of the negro on the Football Bank which was designed and patented by Charles A. Bailey. He also designed several banks that stand on four legs, very much the same as the Dentist Bank. These were The Milking Cow, Football Bank, and the pattern Wishbone Bank. The above isn’t really conclusive enough to place the bank as Stevens and designed by Bailey, however, until such time as more conclusive information does turn up it will serve as a possible clue to the origin of the bank. The date of the bank is in the 1880 to 1890 period.
     The bank shown is in original condition with no repairs and the paint is practically mint. The writer has had several Dentist Banks over the period of years of collecting before obtaining the fine specimen above. Usually, due to operation of the bank, the arms of the colored figure in the chair were broken and thus missing when one was found. These can be replaced, of course, but while this doesn’t affect the value of the bank greatly, it’s always better to have one in original condition.
     The bank operates as follows: A coin is placed in the left pocket of the dentist, the lever located at the feet of the figures is then pressed. The figure of the dentist falls backward against the gas bag and the coin drops from his pocket into the bag which is the coin container. In the dentist’s right hand is a pair of extractors and in these is a large tooth. As the dentist falls backward the negro also falls over backward in the chair, throwing his arms up at the same time. The patient is fastened to the chair back and this tilts over with the figure. Both figures are then reset together as shown and the bank is ready to operate again. The coins are removed by removing a screw which holds the gas bag to the base of the bank.
     The bank is painted in attractive realistic colors. The base is gray with gold legs and red footrest, the chair is maroon with gold trim and red cushion and back. The gas bag is brown. The dentist’s coat is black, his trousers gray, and he has heavy black sideburns and mustache. The darky has gray trousers and a yellow shirt.
     All in all, the Dentist Bank is a very attractive addition to any collection, and from an action standpoint it is particularly outstanding. It is hard to find in good condition and it’s a favorite of many, dentist or not.

Red Riding Hood Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1953

     An appropriate and logical source that contributed to the designing and manufacture of a number of mechanical banks were children’s nursery rhymes and stories. The Old Woman In The Shoe Bank previously covered is typical of the nursery rhyme theme. Now as we list the 22nd bank in our numerical classification we come to a typical children’s story theme, that of Little Red Riding Hood.
     Actually there is very little known about the origin of the Red Riding Hood Bank, Background and facts are very much lacking as to where it was made, when it was made, the manufacturer, or the designer. It has been generally accepted that the bank was made and designed by William S. Reed of Leominster, Massachusetts, who designed the Old Woman In The Shoe Bank. However, as pointed out in the article covering the Old Woman In The Shoe, the writer met Mrs. Reed and during several conversations no mention was ever made of the Red Riding Hood Bank. The only markings on the bank itself appear on the bottom and these are the words "Pat. Apld. For."
     One definite clue is the fact that the side of the bed is identical to the skirting on the chair of the Girl In The Victorian Chair. This, of course, would possibly lead us to Bailey and the Stevens Company. Until such time that more information turns up, it’s a fair assumption that Red Riding Hood and the Girl In The Victorian Chair were made by the same concern.
     The specimen shown is from the fine collection of Mr. Andrew Emerine who was about the first to find an example of this rare bank. It was purchased in Atlanta, Georgia, in the mid 1930’s and Mr. Emerine regards the bank among his top favorites in his collection.
     Condition-wise, the bank is fine with no repairs and good paint. There is an interesting amount of wear indicating the possession of a child, however with good treatment. The bank is painted appropriately with Red Riding Hood having a red hat, red skirt, and white blouse with red sleeves. The grandmother’s face is naturally painted and she wears a white bed cap. The wolf’s head, under the face mask of the grandmother, is brown with red eyes. The pillow is white and the bed cover blue and red. The skirting is dull bronze with gold highlighting.
     The size of the bank is of interest as it is rather small being 5½" long and 3¼" high. It operates as follows: The coin slot is at the top of the pillow and of course the coin is set in this slot, then the lever, located on the side of the bed below the grandmother’s face, is pressed. The coin drops into the bank and the mask of the grandmother’s face tilts forward exposing the wolf’s head. At the same time Red Riding Hood’s head tilts forward and back.
     A point of interest is again in connection with occasional liberties taken by some of the bank designers. Red Riding Hood, as can be noted in the picture, has a hat on instead of the traditional hood. These occasional liberties, or possible mistakes, offer an interesting sidelight to the banks wherein they occur.
     So far six of these banks have been found, and, of course, they are all in private collections.

Milking Cow Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1953

     Country and farm scenes in Currier and Ives prints have become quite desirable and valuable over the period of years since their original dates of issue. Perhaps this appeal of country and farm life enters into our choosing the Milking Cow Bank as No. 23 in our numerical listing. This, plus its interesting action, rarity, and the fact that it’s hard to find in original condition with no repairs or replaced parts, ranks it among the top banks.
     The Milking Cow Bank is again one which is an unknown quantity as to the actual designer or manufacturer. There are, however, as is the case in a number of the banks, certain clues from the bank itself that indicate a particular designer and manufacturer. The legs supporting the base of the bank are identical to those on the pattern Wishbone Bank and this was definitely designed and made by Charles Bailey. Also, the facial work on the boy milking the cow is indicative of Bailey. Then too, Bailey liked to use flowers on his banks and these are in evidence on the Milking Cow. It is fairly accurate to attribute the bank to Bailey. Since most of his designs were then manufactured as the banks themselves by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., we can be reasonably sure that Stevens made the bank. Its period of manufacture was in the mid 1880’s.
     The example pictured is in original condition with fine paint and no repairs or replaced parts. This excellent specimen was finally obtained by the writer after having owned several imperfect Milking Cow Banks in the early period of collecting. It was purchased some years ago from an antique dealer in Cambridge, Mass. When one of the banks turns up the fence is usually missing. This is due to the fact that it is fastened to the base in a very flimsy manner. Also the fence was subject to easy breakage when the bank was handled or played with. Then too the legs on the base were easily broken, and since the base itself is a rather thin casting it cracked readily. In later models the base casting was made heavier to strengthen the bank and overcome its tendency to crack.
     The operation of the bank starts with its component parts in the positions shown in the picture. A coin is placed in the slot in the cow’s back, then the large flower-shaped lever in front of the cow is pushed. This causes the cow to flip its tail in the air and kick its right hind leg. In so doing she tips the boy over backward and the milk pail held in the boy’s movable arms is dumped into his face. At the same time the coin drops into the cow. The flower is released, the boy set in position, and the bank is again ready to operate.
     The bank is painted in attractive, appropriate colors. The base is green with some white daisies and the large flower lever is red. The legs of the base are gold and the fence white. The cow is reddish brown, such as a Jersey, with gold tipped horns. The boy has a red shirt and blue trousers and his yellow hat lies beside him.

The method of removing the coins from the Milking Cow Bank is of interest as it is necessary to remove the cow from the base and then take the cow apart. Frankly speaking it is poorly designed from the standpoint of being strictly a savings bank. Of course the mechanical banks were primarily designed to amuse and entertain, to encourage saving and this bank certainly does that. However, it can well be imagined that many of these banks were broken trying to remove the coins, and on occasion intentionally dropped and broken to get them out. These points naturally contribute to its rarity today.
     To sum it all up, the Milking Cow Bank is a nostalgic desirable item to have in a collection and offers a challenge to find in original condition throughout.

A True Listing of
Authentic American Factory-Made Mechanical Banks

by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1953

     This is a true listing of authentic American factory-made mechanical or animated banks. Registering banks, as such, are not included in this listing as they are in a class by themselves. There are, however, four borderline banks included in the listing and they are the Pump and Bucket, Registering Dime Savings Bank, Safety Locomotive, and the Perfection Registering. The Pump and Bucket is a borderline case due to its pump handle operation. In the case of the Registering Dime Savings Bank the coin causes the clock hands to move automatically and register the amount, this action being similar to the National Savings Bank, The Safety Locomotive with its automatic removable stack is another borderline bank and it’s questionable if it should be considered mechanical even though the writer has listed it. The same can be said for the Perfection Registering Bank with the figure of a girl pointing to the amount as deposited.
     The foreign banks are listed separately as they do not have the value or desirability of American banks. Then comes the listing showing patterns, which, while they are mechanical banks, don’t belong in with a listing of the group which were actually sold in stores to the public. The likelihood is that the pattern banks listed were never put on the market. There is a possibility in the case of the Called Out Bank that a few were made in cast iron, however, these could be recasts from original patterns.
     The next group is titled "Uncertain" and this is just what it implies. The recast banks are next shown and then all the known fakes up to now are enumerated. Of course recast banks are fakes and have no value in a collection. They are listed separately from the fakes to help the collector. Recast banks are easily recognized provided the person has some amount of experience and knowledge of banks. However, some banks that are out and out fakes made to fool collectors are more difficult to recognize due to the fact they have been made from patterns. These fakes are accurately listed and have no value in a collection unless the collector wishes to fool himself.
     Undoubtedly there will be those who will notice that banks such as Independence Hall, Globe, Lighthouse, Dog I Hear A Call, Pay Phone, and others just like them have been omitted. These are not mechanical or animated banks and are usually listed and collected only to make a collection or list seem larger. They could possibly be in a so-called semi-mechanical class, but they more properly fit in with the large and endless group of still banks. This is not mean to imply that they don’t have any value, only the fact they are not mechanical or animated banks. After all, among the most mechanical of all the banks are those that register the amount when a coin is deposited. However, these registering banks, as such, don’t belong in the accepted grouping of the mechanical banks.
     This list has no duplications of banks and varieties are not listed. As an example of a variety, there are several kinds of Tammany Banks; some with no name, some with Hall’s Patent on one side of the chair, and others with Tammany Bank on both sides of the chair. These are all the same bank with the same figure and the same operation. Therefore, only one Tammany Bank is listed.
     Nos. 56 and 57, the Gray Elephants, are banks not usually classified as mechanical, but they definitely are as their trunks move when the coin is inserted.
     Nos. 60, 106, and 170 are banks that were made until about 1942. Manufacture of these was stopped because of the war. It is understood that the Hubley Manufacturing Company who made the banks are not going to manufacture them again. There are older models of the Elephant Howdah (Pull Tail) and Trick Dog (Solid Base). The older Elephants were painted gray instead of white and the Trick Dog in the older model has a six-part base as listed, No. 169.
     The two Owl Banks, Nos. 125 and 126, operate differently and the same applies to Nos. 174 and 175, the Uncle Tom Banks.
     Nos. 143 and 144, the Standing Rabbits, are listed individually as one is much larger than the other and the bases are different.
     In the case of the Uncle Sam Bust, the writer has never seen a specimen which he considers to be original or authentic. Therefore, it is listed twice, under "Uncertain" and under "Recasts," but is not in the authentic group.

All Banks are cast iron unless otherwise noted.

  1. Administration Building (Columbia Magic Savings Bank)
  2. Afghanistan Bank
  3. Always Did ‘Spise A Mule
  4. Always Did ‘Spise A Mule (Jockey)
  5. American Bank (Sewing Machine)
  6. Artillery Bank
  7. Atlas Bank
  8. Bad Accident
  9. Bank Of Education And Economy
  10.   Bank Teller Bank (Tall Teller Behind Three-Sided Grill Labeled "Bank")
  11.   Bear And Tree Stump
  12.   Bear Standing (Slot In Chest)
  13.   Bill E. Grin
  14.   Billy Goat Bank
  15.   Bird On Roof
  16.   Bismark Bank
  17.   Bow-ery Bank (Cast Iron Building, Wood Mechanism)
  18.   Bowling Alley Bank
  19.   Boy And Bull Dog
  20.   Boy On Trapeze (French’s Automatic Bank)
  21.   Boy Scout Camp
  22.   Bread Winners Bank
  23.   Bucking Mule (Miniature)
  24.   Butting Buffalo
  25.   Butting Goat (Tree Stump)
  26.   Butting Ram (Man Thumbs Nose)
  27.   Bull Dog Bank (Coin On Nose)
  28.   Bull Dog Savings Bank
  29.   Bull Dog Standing (Coin On Tongue)
  30.   Calamity Bank
  31.   Camera Bank (Picture Pops Up)
  32.   Cat And Mouse Bank (Clock-like Cat Face)
  33.   Chief Big Moon (Indian Camp)
  34.   Chimpanzee Bank
  35.   Circus Bank
  36.   Circus Ticket Collector (Man And Barrel)
  37.   Clown Harlequin and Columbine
  38.   Clown On Bar (Tin Figure)
  39.   Clown On Globe
  40.   Colored Boys Stealing Watermelon
  41.   Confectionery Bank
  42.   Creedmore Bank
  43.   Cross-Legged Minstrel (Tin-Tips Hat)
  44.   Cupola Bank (Circular Building, Man In Cupola)
  45.   Dapper Dan
  46.   Darky And Watermelon
  47.   Darky In Cabin (Cabin Bank)
  48.   Darktown Battery (Baseball Bank)
  49.   Dentist Bank
  50.   Ding Dong Bell (Tin – Wind Up)
  51.   Dog On Turntable
  52.   Dog Tray Bank
  53.   Eagle and Eaglets
  54.   Elephant (Baby, Opens At X O’Clock. Lead or Pewter.)
  55.   Elephant (Black With Three Stars)
  56.   Elephant (Gray – Moves Trunk – Large)
  57.   Elephant (Gray – Moves Trunk – Small)
  58.   Elephant Howdah (Locked)
  59.   Elephant Howdah (Man Pops Out)
  60.   Elephant Howdah (Pull Tail)
  61.   Elephant (Three Clowns on Tub)
  62.   Fortune Teller Bank (Safe)
  63.   Freedman’s Bank (Wood, Metal and Cloth)
  64.   Frog On Arched Track (Tin)
  65.   Frog On Rock
  66.   Frog On Round Base
  67.   Frogs (Two – Kicks Coin In Other’s Mouth)
  68.   Gem Bank
  69.   Germania Exchange Bank
  70.   Giant Bank
  71.   Girl In Victorian Chair
  72.   Girl Skipping Rope (Jumping Rope Bank)
  73.   Goat, Frog and Old Man (Initiating Bank, Second Degree)
  74.   Guessing Bank
  75.   Halls Excelsior
  76.   Halls Lilliput
  77.   Hen And Chick
  78.   Hindu (Bust With Turban)
  79.   Hold The Fort
  80.   Home Bank
  81.   Home Bank (Tin)
  82.   Horse Race
  83.   Humpty Dumpty
  84.   Indian And Bear (Bear Hunt)
  85.   Initiating Bank First Degree
  86.   Jolly Nigger
  87.   Jonah And The Whale
  88.   Jonah And The Whale (Jonah Emerges From Whale’s Mouth)
  89.   Jumbo (Baby Elephant On Wheels. Moves Head.)
  90.   Kick Inn Bank (Wood and Tin)
  91.   Leap Frog Bank
  92.   Lion Hunter
  93.   Lion And Two Monkeys
  94.   Little Jocko Musical Bank (Tin)
  95.   Magic Bank
  96.   Magician Bank
  97.   Mammy and Child (Baby Mine)
  98.   Mason Bank
  99.   Memorial Money Bank
  100.    Merry-Go-Round
  101.    Mikado Bank
  102.    Milking Cow
  103.    Mamma Katzenjammer
  104.    Monkey (Drops Coin In Stomach)
  105.    Monkey and Coconut
  106.    Monkey Bank
  107.    Moody And Sankey
  108.    Mosque
  109.    Motor Bank (Trolly Car Bank)
  110.    Mule Entering Barn (Dog Comes Out)
  111.    National Bank
  112.    National Savings Bank (Tells Fortune)
  113.    New Bank
  114.    New Creedmore Bank
  115.    North Pole Bank
  116.    Novelty Bank
  117.    Octagonal Fort Bank
  118.    Old Woman In The Shoe
  119.    Organ Bank (Boy And Girl)
  120.    Organ Bank (Cat and Dog)
  121.    Organ Bank (Monkey)
  122.    Organ Bank (Miniature)
  123.    Organ Grinder and Performing Bear
  124.    Owl (Turns Head)
  125.    Owl (Slot in Book)
  126.    Owl (Slot in Head)
  127.    Paddy And The Pig (Shamrock Bank)
  128.    Panorama Bank
  129.    Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog
  130.    Peg-Leg Beggar
  131.    Pelican (Man in Bill)
  132.    Perfection Registering Bank
  133.    Picture Gallery
  134.    Pig In High Chair
  135.    Pistol Bank
  136.    Preacher In The Pulpit
  137.    Presto Bank (Small Building)
  138.    Presto Savings Bank (Wood and Metal. Mouse on Roof.)
  139.    Professor Pug Frog And His Great Bicycle Feat
  140.    Pump And Bucket
  141.    Punch And Judy
  142.    Rabbit In Cabbage
  143.    Rabbit (Standing Large)
  144.    Rabbit (Standing Small)
  145.    Reclining Chinaman
  146.    Red Riding Hood
  147.    Registering Dime Savings Bank (Mechanical Clock)
  148.    Rival Bank
  149.    Roller Skating Bank
  150.    Rooster Crowing
  151.    Safety Locomotive
  152.    Santa Claus
  153.    Schley Bottling Up Cervera Bank
  154.    Shoot The Chute Bank
  155.    Snap It Bank (Small Eight-Sided Building)
  156.    Speaking Dog
  157.    Sportsman Bank (Fowler Shoots Bird)
  158.    Springing Cat (Cat And Mouse. Lead or Pewter.)
  159.    Squirrel And Tree Stump
  160.    Stump Speaker
  161.    Tabby Bank
  162.    Tammany Bank
  163.    Target Bank (Fort and Cannon)
  164.    Teddy And The Bear
  165.    Toad In Den (Tin)
  166.    Toad On Stump
  167.    Trapeze Bank (Two Men)
  168.    Tree Bank (Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest)
  169.    Trick Dog (Six Part Base)
  170.    Trick Dog (Solid Base)
  171.    Turtle Bank
  172.    Uncle Remus
  173.    Uncle Sam
  174.    Uncle Tom
  175.    Uncle Tom (No Lapels)
  176.    U.S. Bank
  177.    U.S. and Spain Bank
  178.    Watch Dog Safe
  179.    Weeden’s Plantation (Tin. Wind Up.)
  180.    William Tell
  181.    Winner Savings Bank (Tin)
  182.    Wireless Bank (Tin)
  183.    World’s Fair Bank (Columbus and Indian)
  184.    Zoo Bank

 FOREIGN BANKS — English and German:

  1. British Lion (Tin)
  2. Dinah
  3. Elephant (Tin. Swallows Coin When Tail Is Pressed)
  4. Football Bank
  5. Frog And Snake (Tin)
  6. Hoopla Bank
  7. John Bull Bank
  8. Jolly Nigger (Butterfly Tie)
  9. Jolly Nigger (High Hat)
  10. Little High Hat
  11. Little Joe
  12. Little Moe
  13. Minstrel (Tin)
  14. Monkey And Parrot (Tin)
  15. Monkey With Tray (Tin)
  16. Scotchman (Tin)
  17. Signal Cabin (Tin)
  18. Stollwerck Vending (Tin)
  19. Thrifty Tom (Tin)
  20. Wimbledon Bank

 PATTERNS — Made of lead, bronze or brass:

  1. Aunt Dina And The Fairy
  2. Blacksmith
  3. Called Out Bank
  4. Halls Yankee Notion Bank
  5. Help The Blind
  6. Moon Face
  7. Twin Bank
  8. Wishbone Bank

 UNCERTAIN — Not sure they are true banks or if authentic:

  1. Alligator In Tin Trough
  2. Baby Elephant Bank
  3. Bull Tosses Boy In Well (Brass)
  4. Chinaman In Boat Rat On Tray (Lead or Pewter)
  5. Jack On Roof
  6. Sambo
  7. Safe (Top Springs Open)
  8. Shoot That Hat
  9. Tank Bank
  10. Uncle Sam Bust
  11. Woodpecker (Tin)

 RECASTS — Banks that have been cast by using original specimens as patterns:

  1. Bear And Tree Stump
  2. Bear Standing (Slot in Chest)
  3. Bill E. Grin
  4. Bird On Roof
  5. Bismark
  6. Boy And Bull Dog
  7. Bucking Goat
  8. Bucking Mule With Rider
  9. Bull Dog Standing
  10. Elephant Locked Howdah
  11. Gem Bank
  12. Jolly Nigger (All Types)
  13. Jonah And The Whale
  14. Tabby Bank
  15. Uncle Sam Bust

 FAKES:

  1. Banks that have been completely made to fool collectors.
    Examples: Long May It Wave and Carnival.
  2. Toys that have been altered and made into banks.
    Example: Elephant On Wheels (Moves Trunk).
  3. Toy parts or bank parts that have been assembled to make a mechanical bank. Examples: Ferris Wheel and Cat Chasing Mouse In Building.
  4. Still banks altered to make them mechanical.

Examples: Bull With Movable Horns, Lost Dog, and Barrel With Movable Arms.

  1. Barrel With Movable Arms
  2. Bucking Goat With Rider
  3. Bull And Bear (Cast Iron and Brass)
  4. Bull With Movable Horns
  5. Captain Kidd
  6. Cat Chasing Mouse In Building
  7. Clock With Pendulum
  8. Elephant On Wheels (Moves Trunk)
  9. Feed The Kitty
  10. Ferris Wheel
  11. Forty-Niner
  12. Glutton
  13. Jolly Nigger (Straw Hat)
  14. Long May It Wave
  15. Lost Dog
  16. Metropolitan Bank
  17. Presto Savings Bank (All fakes have metal building. This should be wood and metal.)
  18. Squirrel (Lead)
  19. Target Bank (Building)
  20. Trick Donkey
  21. Tricky Pig
  22. Tricky Pig (Risque)

Uncle Remus Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1953

     The shape or form of a house, bank building, or a pig always comes to mind when anyone mentions a toy savings bank. So far in our classification of mechanical banks none of these have come into the group. As we reach No. 24, however, we closely approach a building form in that part of the Uncle Remus Bank which consists of a chicken coop into which the coins are deposited.
     It is not definitely known who designed or manufactured the Uncle Remus Bank. There are no patent dates on the bank. However, the following is cast on the back of the chicken coop, "Uncle Remus Bank 136." There is a possibility that the bank was manufactured by Kyser & Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., who made the Lion And Monkey, Butting Buffalo, and others. Certain features of the bank itself would indicate their having produced it. However, it is also possible that the bank was manufactured by the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Conn., who made, among others, the Zoo Bank.
     As to the actual designer, Patent No. 462150 dated October 27, 1891 covers the theme of a negro stealing chickens. This patent was issued to J. Murray of New York City. As pictured in these patent papers the negro moves forward with the coin in his right hand and deposits it in the chicken coop. At the same time a figure holding an umbrella moves from the left of the coop toward the negro and a dog moves from the right toward the negro. It’s a well known fact that many liberties were taken from the time a bank was patented until it was actually put into the production stage. Transversely, many banks were manufactured exactly as patented. In any event, it is fairly reasonable to assume that Mr. Murray was the designer of the Uncle Remus Bank. So far there have been no other banks turn up with the stealing chickens theme or any others remotely similar to the patent of Mr. Murray.
     The bank pictured is in good all around condition with no repairs or replaced parts. It was obtained by the writer some years ago through the help of the well known collector, Mr. Andrew Emerine.
     The bank operates as follows: The figure of the policeman is pulled back to the position shown in the picture, a coin is then placed in the slot on the roof of the chicken coop, the head of the chicken, feeding in the yard, is then pressed. The policeman darts forward and around to the front swinging his club. At the same time the door of the chicken coop, with the figure of Uncle Remus thereon, slams shut. The coin automatically drops into the bank during the action. Coins are removed by means of a lock and key arrangement in the base.
     The bank is painted in attractive colors. The policeman, of course, has a blue uniform with red belt and gold buttons. The chicken is bronze and gold. The base is green with yellow and red highlighting on the sides. The chicken coop is tan with a red roof and the steps are also tan. The fence is white and Uncle Remus has gray trousers, red jacket, and a yellow hat.
     The manufacturing period of the bank is in the 1890’s and during the time that mechanical banks have become collector’s items it has maintained a high degree of desirability and rarity. Its traditional basic down-to-earth theme and the action surrounding this make it highly desirable to the collector.

Confectionery Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1953

     Mechanical or animated toy banks were primarily designed to encourage children saving money. The incentive of seeing the bank operate was meant to arouse a child’s interest to save. As we reach No. 25 in our numerical listing we come to a bank that has the added incentive of giving something in return for the deposited coin. This is the Confectionery Bank which is also a forerunner of our present day vending machines.
     The bank was designed and patented by R.M. Hunter of Philadelphia, Pa., under Patent No. 243048 dated June 14, 1881. It was manufactured by Kyser & Rex also of Philadelphia. This concern was quite active in the production of mechanical banks in the period of the 1890’s when the banks were at their peak of popularity.
     The bank pictured was one of the first rare banks obtained by the writer. This was in the early stage of collecting and goes back quite a few years. It was found quite unexpectedly in an old antique shop in Plainfield, N.J. The enthusiastic proprietor, an elderly woman, had just returned from an antiquing tour and it was only a matter of hours from the time she had placed the bank on a shelf that the writer stopped in. Needless to say the bank left with him.
     It is in excellent original condition with no replaced parts or repairs. To operate the bank properly it is first necessary to place small foil wrapped chocolate pieces in an enclosed compartment provided in the back of the bank. Then a coin is placed in the slot on top of the counter. The lever in the front is pushed and the girl holding the tray turns to the left. As she turns, the compartment marked "Lozenge" opens and the chocolate piece pops out onto the tray. At the same time a bell rings and the coin drops automatically into the bank. When the lever is released the girl returns to her original position offering the candy to the depositor.
     The bank is painted in appropriate colors. The curved front is red and blue with gold outlining. The date, Pat. June 1881, appears in a circle on the front and is painted in gold. The back section with the many labeled compartments is yellow and the various names such as lemon, vanilla, coconut, and the like are painted in red. The girl is dressed in red and the tray she holds is gold. The paint on the bank shown is in excellent original condition.
     The obvious similarity of this bank to our present day vending machines is of interest. The bank, at the time of its manufacture, had quite an advantage over the others with its added feature of giving the child a reward for saving his money. However, he or she could pull a fast one now and then as it wasn’t necessary to use a coin to operate the mechanism. Pressing the lever released the candy at any time and that’s where the similarity to our present day vending machines ceases.
     With the exception of the larger collections, there aren’t too many of the Confectionery Banks in existence today and the collector without one has a rather tough assignment facing him.

The Toy Bank Maker
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1953

     One of the very important aspects in the collecting of mechanical banks is the obtaining of factual background information as to their origin, design and manufacture. A very rare item in connection with the background of mechanical banks has just come into the writer’s possession through the good help of Mr. C.E.H. Whitlock of New Haven, Connecticut.
     This article is of great interest and importance as it describes one of the methods used in making original patterns and it also brings to light the name of a man who apparently had some degree of importance, along with Charles Bailey, in being a good model and pattern maker of various banks. The complete article quoted below appears in the 89th Year of Phinney’s Calendar Or Western Almanac For The Year Of Our Lord 1886 by Lester Wheeler Heathcote School and distributed and published by Wm. T. Smith, Bookseller & Stationer, Utica, New York. The article appears in its entirety as follows:
"The Toy Bank Maker"
"The well-known ingenious toy trick banks are all made from models made by John Page, who works all day long in a low-ceilinged room in the top story of 722 Chestnut at his wax models and bronze chasings.
     ‘The ‘Creedmore’ bank was the first I made,’ said the bank maker on Saturday. ‘That was followed by the kicking mule, the bull dog and others. I am now at work upon a more complicated toy bank, the first bronze casting has just come in. We are now chasing it and filing down all the rough edges, and making all the joints work easily. I first of all make a solid model of the figure in specially prepared wax. From this I take a plaster of paris mold in two halves. Then I make two hollow models of the figure in wax from these molds. The next thing is to separate from the complete models the parts which are intended to be movable. Before me I have the left fore-arm and hand of a monkey, holding up a piece of cocoanut shell, the thumb of the right hand, the lower jaw, the eyes and the tail, which, when the toy is complete, will act in conjunction with a spring on the inside. These parts being removed, I have to make a fresh model in wax of every part with an end or joint attached to them. They are then sent to the brass foundry to be cast in bronze. The whole figure has to be made complete and working in wax before it goes to the foundry. When they come back some of the pieces are very rough and need a great deal of filing and chasing to make them fit and move easily. You see, the model in bronze that I make is the foundation from which all the banks are eventually to be made, and unless my model works perfectly there will be no end of complaints when it goes eventually to the iron foundry, where the marketable toys are turned out. There are twenty pieces in this bank. A coin is placed between the thumb and fingers of a monkey’s right hand. The thumb, you see, is kept in place by a spring strong enough to hold a coin the weight of half a dollar. When the tail is depressed the left hand raises the upper half of the cocoanut, the lower jaw falls down, the eyes go up, the right thumb is drawn back and releases the coin, which falls through a slit in the cocoanut into the mouth of the monkey and the bank.’
—Philadelphia Times."
     A point of interest is the fact that James H. Bowen of Philadelphia patented all of the banks mentioned in the above article, the Creedmore, Kicking Mule, the Bull Dog, and the Monkey Bank as described. Evidently Page made the models and patterns of the banks for Bowen and these patterns were in turn sent to Stevens for the actual manufacture. Page undoubtedly made many other models and patterns in Philadelphia and probably for other than Bowen, possibly Kyser & Rex and others.
     It might be well to point out that not all bank models were made by John Page, of course, as there were many other model makers. It also might be mentioned that many of the original models of banks were first carved in wood and from these wooden models, lead, bronze or brass patterns were then cast and then the master patterns were made from these.
     It is very difficult to find factual background pertaining to the manufacturers or designers of the mechanical banks. Of course old catalogs and patent papers are of great value. To the best of the writer’s knowledge the above article is the first of its type that has turned up wherein an article was written about a particular bank model maker.

U.S. and Spain Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1954

     Mechanical banks, as with other types of collectible items, can be grouped or classified into specialized divisions. One of these groups which is rather small in number is the cannon and fort type. Among these we come to No. 26 in our numerical classification, namely the U.S. And Spain Bank.
     The group of banks which utilize a cannon in their action also fit in with the shooting type such as the Sportsman’s Bank, Teddy And The Bear, and others. It’s also well to mention that certain of the banks in the different groupings also can be placed in an overall historical group.
     The U.S. And Spain Bank is a cannon type bank, of course, and is also historical in its connection with the Spanish-American War. It is not the rarest of the cannon type banks as the Octagonal Fort, for example, is somewhat rarer. However, it is much more desirable from all other standpoints, including action, appearance, and theme. And of course it is rare and hard to find.
     The bank was patented July 12, 1898 by Charles Bailey and made by the Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. It was covered by a design patent which is not the usual case with the majority of the patented banks.
     The specimen shown is in general good condition with a small piece broken from the base end where the firing hammer recedes into the base. It was obtained some years ago through the good help of Dr. Arthur E. Corby of New York City. The bank is painted in appropriate colors. The cannon has a black barrel and the base upon which it is mounted is gray with the lettering "U.S." in gold. The fort is unusual in that it has a natural stone appearance. This was achieved by the use of sand. The off-color white paint on the fort was either dipped in sand or sprinkled with it while still wet or tacky. The top flat surface of the fort is painted green to simulate grass. The Spanish ship has the lettering "Spain" in white, the hull is black and the mast and turret are tan and brown. All cannons on the Spanish ship are gold. The two men on the mast have yellow uniforms with red hats and the Spanish flag and the ocean are painted in natural colors.
     The bank operates as follows: The coin is placed as pictured in front of the mast on the ship, then a wooden type shell is placed in the barrel of the cannon. The hammer on the cannon is then pulled down and the lever to fire the cannon appears at the side. When the lever is pressed the hammer shoots the shell forward making a direct hit on the mast knocking it over backward. This causes the coin to drop automatically into the bank. To repeat the action the mast is simply raised into position, and proceed as described. If more realistic action is desired, the cannon is made so that it will fire paper caps.
     If you are collecting mechanical banks in the overall group, or the specialized subject group, or historical class, the U.S. And Spain Bank fits into all three and is a very desirable item in any one or all of them.

Rhode Island’s
Bank Collectors’ Club

by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1954

     Probably one of the most exclusive collectors’ organizations in the world is the Antique Bank Collectors’ Club of Rhode Island. A feature story in the Providence Sunday Journal of January 3, by Robert L. Wheeler with pictures by John P. Callahan, tells of the club and the activities of its members.
     According to author Wheeler the club has nine regular members. In order to obtain a membership one has to own a minimum of five mechanical banks of the vintage when thrift in children was encouraged by gifts of banks which performed tricks by placing pennies in the slots. Or one can have a membership if he owns a minimum of twenty-five "still" banks. The stills have no mechanical action, and were made in great varieties and numbers by yesteryear manufacturers. They are therefore more plentiful than the mechanical action banks.
     The club holds four meetings a year. It was at a recent meeting that author Robert L. Wheeler obtained data on the collectors themselves and the objects of their avid hobby pursuit, whom we quote, in part:
"DeForest W. Abel, president of the Automobile Mutual Company of Providence, was host in his home at the recent meeting. Two other company presidents, Edwin M. Caldwell, Jr. (Caldwell Motors Company, West Warwick) and W.W. Yando (Braided Rugs and Specialties Company, Pawtucket); a man in the building materials business, Oliver I. Clark; an attorney, Edward T. Richards (Edwards & Angell), and a stock clerk at Central High School, Rudolph A. Salvatore.
     "Also a banker, Frederick L. Macalister, assistant manager of the Slater branch of the Industrial Trust. Another banker, Rupert C. Thompson, president of the Union National Bank of Providence, couldn’t make it. Neither could Donald B. Derby, president of the U.S. Finishing Company, Norwich, Conn., and the collectors’ only out-of-state member. There are two honorary members, F.L. Ball of Cambridge, Mass., dean of dealers in mechanical banks, and Andrew Emerine, Fostoria, an internationally known collector.
     "Lawyer Richards is president of the Antique Bank Collectors of Rhode Island and Stock Clerk Salvatore is secretary – treasurer. After talking mechanical banks for about so long the collectors lunched on chicken sandwiches and pumpkin pie and then went back and talked mechanical banks some more.
     "This reporter mentioned the lighthouse bank he owned when he was a boy to one of the Collectors and the latter said yes, he had a chance to acquire one once, a lady who was using it for a table decoration offered it to him for free if he would rent her apartment. They couldn’t come to terms.
     "The history of mechanical toys goes back a long way. When you come right down to it, what was Friar Roger Bacon’s talking skull but one? And of course there were the cathedral clock jacks of medieval times, the little figures that came out when the hours struck, and jerkily gestured. The Robot was with us long before the play R.U.R. gave him a name. But it remained for the New England Yankee to originate a type of toy that performed for a penny, presumably to inculcate habits of saving and giving you action for your money.
     " ‘Still’ penny banks made their appearance fairly early in the history of the Republic. The first large penny pieces were issued by the U.S. Treasury in 1793, and before long there were penny banks of wood and clay for the youngsters to stack the occasional copper. Some of them were made of glass. And sometimes the penny bank was just a gourd with a slit in it.
     "In 1869, however, a certain John Hall, a citizen of Watertown, Mass., devised a penny bank that made saving fun. He invented the patented ‘Hall’s Excelsior Bank,’ a rather simple affair, just a little cast-iron house with a bell and cupola. But when you pulled the bell, something interesting happened. Up flipped the roof of the cupola and up popped a monkey who accepted your penny—and down-popped. He would do this as many times as you could wring pennies from papa.
     "Mr. Hall’s ingenious incitement to thrift was an instant success and he promptly put it into production. Hundreds were manufactured and a new industry was born."

Butting Ram Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1954

     A small group of the mechanical banks employ the use of a goat or ram in connection with the coin being deposited in the bank. Among these we come to No. 27 in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks, namely the Butting Ram Bank.
     The subject bank is often called the Bucking Ram, Bucking Goat, and various other names. However, the figure on the bank is a ram, not a goat and also he butts the tree. There is no action of bucking. The best accepted name, therefore, is the Butting Ram. Often to further identify the bank the terminology ‘Man Thumbs Nose’ is added. This can be included or not as the individual chooses, however it is not necessary as there is no other mechanical bank to date that employs a ram butting a tree.
     The bank was designed and patented by Mr. O.O. Storle, of Burlington, Wisconsin, under Patent No. 548,672 dated October 29, 1895. Apparently this is the only bank patented by Mr. Storle. To the best of the writer’s knowledge the circumstances surrounding the place and name of the manufacturer is not known. The bank shown is in general good condition with no repairs and entirely original. It was obtained through the good help of Mr. E.L. Romey of Bluffton, Indiana.
     It is painted in appropriate colors. The tree is an off-color brown and the base with its upright background is green. The boy’s shoes, trousers and hair are black. His hat is yellow and his coat light green. The ram is off-color white with black horns. The opening in the tree stump is yellow. Inscribed on the back of the bank is the following: Pat. Oct. 29, 1895. This is in the form of handwritten printing rather than the usual type of printing or lettering.
     The bank operates as follows: First a coin is placed in the position as shown in the picture, at the opening in the tree stump. The lever located by the tree is then pressed and the ram butts forward knocking the coin into the bank with his head. At the same time the boy’s torso leans backward and he raises his right hand to his nose, thumbing his nose at the ram who had just missed him. The bank automatically resets itself for action upon releasing the lever.
     There are several points of interest about this bank. One is that the writer has never seen a specimen in so-called mint paint condition. They all seem to have a varnish-type finish over the paint. The bank does not clean very well because of this. Another unusual feature is the fact that there is no way to properly remove the coins from the bank once they are deposited. The base bottom of the bank has a round type coin trap cast into the metal. However it is part of the base itself and cannot be removed. This is located under the tree stump and obviously it was meant to give the impression of being an actual operative coin trap. Another point is that the bank is riveted together so the only way coins can be removed is by shaking them out through the opening in the tree stump.
     The number of Butting Ram Banks in private collections so far is very limited. A contributing factor to its rarity and desirability to a collector, of course, is the subject theme of the bank. There are three banks that employ the action of a figure thumbing his nose and this is the second one covered so far in the articles. The other two are the Freedman’s Bank and the Pelican.

Darky and Watermelon Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1954

     Rarity in any collectible group of items always offers the individual collector of the items the ever present challenge to add to his collection. Certainly rarity is an item of consideration as we reach No. 28 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks, namely the Darky And Watermelon Bank.
     The bank was designed and patented by Charles A. Bailey on June 26, 1888 under Patent No. 385,225. It was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The writer has never seen this bank pictured in one of their catalogs, however, it is pictured in a Selchow and Richters Catalog of 1888-89 and it is called the "Foot Ball" Bank. It is advertised as a new item for that year and sold for $8.50 per dozen. Each bank was packed in an individual wooden box as was the usual case with all the mechanical banks.
     It might be well to point out the reason for calling this bank the Darky And Watermelon instead of the Football Bank as it was called in the above mentioned catalog. Often the Calamity Bank is called the Football Bank, then there is an English Bank with the name Football Bank imprinted on it. It is obviously better, descriptive-wise, to use Darky And Watermelon to avoid confusion. It’s to be admitted that the Bad Accident is sometimes referred to as Darky With Watermelon. However, the name Bad Accident is imprinted on the bank and this should avoid any confusion. There is no name imprinted on the Darky And Watermelon and the individual can use his own judgment in the choice of names.
     The bank pictured was obtained by an Eastern collector who apparently felt the price was high and in turn sold it to a collector in California. The bank at present is privately held and this particular specimen will probably never be put up for sale.
     The bank is very characteristic of Bailey’s tendency to use foliage and flowers. Also it stands on four feet which is the case in a number of his banks. It is painted in appropriate colors according to information obtained by the writer. The melon is green and the base is different shades of green, the ball is brown, and the darky is dressed in red, yellow and black clothes.
     The bank operates as follows: First a coin is placed in the football, then the right leg of the darky is pulled back. A lever located in the back of the darky is then pressed and he kicks the football over onto the melon and the coin drops into the melon. The football is fastened to a lever, of course, and this is replaced into position as shown to repeat the action.
     The Darky And Watermelon is quite a rare bank and naturally a desirable item to have in a collection. There are reported to be two of these banks existing in private collections.

Bull Dog Savings Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1954

     The fascinating appeal that mechanical banks have for the bank collector is largely due to their animated action, ingenious mechanism, and the method whereby the coin is deposited in the bank. Certainly the Bull Dog Savings Bank, No. 29 in our numerical classification, is one of the outstanding mechanical banks from each of the above standpoints.
     The bank was patented by Enoch R. Morrison of New York City, Aug. 13, 1878, and manufactured by Ives Blakeslee & Company of Bridgeport, Conn. It’s interesting to note the patent papers covering the bank show only the figure of the dog. There is no figure of the man. In his place is a simple clamp-type coin holder. We can assume that the figure of the man was added as an afterthought to make the bank more interesting.
     The bank shown is in fine all around condition with no repairs. It was obtained a number of years ago from an antique dealer in Providence, R.I. He in turn had purchased the bank in a home in Westerly, R.I., and it had been in the same family since its original purchase.
     The bank is painted very simply in a dark brown type lacquer such as used on the Giant Bank and many of the toy pistols. The front base scroll work and parts of the dog and man are highlighted with gold paint.

     The operation of the bank is as follows: It is first necessary to wind the spring mechanism with a key which is inserted in the hole shown in the picture. A coin is then pressed into the clamp holder held by the man. A hidden lever, located at the end of the bank just under the figure of the man, is then pressed. The bull dog immediately springs into the air and snaps his mouth open. As he reaches the coin he snaps his lower jaw closed with the coin inside his mouth and immediately returns to his original position on the base of the bank. The coin meantime goes through the hollow body of the dog and drops into the base of the bank. It is well to note that the dog has large teeth that go over the coin and pull it from the clamp held in the man’s hands.
     The Bull Dog Savings Bank was apparently one which attained no great degree of popularity during its period of manufacture. There are two factors involved. One is the fact that it was a very high priced item for a toy in the 1880’s. It retailed at $3.50. The other is that its subject theme didn’t have much appeal to a parent buying a toy for their child. Apparently it was thought that the ferocious looking dog was biting the man. Actually the man is offering the dog a morsel of food as represented by the coin.
     It’s well to point out that many of the mechanical banks have clever mechanical action but the coin has no particular connection with the action other than being automatically deposited into the bank. Others have nice action in which the coin plays a part or even represents something other than the coin. An example of this latter type is the Darktown Battery wherein the coin represents a baseball thrown from the pitcher to the catcher. The Girl Skipping Rope is a good example of the former type. It has exceptionally fine action but the coin merely drops into the bank when the starting lever is pressed.
     The Bull Dog Savings Bank is a fine addition to any collection and was a favorite of the late Walter P. Chrysler, an avid mechanical Bank Collector.

Rare Pottery Mechanical Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1954

     The great majority of mechanical banks are made in cast iron. Then, of course, there are some in tin, wood and tin, and the rarest most desirable of all, the Freedman’s Bank, which is a combination of wood, metal and cloth.
     A mechanical bank in pottery is a very unusual item and the one pictured is the only pottery mechanical bank the writer has ever come across.
     There is a pottery alms box in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that is attributed to Han Dynasty 206 B.C. to 220 A.D. This is said to be Chinese origin and is a rectangular shaped chest supported by figure–like feet. There is a slot in the front, and on top a small figure of a bear somewhat broken. When a coin is deposited the bear bows forward. This piece, in the strictest sense, isn’t necessarily a mechanical bank, but it certainly is an early forerunner of the type.
     As to the item pictured, it is definitely a mechanical savings bank and nothing else. It is made of a brown type clay with the coloring in the glaze. The figure is apparently that of a monk and the cloak and hat are a peculiar off-color purple. The face and hands are off-white in color and his beard, moustache, eyes and hair are the same color as his cloak and hat. The book he is holding has a small piece of printed paper pasted on the reading surface. The printing is in German.
     The bank is five and three fourths inches high and four inches wide at the shoulders. The coin slot is located in his chest just in back of the book. The head and neck are suspended on the shoulders by a small metal rod molded in the neck. The neck is made so it fits down inside the body and on the end of the neck there is a small flat metal piece and a round weight.
     In operating the bank a coin is inserted in the slot and it drops on the flat metal piece causing the head to nod back and forth. This action continues for some time and is similar to that of the nodding head figures.
     The bank was found by George Wisecarver of Pittsburgh on one of his periodical antiquing trips to Europe. Mr. Wisecarver located the bank through the antiquarian Dr. W.A. Luz of Berlin, Germany. Dr. Luz in turn purchased it in Munich. He feels that the origin of the bank is probably Bavarian and that the figure represents a beggar monk and is connected in this way with the symbol of Munich. Dr. Luz thinks it is a very rare item of its kind, and he dates the bank around 1800 to 1820.
     In any event, the bank is certainly an unusual piece and quite different from the usual types of mechanical banks.

North Pole Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1954

     A number of the mechanical banks were made to represent certain individuals, and in some cases, their connection with a historical event or an event of interest. The North Pole Bank, No. 30 in our numerical classification, commemorates the discovery of the North Pole and was made at the time of the Peary-Cook controversy. Either Peary or Cook could be identified with the bank and it was apparently made this way so it could be sold to individuals on either side of the controversy.
     The North Pole Bank was patented by Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Conn., July 6, 1910, and manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company also of Cromwell. Apparently, it was felt at the time that this bank would be a good seller, but it certainly doesn’t seem to have been the case as indicated by the relative few that have turned up so far. Of course it’s to be admitted that mechanical banks had passed their peak of popularity by 1910 and many of these later banks are the hardest to find today.
     The bank pictured is from the fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty and was found in New England a few years ago. It is in perfect original condition with no repairs and the paint is excellent. The lower part of the bank is painted in aluminum and the upper part is a bronze gold color. Inscribed on the upper part of the bank is the wording "North Pole Bank—Put Coin In Slot." The American flag is painted realistically with red an white stripes. As can be seen in the picture, the bank is decorated with a number of eskimos, seals, walrus, sleds, and the like. These are painted in gold tan and white.
     From an operation standpoint, the bank is not particularly spectacular, but still the action is very appropriate and interesting. The picture shows the bank after the action has taken place. To operate, the flag is pushed down manually and it clicks into place inside the bank. In the left side of the bank (the viewer’s right side) there is a coin slot. The coin is pushed into this slot and the flag pops up as shown. Coins are removed by the conventional type round Stevens’ coin trap.
     As mentioned at the beginning some banks are identified with an individual or are a personal caricature. In some cases this individual is also connected with a historical or special interest event. An example of this is the World’s Fair Bank. This bank commemorates the World’s Fair and also Columbus and the discovery of America. After the World’s Fair it was made without the name "World’s Fair" imprinted on it. Of course, it still represented Columbus and the discovery of America.
     In the case of the North Pole Bank, it is an example of a lack of any personal identity with an individual, but it still represents a historical event and you could choose your own hero, Peary or Cook.
     The North Pole Bank may have simple action but it is a difficult bank to find and a fine addition to any collection.

Octagonal Fort Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1954

     Cannons and guns always have a certain fascination for men and boys. Therefore, it is quite natural that the mechanical bank designers and manufacturers would take advantage of this fact and produce a number of different banks using a cannon or gun. A number of the banks using guns are rather common, such as the Creedmore, William Tell, and the Indian and the Bear. Rare examples having a gun are the Sportsman’s Bank and the Lion Hunter. The most common of the banks having a cannon is the Artillery Bank, and among the rarest having a cannon is the Octagonal Fort Bank, No. 31 in our numerical classification.
     The bank shown is in excellent original condition with fine paint and no broken or missing parts. It was obtained recently through the good help of J.E. Nevil of Cincinnati, Ohio. Even though the bank is an unusually heavy casting it was apparently subject to easy breakage as any other specimens ever seen by the writer had some parts broken off. Also the paint was usually in bad shape.
     The painting of the bank is a little unusual in that it was first painted entirely black and then the other colors applied. These other colors tend to flake and chip off the black base paint with any degree of rough handling. The colors are very attractive, the base being green and the water light green with white capped waves. The cannon is black with a red base and the fort is gray with brown top and bottom. The cannons protruding from the fort are black with red tipped ends.
     The operation of the bank is as follows: A coin is inserted in the end of the cannon barrel, then the lever underneath the end of the barrel is pushed back and it clicks into a locked position. The firing knob at the top of the breach of the cannon is then pressed and the coin is fired into the fort.
     Factual background is a real scarcity in the case of the Octagonal Fort Bank. The actual designer and manufacturer are not known. There are no patent papers covering the bank and there are no identifying marks on the bank itself that would be characteristic of any particular manufacturer or designer. There are, however, certain clues to its possible identity and time of manufacture.
     In the first place, this bank is apparently a Civil War commemorative item. The fort is octagonal shaped and there is water represented on the bank between the fort and the cannon. This would lead to Fort Sumter and the firing of the first shot in the Civil War. The cannon is of the type that can be seen in Charleston, S.C., today.
     Now to the possible source and time of manufacture of the bank. During the 1880’s a toy salesman, Major Edward Brueninghausen, sold banks and toys which he had specially manufactured for his trade. He was a Civil War veteran and had entered the toy business around 1875. It’s very possible that the Octagonal Fort, as well as a number of the other untraceable banks, were manufactured for and sold by Major Brueninghausen.
     In any event, until such time that refutable evidence might turn up it’s logical that the Octagonal Fort Bank represents Fort Sumter, was made in the period of 1880, and was sold by Brueninghausen.
     Just what name the bank was originally sold under is not known. To the best of the writer’s knowledge there have been no old catalogs or similar type of material found that pictured or described the bank. Octagonal Fort is a good descriptive name and easily identifies it from any of the other mechanical banks.
     The number of Octagonal Fort Banks in private collections is quite limited and those possessing one are very fortunate.

Mechanical Banks
Originals and Recasts

by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1954

     Mechanical banks for sometime now have continued steadily to increase in their popularity as a collector’s item. It is quite natural that along with this continued increased popularity, fakes, reproductions or recasts, numbered replicas and the like would appear on the market in increasing quantities.
     These fakes, reproductions, and the like have caused more and more concern among the collectors of mechanical banks and a great degree of concern as to the overall effect on the hobby itself.
     First, why would an individual reproduce, recast, or fake a mechanical bank. The answer is obvious, to sell to collectors and dealers for a profit to himself. It’s rather difficult to understand just why any person would go to all the trouble involved, but apparently some individuals will do so even though the market for the item is limited and couldn’t be very profitable.
     A definite controlling factor is the fact that the rarer banks are usually in the hands of bona fide collectors and therefore it’s rather difficult for any unscrupulous individual to obtain one of these to make a recast. Up to now the recast banks have been of only the common variety such as the Jolly Nigger. It’s rather easy to recognize the Jolly Nigger recast or any of the other recast banks even if the collector or dealer has had limited experience in collecting or buying and selling them.
     Along with the fake and recast banks there has also been offered numbered reproductions of certain banks. Just what value these have is difficult to understand. Certainly no collector is fooling anyone but himself if he knowingly has a reproduction item in his collection, and it can never take the place of the original.

There was a time some years ago where a collector who didn’t have the Clown, Harlequin and Columbine Bank came up with the idea of recasting twelve of these banks so that a select group could obtain a replica for their respective collections. Needless to say, the idea fell through as no collector who was fortunate enough to have the Harlequin in his collection wanted any part of the scheme. There was absolutely nothing to be gained by the idea, and this follows through with any recast or reproduced mechanical bank.
     There is an angle that is unique to mechanical bank collecting that should be considered. This concerns repair service. In some cases some of the repairers feel it is necessary to recast entire banks to enable them to have all different parts of individual specimens. This has its good and bad points. There have been cases almost to the extreme of starting with an original coin trap and building a bank around it! In any event, the Ferris Wheel and Captain Kidd are two examples of so-called mechanical banks that have up to now never been found as original mechanical banks. The ones that are around have all been altered and made mechanical.
     There is no intent to cast reflection on the legitimate repair service offered to fix mechanical banks for those individuals who are unable to do so themselves. However, here again it’s up to each person and his own good judgement. It bears repeating that when we try to fool others we usually only fool ourselves.
     As a final word, bear in mind that any recast mechanical bank can be recognized as such after some experience in handling or collecting original specimens. It is necessary to use an original bank as a pattern and the recast is recognizable as such. New paint and new paint that has been antiqued is not difficult to distinguish from old paint and natural wear. Mint condition original specimens can be recognized for what they are as against recast items with new paint offered as originals.
     Mechanical banks over a period of years have established a strong foot-hold in the collecting field and all indications are that this will remain so, despite attempts to pass off recast items.

Ding Dong Bell Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1954

     The Ding Dong Bell Bank, No. 32 in our numerical classification, brings us to another type or group of mechanical banks. This group comprises the relatively few mechanical banks that were made of tin insofar as the main structure of the bank is concerned. Some others in the group are the Plantation Savings Bank, Dapper Dan, Toad In Den, Wireless, Home Bank, Presto, Jocko, Winner, and several of the foreign banks such as the Frog and Snake, and Monkey and Parrot.
     The Ding Dong Bell was manufactured by the Weeden Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Mass., in the period of 1885. The Weeden Company became noted for their manufacture of steam type toys, particularly stationary steam engines and steam trains. They also made a toy steam fire engine that actually pumped water. Their line of toys were very nicely made and the mechanical banks they manufactured were all of similar general design and operated by small clock works.
     The bank shown is from the very fine collection of Leon Cameto. It is in excellent all around condition and Mr. Cameto obtained the bank through the good help of Mr. Elliott F. Bishop. It is believed that the bank originally turned up in New Jersey.
     The back of the bank is exactly the same as the Plantation Savings Bank with the lettered instructions, the door to remove coins, the lock key, and the wind-up key. On the side of the bank not shown in the picture is the stamped wording ‘A (penny) Saved Is A (penny) Earned, Savings Bank.’ Instead of the word ‘penny’ there is a one cent piece shown and then an Indian head penny. The other wording on the bank can be seen in the picture.
     The various colors on the bank are attractive and are as follows: The top is an orange red color and the sides are blue with the lettering and coins in gold. The bottom is orange red and made of wood. The boy at the well has a red cap, tan coat, and blue trousers. The well is brown, the bucket orange, the cat is black. The boy with the bell has a white shirt, tan trousers, and red stockings. The bell is gold. The boy on the fence has a red blouse, black hat, white collar, and his pants leg is white. The sky is blue, the tree natural colors, and the fence is dark green. The lettering "Ding Dong Bell" on the front of the bank is in black.
     The operation of the bank is as follows: First the mechanism is wound by the key on the back. Then a coin is inserted in the slot shown in the picture. Immediately the boy on the fence starts to wave his hat and the other boy begins waving the bell held in his hand. Meantime the boy at the well gradually pulls the cat out of the well and just before the mechanism stops he drops the cat back into the well. The action takes about 20 seconds and will operate about five times on one winding. Of course another coin must be used each time to start the action.
     All in all the Ding Dong Bell is a very attractive good action mechanical bank to have in a collection. Any collector who has one is very fortunate since there are only four or possibly five of these banks known to be in private collections.

Bowling Alley Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1954

      A very rare and much sought for mechanical bank occupies the 33rd position in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This is the Bowling Alley, a fragile and easily broken bank. Of course, this is probably the main factor contributing to its great rarity. Also it’s very likely there were not too many of these banks manufactured.
     The bank was patented by L. Kyser of Philadelphia, Pa., assignor to Kyser & Rex of the same city under Patent No. 222,058 dated November 25, 1879. It was manufactured, of course, by Kyser & Rex and the actual bank follows closely the design and mechanism as shown in the patent papers. Also, several old trade catalogs have turned up that picture and advertise the bank for sale.
     The bank shown is from the very fine collection of the late F.W. Wieder of Berkeley, Calif. He was an avid collector of mechanical banks and his great interest was shared by Mrs. Wieder who is keeping the entire collection intact. No items from the collection are available, and naturally Mrs. Wieder has a sentimental attachment towards the banks since she and her husband had a mutual interest in them. She has graciously cooperated so that we may give proper recognition to a fine mechanical bank, the Bowling Alley.
     The background of the bank is rather interesting. It was originally found about 1938 by James Whitfil a former antique dealer of Pittsburgh, Pa. It then found its way into the possession of a billiard hall proprietor in Washington, Pa., where it stayed for some years. A lot of effort was put forth by a number of collectors in trying to pry the bank loose and many trips were made to Washington, Pa., with no success. However, a few years ago Mr. Wieder finally became the successful owner of the bank and it found a home in a fine collection.
     The bank is in good paint condition which was revealed after a proper amount of cleaning. There is more than an average amount of original paint on it. The main body of the bank is basically green with some black striping. The grill work is a faded orange and the designs on the coin box are painted blue, yellow and green, and the top is brown. The figure of the bowler has black trousers, blue vest, and a white shirt.
     The bank is pictured before and during the action. In operation the top of the coin box has three different size slots to take the various size coins. On inserting a coin in one of the slots a lever is engaged which causes the man to lean forward. The bowling ball rolls from his right hand and continues down the alley striking the pins and ringing the bell. The man returns to position automatically and when another ball is placed in his hand and the pins replaced it is again ready for action. As with some of the other mechanical banks, a nice feature is the fact that the coin causes the action to occur.
     The bank is in original condition with no repairs. The bell, the pins, and the bowling balls were missing when Mr. Wieder obtained the bank, but this was to be expected since after all the pins and the balls were separate items and very easily lost. A bell of the same size as the original was obtained from a Creedmore bank.
     The Bowling Alley offers a real challenge to the mechanical bank collectors and so far there is only one of these banks known to exist in any private collection.

Early Mechanical Inventions
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1954

     In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the locksmith was the artisan of one of the most elaborate and delicately wrought handicrafts. Besides framing keyholes with rich and beautifully designed ornamentation, he also showed great inventiveness in the finely wrought ironwork of gates, grilles, knobs, handles, and ornamentation of chests, In fact, iron seemed to have become as supple as wood from the way it was twisted and changed into something fragile and delicate with no trace of coarseness. By the middle of the nineteenth century those artists of ironwork had disappeared before the mechanization of these examples of artisanship, which were increasingly mass produced in cast iron, and therefore changed and usually simplified in design.
     One effect of this was to bring about the new type of inexpensive mechanical lock especially desirable for use in safes and banks. By 1825 fireproof chests and burglar-proof locks were available for public use. The lock which Joseph Bramah invented in 1784 was the burglar-proof lock of its period, and it was widely known and employed up to the middle of the nineteenth century, In 1851 this lock was finally "picked" after a month’s attempt by a salesman for the "Parautoptic lock" which no one was successful in picking that year. Also in 1851 Linus Yale introduced a bank lock which he named the "Infallible Bank Lock," or the "Magic Lock." He was not entirely satisfied with this example, and ended by developing for practical use the dial combination locks. In 1856 he submitted his "Magic Lock" for examination by the committee on science and arts of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where it still may be seen with the autograph of its famous inventor.
     Oliver Evans, who was primarily interested in the construction of an automatic mill, introduced the continuous belt of the production line with its various types of conveyors (belt, screw, and bucket), which he used for his automatic mill modeled in 1783, and finished constructing in 1785. The principle of the screw and circular motion had been known to the Ancients since the Archimedean screw but had been used, as far as we know, for liquids only. Oliver Evans appears to have been the first to employ the system to convey solids also. He also invented a steam-dredging machine for cleaning the docks, and introduced a method for making ice mechanically. For his assistance in the advancement of industry Oliver Evans received little appreciative recognition and he died an embittered man.
     Johann Georg Bodmer, a Swiss born in 1786 and who died in 1864, was another inventor who concentrated on the improvement of the conveyor’s belt, and contrived new methods so that it could transport heavier material and for a greater variety of uses. He was an exceedingly versatile inventor, and besides his preoccupation with designing new patterns of conveyance within production, he worked on machine tools, spinning machines, water wheels, steam engines, locomotives, and a traveling crane.
     In 1810 Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin (1759-1839) constructed what he called a "perpetual oven," as it had an endless belt of loose wire a yard wide which ran the length of the baking chamber and could be kept in motion without cessation.
     In 1588 the Italian engineer Agostino Ramelli made use of the Archimedean Screw (three) for raising water. He was renowned for inventions of this type and also devised "a fine and artificious machine which is most useful and convenient to any person who takes delight in study. A man may read a great many books without moving from one place." This was true for the machine was a wheel with surfaces occurring at exact intervals like the planes of a water wheel, and books could be placed on these ledges and brought to the eye level.
     As improvements in the implements for use in the field of agriculture became increasingly necessary, countless inventors worked unceasingly to improve machines for practical use.
     Jethro Tull was one of those and in 1701 he produced the drill, and by 1716 the horse-drawn cultivator. The threshing machines appeared in 1732 and was improved for working use in 1786 by the Scot Andrew Meikle. The reaper, with its principle of continuous rotation, also appeared in the eighteenth century but it was not until 1834 that the workmanlike reaper, with which we are all familiar, was patented by McCormick and introduced to the public. By 1851 it had proved its unrivaled superiority to all others in the field.
     Walter A. Wood of Hoosick Falls, New York, was another important constructor in the latter half of the nineteenth century of large agricultural machines which could use interchangeable parts.
     Furniture was mechanized in ways to make it more comfortable and in 1831 we find the rocking chair was given more elasticity by inserting wagon springs between the rockers and the seat. By 1853 sitting chairs, of a type later used in offices, were improved by the placing of rockers mounted directly beneath the seat, and giving rotation and oscillation.
     In the field of wearing apparel we find that as early as 1878 hat and clothing were cut by mass production, with stacks of exactly repeated pieces piled on the factory tables.
     Electrical appliances such as irons, wringers, toasters, and fans were available by 1912, and the vacuum cleaner by 1917. By 1930 there were electric ranges, and in 1932 the electric refrigerator. And now the atomic field is still barely known to the public.

Recast Mechanical Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1955

     The number of recast mechanical banks has increased over a period of years, and particularly so in the last year or two. This is not an alarming situation, however, it is best to recognize it for what it is. No true collector wants recast banks in his collection and no legitimate dealer cares to sell them.
     First, it is well to recognize the fact that some mechanical banks were being recast 15 to 20 years ago. These included the Jolly Nigger, Paddy and the Pig, Gem, and a number of others. These banks were recognizable as recasts at the time and they can still be recognized as such today. This also applies to recast banks that are being reproduced at the present time.
     The terminology "recast" refers, of course, to a reproduction of a mechanical bank. A recast is one that is made by recasting all the parts from an original bank and then assembling the recast parts to make a reproduced bank. These recast banks have no value to the collector of mechanical banks and have no place in a collection of authentic originals. Unfortunately the recasts that are circulated around are being represented as old banks, unknowingly or not. No legitimate antique dealer or collector wants to have anything to do with recast banks, therefore, a certain amount of experience, caution, knowledge, helpful hints, and a list of the recast banks will be of help to both dealer and collector.
     Experience, of course, can only be gained through actual experience itself. Familiarity with the banks, handling them, examining them carefully, and studying various characteristics leads to knowledge and experience. It’s to be admitted that many dealers who occasionally get a mechanical bank don’t have the necessary time to devote to making a study of mechanical banks. However, they can certainly protect themselves from handling recast mechanical banks by being certain of the source from which they obtain a bank. The new or inexperienced collector can do the same thing, be sure as far as possible of the source of the bank he is buying.
     As to helpful hints, there are a number of these. For one thing recast banks do not fit together too well. The parts are slightly larger since they are cast from the bank itself not the original pattern. Sometimes a bank is recast and then half the original bank is assembled with half the recast parts. This is just another trick employed to make two banks from one and therefore supposedly more difficult to distinguish as reproductions.
     Paint is another identifying feature. A number of the banks being recast today are painted with flat paints to give a dull finish in an effort to have them appear old. This can be identified as such. Some of the recasts are intentionally rusted and dirtied up to give an appearance of age. This also can be recognized as such.
     It’s well to remember too that in most cases of recast banks the finish of the cast iron itself is quite rough and heavy looking and this is not true of the old banks themselves. Most of the mechanical banks have very smooth castings both inside and out and are not inclined to be pebbly or rough.
     Another point is to be extra cautious if a bank is represented as being repainted. Old paint and natural wear is a definite clue to an original authentic bank.
     Following is a list of banks that are known to have been recast. Unfortunately there are a few of the rarer banks in the list. These have appeared more or less recently.

Bear And Tree Stump
Bear Standing
Bill E. Grin
Bird On Roof
Bismark Pig
Boy and Bull Dog
Bucking Mule
Bull Dog Standing
Butting Goat
Circus Ticket Collector
Elephant Locked Howdah
Gem Bank
Hindu
Jolly Nigger (All types)
Jonah and the Whale
Jumbo
Mamma Katzenjammer
Paddy and the Pig
Peg-Leg Beggar
Tabby Bank
Uncle Sam Bust
U.S. and Spain

     To conclude, remember that many of the recasts are very poorly made and painted. As example, the Bill E. Grin as originally made and painted was entirely white with black and red markings. The recast is painted entirely different than this and in various different colors. The recast of the Hindu is a very rough poorly painted job and only a sad replica of the original. The Bismark Pig, of which only a few original authentic specimens exist, was recast some years ago. These recasts aren’t even the same as the original. They operate differently and the tails are not alike. The fake Tricky Pig was also made from these recasts.
     To repeat, no true collector or legitimate antique dealer has any desire to have or handle recast mechanical banks and it is with this thought in mind that the above information is passed along.

Hindu Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1955

     The Hindu Bank, No. 35 in our numerical classification, brings us to another group of mechanical banks. This group is the head or bust type of mechanical bank and the Hindu is the first of its type to be written up in the articles.
     The bust group is quite interesting and very different than the other mechanical banks. In this group are the Jolly Nigger, Bill E. Grin, Humpty Dumpty, Uncle Tom, and a number of the English banks including Aunt Dinah. Most of these banks roll their eyes and move their tongues. In addition some have an arm and hand extended to receive the coin. Also in most cases the coin enters the bank through the mouth.
     The Hindu is the most desirable and one of the rarest of the bust group. It was patented January 24, 1882 under Patent No. 252,607 by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa. It was also manufactured by their concern, the Kyser & Rex Manufacturing Company. It’s interesting to note that the bank varies a bit from the mechanism as covered by the patent papers, however, the general idea is about the same. Also of interest is the fact that the same patent papers were used to cover both types of the Uncle Tom Bank. These two banks are quite different as to mechanism in that one sticks his tongue out to receive the coin while the eyes roll upward, and in the other the coin is placed on the tongue inside the mouth and the eyes roll downward. Then too, of course, one has coat lapels with the name ‘Uncle’ on one lapel and ‘Tom’ on the other.
     Apparently the Hindu Bank was made by utilizing the pattern of the Uncle Tom Bank without coat lapels, the turban and fez being added to the pattern with other minor changes. We can safely assume that Uncle Tom was made before the Hindu as the sketch of the bank in the patent papers does not show any kind of hat or head gear.
     The bank shown was recently obtained by the writer through the good help of a stamp collector, Mr. Chas. Pfahl of Akron, Ohio. He in turn had purchased it from an antique picker who had found the bank locally in a home.
     The paint is in good condition for this particular bank even though, as can be seen in the picture, it is rather worn on the cheeks, nose and chin. Apparently this type of bank was subject to rough play and tossed into toy boxes and the like. It is not easily broken as is the case with many of the banks and, therefore, the paint got the worst of it. The bank is very colorful and painted as follows: The jacket is red with yellow striping and the tie is yellow with red dots. His face is white with red lips and tongue, and his turban blue with a yellow tassel. His eyes are gray with black pupils.
     The specimen pictured is all original with the exception of the base plate. Fortunately this is not too important as the plate is practically the same as that on the Uncle Tom Bank and not too difficult to obtain. The same lock type coin trap with the initials ‘U.T.’ used on the Uncle Tom Bank is also used on the Hindu, and the writer had a spare original trap which was utilized.
     The bank operates as follows: A coin is placed in the mouth to partially rest on the tongue. Then a lever in the back of the head is pressed down and the tongue swings back dropping the coin into the bank. The eyes meantime roll downward. Releasing the lever returns the eyes and tongue to their original position. Coins are removed by means of the key locking coin trap in the base plate.
     The Hindu is a nice little mechanical bank and a fine addition to any collection. They don’t turn up very often and trying to find one can be a real problem.

Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1955

     A sentimental bank with an appropriate object lesson is chosen to occupy the 34th position in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. The bank, Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog, is a well conceived idea with good action directly relating to the subject matter.
     W.H. Lotz of Chicago, Illinois, was granted a patent on the bank February 19, 1878 under No. 200,402. The J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut manufactured the bank and they made a number of changes in the actual bank as compared to the patent pictures. The basic idea and mechanism was adhered to, however. It’s very probable that Mr. Lotz had planned that the bank be made of tin judging from the patent papers and pictures. The Stevens Company undoubtedly made necessary changes in the design to better use cast iron in the manufacture. This was not an uncommon practice as various of the mechanical banks when manufactured were changed from their original patent. Manufacturing techniques, improved design, and better operation often were contributing factors in making changes from the original patent. However, it’s interesting to note the large number of banks that adhered to their original patents when manufactured.
     The bank shown was recently obtained by the writer through the good help of Mrs. Mary Gerken of Allison Park, Pa. who has a fine collection of mechanical banks. It is in good condition and entirely original with the exception of the dog. This part was obtained from Mr. A. W. Pendergast who went to some trouble to see that the repair was done properly. The original dog had been broken from the top of the lever. The lever with its original paint was submerged in water and the dog was fastened to it by means of melting cast iron between the two parts. In this way the original paint on the lever was left intact.
     The paint on the bank is very good and the colors are as follows: The brick part is red with white striping between the bricks. The base, the small peaked roof and the curved rail are blue. The dog is black with white spots and the man is dressed in brown trousers and a blue coat. He has a red bandage over his eyes. The background space for the lettering is a very light blue and the lettering itself is painted the same blue as the base.
     It might be well at this point to stress the fact that not all specimens of any particular bank were necessarily painted the same. In some cases certain banks were painted exactly the same throughout the time of their manufacture and therefore all examples found are alike. However, there are some of the banks on which the manufacturers occasionally changed the color scheme. An example of this is Professor Pug Frog with red lettering on white drapery, and then white lettering on red drapery. The coloring on the individual banks is important and in some cases a helpful clue to the authenticity of the particular bank. Patronize The Blind Man is a bank that has been found in two different color combinations, but in both cases the brickwork has been red and white striping between.
     The operation of Patronize The Blind Man is quite clever. First a coin is placed in the hands of the blind man as shown, then a lever in the back is pressed toward the small peaked roof building. This lever is fastened to the dog and causes him to move forward. As he reaches the coin he clamps it in his mouth, taking it from the blind man. The dog continues forward, drops the coin into the bank, and automatically returns to his original position. The dog’s mouth is opened and closed by the movement of his tail as he travels over the curved track. The track has indentations that move the tail up and down at the proper time. Coins are removed by means of a small round trap in the base of the building. On the back of the building is inscribed the patent date, February 1878.
     The number of Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog banks in various private collections is fairly limited. It is far from being an easy bank to find as any collector who doesn’t have one knows.

Coasting Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1955

     Year by year in the past decade mechanical banks have continued to more firmly establish themselves as a collector’s item. As with Currier & Ives prints, stamps, guns, and other collectible items, it is always of great interest when a heretofore unknown specimen turns up or evidence is found of an unknown specimen.
     As an interesting sideline to collecting mechanical banks the old catalogs that picture them are of great interest. Particularly so if one turns up picturing an unknown bank that to the best of the writer’s knowledge has never been found.
     William J. Stackhouse of Ellenville, N.Y., recently found the Ehrick’s Fashion Quarterly, Volume X, No. 4, Winter 1884. This was issued by Ehrick Bros., 8th Ave. & 24th St., New York City. Pictured is page No. 426 of this catalog showing a number of mechanical banks, among them the Coasting Bank. This bank is not known to be in any collection and the catalog offers us our first information about it.
     Details of the bank and descriptive information is shown in the blown-up picture of the bank itself. It is somewhat similar to the Shoot The Chute Bank in its action. A check of patent papers did not reveal that the bank was patented which, of course, was true of a number of the mechanical banks.
     The catalog was found in a second hand shop in Norwich, N.Y. Mr. Stackhouse happened on the scene at the right time as the place was going out of business and the catalog was about to be discarded along with some old magazines.
     It is interesting to note that the rare Germania Exchange Bank is pictured as well as the rare Bismark Pig. This, of course, adds to both these banks as it definitely shows they were sold commercially as toy savings devices.
     To sum up, we can safely assume that a Coasting bank was actually on the market and for sale to the public. It is very unlikely that Ehrick’s would picture and advertise for sale a bank of this kind if they did not actually have it on hand or available.

Chinaman in Boat With Rat on Tray
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1955

     An item of great intrigue and interesting conjecture is picked to occupy 36th position in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This is the Chinaman In Boat With Rat On Tray and the question as to its actually being a mechanical bank made as a children’s saving device.
     First let us clarify several things. Assuming it to be a recognized mechanical bank the Chinaman In Boat should be higher up in our numerical classification. That is to say it should not be down in the 36th position. It is a very rare interesting desirable item regardless of what it actually is and as a mechanical bank it is even more so. Then too since there have been only about four of the Chinaman In Boat banks turn up so far this has been the first opportunity for the writer to completely study and examine one thoroughly. Since the writer is now convinced in his opinion that it is a mechanical bank he will refer to it as such.

After considerable study and checking it is the writer’s opinion that the Chinaman In Boat was made by Chas. A. Bailey of Cobalt Connecticut. There are various definite earmarks and characteristics of his work, including the wording, the fine detail, the odd theme, the moon-face on the prow, and the cat, and it is made of the same lead-like material as his Springing Cat Bank and the Baby Elephant Bank Opens at X O’Clock.
      The bank pictured was obtained by the writer through the good help of Mrs. Agnes Koehn of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She found it in Minneapolis, Minn., in August of 1954. The lady who had the bank had found it in the home of her parents who lived near the Canadian Border. Her parents had passed away and in closing up the old home she came across the bank, and thinking it an interesting piece she decided to keep it and brought it back to Minneapolis with her.
     The bank shown is in very fine condition particularly under the circumstances of the material of which it is made and the general fragile setup of the piece. It is painted attractively as follows: The Chinaman has a red jacket, yellow trousers, and he is holding a gold fan in his right hand. His queue and hair are black, his mouth red, and his face is painted a yellowish color. The bottom part of the boat is silver and the top section is a purple or raspberry color. The cat is black and the moon-face is yellow, red and silver, and the other side of the tray is gold with a silver rat on a silver platter. The inside edges of the boat are painted blue and the deck is gold, silver and yellow.
     There are no identifying dates or marks on the bank as is also the case with the Springing Cat. To the best of the writer’s knowledge there are no patent papers covering the bank.
      The wording on the bank is very interesting and a complete description is in order. On the opposite side of the cat perched on the prow is the wording ‘I Am Seasick Oh Morrow,’ on the flat top deck in back of the Chinaman are the words ‘Hotel Yacht, Free Excursion, Music By The Band Forward When It Is Not Seasick.’ Underneath the coin is a red half circle with ‘Cash’ inscribed on it. Along with this on the movable lid is the wording ‘Cheap Labor, Hotel Dinner One Cent In Advance.’ On the other side of the lid the printing reads ‘Dinner Is Ready.’
     In operating the bank the coin is placed as shown, then the Chinaman’s queue is pressed and he raises his left forearm and flips the lid-like cover over. This causes the coin to be deposited in the hull of the boat and the lid flips on over showing a rat on the platter, a knife and fork are beside the platter. Releasing the queue causes the weight of the Chinaman’s forearm to flip the cover over to its original position and the bank is again ready for operation.
     The Chinaman In Boat has been accepted by some collectors as being a mechanical bank and others have thought differently. It has been said that it was a special novelty item for a dinner in St. Louis or New Orleans. If this were true it is logical to assume that it would have been made in a limited number and all would have been painted alike. This is not the case, however, as the Chinaman in Mr. Leon Cameto’s collection is painted differently than the writer’s. The boat has a green bottom and the top part is painted red and there are other differences in the paint. Unquestionably the paint is original on both the writer’s and Mr. Cameto’s bank.
     It has also been said that the Chinaman In Boat being an anti-Chinese item could never have been intended as a child’s toy much less a bank. Well the same could be said about the Germania Exchange with the goat holding a mug of beer. It could also be said about the Breadwinner’s Bank which is obviously a labor-capitalist item, and who would ever think of the Baby Elephant Bank Opens At X O’Clock being made for a child as a toy bank with its theme of an elephant throwing a baby into an alligator’s mouth. Of course it’s to be admitted that these three banks have the name Bank imprinted on them, however, many of the banks designed by Bailey had no name on them at all. As example, the Shoot The Chute, Springing Cat, and a number of others.
     Along the same line of reasoning are two toy animated cap pistols, "The Chinese Must Go" and "Shoot The Hat." These were made in the same period as the Chinaman In Boat with the same anti-Chinese theme and they are most certainly toy cap pistols made for children to use.
     Another point in proof of the Chinaman being a bank is the fact that in Mr. Cameto’s bank there is a tin slotted piece under the revolving tray that prevents the coins from being removed by shaking the bank when held upside down. There would certainly be no point in having this part inside if it were not intended to be a savings bank. Mr. Cameto has kindly furnished the writer with this part for his bank. There was evidence of this part having been in the writer’s bank originally.
     It might be well to explain the background of the anti-Chinese theme that was used in several of the mechanical banks and toy pistols. The mechanical banks are the Reclining Chinaman where he holds the winning card hand, all aces, and the rat is crawling from the end of the log. Then, of course, the Chinaman In Boat With Rat On Tray. The toy pistols are the Chinese Must Go, Shoot The Hat, and a single-faced and a double-faced Chinese Head cap exploder. All these toys were made for a definite reason in the period of 1879 to 1882. The background starts around 1871 when there was unrestricted Chinese labor immigration into our country. They worked for very low wages and many people felt they were destroying our labor standards and taking jobs away from our own laboring group already in our country. In 1887 there were serious outrages against the Chinese workers instigated by Dennis Kearney, the burden of whose song was ‘The Chinese Must Go.’ This relates back to the Burlingame Treaty which granted the Chinese residence in America and was agreed on in 1868. In 1877 the Senate investigated the Treaty but made no changes and this set off the agitation led by Kearney and others. It wasn’t until 1882 that Chinese laborers were denied admission to our country for a 10-year period. Then in 1892 the Geary Law extended these restrictions for another 10 years. So, to repeat, there is no question but that the Chinaman In Boat was made in the period of 1879 to 1882 when the anti-Chinese feeling was at its peak.
     To sum up, the Chinaman In Boat With Rat On Tray is a very desirable rare item and the reader can form his own opinion as to its being a bank or not. In the writer’s opinion it is unquestionably an authentic toy mechanical bank made by Bailey in the period of 1879 to 1882 and that it was for sale the same as the Springing Cat Bank and the Baby Elephant Bank Opens At X O’Clock. Further definite proof of this may turn up in the future but this is possibly remote since Bailey made a number of his earlier banks in his own workshop in Cobalt, Connecticut, before he went with the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. There is very little information that exists on these earlier banks other than those that he was able to patent.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1955

     For sometime the writer has wanted personally to express his appreciation for the many nice letters received in the past few years with their complimentary remarks in reference to the articles on mechanical banks. Sincere effort has been made to answer all letters personally but, of course, there is always the possibility of a slip-up. Also effort has been made to have all information and opinions as accurate as possible on the mechanical banks and so far with one or two exceptions this apparently has been the case.
     One unintentional error was observed by our alert collector friend Leon Cameto. This was omitting the Trick Pony Bank from our complete list of the mechanical banks. The listing will be published again in the near future with a few corrections, including the Trick Pony. The Chinaman In Boat With Rat On Tray should be among the authentic American-made banks and possible evidence has come to light that the Cross-Legged Minstrel is a German-made item and, therefore, should be among the foreign-made banks.
     Another item, picked up by collector friend C.R. Howell, had to do with a recent article on recast banks wherein the writer stated that recast parts, using an original bank as a pattern, did not fit together too well as they were larger. Mr. Howell points out that cast iron shrinks and, therefore, parts would be too small, not too large. Technically this is true. However, the writer, in the article, was referring to parts as they are generally turned out today by those who are recasting banks. These parts are larger than the originals since a good deal of filing or grinding is necessary to make them fit even poorly. This is due to a number of reasons. Carelessness in casting for one, a difference in the cast iron for another, and also the sand used in the molds varies. These things more than account for the minute shrinkage of the cast iron and the parts wind up actually larger. It might be well to point out that when casting a small part it is necessary to rap or tap this part to remove it from the mold. This rapping makes the mold imprint of the casting larger. On a piece 1" square it can be 1/32" larger, so the part made from this mold is actually larger even though it shrinks minutely. Shrinkage of cast iron is about 1/10" to the foot.
     In line with recast banks and mechanical banks in general the writer has had some interesting correspondence recently with Henry W. Miller who has years of background in the mechanical bank field from collecting and dealing in them. As a matter of fact, Mr. Miller purchased his first bank in 1935 in Williamsport, Pa. It was a Teddy And The Bear. He then purchased several others, the Bad Accident, Stump Speaker, and so on until he had around 25 in his collection. At this point it was decided that they took up too much room at the time so Mr. Miller placed an ad in HOBBIES and the response was such that he decided it was an opportunity for a spare time business. After retirement from his position with the Department of Agriculture he made mechanical banks a full-time hobby business and still carries on with more enthusiasm than ever.
     One occasion in his experience is quite interesting in connection with the Presto Bank where the mouse appears on the roof. When he received the bank in a cardboard carton a live mouse actually jumped from the package itself.
     Mr. Miller brings up several questions such as why do people recast, have any of those so doing announced it as a hobby, and do they do it openly. Then he answers these by saying "No, they do not" and feels that the reason they do it is a devious hopeful way of obtaining material gain. He also poses the question as to what a collectible specimen of a mechanical bank should be. Is it one that was sold to the trade commercially as a child’s toy? His answer to that is yes, and in cases other than being sold as a commercial child’s toy the bank should be considered on the merit of historical value or other relevant historical information. He further states that some collectors will buy anything with a "hole" in it and call it a bank, but that it certainly doesn’t have any significance in the evolution of toy banks. Of course there is no harm in this if a collector just wants to add banks to his collection regardless of background. Recasts, in Mr. Miller’s opinion, have no place in a collection, no value, and certainly no historical merit. He feels that recasts simply spoil the beauty and value of a collection of genuine old toy mechanical banks.
     Mr. Miller has also posed the question if it would be wise or meritorious to organize a collectors and or dealers association and each individual pledge not to buy, trade, make or sell a recast mechanical bank. Perhaps, in his opinion, such an association supported by membership dues could pick up recast banks and destroy them and perhaps point a strong finger in the direction of those who are recasting the toy banks.
     Mr. Miller’s opinions have been passed along to the reader by the writer as he feels they are of definite interest.
     A word of caution is in order with regard to various booklets appearing on the market for pricing, buying and evaluating mechanical banks. It is very difficult to actually set up a percentage evaluation that covers all the banks as to paint, missing parts, and the like. The percentage differential between a common bank and a rare bank are entirely different. A repainted bank can, percentage-wise, be much less valuable than one with broken or missing parts.
     Also some false statements are being made. As example, the remark that most of the early collectors got their banks from people who did not know their value. This is completely untrue. The early collectors are the very basis and foundation of the market that exists today for mechanical banks. Further we can’t go back 20 years or more ago and assume that banks were worth then what they are now. The antique dealers sold banks to early collectors and received the going prices at the time.
     In any event, the intent of the writer’s comment on the various booklets on mechanical banks is to be construed in a constructive, not destructive way. Any good reliable information based on knowledge of the subject is constructive. However, misinformation can be more destructive than no information at all. The writer is very much in favor of booklets, articles, and the like on mechanical banks that are accurately and generally helpful to the collector and dealer.

American Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1955

     Mechanical banks which are objects such as a Camera, Locomotive, Pistol, or Sewing Machine form a very limited number of banks. As we reach No. 37 in our numerical classification we come to one of these banks, namely the American Bank or Sewing Machine.
     The bank shown is from a privately owned collection in Maryland and was obtained from an antique dealer in that State. It is in fine original condition with no repairs and good paint. There are no patent dates, numbers, or any type of marks on the bank. Also, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, there are no patent papers or old catalogs that refer to the bank. So any clues to its designer or manufacturer are up to now not known. As a matter of fact it is very possible that the bank was not sold commercially as a toy savings device.
     The writer in an effort to trace it through contacted Mr. Thomas H. Palmer, Director of Division of Corporate Organization and Registration, Department of Corporations and Taxation, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This was to find out about the American Sewing Machine Company with the possibility they put the bank on the market themselves. Not much could be learned, however. The Corporation, American Sewing Machine Company, was chartered April 18, 1854 under Chapter 330 of the Acts of 1854 and it was dissolved March 31, 1931 by Chapter 299 of the Acts of 1931. No other statistics were available due to the fact that the Corporation has been out of existence so long.
     The setup of the bank, the design or the way it is made also offer no direct identity to any particular designer or manufacturer. So until such time as more information turns up it is the writer’s opinion that the bank has a direct connection with the American Sewing Machine Company itself and was very probably made as an advertising item.
     The bank shown has an overall color of black except for the decorations. The raised lettered name "American" is painted in gold. The two fancy decorations are in red and green and the striping is done in gold.
     The operation consists of turning the crank and in so doing the pulley revolves moving the needle up and down. Coins are dropped into the slot as shown but have no connection with the mechanism. This, of course, brings up the point that technically the bank is a semi-mechanical based on the generally accepted theory of what actually constitutes a mechanical bank. However, long standing tradition and the fact that it is a very interesting item as a bank has kept it in the mechanical group. The writer is not prone to change this. After all, the Camera Bank, for example, has no connection between the coin and the mechanism, and the Safety Locomotive is another borderline between mechanical and semi-mechanical. So, along with these two banks, the individual can form his own opinion as to the American Bank being mechanical or semi-mechanical.
     To sum up, the American Bank is a scarce, rather difficult item to find and its unknown background and possible connection to the American Sewing Machine Company add to the desirability to have one in a collection.

Preacher in the Pulpit Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1955

     The Preacher In The Pulpit Bank, No. 38 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks is another example of the group whose mechanical operation is caused to occur by the weight of a coin. This is always a very interesting group of mechanical banks since a coin is such a necessary part of the action and essential to the operation. The Preacher In The Pulpit, as well as the Bank Teller Bank, are the outstanding mechanical banks in this interesting group, and, in addition, both are very rare.
     There are no patent dates or markings of any kind on the Preacher In The Pulpit, however, it was covered by the same patent papers as those covering the Bank Teller Bank. The action and type of operation is identical in both these banks. It seems to have been generally assumed that the figure of the man on each bank was the same, however, this is not the case as can be seen by comparing the pictured bank with that of the Bank Teller as shown in the classification article covering this bank. The patent papers were issued August 1, 1876 to Mr. A.C. Gould of Brookline, Mass. Until such time that evidence to the contrary might possibly turn up we can attribute the manufacture of the Preacher In The Pulpit to the J. and E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn. To date, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, there have been no old catalogs or other type of material that picture or refer to the bank to identify it positively with a particular manufacturer.
     A note of special interest is the fact that the patent papers as issued to Mr. Gould cover a bank in which the figure of a man would tip his hat in addition to the other action. Apparently this had been given serious consideration when the Preacher In The Pulpit Bank was actually made since the right hand which is raised to the head is a separate casting held in place by a pin inserted through the two-part casting of the arm. It is the writer’s belief that the hat-tipping part of the action was discarded since it would place a strain on the rest of the mechanism whereby the weight of a coin would not be sufficient to cause the bank to operate properly. Also of interest is the point that the bank apparently has been called the Preacher In The Pulpit largely due to the position of the right arm and hand. Actually this has nothing to do with the figure representing a Preacher. The upraised arm had only to do with the man in the act of tipping his hat. In pointing this out it is not the writer’s intent to change the name of the bank. After all, collectors have given the bank its present name and it is descriptive and appropriate under the circumstances.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty. It formerly was in the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. It is in fine condition and the paint is unusually good for such an early fragile bank. The flat unusual shaped base is painted black and the desk-like coin container is red with black outlining. The top of the container is black outlined with gold. The figure of the man has a black coat, gray trousers, and the tray in his left hand is gold. His shirt is white with a blue tie and gold buttons. The face and hand coloring are natural and he has black hair and moustache.
     The operation of the bank, like the Bank Teller, is not particularly spectacular. The coin is placed on the tray and the weight causes the left arm to lower. At the proper point the coin slides from the tray into the receptacle shown in the picture. As the arm lowers the man tilts his head forward. When the coin is deposited the arm and head automatically return to their normal position as in the picture. The spring mechanism inside the figure of the man is rather delicate and it must be in perfect working order to operate properly.
     All in all the Preacher In The Pulpit is an interesting fine rare bank and like some of the others offers a real challenge to the collector in trying to find one. To the best of the writer’s knowledge the specimen pictured is the only known one to have turned up so far. A main contributing reason for its rarity is the fact that it is a very fragile easily broken bank. Also it is an early item and it’s possible that there were not many manufactured.

Panorama Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1955

     In the recent classification article on the Uncle Remus Bank it was noted that it partially approached a group of mechanical banks so far not covered in any of the articles. This group is the house-building group and as we classify the Panorama Bank as No. 39 in our numerical classification we have the true form of a house bank.
     The house-building group of the mechanical banks include, along with the Panorama, such examples as the Magic Bank, Home Bank, Novelty Bank, New Bank, U.S. Bank, Cupola Bank, Halls Excelsior, Wireless, and a few others. While the U.S. Bank and Cupola Bank are somewhat rarer than the Panorama, it is generally conceded that the Panorama is the most desirable and interesting bank in the house-building group.
     The name Panorama as applied to the bank is, strictly speaking, somewhat of a misnomer. A panorama is, of course, a view or picture unrolled before ones eyes, hence a complete view in every direction. The bank gives us a series of different pictures on a cylinder form and probably this was the basis of naming the bank Panorama. As a matter of fact the patent papers indicate a connection between the name and the fact that the pictures move into place, each replacing the one previously seen.
     The bank was patented by J.D. Butler of Lancaster, Mass., assignor to G. Selchow of New York City and John H. Richter of Brooklyn, N.Y., March 7, 1876. It was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The bank as manufactured varies somewhat from the original patent and sketch, however, the basic mechanism and operating principle are the same. In the papers a prism, a square, and a hexagon are used in connection with the pictures being displayed individually. A different picture, of course, to be on each flat surface. However, as actually manufactured, a cylinder was used and the pictures are on a curved surface.
     The bank pictured was obtained some years ago in New England and is in fine original condition with excellent paint and no repairs. The roof is painted red and all windows are outlined in red. Front, back and sides of the house are painted a light blue-green, and the round chimneys are the same color. Other sections, such as the doorway, are outlined in dark brown. The pictures which appear behind the glass covered section are scenes in various colors. These groups of pictures vary and the same ones were not used with all Panorama Banks made.
     The bank operates by inserting a coin in a slot located in the center of the back slope of the roof. Pushing the coin into the slot engages a lever that causes the cylinder to revolve and thus show each picture in sequence. Of course a coin must be used each time to bring a different picture into position. There are six pictures on the cylinder and these show children in various forms of play such as boating, fishing, and the like. Coins are removed by means of a screw-held sliding coin trap located in the bottom base.
     The house-building type of mechanical bank offers an attractive group and the Panorama is an outstanding example. It is not an easy bank to find and its connection with an early moving series type of picture is of great interest.

Called Out Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1955

     A limited group of the mechanical banks made toward the end of the popularity of mechanical banks comprises quite a rare and desirable selection. The Called Out Bank, No. 40 in our numerical classification, is a typical although unusual example of this group. The banks in this group of late manufacture are rare in a number of cases due to the fact they were not made over a period of years such as is the case with many of the banks.
     The Called Out Bank is a unique item in a number of ways. For one thing it has never been definitely established that it ever reached the stage of being sold commercially. Then, too, it has usually been accepted as a Spanish-American War item while it actually is more likely a World War I memento. It is interesting to note that during the early years of mechanical bank collecting there was a tendency to place some of the mechanical banks in a period of time considerably earlier than their actual manufacture. This, of course, was to give an impression of greater age which actually had nothing to do with the situation. Some of the banks that were first made in the 1906-1915 period are among the most desirable and rarest. Included in these late banks is one of the most desirable and rarest of all the cast iron mechanical banks, the Clown, Harlequin and Columbine.
     The Called Out Bank is a J. and E. Stevens Company product and was designed by Charles A. Bailey. Even though catalog insert sheets exist that picture and describe the bank for sale by J. and E. Stevens it is the writer’s opinion that the bank was never actually put on the market for sale to the public. As a matter of fact, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, no specimen of the bank has ever been found with any type of finish or paint. For some time there existed some doubt about any specimens of this bank other than the several pattern examples in bronze. These, of course, are authentic master patterns of the bank and are complete and in operating condition. They are in privately owned collections. Any cast iron examples of this bank just weren’t particularly available for inspection. However, recently the Chrysler collection came on the market after seventeen years in storage and also the Corby collection was made available. There was one authentic cast iron example in the Chrysler collection and two authentic examples in cast iron in the Corby collection. There is no question but that these three examples are original factory-made banks. There is no paint or finish on them and these specimens were undoubtedly never on the market.
     The bank pictured was obtained by the writer from the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby’s collection. It is in excellent condition but, of course, to repeat, there is no type of finish or paint on the bank. The operation of the bank is similar to another Bailey-designed item, the North Pole Bank. In operating the Called Out Bank the figure of the soldier coming out of the top of the tent is depressed by pushing down on the figure itself. This automatically locks in place inside the bank. Then a coin is pushed in a slot located in the left side of the bank as shown in the picture. The figure of the soldier automatically pops out of the tent as shown. This, of course, represents a soldier "called out" for action.
     Needless to say, the Called Out Bank is a hard item to add to a collection. There apparently is a very limited number in existence and none have turned up for some years other than those made available from private collections.

Turtle Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1955

     A mechanical bank with an exceptionally recent manufacturing period is the rather exceptional choice to occupy No. 41 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks. The bank is the Turtle Bank and it was made in apparently limited quantities sometime during the period of 1926-1934.
     The bank was designed and modeled by M. Elizabeth Cook, an artist and sculptress, and it was manufactured by the Kilgore Manufacturing Company of Westerville, Ohio. The Kilgore Com-pany's main line was the manufacture of toy cap pistols. However, during 1926 they introduced a series of four mechanical banks, an Owl, a Frog, a Rabbit, and a Turtle, all designed by M. Eliza-beth Cook. The first three were apparently made in large quantities and had wide distribution. But the Turtle, for some reason, obviously had limited production and distribution as while the first three are rather common, the Turtle is quite rare.
     The four banks each had their own individual name and were called as a group 'The Thrifty Four.' The names of the individual banks were descriptive of the action in each case. Jug-O-Rum, the Frog, opens his mouth as though croaking his name. Blinky, the Owl, blinks his eyes. Flop-Ears, the Rabbit, flops his ears up and down, and Pokey, the Turtle, pokes his head out. Each bank was packed in a cardboard box and on each box was a poem that linked the banks together as a series. As example, the following poem is from the box containing Flop-Ears, the Rabbit:
     "Flop-Ears, the Rabbit, hops around,
    Lifting his ears for every sound,
    He sees Blinkey, the Owl, high in an Oak,
    And hears the Frog, Jug-O-Rum croak,
    And wonders if Pokey, the Turtle, so slow,
    Can catch up with him, if he hops real slow.
    Flop-Ears, the thoughtful Rabbit
    Says, 'Get The Saving Habit' ".
    
The bank shown is from the fine collection of Mr. Morton Bodfish and the writer expresses ap-preciation to both Mr. Bodfish and Mr. Ralph J. Lueders for the picture of the Turtle bank. The bank was obtained by Mr. Bodfish through the purchase of the Lederer collection. It is believed to have originally been part of the late James C. Jones' collection. It is in fine mint condition with original paint and no repairs. The bank is painted as follows: The rock-like base is green and the under edge of the shell is orange, the shell itself is black, and the head, neck, and legs are also black. The outline of the mouth is yellow and the eyes are white. The body section on each side of the head is blue and the underside of the head is yellow.
     The operation of the bank is quite simple but desirable since a coin is necessary to cause the action. As can be seen in the picture the coin slot is in the top of the shell. When a coin is pressed into this slot the neck and head of the turtle protrude about a half inch. As the coin drops into the bank the head and neck return to their original position as shown. There is a key-locking coin trap in the base of the bank for removal of coins. The size of the bank is of interest since it is quite small being only 3½ inches long and 3 inches high.
     The number of Turtle Banks that have been found so far is very limited and the number known to be in private collections is less than the fingers on one hand. Actually it's a very desirable little mechanical bank although it means more to the advanced collector than the beginner. This, of course, due to the fact that it's not particularly imposing as to appearance or spectacular as to action. It's a hard bank to find and none have turned up in recent years. This in spite of the fact that it has such a late date of manufacture.

Camera Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1955

     The Camera Bank, No. 42, in our numerical classification of mechanical banks, is an intriguing item with a definite greater appeal to the advanced collector and, like the American Bank, represents a specific object. Also, like the American Bank, it is a border-line case between semi-mechanical and mechanical since in the strictest sense it is a semi-mechanical bank.
     To the best of the writer’s knowledge the designer of the Camera Bank is not known and apparently it was never patented since no patent papers have been found that would cover the bank. The manufacturer is known, however, as the bank was made by the Wrightsville Hardware Company of Mount Joy, Pa. There is a bit of folklore surrounding the Camera Bank that has to do with the Eastman Company and their direct effect on the Camera Bank being taken off the market due to the use of the word "Camera." The same type story is told of a Stevens’ still bank that was called the Kodak Bank. How much truth exists in either case has, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, never been proven. In any event, it’s a harmless story, true or not, and has to do with George Eastman manufacturing and using the word "Camera" and then later on adopting the name "Kodak" for his product. The alleged stoppage of the manufacture of the Camera Bank by Eastman is suggested as one reason for its rarity today.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer through the good help of David Hollander, Riverdale, New York City. It is from the famous Walter Chrysler collection which had been in storage for seventeen years. Mr. Hollander, who is handling the disposal of the complete collection, has been involved in this in recent months and, of course, some very desirable mechanical banks have thus come on the market. The Camera Bank is one of the rare, desirable, items from the Chrysler collection and it is in excellent original condition. The camera itself is a bronze gold type of paint and the tri-legged base is painted black. The bellows section of the camera is a pale greenish color. The picture is a vari-colored item of a small boy holding a mask in his hand. The word "Camera" appears on the rear section of the bank just in front of the picture and the word "Bank" is on the front section. Both words are cast in simple raised letters.
     As to the action of the bank, it is extremely simple. By depressing and releasing the lever, located in the left rear corner of the camera, the picture is caused to pop up and then down. The picture is in a small cast iron frame that moves up and down, however, the frame cannot be pulled out of the bank itself. The coin slot is located across the rear part of the bank between the picture and the word "Camera." Coins can be dropped into this slot at will and have no connection whatever with the action. In this respect it is exactly like the American Bank, and in the strictest definition is a semi-mechanical bank. But again, as in the case of the American Bank, the writer is not prone to try to change this as tradition has for some time established the Camera Bank as a mechanical bank. It’s quite a desirable little item and the action, while not spectacular, is very appropriate and offers an all-around attractive bank.
     Since the Camera Bank is of rather small size its dimensions are of interest. It is four inches high overall and the camera itself is four inches long and two inches wide. Coins are removed by unscrewing the tripod base from the camera itself. In so doing the camera section comes apart since the screw part of the tripod base holds the bank together.
     On numbers of occasions and in various accounts the Camera Bank and the American Bank have been represented as having the mechanical action coordinated with the insertion of the coin. Of course this is not true and apparently the motive has been to make them more desirable and more truly mechanical banks. This is completely unnecessary as each is well established on its own just the way they originally and actually were made.
     The Camera bank is a very desirable addition to any collection but, to repeat, it is probably more greatly appreciated by the advanced collector. It is a very hard item to find and none have turned up in recent years other than those sold from private collections.

Billy Goat Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1956

     As we reach No. 43 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks we come to another bank that has more appeal to the advanced collector. This bank is the Billy Goat Bank, a rare and desirable item, but not particularly impressive as to appearance and action.
     The prolific bank designer, Chas. A Bailey, patented the Billy Goat Bank July 26, 1910, and it was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. It’s of interest to note that Bailey also patented the North Pole Bank on the exact same date as the Billy Goat. As a matter of fact the magazine "Playthings" for May, 1910, announced both the North Pole and Billy Goat Bank as newcomers on the market. The North Pole to sell at 50c over the retail counter and the Billy Goat to sell at 25c. Neither one of these banks apparently attained any degree of popularity even though it’s apparent the Billy Goat was put out as a hopeful large seller at the price. And the North Pole to capitalize on the current historical event. Even toy drums with North Pole scenes were hopefully put on the market at the time. In any event, neither one of the banks were made in any great quantity or over any long period of time. It is always well to keep in mind that the length of time a bank was made is a great factor in its being rare or common today, Tammany, and Halls Excelsior, for example, were made year in and year out over a period of many years. Therefore, great quantities of these banks were manufactured and that is the reason they are two of the most common mechanical banks found. Of course popularity and salability of any mechanical bank was the governing factor as to the length of time it was made and the quantity that were manufactured.
     Back to Chas. Bailey for a moment, it is well to recognize the large field of his mechanical bank designing. As a matter of fact if a collector only had mechanical banks either made or designed by Bailey he would have an outstanding collection. Bailey’s banks are among the most desirable from all angles, including action, appearance, and clever mechanism. He covered a very broad field with his toy banks even including history and politics in their makeup. Any mechanical bank showing the Bailey touch has an extra measure of desirability and value.
     The bank pictured is in fine original condition and was obtained by the writer some years ago in a Boston antique shop. It is painted in a very simple way, the entire base being a silver or aluminum type paint over a light tan undercoating. The small flower in the center is red. The goat is black with a white eye and white marking. It’s interesting to note that the name "Billy Goat Bank" is inscribed along the bottom edge of the base and the word "Bank" has the letter ‘n’ in reverse. The entwined scroll work of leaves and flowers is typical of Bailey’s work.
     The action of the bank is quite simple. The coin is placed as shown in the picture. Then the wire lever, just under the goat’s rear legs, is pulled. This causes the goat to rise and butt forward toward the coin. The coin drops into the bank and on pushing the lever forward the goat returns to the position in the picture. This bank has the conventional type round Stevens’ coin trap in the base for removal of coins.
     To repeat, this bank is not particularly spectacular in its appearance or action, but it is a rare desirable item to have in a collection. Some of these simple action banks such as this one, the Turtle, and others command a lot of respect and rate well ahead of many much more attractive banks. It is a hard bank to add to a collection and a limited number exist in private collections today.

A Rare Find — The Kiltie Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1956

     A completely new find of a heretofore unknown mechanical bank is uncommon in the field of mechanical bank collecting, and amazing when one considers the length of time mechanical banks have been a collector’s item. To the best of the writer’s knowledge, there have been no discoveries of importance in the mechanical bank field in the past several years until this.
     The Kiltie Bank (No. 44 in our series) is an authentic mechanical bank. It is the bust type and adds an interesting specimen to this particular group. Made of cast iron, and a very well made piece, it is also finely modeled.
     It was made in England and is similar to Dinah and several of the other English bust type banks. On the back, between the shoulders, is inscribed "Kiltie Bank." Below this appears a registration number which the writer had authenticated by the Patent Office in England.
     The bank was obtained by the writer from Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Merritt who discovered it recently in Scotland while on an antiquing trip abroad. It was in the original container on which was a picture of the bank itself. This, of course, adds greatly to the prestige of the bank as the container with picture is further proof of authenticity.
     Mrs. Merritt, through diligent searching, learned of the existence of some items from an old toy shop. The shop had been closed for some years prior to the beginning of World War II, and some of the stock was stored in the home of a relative of the former toy shop owner. Here Mrs. Merritt was fortunate enough to locate it.
     The bank shown is in mint condition and colorfully painted. The hat is black with two red stripes. The face is flesh color, with tinted cheeks, black moustache, blue eyes, and a bright red mouth. The jacket is all over red with buttons, buckles, and the like outlined in white. The wool scarf over the left shoulder is a green and red striped plaid. The name inscribed on the back is painted gold.
     To operate the bank, a coin is placed in the extended right hand, and then a lever in the rear left shoulder is pressed. The right arm raises, and the coin slides from the hand into a slot in the left shoulder. At the same time, the eyes raise, and then lower when the lever is released. The arm returns to the position shown.
     An English penny is necessary for the proper operation of the bank. Our pennies, nickels, or dimes do not work. They simply fall from the hand and do not enter the coin slot. Also it’s interesting to note that the coin does not enter the mouth, as is the case in all other mechanical banks that are this same type bust with the extended hand.
     This Kiltie is not only an attractive bank but is also an appropriate subject in being the bust of a Scotchman since the Scotch are known for their saving habits and jokes and stories surround their holding onto their money. This Scotchman, going a step further, holds onto another person’s money.

Bismark Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1956

     A mechanical bank that is very much under-rated is our choice to occupy the 44th position in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. The bank is the Bismark Bank, and along with being a rare interesting item it has a rather fascinating background and origination.
     The top mechanical bank designer, Charles A. Bailey, is responsible for the Bismark Bank, and, as is often the case with certain of the banks he designed, there is more to it than just being a child’s saving device. Offered as a toy savings bank and definitely sold commercially as such it nevertheless had political significance appropriate to the times.
     Bismark was born in 1815 and died in 1898. In 1866 he was made Chancellor of the German Empire and this began a long period of his trying to unify Germany as a world power. In so doing he did many things that reacted directly against the United States. For one thing Bismark impaired the Monroe Doctrine and went so far as to call it an ‘international impertinence.’ Bismark while posing to be friendly, actually did many things that reacted unfavorably to the United States, covering such things as religion, immigration, colonial expansion, and others. Relations between Germany and the United States after 1880 were affected by German commercial restrictions. For some years one of our main exported items to Germany were various meats. This consisted chiefly of pork and pork products, and in 1883 they prohibited the importing of United States pork into Germany. The possibility of trichinosis was used as an excuse to ban any more U.S. pork and pork products being imported into Germany. So, in any event, it’s obvious to see how Bailey associated Bismark with a pig and had Bismark himself popping out of the pig’s back. The bank was, of course, first made during the 1883-1884 period. This is definitely substantiated by the Ehrich’s Fashion Magazine, Winter 1884, which pictures the Bismark Bank for sale.
     The bank pictured was obtained through the good help of Mr. Edward Rost of St. Louis, Mo. It is in excellent condition and the paint exceptionally good. The pig itself is black and he has a red mouth. The nose, eyes, and hoofs are white, and the lettering of the name is gold. The face of Bismark is flesh color with black eyes and moustache. His jacket is red and the tray is gold.
     The bank operates as follows: The figure of Bismark is depressed forward and locks in place by means of a spring action in the tail. With the figure of Bismark thus inside the pig’s body a coin slot appears just above the tail in the pig’s back. This coin slot design is similar to the tail of the goat on the Germania Exchange Bank, also made by Bailey. A coin is put in the slot and then the tail is pressed. The figure of Bismark pops from the pig’s back as shown and the coin is deposited in the bank. It is not a well designed piece from the standpoint of being strictly a savings bank since the coins themselves when inside the bank actually interfere with the mechanism. This, of course, doesn’t detract but actually adds to the interest of the piece. Of further interest is the spring inside the pig that accentuates the Bismark’s bust. It is necessary for this spring to have three extra twists put into it when placed in the bank so it will operate properly. If this is not done the tray catches in the spring and interferes with the action.
     A number of Bismark Banks are around, but to the best of the writer’s knowledge there are only about four or five actual original specimens that exist in present collections today. It is a very difficult bank to find as an original specimen. Unfortunately a number of years ago a limited number of this bank were recast and sold as originals. They are very easy to recognize, however. The casting of the pig is exceptionally heavy and painted a light cream color. The figure of Bismark is quite crude and not like the fine work of the Bailey original. The tail of the pig operates differently, by lifting it instead of pressing it down. The loop of the tail is down instead of up as in the original. The spring mechanism is also differently arranged inside the recast specimen. To repeat, the recast of this bank is very easily recognized and it isn’t even like the original except in a rough general appearance. These recasts made some years ago in no way affect the fine rarity and value of an original specimen.

NEW MECHANICAL BANK BOOKLET
    
F.H. Griffith, who conducts the Mechanical Bank Department for HOBBIES Magazine, has prepared a new booklet on mechanical banks. The booklet comprises a numbered and alphabetically arranged listing of all authentic mechanical banks, and each is graded under a new type system which affords a greater degree of accuracy and permanency.
     The booklet is divided into seven parts which include the American made mechanical banks, foreign made mechanical banks, semi-mechanical banks, mechanical bank patterns, uncertain and recast mechanical banks, fake mechanical banks, and variations.
     It is necessary to charge a nominal price of $2 for the booklet to cover the cost of printing, publication, and other incidentals. To obtain the booklet write to Mr. F.H. Griffith, Harris Pump and Supply Company, Pittsburgh 3, Pa.
     The booklet will be helpful to both collector and dealer in evaluating their mechanical banks. R.P.

Clown on Bar Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1956

     The Clown On Bar, No. 45 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks, is another of the type that operates only by the weight of a coin. This, of course, is a very desirable feature and always an additional attraction to any of the banks that operate in this fashion.
     The Clown On Bar was manufactured by the C.G. Bush & Co. of Providence, R.I. To the best of the writer’s knowledge it was the only mechanical bank made by them. The Bush Company was quite well known along an entirely different line, and this was the manufacture of kaleidoscopes. They made some very fine examples of these covered in imitation leather with fine brass fittings and walnut stands. They used fine multicolored glass and also employed the use of small glass liquid-filled tubes. These tubes had different colored liquids in them and added greatly to the effect of their kaleidoscopes.
     The Clown On Bar Bank is quite similar to the French’s Automatic Bank, or as it is more commonly known, Boy on Trapeze. The similarity, of course, is the fact that both banks have a figure on a bar, and both revolve by the weight of a coin. The Boy On Trapeze, however, makes a certain number of revolutions according to the weight of the coin used. A penny causes the figure to turn once, a nickel twice, and so on. The accuracy of the balance of the Boy On Trapeze is controlled by a counter-balance weight which makes it much more sensitive in its operation. The Clown On Bar makes a number of revolutions regardless of the size or weight of the coin. However, it will operate by using a dime, while The Boy On Trapeze will not operate with a dime.
     The bank shown is from the very fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty whose interest, by the way, is shared by his wife, Gertrude. Mrs. Hegarty is quite instrumental in having the collection in top shape by her meticulous efforts in cleaning and working on the banks. The Clown On Bar was obtained by Mr. Hegarty through the help of A.W. Pendergast. It is in unusually fine original condition with excellent paint. The figure of the clown, which is made of tin, is painted an overall white, with red striping and decoration. The rest of the bank, including the two uprights as well as the base, is painted gold bronze, and these parts are made of cast iron. The wording, "C.G. Bush & Co., Prov., R.I." is cast in one side of the bank in simple impressed lettering.
     A coin is placed in the wire holder in the Clown’s hand to operate the bank. The weight of the coin causes the Clown to revolve forward on the bar and in so doing the coin falls from the wire holder into the depressed top of the base. There is a large coin slot in the depressed section and the coin goes through this into the base itself. The figure returns to its normal position as shown in the picture, ready for another coin.
     The bank is nicely made with diamond-shaped perforations surrounding the sides of the base. The figure is a well-made stamping in tin, and neatly decorated, showing some care in its manufacture. All-in-all the Clown On Bar is an exceptionally nice bank to have in a collection. It’s a difficult item to acquire since very few have turned up so far. There are four specimens known to exist in private collections today.

A Rare Mechanical Bank Advertising Item
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1956

     Mechanical banks were made, of course, as a child’s toy savings device. Being a toy, as such, they had a very short life span. Any paper material such as old catalogs, pamphlets, or circulars that advertised mechanical banks seem to have had a similar type short life span.
     It’s quite natural that old catalogs and circulars that have to do with mechanical banks would have a tremendous appeal to the bank collector, and particularly so as he becomes more advanced in his hobby. This type material not only establishes and adds prestige to certain specimens, it also furnishes a wealth of background and knowledge of our subject, mechanical banks.
     The item herewith pictured is invaluable in many ways so far as the collector of mechanical banks is concerned. For one thing it pictures and describes the rarest, most desirable mechanical bank of them all, the Freedman’s Bank. For another, it shows that in the period of its sale and manufacture the term ‘mechanical’ was applied as a descriptive terminology to the bank. All of us interested in banks have often thought that the word ‘animated,’ for example, might be more appropriate as applied to the action banks. However, if ‘mechanical’ was good enough back in 1880 it’s good enough today.
     Another point that makes this particular circular quite rare and desirable is that it was published by the manufacturer himself, Jerome B. Secor, and refers to Ives Blakeslee Company as being a selling agent for the bank. The descriptive part of the circular is of interest, of course, as well as the price the Freedman’s Bank was sold for at the time. $4.50 was a very high price for a toy to sell at in 1880, and particularly a toy savings bank.
     This fine rare circular has come to light among the effects of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby and is now in the writer’s collection through the courtesy of L.C. Hegarty. This circular was originally discovered by Lawrence B. Romaine of Middleboro, Mass., around the period of 1936. It was found among two barrels of paper material that originally came from Foxboro, Mass. It was through the efforts of Mr. Romaine in sorting this material that the circular was found and, of course, it has gained in importance over the ensuing years.

Baby Elephant Bank — Unlocks At X O’Clock
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1956

     As we reach No. 46 in our listing of the mechanical banks we again come to Charles Bailey and another of his unusual intriguing specimens, namely the Baby Elephant Bank, Unlocks At X O’Clock. This is not only an attractive little bank with unusual action, but also quite rare and hard to find.
     The bank was designed and manufactured by Charles Bailey in his shop in Cobalt, Connecticut. This was before he went with the Stevens Company and, of course, these earlier banks that he manufactured on his own are very desirable items. He patented the Baby Elephant Bank November 16, 1880 under No. 234,518. This bank, like in the Chinaman In Boat, is evidence of his meticulous fine pattern work and, like the Chinaman In Boat and Springing Cat, it is made of lead. It also has a wood base plate similar to the Springing Cat.
     Bailey must have spent endless hours on the fine detailed work on the four-sided base, top plate, and figures on this bank. On both front and back plate of the bank there is embossed the figure of an elephant holding a baby in his trunk. Right beneath the baby is the head and open mouth of an alligator or crocodile. The elephant is just ready to drop the baby into the open jaws of the ferocious crocodile. In balloon outline type wording, such as used in old cartoons, the baby is saying ‘Oh If I Had Only Put Some Money In The Bank.’ In back of the elephant is a large floral type plant. The two end base plates show an embossed urn containing foliage. The top of the base is also ornately etched. Along one side edge is the wording ‘Baby Elephant Bank.’ Along the opposite side edge is ‘Unlocks At X O’Clock.’ A clock face with Roman numerals is on one end of the top and the hour and minute hands are in one movable unit. A small elephant is attached to the top at the other end as can be seen in the picture. On one side of the elephant is the word ‘Baby’ and on the other side appears ‘Bout 1.’ The tongue and tail of the elephant is a single unit and moves back and forth a short distance through the body of the elephant. In the front legs of the elephant there is a flat outlined piece that fits into a corresponding outlined recess in the top plate. This piece is decorated on the top side, and along the bottom edge has the date November 16, 1880 in very small figures. On the underside of this piece there appears the flat figure of a baby. This baby pivots in the front legs of the elephant and is fastened by means of a brass nail. The hind legs of the elephant also pivot on the base and are fastened the same way. A point of interest is the use of steel wood screws in holding the bank together. Two wood screws that fasten parallel into the side plates hold the four-part base and top together. A single wood screw holds the wood base in place by screwing into the top plate. The elephant is also held together by a single small wood screw. This method of fastening the bank together by using wood screws was also employed by Bailey in making the Chinaman In Boat.
     The bank shown is in nice condition and was obtained by the writer through the good help of an antique dealer friend located in Mid-West. His wishes to remain anonymous in this case are recognized as he did not want to offend any of his other bank collector friends and customers. This type of thing has been happening in the bank collecting field more and more since certain banks have become harder and harder to find. This is also true of rarities in other fields of collecting, such as stamps, etc.
     The bank is painted as follows: The bottom wood baseplate has yellow edgings. The four sides of the base are a transparent blue, and the entire top is silver. The elephant is a dark gray with red blanket and tongue. The flat figure of the baby has some red clothing on it and the balance is the same transparent blue as the base with the exception of the face, which is silver color with red lips.
     To operate the bank the elephant is pushed forward and down onto the base. The back part of the flat baby figure hooks under a small brass nail in the base and neatly fits into the formed recess. The small extended piece at the top of the head fits under a niched circular plate that is fastened to the clock hands on the underside of the top base. The hands must be set at X O’Clock in performing the above operation and they are then moved to another position. When the hands are moved back to X O’Clock the elephant rears on its hind legs to the position shown in the picture. At the same time the baby is raised into position. The tail of the elephant comes in contact with the end plate and this moves the tongue forward. This may have been intended to push the baby forward but it usually falls forward anyway. With the elephant and figure in the position shown in the picture a coin slot is exposed that runs the length of the recessed section. Into this slot coins are dropped at will and after so doing the bank is reset for action.
     A word or two about the baby and wording "Bout 1’ is in order. This so-called baby is a rather grotesque figure to represent a baby and the same can be said for the figure held in the elephant’s trunk on each side plate. However, Bailey in the patent papers covering this bank actually calls the figure a baby. Bailey obviously made this figure grotesque for his own reasons. As to the wording ‘Bout 1’, this possibly refers to the baby saving money as being No. 1 in importance early in life. In not saving money, the baby is thrown to the crocodiles. However, the baby is saved by operating the bank to insert money, as the elephant pulls the baby back up. The ‘Bout,’ of course, being between the baby and the elephant. Bailey apparently felt the object lesson of his bank, with its dire threat, would encourage children to save their money.
     The Baby Elephant Bank is a fine hard item to add to a collection and only six or seven specimens are known to exist in some of the larger collections today. It may be of interest to note that the action in exposing the coin slot is somewhat similar to the New Bank, U.S. Bank, and Cupola Bank. The action of these four banks have in common the end result of exposing the coin slot for use.

Bamboula
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1956

     A unique discovery in a mechanical bank has recently taken place in the finding of a Bamboula Bank. This bank is unique in that it is the only authentic French made cast iron mechanical bank so far discovered.
     The circumstances of the writer obtaining the bank are more or less unusual as is so often the case when a collector is fortunate enough to add a good bank to his collection. To begin with, E.L. Ramsay of York, Pa., obtained the bank some time ago with a large shipment of various antiques imported from France. The bank was then sold (apparently as a Jolly Nigger) at one of Mr. Ramsay’s auctions to a Mr. Fulton, also of York. The writer, while attending a recent Eastern auction including some mechanical banks, was having an interesting time of it in conversation with other bank collectors and various dealers, including Frank Whitson of Baltimore, Md. At one point Mr. Whitson asked the writer if he had ever heard of the English-made Bamboozle Bank. That was a new one on the writer and immediate interest was expressed. To make a longer story short, Mr. Whitson obtained the bank for the writer and it turned out to be Bamboula, not Bamboozle, and French, not English.
     As can be seen in the picture the bank resembles and is quite similar to the American-made and English-made Jolly Niggers. There are a number of differences in the casting, however, and the base plate is very unusual with a unique type coin trap. The trap can be operated with a coin or screw driver. It consists of a semi-circular opening in the base with a semi-circular closing plate on the inside. This plate is held in place by a strong spring, also inside the bank. The plate is affixed to a large round slotted knob that is operated from the underside of the base. The knob when turned left or right moves the plate exposing the opening.
     The name Bamboula appears in raised letters on the back of the bank as can be seen in the picture. Under the name, depressed in the casting, appears the word ‘Depose’. This is the French indication of Marque Depose, or a registered trade mark in France. Depose literally means deposited, and this indicates that the mark has been deposited or registered.
     The name of the bank has quite an interesting background and is completely of French origin. Bamboula liberally translated means a large crowd and lots of noise. It is a French slang word and originated in North Africa with the Colonial troops of General Bugeaud who conquered Algeria in 1840. It is actually the French spelling of an Arabic word and was brought back to France by the returning troops from Algeria.
     The bank shows an interesting amount of usage and age, and while as yet the exact date of manufacture is unknown to the writer, it was, in his opinion, made in the 1895 to 1910 period.
     The operation of the bank is the same as the Jolly Nigger. A coin is placed in the extended right hand, press the lever and the coin is deposited in the mouth as the tongue recedes and the eyes roll upward. The face is painted black with red lips and white teeth, the eyes are white background with black pupils and red iris. The shirt is red and the tie is black.
     To sum up, it is, of course, always of great interest when a heretofore unknown mechanical bank turns up. Beyond this, the greatest attraction of the Bamboula centers around the fact that it is the first French cast iron mechanical bank found to date.

United States Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1956

     The actual form of a safe is certainly appropriate as a savings bank and as we reach No. 47 in our numerical classification, The United States Bank, we have an accurate representation of a safe. There are only three known mechanical banks in the shape of a safe and the other two are the Watch Dog Safe and the Fortune Teller Savings Bank. The United States Bank is considerably rarer than either of the other two in the group, and it also has better action.
     The United States Bank was patented August 27, 1880. This date appears in gold stencil on the rear bottom edge of the bank itself. To the best of the writer’s knowledge, however, no patent papers have been found so far that cover this bank so the actual designer is not known. It is possible that the patent papers covering this bank are in some group or class number so far unexplored and further future research may bring them to light. As to the manufacturer, there are certain characteristics that are indicative of the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. It is fairly reasonable to assume that they made the bank.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer from the extensive collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. It is in fine condition and painted an overall green with black outlining on the door, the front, the back, both sides, and the top. The inside of the top as well as the recess in the top are painted white. The name and the patent date are in gold stencil and the bead work on the door is in gold. The hinges, the coin slots, and other details are also highlighted in gold. The picture of the little girl is very colorful and appropriate to the time of the bank’s manufacture.
     The bank as pictured is shown after the action has taken place. To operate the bank the top is depressed by hand and it clicks into place. When this is done the bank looks like an ordinary safe and there is no evidence of any mechanical action. A coin inserted into either of the two slots causes the top to spring open as shown exposing the picture. The weight of the coin causes the action to take place by coming into contact with a spring action lever inside the bank. It’s interesting to note that this particular specimen of the bank has two coin slots, one in the door and another in the top front edge. Each work equally well. The other examples of this bank that the writer has seen only have the single coin slot in the door. Coins are removed from the bank by unlocking the door by means of a key.
     The United States Bank is a scarce item, and difficult for the collector to add to his collection. It may be that this bank is unintentionally passed up by dealers as being an ordinary safe type of bank or still bank. This could possibly be a contributing factor to its scarcity. It might be well to also mention that the writer knows of three other specimens of this bank that do not have the stenciled name in gold on the door. This could be due to several reasons, such as not naming the bank when it was first made or leaving the name off at a later date for some necessary reason. In either case, however, with or without the name, it is a challenge to the mechanical bank collector to add to his collection. There are five or possibly six examples of the United States Bank known to exist in private collections.

Presto Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1956

     A rare bank with unique utilization of the coin in its operation is our choice as No. 48 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, the Presto, is also distinct in that only one specimen has been found to date.
     The bank was designed and patented by H.C. Hart and J.W. Cross of Detroit, Michigan, April 8, 1884. It was manufactured by the Henry C. Hart Manufacturing Company also of Detroit. There are certain indications that Mr. Cross had an interest in a hardware store that distributed and sold the Presto.
     The bank pictured is from the fine collection of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Roup. It is in good original condition and the paint is practically mint. This bank, along with a Trick Pony, was sold to an antique dealer at an auction near Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Roup purchased both banks from the antique dealer.
     The Presto is painted an all over red with all figures and lettering in gold. The viewing section, operating lever, lip on the coin slot, and the base plate are painted black. The paper label on the frosted glass section is dark blue with the operating instructions printed in gold.
     The bank has very interesting decorations as can be seen in the pictures which show both sides. People and children are shown in various activities. The verse on the viewing section end is as follows: "We offer aid To all who strive To make one penny Twenty-five". The coin section end of the bank has the name ‘Presto!!’ thereon.
     There are 26 parts that make up the Presto, and the inside working mechanism is cast iron and sheet iron. A flat piece of black sheet iron slides back and forth under the frosted glass section when the lever is pulled back and forth. This also releases the penny after insertion in the coin slot. There is a piece of plain glass inside the viewing section that reflects a twenty-five cent piece into the position occupied by the inserted penny. The twenty-five cent piece is permanently located inside the bank in the proper position for the illusion.
     To operate the bank a penny is placed in the receptacle or coin slot holder located at the tapered end of the bank over the name ‘Presto’. This is shown in the picture. The penny stays in position inside the bank, the bank is then held so that light is reflected on the slanting frosted glass surface. The individual then looks into the viewing section as shown in the other picture. When the lever is pulled the penny automatically drops into the base section and in its place there appears to be a twenty-five cent piece. This gives the effect of the penny magically changing into a quarter. The illusion is caused by the reflecting glass surface, not a mirror. Pennies are removed by means of a rectangular coin trap in the base plate. The base plate is a clover leaf perforated pattern with the wording ‘Pat. Applied For’ inscribed thereon.
     The Presto Bank is a very interesting rare item and completely different than the other mechanical banks with its illusion effect. The Smyth X-Ray and the semi-mechanical Multiplying Bank are somewhat similar, but each employ mirrors, the X-Ray in seeing through the coin and the Multiplying in showing one coin as several coins. The Presto is obviously a real challenge to the collector and so far, to repeat, only one is known to exist in a private collection.

Light of Asia
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1956

     The Light of Asia, a dual purpose mechanical bank, is our choice as No. 49 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank is not only a child’s savings device, but it also served as a pull toy. A string could be attached to the front of the platform to pull the toy around or it could be pushed around by hand. Two other mechanical banks of similar purpose are known to exist, the Motor Bank and Jumbo. The Motor Bank has already been covered some time ago in the articles and the Jumbo, while very much like Light of Asia, is not nearly as rare.
     So far there is no existent information as to who designed or made Light of Asia. It has the distinctive desirable type of so-called heart wheels which were used on a number of the different type animated bell ringing pull toys. However, this does not lead us to any specific manufacturer, as a number of the companies used the heart wheels, including Stevens. Some characteristics of the bank indicate Stevens and others are indicative of Kyser & Rex. There are no markings on the bank, no dates, and no patent papers have turned up so far, nor have any old catalogs been found with information or pictures of the bank. The date of the bank, however, can be pretty well established as during the early 1880’s.
     A poem, "The Light of Asia," was written by Sir Edwin Arnold and published in 1879. The poem, "The Light of Asia," also called ‘The Great Renunciation,’ concerned the life and teaching of Gautama, Prince of India and founder of Buddhism. The poem, as told by an imaginary Indian Buddhist, is in verse form. After the publication of his poem Buddhism took quite a hold in our country, and as a matter of fact actually became fashionable in the period of the early 1880’s. In 1885 S.H. Kellogg, D.D., who for a time was Professor at the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, wrote a book called "The Light of Asia and The Light of the World." This was a comparison of the legend, the doctrine, and the ethics of the Buddha with the story, the doctrine, and the ethics of Christ. According to Kellogg, Arnold presented the Buddha and his religion to the English reading public in such an attractive guise that often, quite unexpectedly to the individuals themselves, they had awakened in their minds a surprising interest in this "venerable religion." Kellogg wrote his Light of Asia, of course, to combat the effects of Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia. Obviously the name of the bank was taken directly from the poem written by Sir Arnold and logically it was made in the period of the poem’s popularity which was the early 1880’s.
     It is the writer’s opinion that the Jumbo Bank is a later altered edition of the Light of Asia, the name being changed to Jumbo to coincide with P.T. Barnum and his acquiring Jumbo from the London Zoological Gardens in 1882 for exhibition purposes. It is, of course, possible that both banks were made simultaneously and perhaps some proof one way or the other will turn up in the future.
     Another point of interest has to do with the type elephant used on the Light of Asia. This is definitely an Asiatic elephant with the smooth trunk lacking the transverse ridges and grooves always found on the African type. Also it is tuskless which is indicative of Asiatic elephants, and particularly those in Ceylon. The shape of the head, which does not slant down from an arched back like the African elephant, is also definitely Asiatic.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer through the good help of Mr. Rymond F. Long of Pearl, Illinois. Mr. Long in turn had acquired the bank from Mr. G.E. Swope near Kewanee, Illinois. Mr. Swope informed Mr. Long that the bank had been in his family over 70 years which would place it prior to 1885.
     The bank is in excellent condition and completely original with no repairs. The elephant is painted a light gray with a red blanket edged in yellow. The name and crescent are painted gold. The ears and portions on the legs are highlighted in pink and the mouth is red. The platform and wheels are overall green with some highlighting of gold on the wheel spokes and edges of the platform.
     To operate the bank a coin is inserted in a coin slot in the elephant’s back. This causes the head to move up and down. The head is counterweighted inside the elephant and the coin comes into contact with this counterweight. The elephant is fastened to the platform by means of two bent over pins cast into two of the elephant’s legs, left rear and right front.
     This is a very desirable bank and difficult to find, particularly in original condition with wheels. The wheel factor adds greatly to its desirability as well as its scarcity since these would be easily broken by a child. So far there has been only one of these banks found completely original. There are two, possibly three other Light of Asia banks, without wheels or platforms.

Wimbledon Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1956

     Mechanical banks that were made in England comprise an interesting group of specimens to challenge a collector. As we reach No. 50 in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks we have our first English made bank of the series, namely the Wimbledon Bank. The bank is not only an attractive rare item, but it is believed to be the earliest known mechanical bank manufactured in England.
     The date of the registration of the bank is September 21, 1885, and it was made by John Harper & Company, an old line English foundry who were an active factor in their field. They made a number of different mechanical banks, but details on these and the Company itself will be covered in the future by a special article.
     The bank pictured is from the fine, extensive collection of Andrew Emerine, one of the earlier collectors of mechanical banks. Mr. Emerine purchased the bank in 1939 from E.R. Harvey, a Norwich, England, antique dealer. Mr. Harvey in turn had obtained the bank from an individual who had owned it for approximately 36 years. This original owner had 12 to 14 mechanical banks that he purchased in 1903 from an old, established, wholesale toy warehouse in London. Some of these banks were old stock even at the time he purchased them in 1903. He was a mechanical toy dealer and the banks interested him so he held on to them until 1915, at which time they were all lent out to local banks for the purpose of raising funds for the Belgian Refugees Fund. A few years after this a persistent individual managed to purchase a ‘Spise a Mule’ from him. However, he apparently regretted letting it go and the longer he kept the remainder the less he was inclined to sell any others. Eventually, he let others go and finally Mr. Harvey purchased the Wimbledon Bank, John Bull Money Box, Grenadier Bank, Hoop-La Bank, and the Tank and Cannon. This was done over a period of time and the banks were purchased one at a time. Mr. Emerine was fortunate in being able to obtain all five of these banks from Mr. Harvey. Their condition is, of course, exceptionally good due to the unusual circumstances of their never having been in active circulation.
     The Wimbledon is quite attractively painted. The base is green and the brown fort has the flag in red with a black cross on white ground. The prone soldier’s hat and trousers are in black trimmed with yellow. His jacket is pink with yellow cuffs and collar. The gun he is holding is black.
     To operate the bank the gun is first set to fire as shown in the picture. In setting the spring operated mechanism the head of the soldier tilts slightly forward as though taking aim. A penny is then placed on the gun as shown. A small lever is then pressed and the coin is fired into the fort as the soldier snaps his head back into position.
     The name Wimbledon Bank, which appears inscribed on the base, has a definite connection with the subject and action of the bank. The National Rifle Association was formed in 1860 and incorporated by Royal Charter 25 in November of 1890. The first meeting was held on Wimbledon Common in 1860 and frequent subsequent meetings were held in Wimbledon over a period of 30 years. These meetings included competition with other countries and the Queen’s Trophy was a coveted prize awarded by Queen Victoria. This was an annual award and in later years it became the King’s Trophy. Space and safety eventually were the motivating factors that caused the Association to move to Bisley in July, 1890. In addition to the Rifle Association and its connections with Wimbledon, there also existed the Second Wimbledon Volunteers Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment.
     The Wimbledon Bank is a fine addition to any collection and since there are only three known to have turned up so far it offers quite a challenge to the mechanical bank collector.

Football Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1956

     The Football Bank, another English made mechanical bank, is our choice as No. 51 in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This is an attractive bank with its sporting subject and quite scarce even though there were apparently a considerable number of them manufactured.
     The bank was made by the English concern, John Harper & Company, who also made the Wimbledon Bank and the well known Dinah Bank. Harper was active in the mechanical bank field and turned out a number of interesting desirable specimens in addition to the above mentioned banks.
     The Football Bank is a registered item, and while intended as a toy savings device, it was apparently also sold to various Clubs. The bank is shown in one of the old Harper catalogs and the statement is made that it could be "Supplied In Club Colours For Orders Of Six Dozen Or More." This would indicate that the bank was possibly used as a trophy or prize among certain English clubs or as a gift to members with the respective club colors on the bank.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of L.C. Hegarty, an enthusiastic mechanical bank collector. He obtained it some years ago from an Eastern antique dealer who in turn had found it in England. The bank is in fine completely original condition with no repairs and excellent paint.
     The bank is painted as follows: The base is entirely green simulating a field with grass-like indentations in the casting. The name "Football Bank" appears on the base in raised letters and these are gold in color. The shed-like structure, properly called basket, on the end of the bank is an overall brown. This has diamond shaped grillwork in the back. The rear corners have oval perforations in the casting and the sides are a herringbone type pattern. The top is lattice-like slots. There is a white goal post on each side of the front with a cross-piece at the top also painted white. The front of the basket is a woven lattice effect with diamond shaped openings alternately painted reddish-maroon and white. The coin holder just in front of the figure is brown. The figure of the player has brown shoes, black socks, and white trunks. He has a turtle neck sweater in reddish-brown with blue sleeves and collar. His hair is black and the facial features are fine and distinct.
     The bank operates as follows: A coin is placed in position in the coin holder, then the player’s right leg is pulled back into kicking position where it is held in place by the operating lever. On pressing the lever the player kicks the coin into the opening between the goal posts on the basket. A screw on the underside of the base allows the basket to raise for removal of coins.
     A point of interest is in the figure of the player being made of brass, as is the operating lever. The rest of the bank is cast iron. In making the figure in brass the manufacturer undoubtedly felt that this metal would stand certain strains in the kicking action better than cast iron.
     The Football Bank, like several other of the sporting motif mechanical banks, is an attractive desirable item. Not many have turned up to date as there are only about six known to exist in private collections.

Automatic Coin Savings Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1957

     A bank with a fortune telling motif is our choice to occupy the 52nd position in our classification articles. This bank is the Automatic Coin Savings Bank, also known as the Fortune Teller Building. Since there is a bank actually named the Fortune Teller Savings Bank it is felt that the Automatic Coin Savings Bank should be called by its proper name, particularly in view of the fact that this name appears on the bank itself and was used in old advertisements offering the bank for sale.
     The Automatic Coin Savings Bank was made and sold during the period of the 1890’s. As a matter of fact in the November 1893 issue of the New Peterson Magazine there appears an advertisement offering the bank for sale. The bank is pictured in this ad. The ad itself is of interest and it reads as follows:
     "Save Your Money. Send for an Automatic Coin Savings Bank, delivered express pre-paid for $1.25. One of the latest novelties for Holiday Presents. Each deposit changing the Motto. Its novelty will make it attractive in every Home, and induce liberal deposits, and the children will find their Bank a source of much entertainment as well as profit. Agents wanted. Automatic Coin Savings bank, 32 Hawley Street, Boston, Mass."
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer from the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. It is completely original and in fine condition with no repairs. This specimen has a bronze type finish. It was also made in a nickel plate finish.
     To operate the bank a coin is dropped into the provided slot. This causes the wheel of fortune to turn one notch and the motto appears in the space shown in the picture. Each coin used turns the wheel one notch at a time. It does not spin.
     The materials used in making the bank are of interest. The wheel of fortune is made of cardboard, wood, and tin. Tin strips are set into the wood framework of the wheel and arranged in such a way as to trap each coin, moving the wheel a notch, and then releasing the coin. The weight of the coin, of course, causes the wheel to turn. The fortunes are printed in black on the white cardboard face of the wheel. Colored cardboard in blue or red is fastened to the inside of the grillwork in front and in back of the building. This, of course, imparts some color to the bank, and the writer’s specimen is in red. The entire shell or frame of the building is cast iron.
     There is a good deal of wording on the bank and this is as follows: On the slanted top of the bank over the coin slot appears ‘Drop A Coin.’ Opposite this ‘And I Will Tell Your Fortune.’ On the face of the building appears the name of the bank ‘Automatic Coin Savings Bank,’ and below this ‘National Savings’.
     The Automatic Coin Savings Bank is a very interesting different type of mechanical bank. It is a difficult item to find and particularly so in good condition. There are six, possibly seven, of these banks known to exist in private collections.

Animated Bell Ringer Toys
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1957

     There is no doubt that mechanical banks are the leading collector’s item in the field of old children’s toys. This is no reflection on doll collecting as this is a separate specialized field of its own. The old cast iron toys such as the various horse drawn type, including fire engines, circus wagons, carriages of all types, streetcars, then trains and old toy automobiles are all very desirable collector’s items. However, another specialized group of cast iron toys has become especially desirable and in a number of cases are being sought after by the collectors of mechanical banks. These are the animated bell ringing pull toys which enjoyed a popularity during the same period as the mechanical banks.
     Two companies were very active in this particular field of manufacturing bell ringing pull toys. These companies, the Gong Bell Manufacturing Company and the N.N. Hill Brass Company, made a wide variety of the toys with many different subjects and actions involved. In this respect they are very similar to mechanical banks. The various mechanical actions of the animated bell ringing toys are along simpler lines, however, than those of the mechanical banks. Other companies made some bell ringers and of particular interest is the J. & E. Stevens Company, the top manufacturer of mechanical banks, Watrous Manufacturing Company, and Ives-Blakeslee & Company. Hubley entered into the picture, and no doubt Wilkins and a number of others made some of these interesting toys.
     As with the mechanical banks, many intriguing and interesting names were given to the bell toys. Among these are Ding Dong Bell (a rare mechanical bank has the same name), Whoa Der Ceaser, Evening News Baby Quieter, Wild Mule Jack, The Columbus Egg, Mary And Her Little Lamb, The Cossack And The Jap, Are You A Buffalo, Uncle Sam And The Don, Trick Elephant Bell Ringer, Kicking Mule Bell Ringer, Cinderella’s Chariot, The Tramp, The Surf Boat, The Clown Bell Ringers, Jonah And The Whale, John Bull And Uncle Sam, and many others.
     To properly classify as an animated bell ringer the toy must have some movement of a figure involved with the ringing of the bell. There are several in the group, however, that are not strictly speaking, animated. Examples would be Daisy, Landing Of Columbus, and Cinderella’s Chariot. In these the bell rings, however, no other movement takes place. These are, nevertheless, very interesting well made cast iron bell ringers and could be compared to the semi-mechanical group of banks as compared to the mechanicals.
     There are, of course, other types of bell ringers such as those of strap iron and tin, also bells between two wheels, or a horse pulling a bell. These are not in the same class nor should they be confused with the fine type of bell ringers under discussion. They are not nearly as desirable, nor do they have the appeal of the cast iron type. There are several exceptions in the tin type, and two of these are the large size Camel and Horse bell ringers made by the Gong Bell Manufacturing Company. These are both well made and when found in good condition are desirable. In several exceptional cases there are cast iron bell ringers in combination with moving tin figures and these are at the top in desirability. Examples of these are the Monkey And Pony, The Bell Ringers, and The Girl In Cart.
     Several bell ringers from the writer’s collection are shown. The Drummer Boy is a fine example and was designed by Charles Bailey, the foremost designer of mechanical banks. The Happy Hooligan Automobile and the Double Ripper Sled were made by the N.N. Hill Brass Company. The Monkey On Tricycle was made by the J. & E. Stevens Company, and the Poodle Dog, Ding Dong Bell, and Eagle were manufactured by Gong Bell Manufacturing Company. Buster Brown And Tige was made by Watrous Manufacturing Company. The Telephone Chimes Hello Hello is an item of the mid 1880’s and is pictured for sale in the 1885-86 Catalog of Selchow & Righter. They are brightly painted in appropriate colors and are well made toys comparable to the procedure used in making mechanical banks.
     These animated pull toys being subject to both indoor and outdoor play of a rather rough nature are quite hard to find, particularly so in good original condition.

Hold the Fort Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1957

     The stirring battle cry "Hold The Fort" is the appropriate name of the mechanical bank chosen as No. 53 in our numerical classification. This is another of the cannon shooting into the fort type of bank, however, the action is quite realistic in that the cannon actually shoots small steel pellets at the target.
     The Hold The Fort Bank was patented by Samuel Clark of Brooklyn, N.Y., on November 20, 1877. The bank shown in the picture closely follows the patent diagrams. Another type was brought out at a later date and this is explained further on in the article. The actual manufacturer of the bank is as yet not known. However, we have other information as to when it was sold and so on. This information appears in the form of an advertisement in the American Athletic Journal for the Winter of 1877. The bank is pictured in the ad and it is exactly the same as the one shown here. In quoting from this advertisement the exact operation of the bank is explained. The entire ad is as follows:

"Hold The Fort"
MONEY BANK
(Patented)
"Teach The Young Idea How To Shoot"
Directions for Operating the Bank.

     "Pull the rod, to which the string is attached, as far back as to allow the trigger on top of the cannon to drop in its place. If a percussion wafer is used, put it in the opening provided for it, using care in placing it so that the hammer will strike it. Put the ball in the cannon and it is ready to discharge. Place the coin on the rest behind the rear of the target; press the trigger and the cap will explode, and at the same time the ball will strike the coin and send it in the Bank. The ball generally follows the coin into the Bank and comes out of the perforated bottom. Be careful to procure perfectly round bullets to insure a perfect shot.
     "The Bank is made of iron and painted fancy. Size 7¼x4 inches.
     "Sent by mail, prepaid, $1.25.
     "A few shot and caps, and a flag, are packed with each bank."
     Further information about Hold The Fort is also contained in this same issue of the American Athletic Journal. Directly beneath the ad for the Hold The Fort Bank appears the Hold The Fort ink stand. This is of somewhat different appearance having rougher stone-like effect around the sides. There are also seven round holes on each side instead of five as in the bank. The name "Hold The Fort" appears along the bottom edge of one of the sides. The same casting that was used to make the ink well in 1877 was adapted to make the Hold The Fort Bank at a later date. This explains why there are two different types of the Hold The Fort Bank.
     Another difference in the two banks is the coin trap arrangement. In the earlier model a removable door is located in the end of the bank. This is at the end where the cannon is located. On the later model there is a removable coin trap in the base of the bank.
     The bank shown is in fine condition and original except for the flag. The writer has never seen an original flag. Apparently, judging by the old advertising picture, the flag furnished with the bank was an American flag with the wording ‘Hold The Fort’ inscribed thereon.
     The bank is nicely painted in an overall gray with blue edging at the top and bottom. The target housing and other outlinings of the bank are done in red. The cannon is painted blue.
     The Hold The Fort Bank is a very interesting addition to a collection. It is not easy to find and particularly so in good condition. Any mechanical bank collector should be pleased if he is fortunate enough to obtain either of the two types that were made.

Woodpecker Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1957

     A bank whose appearance and size are more or less unattractive but whose mechanism and operation are of particular interest is our choice as No. 54 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Woodpecker Bank, is rather large in size since it is 12 inches high and appearance-wise it is inclined to look rather box-like. Actually the bank represents a bird house made of birch bark and its proportions are about the same as those of an actual bird house, hence its rather large size as compared to the other mechanical banks.
     To the best of the writer’s knowledge there is, as yet, no known factual background concerning the Woodpecker Bank. From some angles it has indications of a foreign manufacture, possibly Germany. The music box, shown in the picture, is obviously Swiss, however, this is of no help in ascertaining the origin of the bank. It may have been made in England or France, or possibly the United States. There are no markings of any kind that would help to identify it. There is a number stamped in the underside of the base. The banks were apparently numbered in sequence as a specimen belonging to another collector has a different number on the underside.
     The bank was obtained by the writer through the good help of Mrs. Rose Arnold of Chicago, Ill. It had been in her family for some 50 years and had originally been given to her brother by a family friend. As Mrs. Arnold recalls the bank was not new when given to her brother and to the best of her memory it was some 10 to 15 years old at the time. This would establish the bank as being made during the period of the 1890’s. Unfortunately Mrs. Arnold had no other information as to where the bank originated or any other pertinent facts. It is of interest to note that Mrs. Arnold informed the writer that they had always called the bank the Crow Bank.
     Two pictures of the bank are shown, one with the mechanism exposed, as the working parts are unusual and quite different than any of the other mechanical banks. To operate the bank a coin is placed on the end of the perch as shown in the one picture. At this point the bird’s head cannot be seen as it is inside of the bank. The operator then turns the crank clockwise and the music box starts playing a tune. As the operator continues to turn the crank the bird’s head very slowly emerges from the opening accompanied by the music. The bird then grasps the coin in its beak as shown in the picture. Then the bird very deliberately taps the coin on the perch three times, after the third tap the bird snaps back into the house with a bank dropping the coin inside the bank. The coin drops through a tapered slot into the coin drawer. This drawer is shown partially open in the picture showing the inside of the bank. The music plays during the entire operation and stops right after the woodpecker pops inside the bank with the coin.
     The bank is not particularly colorful as the entire outside of the bird house is painted to resemble birch bark. The back part of the door is painted the same way and the inside of the house is cream color. The bird head is black and brown with a yellow beak and the eyes are realistic glass eyes. The perch is painted brown.
     The entire structure of the bank is made of a rather heavy sheet iron type of material. This is reinforced around the roof and base by heavy wire inserted in the rolled over edges. The gears and works of the bank are made of brass as is the head of the bird. The head is a finely made two-part stamping. The entire front of the house is hinged like a door and this locks in place with the key shown. Even the crank is original, and this is nickel plated with a porcelain knob.
     Perhaps an explanation is in order on the writer’s part concerning the Woodpecker Bank. There had existed a certain amount of uncertainty as to whether or not the bank was a commercially produced item to be sold to the trade and thus an authentic mechanical bank. The two known existing specimens, found some 20 odd years ago, were not available for inspection. This was the case until last year when the third known Woodpecker Bank turned up in Philadelphia, and right after this the writer was fortunate enough to obtain his specimen. It’s rather unusual, but to the best of the writer’s knowledge, there were no specimens of this bank found during the above mentioned 20 odd year period. In any event, there is no question in the writer’s mind, after thorough inspection, that the Woodpecker Bank was a commercially produced item and thus an authentic mechanical bank.     
     Let us hope that at some future date information will turn up establishing the actual origin of this interesting bank.

Mechanical Banks — English vs. American
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1957

     English mechanical banks, among certain of the collectors, have never attained the desirability or popularity of the American made variety. It is understandable that they might not be quite as desirable as those made in the United States as after all mechanical banks are definitely Americana and definitely an original toy product of our country. However, this does not lessen the importance of the English mechanical banks as a collector’s item in the field of mechanical bank collecting.
     Perhaps some of the so-called mystery surrounding the English banks has indirectly caused certain of the collectors to feel that they are not as desirable in a collection. Actually the English banks, for the most part, were made by companies that were comparable to the concerns who manufactured banks in our own country, and these English banks definitely represent an important group of the mechanical banks. While a number of different specimens were made in England it seemed that the bust type of mechanical bank was the most popular, and in this group they excelled in the number of different types and subjects.
     There were two outstanding English concerns that made mechanical banks, John Harper & Company Ltd. and Chamberlin & Hill Ltd. Harper’s banks were often identified with the name "Beatrice" as a trade name. They made one of the earliest of the English mechanicals, the Wimbledon Bank, in 1885. Among the other fine specimens manufactured by Harper are such banks as Dinah, the rare Kiltie, Jolly Nigger Butterfly Tie, Little Joe, Hoop-la Bank, Football Bank, and Jolly Nigger Top Hat. They also made the Tommy Bank, and to the best of the writer’s knowledge, no example of this has been found as yet. The Grenadier Bank, similar to our Creedmore, was also made by Harper in the 1898 period. Chamberlin & Hill made, among other mechanical banks, the rare Clown Money Box or Clown Bust. So far the writer knows of only one specimen of this bank in a collection. Then they made a different type Jolly Nigger with both movable and fixed eyes. The outstanding bank produced by them, however, was the Little Moe Bank in which the bust type figure tips his hat in polite thanks upon receiving the coin. All the mechanical banks made by John Harper & Chamberlin & Hill are cast iron and appropriately painted in various colors.
     The Jolly Nigger Moves Ears is another interesting mechanical bank produced in England. This was made in aluminum and the designers and patentees of this bank were Robert Eastwood Starkie and Nellie Starkie of Burnley, England. This bank is not to be confused with the recently made model designed by Robert Patterson Starkie. The copyright and the Register of Design on this bank were taken out in August, 1945. In this recent model the ears fit on a line with the front and back half, also the overall casting is different than the original Starkie’s Patent. On the waffle type base plate of the recent model appears the Registration Number 844290. In the original Starkie Patent the name Starkie appears on the back of the bank between the shoulder blades. Also the ears are set forward near the eyes. A V-shaped section on each side of the back half fits into corresponding sections in the front half and it is at this point that the ears are located. This earlier type also has a top hat.
     Another very interesting bank of English origin is the John Bull Money Box. This bank is similar to the Hoop-la and the American made Trick Dog. In this case there is no hoop and the dog jumps in front of a figure of John Bull depositing the coin in a barrel. So far the writer has been unable to ascertain the designer or manufacturer of this bank. Here again the writer knows of only one specimen of this bank in a collection.
     In any event, to sum up, the writer does not expect that any of the English mechanical banks will ever reach the high pedestal of the Freedman’s or the Harlequin or a number of the other American banks, however, they are an important group and have as much place in a collection as any of the other mechanical banks. No large collection could be considered as completely representative if it did not contain some specimens of the English mechanical banks.

Cupola Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1957

     A mechanical bank bearing an early patent date is our choice as No. 55 in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, the Cupola Bank, is, as a matter of fact, the thirteenth mechanical bank covered by a patent. In this case the number thirteen is lucky considering the bank as being a rare good item, however, it is unlucky for some collectors who do not have one since it is a rather scarce item to find.
     The bank was patented January 27, 1874 by inventor Diedrich Dieckmann of New York City. It was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. In patenting the bank Dieckmann was careful to cover all details so that no coin slot would be exposed until the operation of the mechanism. Also carefully covered were the operation of the cupola and the vibration of the figure. Apparently this bank was not manufactured over a long period of years as evidenced by its rarity today. Several of the earlier dated banks such as Halls Excelsior, Dec. 21, 1869, and Tammany, Dec. 23, 1873, are quite common even though they have these very early dates. This is due to the fact that they were both made in large quantities over a long span of time.
     The specimen shown was obtained by the writer some years ago in a Boston, Mass., antique shop. An unusual circumstance was that the writer knew of this particular bank being in the possession of the original owner. She was an elderly lady living in East Boston and for several years the writer tried to buy the bank with no success. Sentimental connections were a factor and respecting this, the writer more or less, gave up hopes of owning this particular bank. A surprise was in store, however, when at a later date the same bank showed up in the above mentioned Boston antique shop. Further surprise was the fact that the bank was purchased at a lower price than the writer offered the original owner. This is, of course, an example of the unusual circumstances that every collector sooner or later encounters in adding items to his collection.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition with no repairs. The paint is very good and the colors are as follows. The building itself is green with gold striping. The roof is red and the cupola blue. The coin slot section in front of the figure has a green top and the rest of this section is painted brown. The figure has a blue coat, white collar, black top hat, and natural features with a black mustache. The lettering ‘Pat January 27, 1874’ appears in raised letters on the front curved section of the roof. The word ‘Bank’ appears over the door. Just over this lettering is a raised section in the casting resembling a beehive.
     The bank is shown after the completion of the operation. To operate the bank the cupola is first depressed and it clicks into position. The lever protruding from the front door is then pressed and the cupola flies up into the position shown in the picture. The small man vibrates back and forth and the slot is exposed for the deposit of coins.
     The Cupola Bank is another representative of the building group of mechanical banks. Since the action of the bank is not self evident this creates the element of surprise which is a desirable feature. As previously mentioned it’s a hard bank to find, and this coupled with its other interesting features make it a desirable addition to any mechanical bank collection.

Toy Cannon
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1957

     Fourth of July as celebrated during the 1880’s, 1890’s and into 1900 was a far cry from the Fourth of July as we know it today. The Fourth in those days was a real bang-up affair with all types of noisemaking devices employed in the celebration. Unfortunately these devices were, in most cases, rather dangerous and accidents of varying degrees of seriousness were rather common. Then too these various noisemakers were made for and largely used by children and the younger segment of the population.
     One of the popular type of noisemaker was the toy cannon. The word toy is rather loosely used from a descriptive standpoint since certain types under some circumstances could be dangerous. However, cannon in the overall picture were considerably safer than many of the other Fourth of July items.
     Toy cannon as a collector’s item offer several very interesting groups. There are those that actually fired powder and numbers of different types and styles were made in this particular group. Then there were cannons made to fire 22 and 32 blank cartridges and blank shotgun shells. Others were made to shoot firecrackers and paper caps. In each group, whether a firecracker shooter, a paper cap shooter, or one of the others, there are numbers of varieties. Some have four wheel carriages and others two wheels. There are breech loaders and others are loaded through the barrel. Many patents were issued to cover all the varieties and types and, of course, this is part of the interest in collecting the old toy cannons.
     One of the very interesting and most desirable of the cannon items is the Flying Artillery shown in the center of the cover picture. This was made by Ives of Bridgeport, Conn., in the 1892 period. It is a powder cannon. The cannon and carriage are black with gold outlining and the wheels are red. The caisson section is painted the same as the cannon and each of the men have blue uniforms with red striping and red hats. One horse is brown and the other white. This is a very attractive piece. It is not only a cannon item but also quite desirable as a horse drawn toy.
     A number of the cannons have historical significance. "Remember The Maine," bottom row center in the cover picture, is a rare example of this type. It was made by W.S. Hawker of Dayton, Ohio, and shoots blank shotgun shells. It is nickel plated and sections of the carriage and wheels are painted black. Two other historical items each have the name "Swamp Angel." This name comes from the historic Swamp Angel Cannon of Civil War fame. In the picture one Swamp Angel is to the left of the Flying Artillery and the other is to the right. The one on the left was made by Ives and it fires a 22 blank cartridge. In color it is an overall black. The one on the right was made by Kenton and shoots paper caps. It is completely nickel plated. The fine "Dewey" cannon is another historical piece. This is a nickel plated powder type cannon and it was made by the Kenton Hardware Company. It is pictured in the center of the top row.
     The Monarch Cannon fired 32 blank cartridges. This was made by Ives. The barrel is painted black and the carriage is red. This is the first cannon to the left in the bottom row. The "Young America Rapid Fire Gun" was patented February 19, 1907. This was made to shoot marbles. A number of marbles were put in the top barrel and when the side crank was turned the marbles fired from the lower barrel in rapid succession. This cannon is black and the carriage is painted in red and gold. In the picture it is the first item in the top row. The last cannon in the top row is a powder type with red wheels and black barrel. The last cannon in the bottom row is a firecracker shooter. It is dated September 3, 1889. The breech turns to the side so that a firecracker could be inserted into the barrel. The fuse then protruded from the touch hole. This cannon is also black with red wheels. The small cannon between the Monarch and Remember The Maine is also a firecracker shooter. The breech on this cannon opens at the top instead of turning to the side. It is also black with red wheels. The "Match Cannon," the fourth piece to the right in the bottom row, was made to fire the old type sulphur match. It is entirely black with a red rim on the end of the barrel.
     Toy cannon with the different groups, types, and varieties offer a very interesting field to the collector. All cannons shown in the cover picture are cast iron.

Afghanistan Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1957

     Mechanical banks with historical backgrounds are always of added interest and certainly the Afghanistan Bank, our choice as No. 56 in the numerical classification, is a good example of this category. In addition to the historical angle the bank is quite rare and offers simple but interesting action. It also has an intriguing appearance being quite different than any of the other mechanical banks.
     Information as to the historical significance of the bank can logically be determined, however, information as to the background of the bank itself is sadly lacking. There are no patent papers known to exist that cover the bank and there are no markings or definite clues that lead to either the designer or the manufacturer. The writer is fortunate enough to have an old catalog picturing the bank and this does establish the period in which it was made. This catalog is the Ehrich’s Fashion Quarterly of December, 1885. Certain features of the bank indicate one of two manufacturers. These are Kyser & Rex, Philadelphia, Pa., and the Mechanical Novelty works, New Britain, Conn.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer some years ago from Mark Haber, of Wethersfield, Conn. It was formerly in the collection of the late James C. Jones. It is in fine condition, completely original, and good paint. It has an overall brown japanned type of finish. Considerable outlining of gold was used and the lettering is in gold. The figures of the lion and bear have red eyes and red mouths. The rounded front and side sections of the base are highlighted in green and gold bronze. As can be seen in the picture the name "Afghanistan Bank" appears in the front and under this the word ‘Herat’.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the provided slot. The lever protruding from the front of the bank is then pressed and as the coin drops in automatically both the lion and the bear move toward the gate. On releasing the lever both animals return to their normal positions.
     The historical significance is, of course, of great interest. Herat is the name of a province and city in Afghanistan. It is surrounded by a wall 25' high by 14' thick. Placed around and in the wall itself are five main gates to enter the city. The Mongols and Genghis Khan twice destroyed the city in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 15th century the city became the center of literature and are in the East and noble buildings were then constructed. In the 18th century the Afghan tribes came into the city and took control. Persia tried time and again to take over the city but England joining with the Afghans resisted successfully due to the strategic location of Herat in relation to India. Russia meantime was always a threat to India and Herat was the only serious obstacle to a successful invasion of India from the Northwest. So, to sum up, we have the Russian Bear and the British Lion at the gate of Herat in Afghanistan and the situation is well represented by the bank.
     The Afghanistan Bank, while rather small in size, is most certainly large in desirability. It offers a challenge to the mechanical bank collector who does not have one in his collection.

John Bull’s Money Box
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1957

     A mechanical bank of English origin is our choice as No. 57 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, John Bull’s Money Box, is an outstanding item and has the distinction of being the only mechanical bank known to date that bears the name "Money Box." This terminology is typically English and refers to any coin savings bank. It was also used in the United States as several patent papers covering some of the mechanical banks refer to them as money boxes. However, in both the United States and England the word ‘Bank’ was generally used when a particular specimen was named and so inscribed.
     John Bull’s Money Box was made in England, but so far neither the designer nor the manufacturer is known. Also the exact period of the bank is unknown as no catalogs, patent papers, or other types of information have turned up that would help establish specific data. It is a likely possibility that the bank was made by either John Harper & Company or Chamberlain & Hill, Ltd., but so far neither company have found any record of their having manufactured the bank.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of Mr. Andrew Emerine, one of the pioneer collectors of mechanical banks. It is a prized item in his collection along with the Jonah & Whale (Jonah Emerges From Whale), Wimbledon Bank, and a number of others. Emerine obtained the John Bull’s Money Box in 1939 from E.R. Harvey, an antique dealer in Norwich, England. This bank was found at the same time as the Wimbledon Bank and several others. It had never been in active circulation and this accounts for the exceptional condition of the bank. The original owner, from whom Mr. Harvey obtained the bank, had originally purchased several mechanical banks from an old established toy warehouse in London. This was around 1903, however, it is not known just how long any of the banks had been in the warehouse. The owner kept them in his personal possession until Mr. Harvey obtained the banks from him.
     The bank is very similar to and has the same operation as the American Trick Dog Bank and the English Hoop-la Bank. The main difference, of course, being in the center figure, the dog, and the lack of a hoop. To operate the bank a coin is placed in the dog’s mouth as shown, then the lever is pressed and the dog springs forward depositing the coin in the barrel. The dog when pulled back snaps into place and is again ready for action.
     The paint on the bank is in excellent condition. The base is black with gray trim and the barrel is black with red trim. The dog is black and white with brown spots and the mouth is red. John Bull has a hat, vest, and boot tops in blue with gold buttons on the vest. His coat is red with gold buttons and he has a red tie and white trousers. His hair is also white. The name "John Bull’s Money Box" is inscribed along the front base of the bank.
     Mechanical banks have rather contradictory angles as a collector’s item. Some of the earliest dated banks are the most common, while some of comparative recent vintage are the rarest. Logically John Bull’s Money Box with the figure of John Bull should have been a popular item in England in its time and thus not too difficult to find. This would be comparable to our Uncle Sam Bank which, while a good bank, is rather common and rather easy to add to a collection. John Bull’s Money Box does not follow this pattern, however, judging from its scarcity today. Apparently for some reason it must not have sold too well originally or it was made in limited quantity. It’s a very interesting bank and the effigy figure of John Bull adds to the desirability of having the bank in a collection.

Target Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1957

     Cannons and guns as a toy item have always had popular appeal to boys. In the field of mechanical banks there is a select group of the cannon type bank and this would logically seem as though it should have been a popular group and thus more or less easily available to the mechanical bank collector of today. This, however, for some reason is not the case as the only mechanical bank in this group that is somewhat common is the Artillery Bank. All the others are quite scarce and rather hard to find. A fine example of this interesting group is the Target Bank, our choice as No. 58 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks.
     The Target Bank was patented March 20, 1877 by Louis C. Hoffmeister of Philadelphia, Pa., and one half his right was assigned to H. M. Beidler, also of Philadelphia. The action of the bank, which is rather unique, is well covered in the patent papers as is the unusual feature of two coin slots for the admission of small and large coins. The actual manufacturer of the bank, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, is unknown. The writer has never seen any old catalogs or similar material referring to or picturing the bank. Also, unfortunately, there are no markings or distinctive features that are indicative of any particular manufacturer. Beidler may have been connected with some concern who made the bank, however, this possibility has not been established one way or the other.
     The specimen pictured is from the fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty. It was found in the Duncansville-Hollidaysburg section of Pennsylvania. The bank is in nice original condition, however, the target part is missing. This part was originally located in front of the cannon. It fit into the front of what Hoffmeister in his patent papers referred to as the "house." This target was like a conventional target with circular rings, however, a coin slot ran horizontally across the face at the center. In addition the target was so located in the house that a semi-circular rest was formed in front of the target and this provided for larger coins to rest against the target. An aperture was located in front of the target for the entrance of coins used in this manner. Thus the target itself provided two coin slots, one in the center for small coins and one in front for larger coins.
     To operate the bank the firing rod, which runs through the barrel of the cannon, is pulled back into the position shown in the picture. A coin, according to the size, is then placed horizontally in the target or in front of the target. Upon releasing the catch at the end of the carriage the rod springs forward striking the coin, shooting it through the target into the house from whence it drops into the bank. This action is with the smaller coins. When using larger coins the rod strikes the flat surface of the coin pushing it against the target and the coin then drops into the bank.
     The bank is attractively painted. The sides of the fort are gray with red edging, the bottom base and the house are blue. The cannon barrel is gray and the carriage is red. The name, "The Target Bank," appears on the side as shown in the picture.
     The Target Bank is somewhat similar to Hold The Fort and it is interesting to note that both banks were patented in the same year. However, the mechanism and operation of each bank is quite different. Very few of the Target Banks have turned up so far and it is another difficult item to add to a collection.

Shoot That Hat Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1957

     A very unusual bank with an anti-Chinese background is our choice as No. 59 in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, Shoot That Hat Bank, also has the possible distinction of being produced by Ives of Bridgeport, Conn., although, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, this has not been conclusively proven.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of L.C. Hegarty. Mr. Hegarty obtained the bank from V.D. Howe, who in turn had purchased it from an antique dealer. This antique dealer was one of the so-called picker type, and any further information as to the original source of the bank is unobtainable. The bank itself is in good condition with some necessary repair work done on the base.
     The Shoot That Hat Bank was designed by C.F. Ritchel of Bridgeport, Conn., and patented by him November 7, 1882. The bank was assigned by Ritchel to S.S. and G.D. Tallman, toy jobbers of New York City. The actual manufacturer of the bank is not definitely known, however, it may very well be an Ives product. Ritchel had connections with Ives as borne out by one of his patents covering an animated toy pistol. This pistol is known as the Clown On Powder Keg. It is a firecracker shooter and was patented by Ritchel May 30, 1882, and assigned to Edward R. Ives and Cornelius Blakeslee. The Ives firm, of course, manufactured the pistol and it has the significant type of finish in dark brown varnish commonly used by them. This same type finish is also on the Shoot That Hat Bank, and this, coupled with Ritchel’s connection with Ives, logically leads to a possible conclusion as to the manufacturer. It is, however, also possible that either H.L. Judd or The Mechanical Novelty Works manufactured the bank.
     The operation of the bank is as follows: A coin is placed in a provided slot in the water plug in front of the shoe-shine boy. The cloth held by the shoe-shine boy rests against the coin and holds it in place. When the lever is pressed the standing figure clamps the hat down onto the head of the seated figure. The top of the hat rises exposing the face of a Chinaman. Meantime the head of the seated figure is forced downward causing the arms to rise. This releases the coin and it drops between the legs of the figure into a provided slot and on into the base of the bank. Upon releasing the lever the figures return to the position shown in the picture.
     As to the paint on the bank, all the figures and the upper part of the bank are a dark brown varnish type of finish. The base of the bank is black, and here again this is a varnish type of finish. The wording "Shoot That Hat Bank" appears on both sides of the base.
     It is of interest to note that an animated toy pistol has practically the same name as the bank under discussion. This pistol is called Shoot The Hat, and this name appears on the barrel. Here the action is about the same. A figure clamps a hat on a seated Chinaman and in so doing fires a paper cap previously inserted inside the hat. This toy pistol is, of course, an anti-Chinese item, the same as the Shoot That Hat Bank, and of the same period when this feeling was so prevalent in our country. This pistol was an Ives product.
     Ritchel, as a bank designer, apparently shared C.F. Bailey’s subtle designing desire to express the feeling of the times in a child’s toy. In any event, both Ritchel’s Shoot That Hat Bank and Bailey’s Chinaman In Boat are quite rare items and very difficult to add to a collection.

Recast Mechanical Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1957

     The writer has always, to the best of his ability, tried to keep current on any situations or complications that have any bearing on the collecting of mechanical banks. Numbers of letters have been received expressing concern over recast mechanical banks. These letters have been more prevalent in recent months due to the reproductions sponsored by a large Eastern concern. The reproductions are being sold through some banking institutions. The distributor’s schedule lists a different bank for each month through June 1958, with a possibility of the program continuing for several years.
     It is claimed by the sponsors that the banks are being made from original specimens and according to procedures used in making the original mechanical banks. Needless to say, these would automatically be in the class of recast mechanical banks. They are, however, defined as reproductions on the base plate of each bank. We are not in any way intimating or suggesting that the manufacturer or banking institutions are doing anything wrong or unethical, and agree that they have a right to do what they are doing, and that there is no misrepresentation on their part, because the products are marked or defined as reproductions. We are concerned only with what subsequent users or purchasers might do with the banks after they get possession of them. Unfortunately the method of identification as a reproduction has not proven sufficient, as a number of cases have already occurred whereby other base plates have been inserted in the banks and then offered to antique dealers and collectors as original specimens.
     These circumstances are most certainly not beneficial to the hobby of collecting mechanical banks. Of course if an individual has some experience in the field of mechanical bank collecting it is not difficult for him to readily recognize these reproduction banks for what they are. The surface is quite rough and pebbly, the paint is entirely different than on the old banks, and there are other differences. The information on these banks is being brought to the attention of HOBBIES readers as a precautionary measure. The banks to be reproduced as listed by the concerns involved are Creedmore Bank, The World’s Fair Bank, Magician Bank, U.S. Cannon Bank, Bucking Buffalo Bank, Artillery Bank, Organ Bank, Tammany Bank, ’Spise A Mule Bank, Eagle Eaglettes Bank, Dog On Oblong Base Bank, Punch and Judy Bank. Each bank is issued monthly in the order given from June of 1957 through April 1958.
     These banks, in the writer’s opinion, will in no way affect the value of the old, original specimens any more than reprint Currier & Ives prints have affected the value of the original prints themselves. The danger of the situation exists in these reproductions being offered and sold as an original specimen by unscrupulous individuals, who remove the identifying base plate and insert others. This is a difficult problem to control and unfortunately it is up to each person to protect himself. It is suggested that both dealers and collectors use a greater degree of discretion when purchasing mechanical banks from unknown sources. This is particularly important on the dealer’s part whereby some stranger either visits the dealer’s shop or a booth in an antique show and offers a mechanical bank or banks for sale.
     It is also well to bear in mind that the terminology "authentic reproductions" is a rather meaningless use of words. "Authentic" according to Webster’s Dictionary, means genuine, and the only genuine item in the case of a mechanical bank is the old original bank itself. The reproduction of this bank is not authentic, but simply a recast bank and, as such, has no value in a collection. Any individual with the proper equipment can recast a mechanical bank, but the end result is nothing more than a recast item, which has no value to a collector.
— o —
Another problem faces the mechanical bank collector of today and this has to do with certain practices involving recasting and faking mechanical banks. This has even gone so far as to involve the misuse of some original patterns of mechanical banks, and unfortunately in several cases these patterns are of some of the rarer banks. Fortunately, these recast banks are not very good and not difficult to distinguish. However, there have been a number of cases whereby some inexperienced dealers and collectors have been hoodwinked. It does seen a shame that anybody would stoop so low as to become involved in trying to destroy a fine hobby. However, similar circumstances have occurred in various other hobbies, including coins, paperweights, prints, glass, and about anything else a person might mention.
     It is further understood that some of these recast banks have come back home to roost, and sooner or later the roof will cave in. In any event, it is time now that the readers of HOBBIES should be informed of these activities, and the writer feels sure that a word to the wise is sufficient.
     In closing the writer would like to express his opinion that the collecting of mechanical banks will remain a fine hobby in spite of various recast efforts and the like. Fine, original mechanical banks will always remain a desirable collector’s item and interest will continue to increase as it has over the past years. After all, some 15 to 20 years ago there were several individuals involved in recasting banks and their efforts in no way harmed the mechanical bank hobby. The old, original specimens became more and more desirable and increased in value. Over the years this has continued to be the case right up to date. There is no reason that mechanical banks will not continue to enjoy their increasing popularity. They are definitely Americana and represent an ingenious period of American toy production. They are part of the heritage of our country as connected with a period of our history. They represent a past way of life and living in our country, the same as Currier & Ives prints. They are clever involved mechanisms with fascinating mechanical action, and while originally made as toys to encourage children to save they had and have just as much, if not more, appeal to grownups. Surely circumstances such as those under discussion cannot destroy a hobby so well entrenched in the hearts of the many collectors of mechanical banks.

U.S Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1958

     A mechanical bank with a completely unknown background is our choice as No. 60 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank is the U.S. Bank and, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, nothing is known as to the designer of the bank, the possible patentee, the manufacturer, or the actual date or period in which it was made. The writer knows of no catalogs that picture or describe the bank and so far no patent papers have been found. There are no markings on the bank whatsoever and unfortunately no details of the construction, paint, or operation are indicative of any particular concern or individual who made mechanical banks.
     The U.S. Bank pictured was obtained by the writer from the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. It is in excellent all around condition and an exceptionally fine specimen. The bank is a very well made piece with unusually decorative castings, and quite ornate and Victorian. It is a very large and imposing bank and quite a number of parts are involved in the assembly and makeup of the fine building it represents. It is reasonable to assume that the bank was made in the 1885 to 1890 period. This can be ascertained by the appearance of the building and the uniform worn by the policeman.
     The bank was obviously made by the same concern that manufactured the New Bank. This is of no help, however, as no more is known about the New Bank than the bank under discussion. The New Bank is a smaller but ornate type building and the same type policeman was used as a guard in the entrance way.
     The operation of the U.S. Bank is rather simple. A coin slot is located over the head of the policeman, however, this is blocked from the inside so that no coins may be inserted until the mechanism is operated. The porcelain knob extending up from the roof is the operating lever, and when this is depressed a slot inside the bank lines up with the coin slot so that it is usable for the admittance of coins. At the same time the face of a dog appears in the round section of the right hand window and the face of a colored boy appears in the round section of the left hand window. Upon releasing the lever the faces disappear and the coin slot is again blocked against usage. The bank is pictured with the porcelain knob held in the depressed position so that the faces of the boy and dog can be seen.
     The bank is painted in a very decorative way with bright colors. The front of the building is green with the various windows outlined in red and white, and the doorway is red. The lettering ‘U.S.’ is painted red with white stripes. The sides of the building are a very dark blue with the diamond grated windows painted green with red and white outlining. The cup-shaped part on top of the building is dark blue, the dome below this is red, and the oval section below this is green. The two square sections of roofing are dark blue with the saw-toothed edgings painted green. The keystone-shaped sections on the roof are red and the four small pinnacles are also red. The saw-toothed edge of the base is green and the inner part of this section is dark blue. The policeman is gold and he is made from a brass stamping.
     It might be well to mention that quite often the U.S. Bank and the United States Bank are confused with one another. The U.S. Bank is entirely different and in all cases of known existing specimens the initials ‘U.S.’ appear as in the picture with the word ‘Bank’ underneath. The United States Bank, however, is known to exist both with and without the name. Oft’times, however, the U.S. Bank has been called the United States Bank and this, of course, adds to the confusion, as well as being incorrect.
     The U.S. Bank is the largest of the house or building group of mechanical banks and, as a matter of fact, it is one of the largest of all the mechanical banks. It is not an easy bank to obtain and it makes a very imposing, impressive addition to a collection.

Organ Grinder and Performing Bear Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1958

     One of a very limited number of mechanical banks having spring wound motors is our choice as No. 61 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. Another unusual feature about this bank, The Organ Grinder And Performing Bear, is that the patent papers covering the bank apply to another mechanical bank totally different in appearance.
     The Organ Grinder And Performing Bear was patented June 13, 1882 by L. Kyser and A.C. Rex, and of course, Kyser & Rex Company of Philadelphia, Pa., made the bank. This patent as issued actually applies to the Organ Bank With Cat And Dog or Boy And Girl. However, the same principle of operation in turning the figures is employed in the Organ Bank and the bank under discussion and this is the feature protected by the patent. In the case of the Organ Bank the operation is accomplished by turning a crank by hand, while a spring motor provides the power to operate the Organ Grinder And Performing Bear. While on the subject it might be well to mention that there is a third type of Organ Bank operating on the same principle. This is the miniature Organ Bank with a revolving monkey. A fourth type has a monkey that tips his hat, but no turning figures are present. These four types of Organ Banks were all manufactured by Kyser & Rex.
      The bank pictured was obtained by the writer some years ago from an antique dealer in Bath, Me. It is an unusually fine specimen and completely original. The bank is painted in bright colors and these are in excellent condition. The base is entirely green with highlightings of red and yellow around the sides, the building is tan with a red roof and door, and the windows are outlined in gold. The back fence is white and one boy has a blue jacket and the other a yellow shirt. The figure playing the organ has a red jacket, gray trousers, yellow hat, and he has natural features with a black beard. The organ is brown and gold, and the figure of the bear is also brown with bronze highlighting. The stick over the bear’s shoulders is gold, as is the winding key.
     A feature that makes the Organ Grinder And Performing Bear unusually desirable is the sustained action of the bank. A permanent key located on the side of the building is first wound to prepare the bank for operation. A coin is then placed as shown in the provided slot on top of the organ. A small lever on the base is then moved and all the action starts. The coin drops through the organ into the base of the bank, the man cranks the organ with his right arm, and a bell sounds inside the bank. Meantime the bear turns in a more or less hesitant fashion as though performing or dancing. The action can be stopped at any time by moving the lever or, if preferred, the mechanism can run down until it stops of its own accord. It is of interest to note that the windup mechanism is entirely of cast iron with the exception of the flat coil spring.
     The Organ Grinder And Performing Bear Bank is a great favorite among mechanical bank collectors. It is not one of the more difficult banks to find, however, it is one of the more desirable. The sustained action, sound effects, and the theme of the bank have an irresistible charm to the collector of mechanical banks, and for that matter to most anyone who would see the bank in operation.

Picture Gallery Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1958

     A mechanical bank with a unique educational theme and a very appropriate name is our choice as No. 62 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Picture Gallery Bank, is the only known mechanical bank that is actually instructive and could be used to teach not only the alphabet, but also how to count. In addition there is an object pictured to illustrate each letter of the alphabet and each object has the respective name shown. These names in all cases are short and thus could be used to teach a child to spell.
     The Picture Gallery Bank was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, N.Y., in the period of 1885. The actual designer and patentee is not known, however, it is very likely that C.G. Shepard and P. Adams were responsible. Both these men took out the patent covering the Punch & Judy Bank in July of 1884. The Picture Gallery is very similar to Punch & Judy insofar as the operation of the figure is concerned and the general appearance and makeup of the bank compartment section. It is not believed that J. & E. Stevens Company, after taking over the line of Shepard Hardware mechanical banks, ever made any of the Picture Gallery Banks. In most cases Stevens changed the castings in the base so that their conventional type of round coin trap could be used instead of the rectangular locking trap as used by Shepard. To the best of the writer’s knowledge no Picture Gallery Banks have ever been found with other than the Shepard type of locking trap.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition and was obtained by the writer some years ago in New England. The paint is in unusually good condition for this particular bank and is quite decorative. The round face of the bank is bright red with an outer edging in green. The lettering and decoration is painted gold. The section containing the numbers, alphabet, and so on is green and the numbers, the letters, and the objects are painted gold. The face of the man is painted in natural color and he has a blue coat, white shirt, and a red hat.
     The levers to operate the bank are in the back. There are two levers, one to operate the figure and the other to operate the alphabet mechanism. To operate the saving feature a coin is placed in the outstretched hand of the figure. On pulling the proper lever the figure turns and lowers his hand depositing the coin in the provided slot. To operate the instructive mechanism the other lever is pressed and a letter of the alphabet appears in the left window. The number of this letter appears in the upper center window and an object with the name shown appears in the right hand window. In each case the name of the object begins with whatever letter of the alphabet is shown. As example, in the picture when the letter ‘L’ is shown the number is ‘12’, and the word is ‘lock’ with a lock pictured. In this case the lock shown is the same as that used in the base of the bank itself. The instructive part of the bank has a mechanism that operates on a ratchet principle. This is independent of the savings mechanism and is so designed to enable the instructive feature to be used at any time without the necessity of a coin being deposited.
     The Picture Gallery Bank is a very desirable mechanical bank with its completely different educational theme. It is a very showy large bank and difficult to find in good original condition with good paint.

Monkey Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1958

     A quite rare but unpretentious mechanical bank is our choice as No. 63 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, the Monkey Bank, is very possibly an Ives product and this possibility adds somewhat to its desirability. Other than the Bull Dog Savings Bank, definitely an Ives product and an outstanding mechanical bank, it is not known conclusively just what other mechanical banks they did make. The Ives Company was most certainly outstanding in the production of cast iron toys and any mechanical banks produced by them would naturally have a certain degree of prestige. This is not meant to imply that other manufacturers of cast iron toys did not make some outstanding items, but the Ives line as a whole was on a very high level. Certainly, for example, no one surpassed the J. & E. Stevens Company in the field of mechanical banks, however, this was one phase in the overall cast iron toy group.
     The Monkey Bank was designed by C.F. Ritchel of Bridgeport, Conn., and patented by him November 7, 1882 under Design Patent No. 13,400. It is interesting to note that on the same date he patented the Shoot That Hat Bank under Design Patent No. 13,401. The writer knows of only one other case where the patentee had consecutive patent numbers on two different mechanical banks. C.F. Bailey was the individual and the date was July 26, 1910. The banks are the Billy Goat Bank, No. 965,842, and the North Pole Bank, No. 965,843. Ives very possibly produced the Monkey Bank but, like Shoot That Hat Bank, it may have been made by either H.L. Judd or the Mechanical Novelty Works. Perhaps at some future date evidence will turn up to prove conclusively the actual manufacturer.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer from the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. It is in good condition and as far as the paint goes it is simply an overall brown type of varnish finish. There are no decorative colors of any kind and no highlighting of any parts. As a matter of fact it’s rather interesting in its simplicity.
     The operation of the bank is also quite simple. A coin is placed on the flat slide type device held in the hands of the monkey and the lever in back is then pressed. This causes the arms to rise and in turn lifts the so-called tray, and the coin slides into a slot in the monkey’s stomach. It might be well to mention that this bank is at times referred to as the Monkey With Tray. This is a little confusing, however, as there is a tin mechanical bank that does consist of a monkey holding a tray, and it is felt best that this bank be known as the Monkey With Tray. Actually the Monkey Bank under discussion is not holding a tray in his hands and the name Monkey Bank seems sufficient, particularly under the circumstance that no other mechanical bank is known by this name. There is also, of course, the Monkey and Cocoanut Bank, but there certainly seems to be no reason to confuse these three different banks.
     While simple in its operation and appearance, the Monkey Bank is a very desirable addition to any mechanical bank collection. It is an elusive item to find, and particularly so in good condition.

Bow-ery Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1958

     As we reach No. 64 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks we are again confronted with a bank whose background is an unknown quantity. This bank, the Bow-ery Bank, has unfortunately no definite characteristics, markings, or identifiable clues that would lead to any particular designer or manufacturer of mechanical banks.
     The bank shown is from the very fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty and it was formerly in the extensive collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. Here again we draw a blank as to any information about the bank since it is not known where Dr. Corby obtained this specimen. There is one helpful piece of information that establishes the approximate time of manufacture of this bank. In the Selchow & Richter Catalog of 1890 the bank is pictured and offered for sale at $4 per dozen. To the best of the writer’s knowledge this is the only piece of pertinent information known concerning the Bow-ery Bank.
     The bank pictured is in fine original condition and the only defect of any kind is the piece broken and missing from the top. The base and name section are painted a dark green and the lettering of the name is gold. Other decorations of the front are in gold and the outlining around the name section and the decorations at the top are in red. The back or rear section of the bank has ribbed sides and symmetrical pattern perforations. This entire section is painted with a brown type of varnish. The round section above and between the two bank teller type window openings has a paper label thereon. Unfortunately whatever printing appeared on this label is now illegible. Possibly this consisted of instructions as to the operation of the bank.
     The operation is quite simple but effective. A coin is inserted in the provided slot on the ledge of the window shown on the right in the picture. In dropping into the bank the weight of the coin causes both dogs to bow toward each other. The dogs then return to the position shown in the picture.
     The mechanism inside the bank is made of wood. This consists of a wooden slide which is caused to move or pivot by the weight of the coin. The paper dog in the right window is fastened to one end of this wooden slide. A small movable block of wood with the paper dog fastened thereon is located in back of the other window. This small block is fastened by a wire to the movable wood slide in the right window. This mechanism causes the dogs to bow when contacted by the weight of a coin.
     The pictures of the dogs are of interest. They are printed paper in black and white. The dog in the right window has a monocle in his eye and is of the ‘dude’ type. The other dog is a rough character type with his eyes squinted and his mouth twisted. Some kind of name or lettering appears over each dog in the curved section of each window. Unfortunately in both cases this lettering is not legible.
     The Bow-ery Bank is most certainly a rare item to have in a collection since the specimen under discussion is the only one known to exist. This point in itself certainly recommends it as a desirable item to the mechanical bank collector.

Goat, Frog and Old Man Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1958

     A mechanical bank with the unusual feature of having a companion mechanical bank is our choice as No. 65 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Goat, Frog, And Old Man is a companion piece to the Initiating Bank First Degree. The Goat, Frog And Old Man was originally advertised in old catalogs as the Initiating Bank Second Degree, however, since this name does not appear on the bank it has been felt by present day collectors that the present name is more descriptive and offers more accurate identification.
     The Initiating Bank First Degree and Goat, Frog And Old Man are both covered by the same patent. This was issued September 28, 1880 to George W. Eddy of Plainville, Conn. This patent was also assigned to Andrew Turnbull and James A. Swanston, both of New Britain, Conn. They operated under the firm name of The Mechanical Novelty Works and made the Goat, Frog And Old Man as well as a number of other mechanical banks. This concern, of course, also made the Initiating Bank First Degree. The article and information on this mechanical bank appeared in the November, 1952, HOBBIES.
     The Goat, Frog And Old Man, like its companion bank, is typical of the times when secret societies and fraternal organizations used a goat in their initiation ceremonies. Both banks employed the use of the same goat with modifications in the original pattern to include the old man astride the goat. The frog is identical on both banks and a similar type mechanism is employed to operate the two banks.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer some years ago in an antique shop in Providence, R.I. It is in excellent condition, completely original, and with good paint. The frog has a green head with an under jaw in yellow and white. The mouth is red and the eyes are a copper bronze color. The figure of the old man is entirely painted the same copper bronze color as the eyes on the frog. The base of the bank, the frog, and the goat are all painted in a dark brown varnish type of finish. There is a gold line around the top and bottom edges of the base to add a finishing touch. While not particularly colorful or lively the painting of the bank is attractive and interesting.
     The bank operates as follows: A coin is placed as shown on the tray-like container held in the hands of the old man. The lever located in front of the goat is then pressed and the goat springs forward. At the same time the frog raises on his hind legs so that the coin is deposited in his mouth at the time of contact of the figures. The coin goes through the frog on into the base of the bank. The bank is reset for operation by pulling the goat back and down into the position shown in the picture.
     The Goat, Frog, And Old Man is a very interesting bank and rather difficult to find in good original condition. This bank paired up with the Initiating Bank First Degree is a very desirable combination to the mechanical bank collector.

Animated Toy Pistols
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1958

     In the period of the 1880’s and 1890’s the shooting of paper caps and firecrackers on July 4th was a very entertaining as well as noisy method of celebration, entertaining in that there existed in those days some very ingenious cap and firecracker shooting devices which had animated figures in connection with the shooting mechanism. Some were a figure in themselves, others were objects, and then in the majority they were in the form of a pistol with the figures or objects on the barrel of the pistol.
     One of the most desirable of all the animated toy pistols is the Just Out Pistol made by Ives in the 1885 period. When the trigger is pulled the rooster pecks at the egg and this fires the cap located where the beak of the rooster hits the egg. At the same time the front part of the egg breaks open and the chick’s head pops out. Another very desirable item is the Clown And Mule pistol wherein the mule kicks the clown thereby firing the cap. The mule and clown are on top of the barrel of the pistol. The clown is to the front in a bent knee position. The action is very realistic with the mule rearing up and giving a good kick with his rear legs hitting the clown squarely in the seat of his pants.
     Three other very rare animated toy pistols are the Cat, Duck, and Alligator. These three are actually figures in pistol form. The Cat, for example, fires the cap by clamping his extended front paws together. He is in a reclining position and his tail is curved to form the handle, thus the cat is in the form of a pistol. The Duck consists of a curved tree-like formation to form a handle and on top sits the duck. The cap is fired when the duck’s bill snaps together. There is a provided trigger to operate the bill, and here again the overall appearance is that of a pistol. In the case of the Alligator the tail is curved down and this forms the grip. When the trigger is pulled the alligator opens and closes his mouth firing the cap. Meanwhile the figure of a colored boy rocks back and forth on the back of the alligator.
     There is quite an interesting group of the animated toy pistols and generally speaking Ives was the largest manufacturer, however, J. & E. Stevens and Kenton Hardware, as well as others, were also in this field. They were made of cast iron and are very similar to the mechanical banks. In the banks a coin was used in the operation and in the pistols a cap was employed. One animated pistol, the Clown On Powder Keg, used a firecracker as a means of operation. Here we have a clown seated on a powder keg, both are on top of the barrel of the pistol. A firecracker was placed in the end of the barrel and when lighted and fired the clown was blown off the keg.
     The toy pistols under discussion are quite rare and, unlike the mechanical banks, they were made to be played with outdoors. This, of course, added to the likelihood of their being broken, mislaid, lost, and so on. In this respect on a comparison basis many of the animated toy pistols are more difficult to find than the mechanical banks.
     There are, of course, a great variety of toy cast iron pistols but it is the animated type that have the greatest interest and desirability. The pistols under discussion and pictured are from the writer’s collection. At a later date more detail will be given on the other types and kinds of toy pistols. It is a broad field and cannot be covered in detail in any one article. In addition there are other animated types not mentioned and these will also be covered in a future article.
     In closing the writer would like to clarify the fact that it is not his intent to confuse animated toy pistols with mechanical banks nor to infer that they are in the same category. However, both groups have a number of things in common. They are cast iron toys, they were made by the same companies, they have animated figures in action, and they employ a lever or trigger to start the action.
COVER ILLUSTRATION
     The animated pistols shown on the front cover are, starting at the top row going from left to right: Butting Match, Just Out, Surprise Box, Punch & Judy, Bell Ringing Pistol, Duck, Royal Top Spinning Pistol, Humpty Dumpty, Clown On Powder Keg, Sambo, and the Alligator.

Little Moe Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1958

     A mechanical bank with a definite flair of politeness is our choice as No. 66 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, Little Moe, actually tips his hat in the process of receiving a coin. It is one of the bust group of mechanical banks and is one of the most attractive banks in this group.
     Little Moe is of English origin having been manufactured by Chamberlin & Hill Ltd. of Walsall, England. Here again it is well to point out that the English were outstanding in the production of the bust type of mechanical bank. They excelled in this phase and produced a greater variety of bust types than were made in our country. This is the only group of which this can be said, however, as mechanical banks in the overall picture are distinctly Americana, and English and other foreign types are only a small percentage of the total. In addition to Little Moe, Chamberlin & Hill also produced the Clown Money Box which is also a bust type and about the size of Little Moe. The Clown is appropriately painted an overall white with other decorations in yellow and either red or blue. He has a peaked hat tilted to the side and is somewhat similar in general appearance to our Humpty Dumpty Bank. Chamberlin & Hill also made other banks and a general line of cast iron novelties, such as hat and coat hooks, trivets, sadiron stands, ink stands, paper weights, letter plates, and household hardware.
     The Little Moe shown in the picture turned up in England several years ago and another specimen was found in one of our New England States some time ago. This brings to mind the fact that very few English banks turn up in our country. Transversely, mechanical banks of United States manufacture are not uncommon in England. It is known that quite a few of our banks were exported to England and apparently the opposite is true of the English banks imported into this Country. Of course another factor that has direct bearing on this situation is the vast quantity of mechanical banks made in this country as compared to the limited quantity made in England.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition with no repairs. The paint is quite good and the colors are as follows: The coat is red with a white collar and blue tie and buttons. He has brown eyes, red lips, white teeth, and his raised left hand holds a yellow hat. The name "Little Moe Bank" is on the back of the bank and the registration number is shown below the name.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the extended right hand, then a lever located at the rear left shoulder is depressed. As the lever is pressed the right hand raises to the mouth, the tongue recedes, and the coin drops into the mouth. As this action is taking place the left arm moves forward tipping the hat in the polite gesture of thanking the operator for the coin. The eyes also roll back during the operation. Upon releasing the lever the various parts of the figure automatically return to the position shown in the picture. As a point of interest it might be well to explain that the hat is directly fastened to the working mechanism and tilts forward of its on accord. The left arm movement is therefore actually caused by the hat, however, to all appearances the opposite effect is given.
     Little Moe is a very desirable, attractive bank and so far there are three specimens known to exist in private collections.

Acrobat Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1958

     A mechanical bank with unusual action is our choice as No. 67 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Acrobat Bank, does have unique operation principles, however, there are two other mechanical banks that would fit into the same category. One, the Clown On Bar, is quite rare, and the other, the Boy on the Trapeze, is more or less common on a comparative basis. These two banks employ the weight of a coin in their respective operation while the Acrobat Bank is entirely different in its operation principle with the weight of the coin having nothing whatsoever to do with the action.
     The Acrobat Bank was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. It was patented April 3, 1883 by Edward L. Morris of Boston, Massachusetts. In the patent papers he refers to the bank as the Gymnast Bank or the Bar Performer Bank. Actually Bar Performer is a more accurate name for the bank, however, it was listed for sale in old Stevens catalogs of the period as the Gymnast Bank. Some of the bank collectors have in more recent years called the bank Two Men On Trapeze, however, the more generally accepted name up to date has been the Acrobat Bank and this seems appropriate enough. It might be well to point out that if the terminology Bar Performer were used as the name of this bank then there would be definite confusion between it, the Clown On Bar, and the Boy On The Trapeze.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer some years ago in New England. It is in excellent original condition with good paint, particularly for this bank. The colors are as follows: The base is dark brown and the four supporting posts are red. The section on top of the posts is blue with white decorations and the platform on which the clown is standing is gray with red outlining at the bottom. The figure of the clown has a red hat and red trousers, a blue shirt and white stockings. The gymnast has red shoes and his red trunks are outlined in blue with a black sash type belt. The rest of the figure is a natural skin color and he has black hair and a very impressive black handlebar type moustache. It is possible that the figure is represented as wearing tights as there is a blue collar-like representation around his neck and a blue line at each wrist.
     The bank is pictured ready for operation with the coin in the proper position. The lever to operate is located on the base under the toes of the gymnast. When the lever is pressed the gymnast swings forward and around on the bar and ends up actually standing on his hands. In the process the gymnast’s toes hit a protruding section on the clown’s shirt, this causes the clown to revolve between the uprights and he ends up standing on his head. The head of the clown contacts a lever located on the platform. Upon contact the lever moves to the side allowing the coin to drop into the bank. To reset the bank the gymnast is first replaced in position and then the clown is turned over to the position shown.
     The Acrobat Bank is rather difficult to find in good original condition with no repairs. The operation of the spring arrangement on the gymnast’s hands plus the impact when kicking the clown over subjects the arms of the gymnast’s figure to severe strain and the bank is often found broken at this point. The interesting action of the bank makes it especially desirable to have in a collection.

Dog Tray Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1958

     A very simple but hard to find mechanical bank is our choice as No. 68 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, the Dog Tray, has the desirable feature of depending upon the weight of the coin to cause its operation. Banks using this principle were in the main designed and patented by John Hall of Watertown, Mass., and manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. John Hall was apparently obsessed with the idea of the coin itself taking part in the action and causing the action to take place. He was noted for Hall’s Excelsior (earliest known dated mechanical bank, 1869), Tammany, Lilliput, and the Horse Race Bank. The Dog Tray, however, has an entirely different background and history.
     The Dog Tray Bank was patented September 21, 1880, by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., and manufactured by them. A quote from the patent papers is of interest: "Our invention relates to that class of toy money boxes in which the weight of the money to be deposited causes the figure to move; and our invention consists in so balancing a figure of a dog or other animal, sitting upon its haunches, that when a piece of money is placed upon a plate, held in its mouth, the center of gravity is changed and the animal tips over slightly to one side until the money slides off into an opening in the box, and the figure once more regains its original position." So, of course, the main purpose and idea in back of the bank was the principle of the operation caused by the weight of the coin.
     The bank shown was obtained some years ago from A. L. Cooper of Dayton, Ohio. It is in extra fine original condition and the paint is also unusually good. The base or building part of the bank is blue and the bottom edge and top of the building are yellow with gold high-lighting. The entrance way, name and date are also in gold. The dog is white and he holds a gold tray in his mouth.
     The operation of the bank, as previously mentioned, is quite simple. A coin is placed on the tray held in the dog’s mouth, this causes the figure to tilt forward and the coin slides from the tray into the provided slot. The dog then returns to the position shown in the picture.
     The bank is made in four main parts, the top, bottom, and two curved sections to form the front and back of the building. The bank is held together by one bolt that clamps the top and bottom onto the two curved sections. This bolt has a round head and two lugs on the bottom. These lugs simply tighten into a slot when the bolt is turned. It is necessary to take the bank apart to remove the coins. The method of fastening this bank together is brought out since it has some bearing on the scarcity of the bank itself. It is not a very secure method of holding the bank together and it is reasonable to assume that with any degree of usage by a child a part could be easily lost or misplaced and subsequently the rest of the bank discarded. The collector of today is fortunate if he can find the Dog Tray Bank in complete original condition.

Calamity Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1958

     As we reach No. 69 in our numerical classification of mechanical banks our choice is a bank that has two very desirable features which appeal to the collector of mechanical banks. This bank, the Calamity Bank, has, for one feature, a popular sporting theme and for another an outstanding mechanical action which is rather spectacular. The sporting theme is, of course, football and the clever mechanical action has to do with the ball carrier.
     The Calamity Bank shown was obtained by the writer some years ago in Keene, N.H., and it is in fine all around condition. The bank was designed by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., and patented by him August 29, 1905. It was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The patent papers covering this bank are worthy of mention since they are of considerable interest. For one thing two sheets of drawings were necessary to cover the gear operating mechanism, the figure positions, and the spring arrangement. The written material outlining the patent covers over two full sheets and considerable detail is given so that realistic action of the figures is assured. It is of further interest to note that the bank as manufactured follows the patent outline practically to the letter. Mr. Bowen, while not as prolific as Charles F. Bailey, was most certainly one of the outstanding mechanical bank designers. He designed and patented the Girl Skipping Rope, and this is one of the finest of the mechanical banks. As a matter of fact the Girl Skipping Rope is about the most mechanical of all the mechanical banks and at the top in action and desirability. He also designed the very early and popular Creedmore Bank in 1877. This was the first of the shooting banks consisting of a figure shooting a gun at a tree. On a section of the base of this bank there appears the wording "Bowen Series" and apparently he had intended to continue with a series of different banks. None of his other known banks, however, have this wording on them. In any event, James Bowen certainly deserves recognition for the fine mechanical banks he so skillfully designed.
     The Calamity Bank is painted in attractive colors. All three players have tan uniforms and hats. The two tacklers have red sleeves, red collars, and red socks. The ball carrier has blue sleeves, collar, and socks. The top part of the base is green with considerable outlining and decoration in gold. The words "A Calamity" is also in gold. The front section of the base which holds the coins has red sides outlined in gold.
      To operate the bank the players are first placed in the position shown in the picture. A coin is then set in the provided coin slot where it remains until the action of the bank occurs. Upon pressing the operating lever the figures spring into action, each tackler swings around and in on the ball carrier. In turn the ball carrier moves back and tilts forward and all three figures come together so that their heads touch. Thus the ball carrier has been stopped in his tracks by the thorough tackling job of the two tacklers. As the action takes place the coin automatically drops into the base container of the bank. The figures are reset for action by moving the two tacklers into their outside positions. The ball carrier automatically assumes the position as shown in the picture. The figures are motivated by means of a very clever gear arrangement activated by brass springs under tension.
     The Calamity bank with its desirable football sporting theme plus the attractive action make it an exceptionally good addition to any collection of mechanical banks.

Mamma Katzenjammer Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1958

     A comic or cartoon representation in a mechanical bank is a very unusual item, so unusual in fact, that so far there is only one known type to represent this category. The bank that has this unique position is Mama Katzenjammer, our choice as No. 70 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. As a matter of interest, it is well to point out, that some collectors feel that the Uncle Sam Bank is in the same category as Mama Katzenjammer. This technically speaking is not true, however, as the Uncle Sam Bank is more of a characterization of a national symbol rather than a comic or cartoon type figure. There is too, of course, the Shoot The Chute Bank with the figures of Buster Brown and Tige riding in the boat. This bank could possibly be classed with Mama Katzenjammer, however, it is not as an overall bank a comic or cartoon representation. Among the still banks there are a number of cartoon or comic strip types including Buster Brown and Tige. In this case, however, the two figures represent the entire bank, and therefore, it would be properly classed in the comic group. Mutt & Jeff would be another still bank example with identical reasons for the same classification.
     As a comic strip the Katzenjammer Kids enjoyed wide popularity in the early 1900’s and while the kids were the main characters with their various antics and tricks, both Mama Katzenjammer and the Captain were always prominently featured and involved in the proceedings. The Inspector was another character involved with the Kids, and he too, was a target for many of their pranks. The Katzenjammer Kids was originated by Rudolph Dirks in 1897, however, some years later in a change from one newspaper to another he legally lost the right to use the name Katzenjammer Kids for his strip. He then used the name Hans & Fritz, but during World War I, he changed the name to the Captain and The Kids in 1917, and continued with this name for his comic strip. Meantime, for a period of 25 years, Harold Knerr drew the Katzenjammer Kids under the original name. This created an unusual situation whereby there were two comic strips running at the same time, featuring the same characters. In either case, the Mama Katzenjammer Bank was made to be a definite representation of the comic strip itself. As can be seen in the picture, Mama Katzenjammer is characteristically holding each of the Kids apart, and all three figures are exactly reproduced from the strip.
     The Mama Katzenjammer Bank shown is in unusually good condition and the writer has always felt fortunate in having a specimen with the original paint in such excellent condition. It was made by the Kenton Hardware Company of Kenton, Ohio, during the period of the early 1900’s. It is the only mechanical bank known to have been made by Kenton. They manufactured many still banks in various figure and animal form and also combination safes. They also made top cap pistols, but Kenton is best known for their general line of horse drawn cast iron toys such as fire engines, carriages, and commercial wagons. In this group were some comic toys including Mama Katzenjammer riding in a wagon spanking one of the kids, the Happy Hooligan patrol wagon with the cop hitting Hooligan on the head, and Alphonse & Gaston riding in a wagon.
     The operation of the Mama Katzenjammer is simplicity in itself, although it is realistically appropriate. A horizontal coin slot is located in Mama Katzenjammer’s back, and when a coin is inserted, she rolls her eyes upward typifying a gesture of discouragement with Hans & Fritz. Her eyes return to the position shown when the coin drops into the bank.
     The bank is painted as follows: The faces and hands of all figures are a natural skin color and their mouths are pink and they have blue eyes. Mama Katzenjammer’s dress is blue and she has black shoes. One boy has a yellow shirt with white collar, red trousers, white socks, and black shoes. The other boy has a red shirt with a white collar and large black tie. His trousers are yellow, and he also has white socks and black shoes. It is a very colorful bank and this lends to an attractive appearance.
     The unique comic subject angle plus the fact it is rather difficult to find an original specimen in good condition, add to the desirability of having a Mama Katzenjammer Bank in a collection.

Mechanical Bank Collectors Convention
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1959

     A rather unique event, at least for some of the mechanical bank collectors, occurred on Saturday, September 27, 1958, in Rhode Island. This occasion was the first general get together of a group of the mechanical bank collectors and the sponsor of the event was the Antique Bank Collectors of Rhode Island, a collectors club that was established in 1951.
     A number of collectors, including the writer, who came from distant points arrived on Friday night and stayed at the Bob Bean Motel in Wickford, R.I. This turned out to be a very pleasant spot to stay and on Saturday morning there was a good deal of activity among the collectors present, exchanging ideas, getting acquainted, and so on.
     The schedule for the day and evening was an active one and exceptionally well planned and organized by E.T. Richards, the President of the Antique Bank Collectors of Rhode Island. The first event on the agenda was a social hour held at "Hedgerow," the very attractive and spacious home of the E.T. Richards in Peace Dale, Rhode Island. They have a fine representative collection of mechanical banks and these are well displayed throughout the first floor section of their home. They have some in the sun room, the den, and the dining room. In the large living room two mechanical banks are used as attractive lamp displays. The lamp bases are made so that various different mechanical banks can be shown from time to time. All in all a very nice effect is obtained by the way the Richards have their mechanical banks arranged and the writer felt that a very pleasant atmosphere was created by having mechanical banks in whatever room one happened to be in.
     After the social hour the group gathered in the main sitting room and Mark Haber gave a talk entitled "Mechanical Bank Prices,—Past, Present and Future." He had prepared a very well planned speech on the subject which offered much food for thought. Everyone found his talk stimulating and an interesting question and answer period followed.
     Several collectors had been asked to bring some favorite or rare bank or two with them to the affair, and after Mr. Haber’s excellent talk the writer discussed and explained these banks. The banks certainly bear mention since they were a very interesting and important part of the activity. William Roup brought along his rare Preacher in the Pulpit, Clown Bank, and the Presto. M.C. Manlove had his Red Riding Hood with him, and this is the finest specimen of this bank the writer has seen to date. Two rare pattern banks, the Wishbone Bank and Aunt Dina and the Fairy, were a couple of favorites that L.C. Hegarty picked out for the occasion. The writer brought three banks from his collection, The Old Woman in the Shoe, Jonah and the Whale (Jonah Emerges), and John Bull’s Money Box. Norman O. Weil had a Calamity Bank in the original box, and needless to say, the bank was in unusually fine condition. It is a rare occasion to find a bank such as this in the original container.
     Some of the leading dealers in mechanical banks attended the meeting and they brought along various banks to sell. The dealers exhibiting banks were: Frank Ball, Mark Haber, and David Hollander. This, of course was another feature that added interest to the affair. George Bauer was also in attendance and he not only deals in mechanical banks but is also well known for his excellent repair work.
     After the activities held in the Richard’s home the meeting was resumed at the Larchwood Inn in Wakefield, R.I. Here the first item on the agenda consisted of a cocktail hour followed by the evening session. A nice dinner started the session and favors were provided for everyone attending. The men received clever barber pole banks and the ladies received either a cat or a dog bank and in all cases each bank had a plastic plaque identifying it with the convention. In the private dining room where the dinner and meeting was held Hubert B. Whiting had a display of some of the still banks from his collection. Outstanding were the Seal, the Rhinoceros, the Three Monkeys, the Bull and Bear, and a number of other fine rarities.
     After the banquet the speaker of the evening was the writer. He spoke on mechanical banks in general and on recasts, fakes and reproductions in particular. A question and answer period was held after the writer’s talk and this brought out many interesting discussions. After this a business meeting was held wherein the foundation was set up for a mechanical bank collectors club on a national scale. A board of directors was established and tentative plans were made to hold the next convention in Pittsburgh, Pa., probably some time in September, 1959.
     Following is a list of people who attended this first general convention of the mechanical bank collectors: Mark Haber, Wethersfield, Conn.; Mr. & Mrs. Frank L. Ball, Cambridge, Mass.; Andrew C. Bain, Warwick, R.I.; George W. Bauer, Pottstown, Pa.; Oliver I. Clark, Bloomfield, Conn.; Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Hall, Milford, Dela.; Mr. & Mrs. L.C. Hegarty, Coalport, Pa.; Mr. & Mrs. David Hollander, Yonkers, N.Y.; C.R. Howell, Elmhurst, Ill.; Frederick L. Macalister, Rehoboth, Mass.; Mr. & Mrs. M.C. Manlove, Seaford, Dela.; Mr. & Mrs. Philip A. Perkins, Palmer, Mass.; Mr. & Mrs. William H. Roup, Pottstown, Pa.; Rudolph A. Salvatore, Providence, R.I.; Mr. & Mrs. Normal O. Weil, Tuckahoe, N.Y.; Mr. & Mrs. Hubert B. Whiting, Wakefield, Mass.; Mr. & Mrs. Edward T. Richards, "Hedgerow," Peace Dale, R.I.

Lion Hunter Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1959

     The thoughts of Africa, wild game and lion hunting certainly have a direct appeal to most men and therein lies the particularly desirable subject matter of the mechanical bank picked as No. 71 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, The Lion Hunter, as seen in the picture, truly depicts the intrepid wild game hunter about to shoot the lion.
     The bank was designed and patented by C.A. Bailey, August 22, 1911. In this case Bailey covered the bank by a design patent and he claimed coverage for the ornamental designing of the bank itself. It is a large size bank and quite attractive and showy. There has always existed some conjectures as to whether or not the figure of the hunter represented Teddy Roosevelt. It is well to mention that Bailey also patented and designed the well known Teddy and the Bear Bank and the figure of the hunter on this bank does, of course, represent Teddy Roosevelt. As to the figure on the Lion Hunter, while there is some resemblance to T.R., it is the writer’s opinion that it is not intended to represent him. Based on the design picture of the Lion Hunter Bank furnished by Bailey to the Patent Office it was not his intention that the figure of the hunter represent Roosevelt. In any event, Bailey amply protected the bank by the design patent and it was put into production and manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     The bank shown is in just about as fine condition as it is possible to find a bank. It has been in the writer’s collection for some years and was obtained from an antique dealer in New England. The paint and decorative effects are in excellent condition. For one thing the rock-like formations on the bank still have the original mica or silica like finish that was originally applied to give a realistic appearance to the rocks. The overall base of the bank is painted a greenish gold and the foliage is highlighted in bronze and shades of gold. The hunter has a tan uniform and gray hat. His puttees are green with gold buttons and his cartridge belt is also gold. His silver gun has a maroon butt and his hands and face are flesh toned. The lion is brown and his open red mouth displays large white teeth. The bank, while not bright as to coloring, is actually a very showy handsome piece and, as mentioned before, quite realistic.
     The action of the bank is rather clever. The shooting device on the barrel of the gun is pulled back and cocked into position. In so doing the hunter’s head snaps into aiming position. A coin is then placed on the barrel of the gun as shown in the picture. The lever, located between the hunter and the lion, is then pressed and the hunter’s head snaps back and the coin is fired toward the lion. The lion in turn rears back on his haunches and the coin is deflected into the receptacle which is located under the lion. Upon releasing the lever the lion returns to the position shown in the picture. The gun is so constructed that a paper cap may be used in the operation, thus providing a realistic noise to accompany the firing of the gun.
     The Lion Hunter is an excellent example of a mechanical bank. Its good action and fine appearance make it a "must" item for the collector of mechanical banks.

Horse Race Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1959

     The designer of the earliest known dated cast iron mechanical bank comes to the fore as we reach the present point in the numerical classification articles. The designer is John Hall and the earliest known dated cast iron mechanical bank is the Halls Excelsior. He also designed the Horse Race Bank which is our choice as No. 72 in the series.
     The Horse Race Bank was patented by John Hall August 15, 1871, just two years after the Halls Excelsior which was patented December 21, 1869. The Horse Race is the most outstanding mechanical bank designed by Hall and to today’s collector it is the rarest and most desirable of his banks. John Hall lived in Watertown, Mass., and all his mechanical banks, including the Horse Race, were made by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. Apparently, he was completely absorbed with the idea that the weight of a coin should cause the action to occur and this is borne out by the fact that all his mechanical banks operate on this principle. Three of Hall’s banks undoubtedly sold in greater quantities and enjoyed a longer period of popularity than any of the other mechanical banks. These were the Excelsior, Tammany, and Lilliput. They are among the earliest known mechanical banks, but today they are still relatively common. This, of course, is due to the fact they were made in larger quantities over a number of years.
     The Horse Race shown is in excellent original condition and has been in the writer’s collection for some years. It was purchased by the writer in an antique shop in Worcester, Mass. The paint is exceptionally fine and the colors are as follows: The lattice base and scroll work top are bright red; the circular rim of the top is white, and the two arches are also white with blue outlining. The colored boy is black with red striped white trunks and a red striped white rimmed turban. Beside the colored boy is a white rectangular box-like coin slot with blue and red decorations. One horse is brown and the rider has a red shirt and yellow trousers. The other horse is white and the rider has a blue shirt and red trousers. The reins, the mane, and the tail of each horse is done in black. On the scroll work top appears the wording "Patented August 15, 1871," and this is painted blue. The archways on the round base are painted yellow and the word "Bank" over each archway is in blue.
     The Horse Race Bank when originally sold through toy stores, jobbers, and other outlets came with printed instructions as to its operation. These instructions were on a rectangular piece of paper that fitted in a space provided on the top of the bank. This section, which has round perforations, can be seen in the picture between the word "Patented" and the date.
     The operation of the bank is unique and quite interesting. The string with the small bead on the end is first pulled out and the pulley like wheel with the lug revolves as this is done. This pulley can be seen in the picture. As the operator pulls the string another string fastened to a long flat spring inside the bank is wound onto the pulley putting tension on the spring. A lever snaps into place holding the pulley with tension on the spring and this lever extends under the section where the coin is dropped. Both horses are then placed into position beside a star on the base which is located to the right of the colored boy. When the horses are placed in this position the extended balanced arm section of each horse is located just to the front of the lug on the pulley. A coin is then dropped in the provided slot as shown in the picture. The weight of the coin trips the lever and activates the spring which causes the pulley to snap around. The lug on the pulley hits the extended arms and causes the horses to speed around the track at a lively pace.
     The Horse Race Bank has excellent action and the fact that the weight of the coin causes the action is a very desirable feature. In closing it is well to mention that the bank is entirely cast iron with the exception of the tin horses and their respective arm extensions. It is a hard bank to find in good complete original condition and a favorite among the collectors of mechanical banks.

Tank and Cannon Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1959

     Historical mechanical banks are always of great interest and as we reach No. 73 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks we have chosen a bank that well represents a period of our history. The bank is the Tank And Cannon and it represents two lethal items of World War I. This bank and possibly the Called Out Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1955) are the only known mechanical banks with a World War I theme. There are, of course, other mechanical banks that employed the theme of a specific war as their subject matter. One was the U.S. And Spain Bank (HOBBIES, June, 1954) which had its connection with the Spanish-American War, and another is the Octagonal Fort Bank (HOBBIES, August, 1954) which is a Civil War Commemorative item.
     The Tank And Cannon Bank was patented May 4, 1920 by Robert Eastwood Starkie and Nellie Starkie of Burnley, Lancaster, England. Their application was filed May 12, 1919. The bank as actually manufactured closely follows the descriptive matter contained in the patent papers along with the accompanying diagram. So far the actual concern that made the bank is unknown and this may well remain so. The writer has spent considerable time on research on the Starkie’s but to little avail. While we have knowledge of various banks that the Starkie’s patented so far no information has been available as to any concern in England who actually made the banks. The Tank And Cannon Bank was unquestionably made in England and protected in this Country by the patent papers previously mentioned.
     The bank shown is in good condition and was obtained through the help of Frank Ball of Cambridge, Mass. He, of course, is the well known dean of dealers in mechanical banks and toys. Mr. Ball obtained the bank through a party who had originally found it in England. The paint is in pretty fair condition and it is simply an overall silver type paint. The bank is inclined to be a little crude in its construction as compared with the standards of those made in our Country. It is quite heavy and the castings are rather thick. It’s likely that circumstances surrounding the time and place of manufacture were a factor, however, a number of the English banks seem to have been produced with less care than was used in the manufacture of the American made banks.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed on the flat surface end of the barrel of the cannon after the plunger firing mechanism is pulled back. Upon releasing the plunger the coin is fired into the tank. There is no coin trap and the coins can be removed only by taking off one side of the tank which is held in place by a screw. Both the cannon and the tank are somewhat adjustable so that the firing of the coin can be more or less a matter of skill. This is accomplished by means of adjusting the respective screws that hold the tank and cannon in place on the base.
     Previously it was mentioned that the Tank And Cannon and possibly the Called Out Bank were the only mechanical banks to commemorate World War I. It might be well to point out that another patent was issued on a mechanical bank that would come into the World War I category. On February 17, 1920, Chester A. Herle of Rochester, N.Y., patented a bank that represented Uncle Sam knocking out the Kaiser. This was to have a chute-like arrangement whereby the weight of the coin tripped the lever which caused Uncle Sam’s arm to punch the Kaiser in the jaw. The head of the Kaiser in turn fell back. No examples of this bank have ever been found, however, and it is doubtful that it was ever manufactured.
     In summing up, the Tank And Cannon Bank is a very interesting example of a historical English bank and so far there are only two or possibly three known to have been found to date.

Time Is Money Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1959

     A mechanical bank that more or less disrupts the permanency of a classification setup is our choice as No. 74 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank is the Time Is Money Bank and undoubtedly it belongs somewhat further up in the listing than the present position assigned to it. Unfortunately circumstances of this nature can occasionally occur by the finding of some heretofore unknown mechanical bank. Also there is always the possibility of a Coasting Bank or a Tommy Bank being found. These are two examples of banks that are known to have been made but to date no specimens have ever been discovered. The Time Is Money Bank more or less fits into this latter category.
     The Bank shown is in fine original condition and until the circumstances surrounding the recent occasion of the writer obtaining the bank he had never seen one before. The name of this bank has appeared in some listings and there is said to be another specimen in a collection that has lain dormant for some years. Other than this, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, nothing is known about the Time Is Money Bank.
     The bank was found in central Pennsylvania through the good help of an antique dealer. Unfortunately there is no information as to the original source of the bank and nothing could be learned of its origin or background. There, however, is no question but that the concern that made the Bow-ery Bank also produced the Time Is Money Bank. Here again, like the Bow-ery, Time Is Money has no markings, patent dates or any identifying features that lead to any particular concern or individual who made banks. The bank has the same general outline form as the Bow-ery and the back half of each is alike. There is a third bank known that was unquestionably made by the same concern or individual and this is the Chronometer Bank. Here the resemblance with Time Is Money Bank is practically the same, however, the operation and mechanism are entirely different. The Chronometer Bank is known to have been made and sold in 1876 as it appeared in an advertisement in Ehrich’s Fashion Quarterly for the Winter of 1876. The Time Is Money Bank and Chronometer have the same early type of representation of Father Time and it’s fairly safe to assume that Time Is Money was made in the 1875-1880 period. The Chronometer Bank, strictly speaking, is a registering bank and is classed in this category, while the Time Is Money is an actual mechanical bank.
     As mentioned above, the bank shown is in fine original condition with good paint. The base ledge, the protruding ledge above the lettering and the top scroll peak are painted red. The lettering and some decoration and outlining are all done in gold. The circular section which represents a large coin with Father Time thereon is a silver color. The rest of the bank is done in an overall japanned type of finish with some highlighting of red in the fluted sections of the sides.
     The operation of the bank is quite simple but very effective and unusual. The bank is shown in the picture ready for operation. When a coin is dropped into the provided slot in the top of the bank the large coin section with Father Time spins around to the left and snaps into position after making slightly under a complete revolution. The weight of the coin trips the necessary lever inside the bank to cause this action. The necessity of using a coin plus the fact that the weight of the coin causes the action are both very desirable features. The bank is re-set for operation by turning the coin-like dial clockwise until it snaps into the position shown in the picture. A small brass knob is provided for the purpose of re-setting the dial.
     Some points of interest are provided in the large coin-like dial section. Father Time himself is depicted as people visualized him in the period of the 1880’s and he somewhat resembles the devil. He is turning the back of an Indian head cent by means of a crank or lever. Also shown are a shield and an hour glass. The general theme of the bank is quite appropriate—time passes rapidly or spins by so save your money before it’s too late.
     The Time Is Money Bank is certainly an interesting early mechanical bank and it well represents the object lesson to save your money. The action is quite different than any of the other mechanical banks and it makes a desirable addition to a collection.

Builder of Safes and Bank Vaults
Collects Mechanical Banks

by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1959

     The massive vaults that protect the nation’s gold supply at Fort Knox and a collection of antique mechanical penny banks have a common bond.
     Edwin H. Mosler, Jr., president of the 109-year-old Mosler Safe Company—the firm that built the Fort Knox vaults—is a collector of penny banks. He owns one of the few remaining originals of the famous Ferris Wheel model, commemorating the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, where the first ferris wheel was introduced.
     Mechanical penny banks date back to the late 1800’s when lessons in thrift were a common practice in American homes. To encourage this trait in children, artisans designed original penny banks, which were cast in iron or brass. Once an original design had been cast, the sand molds were destroyed. After casting, the banks were hand-painted and decorated with all the care and imagination of a work of art. While they cost only a few dollars in the 1880’s, today many of them are worth hundreds of dollars.
     The earlier models generally attempted to depict humorous situations such as a boy being butted by a buffalo, or a boy caught stealing a watermelon. Later, politics, social phenomena and national events inspired designs.
     Typical was the so-called "Tammany Penny Bank," showing Tammany Boss Tweed pocketing pennies and nodding his thanks.
      The Mosler collection contains some of the rarer specimens of antique mechanical penny banks.

Butting Buffalo Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1959

     An animal that played a very important part in the founding of the Western part of our country is the subject of our choice as the 75th mechanical bank in the numerical classification. The animal is the buffalo and as a provider of meat for the Pioneer, as well as the Indian, he was unsurpassed. As a matter of fact the buffalo was the main source of meat for the Indians and then at a later date the buffalo hunters came along and over a period of time they slaughtered so many that the buffalo almost became extinct. The bank chosen as No. 75 is the Butting Buffalo Bank and the figure of the buffalo thereon well represents this former roamer of the western plains.
     The bank pictured was obtained by the writer a number of years ago from a New England antique dealer. It is in excellent condition and completely original. The bank was patented March 20, 1888 by Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., and manufactured by Kyser & Rex of the same city. It represents the figure of a buffalo in the act of butting a boy who is climbing a tree in order to reach an animal in the top of the stump. For some years the animal in the top of the stump was thought to be a small bear, however, the patent papers clarify this as follows: "In the bank illustrated in the drawing I (Rex) have shown the casing in the form of a piece of ground and the stump of a tree, from the top of which is pivoted the representation of a raccoon, and to the side of the tree is pivoted the representation of a boy in the act of climbing up the tree after the raccoon. In the rear of the boy is a horned animal (buffalo) in the act of butting the boy and assisting him up the tree as shown." This quote from the original patent papers leaves no doubt but that the figure of the animal in the stump definitely represents a raccoon.
     The paint on the bank shown is in fine condition and the colors are as follows: The base or ground-like section is an overall green with highlightings of red and yellow. The tree stump is brown and green with bronze color vine-like leaves going up the sides. The buffalo is an overall brown with highlights done in silver, and his horns are also silver. The boy has yellow trousers, a red shirt, and a blue hat. The raccoon is black with silver highlights.
     To operate the bank a coin is first placed in the provided slot in the top of the tree trunk to the rear of the raccoon. The coin stays in position until the bank is operated. The lever shown is then depressed and in so doing the buffalo raises his head butting the boy. The boy moves up the trunk and as he does so the raccoon withdraws back into the stump and the coin drops inside the stump and on into the base. Upon releasing the lever the figures automatically return to the positions shown in the picture. It might be well to point out that the coin rests on a small lug which blocks the coin slot inside the stump. This lug is part of and fastened to the raccoon. As the raccoon withdraws the lug moves down and forward allowing the coin to fall into the bank. As has been mentioned in past articles, this type of action where the coin is automatically deposited by the operation of the mechanism is a desirable feature.
     The Butting Buffalo Bank is a very attractive mechanical bank with interesting action. It makes a nice addition to a collection and is somewhat difficult to find in completely original state.

Chimpanzee Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1959

     The only mechanical bank to feature an ape is our choice as No. 76 in the numerical classification. This bank is the Chimpanzee Bank and strictly defined as an ape it is in a class of its own, however, in the broad definition the bank fits into the monkey group of mechanical banks. This group, by the way, comprises some very interesting mechanical banks. There are the four types of Organ Bank, all of which ring bells in their operation; then there is the rare Monkey Bank (HOBBIES, April, 1958), as well as the elusive, hard to find Little Jocko Musical Bank wherein music is played during the operation of the bank. Two other rather rare items in the monkey group are the foreign made Monkey With Tray and Monkey and Parrot. Then, of course, there is the late, rather common Hubley item, The Monkey and Organ Grinder (Monkey Bank), as well as the desirable Lion and Two Monkeys made by Kyser & Rex. And last, but not least, is one of the outstanding banks in the group, The Monkey and Cocoanut made by J. & E. Stevens Company. The Chimpanzee Bank can, if the collector so chooses, also be classed in the group of house or building type mechanical banks. This is merely a matter of choice or opinion.
     The Chimpanzee Bank was patented September 21, 1880, by L. Kyser and A.C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., and also manufactured by them under the company name of Kyser & Rex of the same city. The bank as produced closely follows the patent papers and the accompanying drawings. One of the desirable features of the bank is the fact that a coin operates the mechanism and this feature is well covered in the patent papers as follows: "Our invention relates to toy money-boxes in which the insertion of a piece of money causes the figure attached to and forming part of the toy to move; and our invention consists in so constructing the toy that no money can be deposited within the box without first causing a figure to move its head and hand, and, if desired, its whole body, and act as though recording the amount of the deposit in a book which lies open before it, and upon the passage of the money into the box the figure resumes its upright position again, and at the same time it causes a bell to be struck, indicating that it is ready for the next deposit." Also in the patent papers it is interesting to note that the word "monkey" is used in reference to the figure.
     The bank shown was obtained by the writer some years ago through the good help of Robert Beveridge of Albany, N.Y. It is completely original with no repairs and the paint is in excellent condition. The colors are as follows: The building is an overall light green with a red base, the windows are outlined in gold, and the tin inner lining of the larger lower windows is painted a light red. The top peak and the archway over the monkey are in red and the lettering of the name is done in gold. The domed perforated section in back of the monkey is white as are the open pages of the book in front of the monkey. The edges of the pages and the covers of the book are gold, the desk or table-like section is brown. The monkey has a blue jacket, white shirt, and his hands and face are brown.
     To operate the bank a coin is inserted in the provided slot located to the front of the figure. In inserting the coin it is necessary that a lever across the slot be pushed to the rear by the coin itself. This causes the head of the monkey to nod forward and at the same time his right arm and hand move down on the open book as though noting the deposit thereon. A bell also rings during this action as a finishing touch. The coin is released into the bank and the figure returns to the position as shown in the picture ready again for action.
     The Chimpanzee Bank is rather difficult to find in good original condition. It is an attractive item and also has the desirable feature of the coin operated action, thereby making it a fine addition to a collection of mechanical banks.

Perfection Registering Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1959

     Little girls who are sugar and spice and everything nice are well represented in some of the mechanical banks. As a matter of fact several fine banks were intentionally made to have more appeal to girls rather than boys. Examples are The Old Woman In The Shoe, Red Riding Hood, Girl Skipping Rope, Girl In Victorian Chair, and the Speaking Dog Bank. Another example of this group, the Perfection Registering Bank, is our choice as No. 77 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks.
     The Perfection Registering Bank is as the name implies a registering bank, and therefore, can also be classed in with the registering banks. However, it is definitely a mechanical bank since the figure of the girl moves down the track as coins are inserted and the operating lever pressed.
     The exact date or period of manufacture of the bank is not known and the base plate only shows the terminology "Patent Applied For." To the best of the writer’s knowledge no patent papers have ever been found. However, it is the writer’s opinion that it is definitely a product of the well known bank designer, C.F. Bailey, and was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. As can be seen in the picture the bank is a fine example of Bailey’s artistry in using flowers, animals, and figures in the general design. This is typical of Bailey’s work and many of his banks show this extra care and detail in their makeup. This, of course, required more time and effort in making the original pattern, however, the end result was a more interesting, attractive, detailed mechanical bank.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition with excellent paint, and as a matter of fact could be called mint condition. It is in the extensive collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty and was originally in the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. The bank is attractively decorated in an all over light tan color, all figures and decorations are highlighted in gold. The figure of the soldier is completely gold and the girl has blond hair, a red belt, and a brown smock. There is red highlighting on the end of the bank facing the girl. The numbered section along the back of the bank where the amount of the deposit is shown is a dark blue-black paper printed with gold numbers and lines. The name of the bank is also printed in gold on this paper section. The newsboy embossed on the front has a newspaper under his left arm titled "Sun." On the right end of the bank there is a large embossed cat’s head and this complete end opens for the removal of coins. The birds, flowers, and other decorations are shown in the picture.
     To operate the bank a dime is inserted in the provided slot located in the front top edge of the left end section of the bank. A lever located in this same end section is then pressed. In so doing the girl moves forward and the pointer in her right hand indicates the amount now in the bank. It might be well to point out that the operating lever is inside the protruding curved-out section on the left end of the bank as shown in the picture. It is of interest to note that the lever makes no contact with the operating mechanism until the insertion of a coin.
     The Perfection Registering Bank is a difficult item to add to a collection as it was apparently never made in any great quantities. This, plus the fact, that it is a very attractive bank appearance-wise makes it a nice addition to a collection of mechanical banks.

Winner Savings Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1959

     Horse racing, the so called Sport of Kings, again comes to the fore as we reach No. 78 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. The Winner Savings Bank is our choice to occupy this position and its operating theme centers around a horse race. Another mechanical bank has the same subject matter and this is the Horse Race Bank which appeared in the series as No. 72, HOBBIES, March, 1959.
     The Winner Savings Bank was patented April 23, 1895, by Alfred A.R. Berger of New York City, N.Y., and manufactured by Berger & Medan Manufacturers of the same city. The patent papers as issued to Berger are very specific as to the operation of the bank and thoroughly cover the fact that the horses can finish in any number of positions at the completion of each race. This as outlined in the patent papers is accomplished by means of spacer washers on the central operating shaft that cause the factor of friction to be the motivating force.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of L.C. Hegarty. It is in what may be called mint condition, completely original, no repairs, and excellent paint. The bank is an overall light bluish green. The first part of the name "The Winner" is in gold with red outlining and "Savings Bank" is in gold with green outlining. The scroll work and decorations are in green. The horses on the front and side are a reddish brown. There is a large gold and red horseshoe on the back and the name of the manufacturer "Berger & Medan" is printed thereon. The following is also printed on the back: "Directions. Pull out rod, insert either a one, five, or ten cent piece in slot then push in rod." Opposite this appears this statement: "To take out contents remove cover in the bottom of the bank." All the aforementioned printing is in green. In each corner of the top there is a gold horseshoe with a red riding whip through each shoe. The round raised rim on top, the top edge, and the bottom edge are in gold with green scroll decorations. The inside base under the round glass top is tan. The six horses in this glassed-in top section are on the ends of three flat strips which revolve on a central axle. The horses are white, black, pink, yellow, tan, and gray. The riders have different color coats, caps, and riding breeches in red, green, blue, yellow, and pink.
     To operate the bank the directions as shown on the back are followed and the horses spin around and around until an eventual winner stops near the finish point marker. The bank is operative only when a coin is used and this, of course, is a desirable feature.
     The bank is made of tin and it is 5" square, 4" high, and the round top is 4¼" in diameter. It seems to be a very difficult item to add to a collection as so far only a few are known to exist. It’s a colorful item with its attractive decorations and makes a nice addition to a collection of mechanical banks.

Second Annual Convention of
the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America

by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1959

     The second annual convention of the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America was held Saturday, September 19, 1959, at the Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa. The club is scenically located in the Eastern suburban section of Pittsburgh.
     The day’s program got under way around noon time with a registration and social hour. The convention was then called to order and F.L. Ball gave an entertaining talk on his experiences in collecting and dealing in mechanical banks. Naturally, Mr. Ball is well qualified to discuss this subject as he is one of the pioneers in this field. His talk was interesting and enlightening and everyone present enjoyed it. Mr. Ball’s talk was followed by another social period and the serving of light sandwiches and refreshments. Mark Haber was the next speaker on the agenda and his talk had to do with mechanical banks that reflected historical significance. Mr. Haber used his usual thorough precise approach to the subject and his presentation was well received by the members present.
     Following Mr. Haber’s talk a short business meeting was held and the new by-laws as drawn up by E.T. Richards were distributed to the group. Also several committees were appointed to further the interests of the organization. The afternoon session was then terminated.
     It might be well to mention at this point that some of the dealer members brought along some mechanical banks to sell and these were nicely displayed on provided tables. Those bringing banks to sell were Frank L. Ball, David Hollander, and Mark Haber. A high point of this phase of the convention was the purchase of the Darky Fisherman Bank by Mrs. Mary Gerken from Mr. Hollander. A number of mechanical banks were sold by each of the dealer members present and they are to be commended for the quality and variety of the items they had for sale.
     The evening session started with a cocktail hour followed by the formal evening banquet. After this the writer, who was the speaker for the evening, gave a talk on English and foreign made mechanical banks. He then discussed several of the rarities brought to the convention by their respective owners. These included the Turtle Bank recently acquired by the writer and the Chinaman In Boat recently obtained by Mr. Richards. The writer then conducted an open question and answer period. Directly following this the formal evening business session was called to order and E.T. Richards did an excellent job of handling the meeting. By-laws were adopted, officers and directors were elected, dues were established, the new insignia pin was adopted and the name of the organization officially established as Mechanical Bank Collectors of America. E.T. Richards was elected President for the coming year and F.L. Ball was elected Secretary-Treasurer. At the termination of the meeting it was decided that the third annual convention will be held between September 10 and October 10, 1960 in the vicinity of White Plains, N.Y.
     Several points of interest bear mention. There was a nice display of shooting mechanical banks presented by the Rhode Island group of mechanical bank collectors, and a number of historical banks were on hand to go along with Mr. Haber’s talk. Also it was a real pleasure to have Mrs. Leon Cameto and John D. Meyer present at the affair. Mrs. Cameto’s late husband, Leon Cameto, was an avid and a leading collector of mechanical banks, as well as being a close personal friend of the writer. John Meyer, of course, is one of the pioneer collectors of mechanical banks.
     The writer would like to suggest that seriously interested collectors of mechanical banks contact Mr. Ball or the writer should they have an interest in or a desire to join the club. In closing the writer would like to mention the fact that the convention was a very successful affair and all present expressed their approval and enjoyment of the activities.

Reclining Chinaman Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1959

     A mechanical bank that is another anti-Chinese item is our choice as No. 79 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This is the Reclining Chinaman and it is a very appropriately named, attractive mechanical bank. In referring to the bank as another anti-Chinese item it is well to point out that two other mechanical banks with this theme have previously appeared in the series of articles. The first of these was the rare Chinaman In Boat (HOBBIES, May, 1955), and please refer to this article for coverage on the reasons for anti-Chinese feeling that existed in the period. The second mechanical bank with the same theme was Shoot That Hat Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1957).
     The Reclining Chinaman was patented by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., August 8, 1882, and manufactured by the J. &. E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. In this case the patent papers covering the bank are of particular interest since they also apply to the Frog Bank and, as a matter of fact, the drawings accompanying the papers picture the Frog Bank. However, the Reclining Chinaman and the Frog Bank have the same type operating mechanism and this is the salient feature covered in the patent. The following quote from the papers bears out the fact of the original intent of the patent being used to cover more than one type mechanical bank. "The savings bank herein described may be made in the image of living beings of any kind and character or of any other desired shape." Also covered is the fact that the coin receiving arrangement may be in a different form or shape. In any event, it is a little unusual to have two different mechanical banks covered by the same patent papers.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition and was added to the writer’s collection some years ago through the good help of a New England antique dealer. The paint is in an unusually nice state of preservation. The log is a reddish brown and the mouse coming out of the end of this log is gray with beady black eyes. The Chinaman has a dark purple smock, blue trousers, white socks, and black shoes with white soles. The arms, hands, and face of the Chinaman are flesh color and he has black hair with a long black queue. The drapery effect on which his head rests is blue with yellow fringe. In his right hand are five playing cards with reddish brown backs. From the front, when exposed, only four cards show. These are the respective aces and they have white backgrounds with the spade and club in black and the diamond and heart in red.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the pocket section of the Chinaman’s smock, then a lever located in the right end of the log is depressed. Simultaneously the left arm raises the left hand to the face as the right arm moves forward exposing the hand of cards. The hands are made to be movable and they fall into their respective positions very realistically. As the action takes place the coin automatically drops through the pocket into the bank.
     As an anti-Chinese item the object lesson behind the above mentioned action simply was the fact that the Chinaman holds all the aces and couldn’t lose. As previously mentioned, it is a very attractive bank with realistic action and makes a nice addition to a collection.

Darky Fisherman Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1960

     It is always a real pleasure to report the existence of a heretofore unknown mechanical bank since it offers each and every collector in the field a new challenge and the possibility of a new addition to his own collection. A discovery of this kind seemingly throws the numerical classification out of order since we have reached No. 80 in the series articles and, of course, a very rare desirable mechanical bank such as the previously unknown "Darky Fisherman Bank" logically deserves a higher rating. It is necessary, however, to maintain some order and conformity in our series of articles. With this in mind the writer decided some time ago after due consideration that any mechanical bank under the above circumstances would be assigned a number at the time, subject to change at some future date. Therefore the Darky Fisherman Bank will be No. 80 in our numerical classification even though it actually should be higher up in the listing. A comparable situation occurred with the Time Is Money Bank (HOBBIES, May, 1959) and undoubtedly will occur again in the future.
     The Darky Fisherman Bank is in the very fine collection of Mrs. Mary Gerken of Allison Park, Pa. Mrs. Gerken is an avid collector and has been interested in mechanical banks for a number of years. She enjoys her hobby thoroughly and has an excellent collection including some of the top rarities. Mrs. Gerken obtained the Darky Fisherman Bank from David Hollander at the recent Mechanical Bank Collectors Convention (HOBBIES, November, 1959). Mr. Hollander deserves due credit for his unusual find. He is one of the pioneers as a dealer in mechanical banks and in recent years handled the sale of the various banks in the well known Chrysler collection.
     The bank is in fine condition with good original paint. Some object may have originally hung from the end of the fishing pole and if this is the case it is missing. According to Mr. Hollander the original owner claims that a fish hung from the pole and this seems logical enough. However, it is possible that some sort of an incongruous or comic type of object may have hung there. In the writer’s opinion Charles A. Bailey unquestionably made the bank. There are no markings, patent dates, or other means of identification on the bank, however, every part and piece shows Bailey’s meticulous workmanship. It is the writer’s further opinion that the bank was made during the period of 1880 to 1885 and that Bailey designed, produced, and manufactured it himself in his shop in Cobalt, Conn. The material and workmanship are the same as his Springing Cat (HOBBIES, September, 1952), Chinaman In Boat (HOBBIES, May, 1955), and Baby Elephant Bank Unlocks At X O’Clock (HOBBIES, June, 1956).
     There is some wording on the bank and this is in raised letters across the base just to the front of the boy’s feet. The statement "Dis Pond Am De Boss Place To Fish" appears here. Flowers and foliage are also designed in this section around the boy’s feet, the lettering, and on up to the edge of the pond. The flowers are red and the entire base including the pond is silver with small frogs around the pond. The boy’s legs, arms, and face are black. He has large white eyes and a large red lipped mouth. His trousers are yellow with a blue patch on the right leg and a red patch on the left leg. There is a large red patch on the seat of his trousers. He has a blue jacket with a red shirt. His cap is sectioned on the top in red, blue and yellow, and the visor is black. The boy holds a wire fishing pole in his right hand and this pole has a loop on the end. The looped end rests in a slot in the pond and this slot runs part way into the coin section located at the end of the pond. The loop end of the pole thus passes through part of this coin section which is painted red.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed on the aforementioned coin section. A lever located on the right elbow of the figure is then pressed, this causes the right arm to move upward raising the pole held in his hand. The looped end of the pole moves up through the slot in the pond and pushes the coin into the coin slot. As the pole continues to travel upward a lever inside the figure is accentuated and this causes the cap to tilt backward off the head of the colored boy. The pictures clearly illustrate this operation.

Tommy Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1960

     It’s a rare occasion for the writer to report the existence of a heretofore unknown mechanical bank such as the "Darky Fisherman Bank" (Hobbies, January, 1960). To repeat these circumstances in the very next article really establishes a precedent. But such is the case as we reach No. 81 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks, and the improbable becomes probable as we report the finding of a Tommy Bank. Here again this bank properly belongs further up in the listing, but we will conform to our established policy on this as outlined in previous articles.
     The Tommy Bank is a World War I item. That is to say it is from that period and the name "Tommy" referred to any British soldier, the same as the American soldier was called "Yankee" or "Yank." The bank was made by John Harper & Company of England and appeared in their catalogs as late as 1924. This rather late date might leave the impression that the bank should not be too difficult an item to locate, however, this is far from the case, as the opposite is true. Apparently, like several other late rare banks, such as the Clown, Harlequin And Columbine and the North Pole, the Tommy was made in very limited quantities and thus there are not many examples in existence. The writer is very fortunate in having an original catalog of John Harper & Company which illustrates the Tommy Bank. Therefore, it was a bank that was known to have been made, but until the appearance of this specimen had never been found.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of E.T. Richards of Peace Dale, R.I. It was found in a private home located on the Vermont-Massachusetts boundary. It is in completely original condition with good paint. The soldier is dressed in a khaki colored uniform with khaki puttees. His cap is the same color and on the front of the cap there is an unusual type of insignia. The face and hands of the figure are flesh color and his hair is black. The tree trunk is dark brown with a yellow top. The section on which the rifle rests is light brown and the grass is a bright deep green as is the rim around the base of the bank.
     On the top of the base, between the tree stump and the soldier appears the name "Tommy" with an exclamation point after the name. On the bottom of the base is the word "Beatrice." The name "Beatrice" was a registered trade mark, Number 224,159, used by Harper as a general name for their line of mechanical banks. This is similar or comparable to the Excelsior Series of banks as issued by Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York. For more information on the Harper Beatrice banks and English mechanicals in general please refer to HOBBIES, May, 1957.
     The operation of the Tommy is the same as the Wimbledon Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1956). The gun is first set to fire as shown in the picture. In so doing the spring operated mechanism tilts the soldier’s head forward as though taking aim. A coin is then placed on the barrel of the gun. Then a lever is pressed which raises the soldier’s right arm and hand and this releases the mechanism firing the coin into the tree stump. As the coin is fired the soldier’s head snaps back into position.
     The Tommy is certainly a rare find in a mechanical bank and Mr. Richards is indeed fortunate to be the possessor of the first known example of this bank. This, of course, is encouraging news to all other mechanical bank collectors and offers each and every one a new challenge for their respective collections.

Presto Savings Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1960

     An unusual mechanical bank is our choice as No. 82 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. The bank is the Presto Savings Bank and it is unusual with respect to the fact that it is mainly constructed of wood and paper. That is to say the main framework and operating parts are all made of wood with paper covering on the building. This, of course, is quite different than most of the mechanical banks which are made of cast iron.
     The Presto Savings Bank was designed by Charles M. Crandall of Montrose, Pa., and patented by him May 20, 1884. He assigned two-thirds of the patent to Frederick W. Crandall and Benjamin L. Baldwin. The patent papers with the accompanying drawings very clearly describe and picture the bank as it was actually made. So often a mechanical bank was produced in its final form with many variations from the original patent or drawing. However, the Presto Savings Bank is exact in every detail to the drawings in the original patent.
     The bank is known to have been sold in the period of 1885-1886 since it is pictured for sale in the Selchow & Righter Catalog dated October 10, 1885, for the Season of 1885-1886. The writer is fortunate in having this catalog, which not only has a fine illustration of the Presto, but illustrates numerous other mechanical banks as well. The writer obtained the catalog from Lawrence B. Romaine of Middleboro, Mass., who is to be commended for his fine work in the old catalog field of Americana.
     As to the operation of the bank the actual description as outlined in the Selchow & Righter Catalog is of interest and accurately describes the action:

"Size 6 inches long, 5 inches high, and 2½ inches wide.
One-half dozen in box.

     This is the most pleasing and ingenious Toy ever invented. The idea is entirely new—and is so cheap and captivating as to insure sale on sight. The operation is quick and decisive, though simple and natural, while the result is surprising. A penny is laid flat-ways on top of the Bank. The operator is then directed to turn the knob and see it disappear. He does so; when Presto! the penny is gone, and quick as lightning a cunning little mouse has taken its place. The money is safe in the Vault, though nobody sees it go; the mouse is turned back to his mysterious hiding place, and the Bank is ready for another deposit. The toy is so simple in mechanism and durable in construction as to insure it from getting out of order. It is very neatly gotten up, and will handle well in the trade."
     It might be well to explain several points of interest. The mouse springs from inside the building and in so doing raises the rear peaked section of the roof. This peaked section is hinged by a piece of cloth at the extreme end of the roof. After the mouse springs into the position as shown in the picture the section merely drops back into place. On the flat part of the roof between the two peaks appears the wording "Lay Penny Here." The penny when in this position, is actually knocked forward by the lever to which the mouse is attached and slides into the coin slot located in the front section of the roof.
     The bank shown is in unusually fine condition and particularly so when one considers the fact that the entire building is wood with decorated paper covering. The sides of the building have a brick-like representation in red with black lining between the bricks. The roof is white with a shingle type representation. The front of the building has the word "Presto" at the top, and "Savings Bank" across the center. The window glass is realistically done in a blue shading and there is gray, dark gray, and blue coloring on the door, window tops, and outlinings of the front entrance. The mouse is a gray felt-like material and quite realistic with its black beady eyes.
     The Presto Savings Bank is from the extensive collection of John D. Meyer and so far it is the only known specimen in existence. It was found some years ago by Gerald Patton, well known antique dealer of Duncansville, Pa.
     In closing, it might be well to mention, that some years ago a crude, unattractive replica of the Presto Savings Bank was made, with sheet iron sides and roof and a cast iron front and back. This replica has very little resemblance to the fine original specimen under discussion. Only a few were made to try to fool collectors at the time, and this was before an original specimen was known about in collecting circles. Another word of caution is not to confuse the Presto Savings Bank with the Presto Bank (HOBBIES, September, 1956) or the small cast iron building with a false bottom drawer which has the single word "Presto" as its name.

Little Jocko Musical Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1960

     The organ grinder with his pet performing monkey was a normal part of the street scene some years ago and children derived fun and pleasure in giving the monkey a penny and listening to the catchy tunes of the loud but pleasant music emanating from the hand cranked organ. The monkey would then, in the usual routine, do a turn around dance in acceptance of the coin. The organ grinder and his monkey would be an unusual sight these days, however, they are brought vividly to mind as we reach No. 83 in our numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank is the Little Jocko Musical Bank and both the monkey and the organ, as well as the music, are respectively well represented and played.
     The Strauss Manufacturing Company of New York made the Little Jocko Musical Bank and they used the terminology "Patent App’d For" and "Trade Mark" on the front of the bank. So far the writer has been unsuccessful in locating any patent papers or evidence of the trade mark that would apply to the bank. Therefore, to the best of his knowledge the exact date of the manufacture of the bank is not known. It is the opinion of the writer, however, that it dates in the 1910 to 1915 period.
     The bank shown is in very fine original condition and was obtained by the writer through the good help of Bill Ginter of Bryan, Ohio. Mr. Ginter’s main interest is in antique firearms, however, he is also active in other specialty collector’s items, as well as an interest in classic cars.
     The Little Jocko is a bright attractive bank and the specimen shown has excellent paint with few mars or scratches. The round circle on the front of the bank was caused by the operating crank which in turn marred the paint surface in the fashion shown. The crank is practically flush with the front surface of the bank and thus in operation this marking is unavoidable. The entire organ part of the bank is an all over bright red. The decorations and scroll work on the front are in gold as is the lettering in the name. The wording "Patent Appl’d For" and "Trade Mark" is in black. The scene of the gondola with the gondolier is done in blue, red, brown, white, and yellow with various shadings. This scene is outlined in black and gold to give the appearance of a picture frame. The top of the organ has the statement "A Coin Please!" in black across the front edge. There is also gold outlining on the top. On each end of the organ there is a rhyme in black, "Drop a Coin in the Slot – Then turn the Crank around – You will see the Monkey Dance – And hear the Music sound." This rhyme is on a gold background with yellow scroll work outlining and below it appears an open sheet of music. The back of the bank is very interesting as it shows a large pipe organ with fifteen pipes that have a different type hat on top of each one. Nine of the pipes have character faces on them and each face is different but all have their mouths open as though singing. The pipes are yellow shaded with red and the outline of the pipe organ is gold with a dark blue background. The hats are done in gold and the faces in blue. Underneath the pipe organ appears the following wording in black, "Strauss Mf’g. Company, New York, U.S.A."
     The monkey on top of the organ is brown and he has a blue hat and trousers and a red jacket. The coin cup beside the monkey is gold with a white line around the bottom. There is a locking coin trap on the underside of the organ. The handle of the crank is a wooden knob. The bank is made of tin and sheet iron and the monkey is a lead-like material.
     To operate the bank a coin is inserted in the provided slot inside the coin cup. It is necessary to push the coin in this slot rather than drop it in. The crank is then turned clockwise and music starts to play and the monkey dances around in a circle pivoting on his left foot. The entire piece plays through and then stops automatically regardless of the continued turning of the crank. It is necessary to insert another coin to resume the action and music.
     The Little Jocko Musical Bank with its attractive appearance and good action accompanied by music is a desirable bank to have in a collection. It’s a difficult bank to find in complete original condition and so far there are four, possibly five, known to exist in private collections.

Bowing Man in Cupola Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1960

     Mechanical banks with unknown backgrounds are always a challenge to the sincerely interested collector. Such a bank is our choice as No. 84 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. This bank, the Bowing Man In Cupola, also has the distinction of being a new find in the field of mechanical bank collecting. Circumstances have indeed been unusual in the past few months when one considers the fact that this is the third new discovery in a mechanical bank in that time. The other two are the Darky Fisherman Bank (HOBBIES, January, 1960); and the Tommy Bank (February, 1960).
     The Bowing Man In Cupola Bank unfortunately has no markings of any kind nor any patent dates which would be helpful in establishing the designer or patentee of the bank. Also there are no particular characteristics in the design or construction of the bank that would definitely identify it with any individual or concern. Further, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, there are no old catalogs or material of this nature that picture or describe the bank. However, the bank does have several things in common with the U.S. Bank (HOBBIES, January, 1958) and the New Bank.
     There are similarities as to construction and the general overall appearance. All these banks are painted very similarly with the same unusual colors and the same type paint. Also the three banks are assembled in a like fashion with a rod or rods running vertically through the center of each bank and held together by this method. These clues are, however, not too helpful since both the U.S. Bank and the New Bank remain unknown as to background, designer, manufacturer, and so on. Two striking features of the Bowing Man In Cupola are the type door on the front of the building and the dormer windowed roof. These are almost identical to the door and dormers on the Novelty Bank which was made by the J. and E. Stevens Company. The door opens on the Novelty Bank, however, and is also slightly larger in overall size compared with the stationary door on the Bowing Man In Cupola. The writer is not convinced that this is conclusive enough to establish the bank as being a Stevens item and until such time that further information may turn up the history of the bank will remain unknown.
     The circumstances under which the Bowing Man In Cupola was found are fortunately helpful in establishing its approximate age. The bank shown is in fine original condition with excellent paint. It was obtained by the writer from an antique dealer in the vicinity of Albany, N.Y. There were twin brothers living in a small town near Albany who died within a short time of each other at the age of 78. They had several mechanical banks including the Bowing Man In Cupola which were left in their estate and the antique dealer obtained the banks from the estate. The banks were in the possession of the brothers since their childhood so it is known that the Bowing Man In Cupola dates prior to 1890 and undoubtedly in the 1880 period.
     The bank is attractively painted in bright colors as follows. The graceful circular top of the cupola is a colorful red with a dark green underside, the round sides of the cupola are dark blue, and this part sets on a round dark green section on top of the roof. The rods on each side of the cupola are red and the same color is on the movable drawer-like section in the front of the cupola. The man inside the cupola has a black derby-like hat and a red jacket with black buttons. The top of the roof of the building is a dark red and the slanting sides containing the dormers are dark blue. The dormer windows are white with red outlining and red criss-crossing. The sides of the building are dark green with the four corners outlined in red. The side windows are also outlined in red as is the front door section. The arch of the door is dark blue and the name "Bank" is in red on a white background. The window pane sections of the door are white with green outlining. The base of the building is dark blue with a white striped edge, and this completes a very colorful bank.
     The operation of the bank is simple but very interesting. It is pictured ready to receive a coin. In normal position the figure of the man is face down covering the coin slot. To operate the bank the knob on the front section of the cupola is pulled forward. In so doing the drawer-like section moves forward causing the man to rise upright to the position in the picture. At the same time the coin slot is exposed to receive the coin. After depositing the coin the knob is released and the section recedes into the cupola. The figure at the same time bows in thanks for the coin and in so doing re-covers the coin slot. The action is attractive and appropriate and the mechanism is spring operated.
     The Bowing Man In Cupola Bank makes a nice addition to a collection of mechanical banks. As a final word it is not to be confused with the Cupola Bank (Hobbies, June, 1957). Other than the cupola feature the two banks are entirely different both as to operation and appearance.

Bird on the Roof Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1960

     A bank that has caused some conjecture over the years as to what it actually represents is our choice as No. 85 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank is the Bird On The Roof and for years the building part of the bank was thought to represent a church and the bird a dove of peace. This, however, is not the original intent of the patentee and designer of the bank.
     The bank was patented March 5, 1878 by Elisha Stevens of Cromwell, Conn. The fact that Elisha Stevens himself designed and patented the bank adds distinction to the Bird On The Roof since he was a member of the famous Stevens family and the J. & E. Stevens Company who were the outstanding manufacturers of mechanical banks. Quoting from Mr. Stevens’ patent papers clarifies the original intent of his representation in this bank.
     "The main portion or body of the bank is made to represent a cottage having a gable roof. Said body may be ornamented with windows of Gothic or other shape. At or near one end of the ridge of the roof of such cottage-like figure is an ornamental chimney. Projecting also from the ridge of the roof and along it, is an ornamental ridge-like strip designed to form an ornamental pedestal on which a bird having its head directed toward and over the chimney is mounted."
     This quoted information is conclusive as to the fact that the building is not a church and the bird is just a bird of no particular designation. Of interest too is the fact that the Bird On The Roof as manufactured is identical to the drawings in the original patent papers.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition and was obtained some years ago by the writer from an Ohio antique dealer. The overall effect of the paint on the bank gives the appearance of being iridescent. The bird is silver with a yellow tail and beak. The wings and head feathers are a purple color. The chimney is yellow and the roof is purple. The roof, by the way, is particularly attractive with its graceful curving slope and the well defined shingles. The sides of the building are silver outlined in purple and the windows are outlined in yellow.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed as shown in the picture. Then the lever under the bird’s tail is pressed. The head and forward part of the bird drops down and the beak hits on the edge of the chimney. This causes the coin to fall into the chimney. When the bird tilts down its tail raises up, and to re-set the bank for action the tail is pressed down and the bird and the lever snap into position. The bird works more or less on a cantilever arrangement.
     The Bird On The Roof is an early, attractive bank and extremely difficult to find in complete original condition with no repairs. The bank is entirely different than any of the other mechanical banks and is unique in both action and appearance. It makes a nice addition to a collection.

Squirrel & Tree Stump Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1960

     Thriftiness and saving are appropriately represented in the mechanical bank of our choice as No. 86 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. Certainly a squirrel in the act of storing an acorn in a tree stump leaves little to be desired as an outstanding example of saving and looking ahead to one’s future. Therefore, the Squirrel And Tree Stump is a particularly pleasing mechanical bank from the standpoint of its very desirable theme, realistic representation, and accurate operation. Of course, there are other mechanical banks such as the Bank Teller Bank (HOBBIES, February, 1953) which are also completely representative of saving in their general appearance and operation. Certainly nothing could better illustrate saving than a bank teller depositing your offered coins, which is the operation of the Bank Teller Bank. However, the Squirrel And Tree Stump would have a definite appeal to children and at the same time well point out the object lesson of saving one’s money. With this thought we must always keep in mind the fact that basically speaking all mechanical banks were made to encourage children to save their coins and the various actions and operations involved were all invented to lead to the habit of saving money.
     The Squirrel And Tree Stump was designed and patented by Robert E. Turnbull of New Britain, Conn., June 28, 1881. He assigned the patent to the Mechanical Novelty Works, also of New Britain. Mr. Turnbull carefully protected his design from all angles and the bank as actually produced is identical to the drawings in the patent papers. One feature was protected in two ways and this had to do with the operating lever. In addition to the lever as actually made he had a provision for a lever protruding from the rear of the bank which could be pulled in order to operate the squirrel. The bank was made by the Mechanical Novelty Works and Mr. Turnbull was one of the owners of this company. In addition to the Squirrel And Tree Stump this concern made a number of other mechanical banks including the very desirable Initiating Bank First Degree (HOBBIES, November, 1952).
     A point of interest has to do with the fact that the Squirrel And Tree Stump has no markings or patent dates on the bank itself. As a rule where a bank was patented the date of patent was usually inscribed on the underside of the base of the bank. There are several of the mechanical banks, however, which are exceptions to this rule and the Squirrel And Tree Stump is in this category. The Monkey Bank (HOBBIES, April, 1958) is another example. There are cases where a bank will bear the inscription "Pat. Appl’d For" and this indicates that the bank was manufactured before the final patent papers were issued. At a later date, after issue of patent, the bank was then produced with the patent date shown. This is not infallible, however, as some banks bore the same inscription, "Pat. Appl’d. For," throughout their period of manufacture.
     The Squirrel And Tree Stump shown is in unusually good original condition and was obtained by the writer some years ago from a New England antique dealer. The paint is excellent. The tree stump is an overall dark brown with the top of the stump and one root end in white. There are green sections around the base of the stump with some highlighting and flowers in yellow and red. The squirrel is a bronze and gold color with black eyes.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed on the acorn as shown in the picture. The lever at the foot of the squirrel is depressed and the figure of the squirrel tips forward dropping the coin in the provided slot in the top of the stump. The squirrel automatically returns to the position shown upon releasing the lever.
     The Squirrel And Tree Stump makes a very appropriate, desirable addition to a collection of mechanical banks. It is an interesting, attractive bank even to the decorative base plate, and difficult to find in complete original condition.

Penny Pineapple Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1960

     The collector of mechanical banks, as well as the general public, will be interested in the news that we bring you at this time. This news has to do with a new mechanical bank that is not only attractive but also has the added desirable feature of being a historical item. Penny Pineapple is the bank, and she has put in her appearance to commemorate the occasion of the celebration of the addition of our 50th State, Hawaii, and the addition of the 50th Star to our Flag.
     Penny Pineapple is similar in operation to a number of the bust type of mechanical banks such as Humpty Dumpty. When any coin up to and including a 50-cent piece is placed in her right hand she is ready for action. A lever located to the rear of the left shoulder is pressed and she raises her right hand to her mouth and swallows the coin. At the same time her tongue recedes and she rolls her eyes upward in appreciation. Releasing the lever returns the arm, tongue, and eyes to the position shown in the picture.
     Credit for this decorative mechanical bank goes to Thomas M. Imswiler of West Chester, Penna., who thought up the idea more or less on the spur of the moment. He designed the bank and holds the patent rights. The original model was made by Charles E. Rabenstine of the Littlestown Pattern Works of Littlestown, Penna. Mr. Imswiler has formed a partnership with Alvin N. Saylor of York, Penna., and together they have formed the concern Imswiler & Saylor. They are producing the first 500 of the Penny Pineapple Banks with the designation "1st Run Of 500" imprinted on the base plate. In addition to this the date of July 4, 1960 is imprinted across the back of the initial 500 banks. Any subsequent banks produced will not bear either of these designations. Among other plans Imswiler & Saylor intend to have one of the banks presented to Governor William F. Quinn of Hawaii during the period of the celebration of Hawaii becoming our 50th State and the 50th Star on the Flag.
     Penny Pineapple is a well made cast iron mechanical bank and the molding and foundry work is being done by a concern who formerly made some still banks and have some experience in the field. The bank is painted in very attractive bright colors. The face is a tan color with some red highlighting on the cheeks, the eyebrows are outlined in black, and she has blue eyes. Her lips and tongue are bright red and the teeth are white. The back of her head has the texture and appearance of a pineapple and the leaves atop her head are green. On the front of her chest is a large yellow five-pointed star and this star has ‘50th’ in black raised letters thereon. She has a blue collar and blue sleeves and the striping across the front and back of her blouse is in red and white. Across the back is inscribed the name "Penny Pineapple" in raised letters.
     The bank is priced at $15.50 plus postage and anyone desiring one of them can contact the writer should they so choose.
     In closing the writer might explain that in the ordinary routine surrounding the collecting of mechanical banks he would have no particular interest in writing about any banks that are of current manufacture. However, Penny Pineapple does have historical significance and in time will in all probability become a collector’s item and thus he feels that it is important enough to bring to the attention of HOBBIES’ readers.

Safety Locomotive Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1960

     An interesting, attractive, tri-purpose mechanical bank is our choice as No. 87 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, Safety Locomotive, is not only intended as a toy savings device but was also made to be used as a paperweight and a pull toy. Of further interest is the fact that the bank represents an object and there are a very limited number of mechanical banks that fit into this category. Others are the American Bank (HOBBIES, July 1955), the Camera Bank (HOBBIES, December 1955), and the Pistol Bank. The fact that the bank represents an early type of 4-4-0 locomotive with its fine tall stack adds considerably to its desirability, not only to collectors of mechanical banks but to collectors of cast-iron toys and toy train collectors as well.
     The Safety Locomotive, like the American Bank and the Camera Bank, has been considered a borderline case as to its being a semi-mechanical or a mechanical bank predicated on the fact that there is no immediate action in direct connection with a coin whether inserted in the bank or deposited by the action of the bank. Well the Safety Locomotive is a fine little bank and it does have clever mechanism inside whose operation is eventually caused by the number and weight of coins and it most likely belongs in the mechanical bank category. It’s to be admitted that from a strictly action standpoint the bank leaves much to be desired but this is not the only basis on which we judge a mechanical bank as to its merit as there are other factors involved. It is a well known and established fact among collectors of mechanical banks that some of the most desirable and rarest items have a minimum of action in their operation.
     The Safety Locomotive was patented November 15, 1887 by Edward J. Colby of Chicago, Illinois. The patent papers covering the bank were somewhat difficult to locate since he patented the bank as a toy locomotive and, therefore, this put the papers into a classification and sub-classification where under normal circumstances patent papers covering a mechanical bank would not be found. Also of interest is the fact that the Safety Locomotive is the only known mechanical bank to be patented in the entire year of 1887.
     The patent papers on the Safety Locomotive are noteworthy and Mr. Colby starts his claim as follows: "My invention relates to toys for banks, paper-weights, and the like, and has for its object to provide a bank which can be used as a toy to be drawn by a child, can be used as a paper-weight, or can be used as a bank, the contents of which are adapted to open the bank when they reach a certain weight. These objects I accomplish by means of the mechanism in the accompanying drawings, wherein Figure 1 is a side view of my invention. Figure 2 is a longitudinal section through the invention. Figure 3 is a plan view with the smoke stack and sand chest removed to leave the bank open."
     The accompanying drawings referred to are the same as the bank pictured. Detailed explanation is given in the papers as to the parts and working mechanism with reference to the drawings. The smoke stack and sand chest are shown as an integral unit which is removable after the proper number of coins have been deposited in the bank. In his summation of his patent Mr. Colby expresses his claim as follows:
     "I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent a toy bank consisting of a hollow locomotive provided with a coin receiving aperture, a removable smoke stack which covers the aperture through which the coin is removed, and a spring-latch which is adapted to lock the smoke stack in position, but when depressed by the weight of the coin permits it to be released and removed so that the coin may be abstracted."
     The bank shown is in nice condition and completely original. It was obtained by the writer a number of years ago through the good help of B.H. O’Connell of Binghamton, N.Y. The bank has its original nickel-plate finish and this type finish in mechanical banks is rather uncommon. As a matter of fact in the entire series of articles up to date only one mechanical bank came with a nickel finish and this was the Automatic Coin Savings Bank (HOBBIES, December 1956).
     As to the operation of the bank, dimes are inserted in the coin slot located in the roof of the cab and they drop on through into the steam boiler. When sufficient coins have been deposited they force the spring in the forward end of the boiler and thus depress the locking piston and cause it to descend. The hook on the bar to which the sand chest and smoke stack are fastened is thus freed and this part may be removed so that the coins can be extracted.
     The Safety Locomotive pictured has the name "Safety" on the front of the boiler and "Pat. 87" on each side of the cab under the windows. A later variety of the bank has the name "Safety" on each side of the cab and the date "Pat. 87" on the front of the boiler. This type also has a removable curved piece that fits on top of the boiler under the removable stack and sand chest. This was a later adaptation to facilitate the removal of coins.
     The Safety Locomotive makes a desirable addition to a collection of mechanical banks and it is a real challenge to the collector to find one in complete original condition. Since it was played with as a pull toy as well as a bank it was subject to extra usage. Usually one part or another is broken and most often the removable stack and sand chest is missing completely. The number of complete original Safety Locomotive Banks in private collections is very limited.

Peg-Leg Beggar Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1960

     A mechanical bank with a more or less charitable motif is our choice as No. 88 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank is the Peg-Leg Beggar and it is rather appropriate in its representation of the typical street type of beggar who was a common sight in our cities throughout the country some years ago.
     The subject matter of the Peg-Leg Beggar has a counterpart in another mechanical bank, namely Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog (HOBBIES, March, 1955). Here we have the blind man appealing for coins which, when given to him, are thoughtfully taken from his hands by his dog and deposited safely away.
     The theme of charity in both the Peg-Leg Beggar and Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog had and still have a definite appeal to any person or child in stimulating the desire to put a coin in either of the banks. This is a worthwhile feature and of considerable interest to the collector when one considers the fact that these two mechanical banks, as compared with the other known mechanical banks, have an entirely different approach to the underlying objective of all mechanical banks, and that is the encouragement to formulate the habit of saving one’s money.
     The Peg-Leg Beggar is unfortunately another one of the banks whose background is an unknown quantity.
     Neither the designer or manufacturer is known and there are no outstanding characteristics about the bank that lead to any particular designer or concern. Also there are no markings of any kind on the bank that possibly might offer a clue as to its origin.
     Fortunately, however, we can definitely establish the period in which the bank was made. Ehrich’s Fashion Quarterly for the Summer of 1880 pictures the bank for sale and describes it as follows:
     "The Beggar Bank. Represents a one-legged negro sitting with his hat in his hands begging. On dropping a coin into the hat it instantly disappears, while the beggar nods his head in acknowledgement." It is also interesting to note that Ehrich’s sold this bank for 50 cents each and priced it as such in the same 1880 advertisement.
     The bank shown has been in the writer’s collection for a number of years and it is entirely original and in fine condition. The figure of the beggar sits on a box-like base and this base has perforations in the sides. A screw through this base holds the bank together as it is made in two halves, and the head pivots at the neck and is held in place by these halves. Coins are removed from the bank by loosening the screw and taking the bank apart.
     The finish on the bank is in a good state of preservation. The clothes of the beggar, as well as the box-like seat, are a copper bronze-like color. His right shoe, peg-leg, hat, hands, and face are all black. There are also black buttons down each side of the front of his overcoat. Between the lapels of his coat there is a white shirt-like effect and this has red edging in the center. His mouth is red and his eyes white with black pupils.
     As to the operation of the bank, this has already been fairly well covered in the quote from the original ad in Ehrich’s Fashion Quarterly. The coin when dropped into the hat goes through a slot and engages a balanced lever that is fastened to the head of the figure. The weight of the coin tilts the lever back causing the head to tilt forward as though nodding in thanks for the coin.
     The Peg-Leg Beggar is a simple but very interesting bank and rather difficult to find in good original condition. It is a desirable mechanical bank to have in a collection.

Royal "Trick" Elephant Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1960

     An interesting group of mechanical banks is comprised of elephants of different types and sizes performing a variety of tricks involving the use of coins in their action. The appropriately named Royal "Trick" Elephant Bank, one of the most unusual in the group, is our choice as No. 89 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. The name is quite appropriate since the elephant is most certainly decorated in a lavish royal manner and he does do a neat trick with a coin.
     Definite background information on the bank, as to the origin, maker, time of manufacture, and so on, is sadly lacking. There are no markings, dates, numbers, or anything else on the bank itself that would help to identify it. No catalogs of any type known to the writer either picture or describe the bank for sale. There are some things, however, concerning the bank that we can be reasonably sure of. For one thing there is no question but that it is of foreign make and most probably of German manufacture. It has characteristics in common with the Cross Legged Minstrel for example, and this is a known foreign product. Also the Royal "Trick" Elephant Bank is made of tin, similar to some of the other known imported mechanical banks. The locking tin coin trap in the base is identical to several of the German made banks. Other factors, all indicative of the same foreign source, have to do with the colors of the bank, and the way it is made. As to the period of the bank there is not much to go on, but most likely it dates around 1890 to 1910.
      The bank shown is in fine original condition and is in the extensive collection of John D. Meyer. On the occasion of a recent visit with Mr. Meyer the writer had the pleasure of examining several mechanical banks in his collection, and in particular the bank now under discussion, and the Snake And Frog In Pond. Both of these banks are quite unique and rather difficult to describe unless seen first hand. Mr. Meyer’s Royal "Trick" Elephant Bank was formerly in the collection of the late James C. Jones and it was one of Mr. Jones’ favorite banks. He was particularly fond of elephants and in addition to his collection of mechanical banks he also had quite a collection of elephants in ivory, bronze, and other materials. Naturally any mechanical bank that had to do with an elephant had a particular appeal to him.
The bank, as stated above, is very ornately decorated. The base is red; and the coin holder, and the section between the legs of the elephant have representations of green foliage. The elephant itself is a tan and green color with shading and blending of the two colors. There is a red blanket or robe covering the elephant’s body. This has gold fringe around the edges and red tassels hanging down each of the legs. In addition there is blue and gold bordering and other decorations on the robe. There is a striped blue and red hood over the head of the elephant and this has red tassels hanging over the front of the ears and down the front of the trunk. All lettering on the bank is in black. On each side of the red base the following verse appears:
     "Put a coin in the slot then you’ll see something funny.
     Press my tail hard and I’ll swallow the money."
     On the front of the red base appears the name "Royal ‘Trick’ Elephant Bank." The following wording appears on each side of the base just under the coin holder, "Place Coin Here," and there is an arrow pointing up to the coin holder. The verse refers to this section as having a slot, which it does, however, in normal reference to a coin slot an entrance for the coin is indicated. In the case of this bank the slot is actually a resting place for the coin, or a coin holder, since the coin does not enter the bank through this slot.
     The operation and mechanism of the bank is fast and efficient. A coin is first placed in the slot as directed and then the tail is pressed. In so doing a V-shaped piece in the slot on which the coin rests snaps up and throws the coin rapidly upward. At the same time the elephant’s head and trunk bend down so that the coin goes into the mouth with perfect precision. The action of the coin is actually so fast that it seems to disappear and it is necessary to watch closely in order to see the coin enter the mouth. Releasing the tail automatically returns the working parts to the position shown in the picture.
     The Royal "Trick" Elephant Bank is an intriguing mechanical bank and it offers a good challenge to the collector since only a few specimens of the bank have turned up to date.

Hoop-La Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1960

     Mechanical banks with a circus motif form a very desirable group of banks that offer good action, a variety of types, and colorful specimens. As we reach No. 90 in the numerical classification we come to one of the banks in this group, namely the Hoop-La Bank, which is of English manufacture. Two other English made mechanicals fit in the circus group, the Clown Bank (Bust) and the Clown Bank (Tin).
     The circus theme is well represented by a number of the American made banks and two of these have been covered in past classification articles, the Circus Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1952) and the Clown On Bar Bank (HOBBIES, April, 1956). Two possible border-line cases of the circus motif that have also appeared in the articles are Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat (HOBBIES, January, 1953) and the Acrobat Bank (HOBBIES, September, 1958). The other American banks in the group are Trick Dog Bank, Circus Ticket Collector, Clown On Globe, Humpty Dumpty, Elephant And Three Clowns On Tub, and Jumbo. There is also every possibility that several other of the elephant type mechanical banks could be classed in the group.
     The Hoop-La Bank was made by John Harper & Company of England and the design registration was under the date of April 5, 1897. The action of the bank is the same as the American made Trick Dog Bank patented in 1888 and similar to another English bank brought out in 1909, John Bull’s Money Box (HOBBIES, September, 1957). The Hoop-La was apparently a popular bank for Harper as they featured it in their catalogs over a number of years and as late as the 1920 period.
     The bank pictured was obtained by the writer several years ago from David Hollander, the well known antique dealer of Riverdale, N.Y. It was formerly in the collection of the late Walter P. Chrysler, the famous automobile magnate and avid collector of mechanical banks. The bank shown is in good condition, however, the paint is somewhat worn and chipped. This same condition exists with the other Hoop-La banks the writer has seen in other collections.
     While somewhat the worse for wear the colors on the bank under discussion are still quite bright. The clown’s outfit is an overall striking yellow and the large collar, pockets, and cuffs are in red. He has white stockings and his shoes are tan with red buckles. The three peaks of his hair are black as are the buttons and belt of his costume. Red markings appear on his face. The dog is white and the barrel is red with black banding. The top and bottom of the base are brown and the front, back, and end plates are green. The wording "Hoop-La Bank" is in gold.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the dog’s mouth, then a lever in the right end of the bank is depressed and the dog springs forward and upward through the hoop and throws the coin into the barrel. The dog is manually replaced in position for future operation. The action is fast, simple, and quite pleasing.
     The Hoop-La Bank, like a number of the English banks, is not an easy item to add to a collection and to date less than eight are known to exist in private collections.

Frog on Arched Track Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1961

     An interesting early tin mechanical bank is our choice as No. 91 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. The bank is the Frog On Arched Track. One of its points of interest has to do with the fact that a penny is necessarily involved in the action and operation of the bank. Also the 1871 date of the bank adds great interest when we realize that in only eleven more years it will be 100 years old.
     It is fairly accurate to assume that the Frog On Arched Track was not made over a long period of time nor in any great quantities since all factors surrounding the bank indicate this to be so. Therefore, using the patent date of 1871 to establish the age of the bank at 100 years in 1971 is logical. For comparison this could not be done on the same basis in the case of the Tammany Bank.
     The Tammany was made over a long period of years and in great quantities but all specimens of the bank bear the same early patent date of December 23, 1873. However, certain minor casting changes in the name, the base plate, coin trap, and so on can be used to identify and place individual examples of the bank in fairly accurate periods and time of manufacture. These factors surrounding the Tammany Bank are of interest, however, they do not have any great meaning from a monetary standpoint since all examples of the bank sell in the same price range provided their general condition is comparable.
     The Frog On Arched Track was patented December 5, 1871 by James Fallows of Philadelphia, Pa. The patent papers frequently mention and always refer to the figure as a toad, not a frog, but the bank has been known for years as the Frog On Arched Track and this name has been descriptive enough to identify it. Under the circumstances it would seem best to continue to use the established name rather than change it to the Toad On Arched Track and possibly cause confusion.
     It should be noted that Mr. Fallows’ patent papers were issued on the basis of an "Improvement In Toy Toads," not as a mechanical bank, toy money box, or savings device. However, since there is a receptacle that retains the coins and since it has been accepted over the years as a toy savings device, then it is probably properly classified as a mechanical bank. There are, however, known examples of toys that use a coin in their action that are not mechanical banks and had no provision for retaining the coins. These are simply toys and have no possibility of being classed as mechanical banks.
     The bank shown is from the collection of Leon J. Perelman and he obtained it several years ago from an antique dealer in Sanatoga, Pa., who had found the bank in a home in the vicinity. It is completely original, in good working order, and the paint shows very little wear, particularly for a tin stenciled bank of this type and age. The entire bank with the exception of the green toad is painted a bright reddish orange color. There are stenciled designs in gold on the arched sides and the den of the toad. The patent date of the bank is also stenciled in gold. While the bank is made of heavy tin it bears mention that the toad is a brass stamping.

The bank operates as follows: The toad is placed in its den and the lid is closed (this is the canister-like section at the left end of the bank as pictured). A penny is inserted in the holder at the end of the arched track. The lid of the den is then raised manually and the toad jumps out of its den, travels over the arched track and grabs the coin in its mouth. The toad then recedes back on the track toward the den. Meantime the coin moves through the body of the toad and at the proper moment drops into the container. The toad is replaced by hand in the den for future action. The den, of course, serves the double purpose as a container for the coins and the toad. A point of interest is the fact that the bank works on a counter-balance principle as there is a weight within the bank which causes the toad to swing out over the track and then back over the track.
     The Frog On Arched Track is a difficult bank to add to a collection, and particularly so in the condition of the one in Mr. Perelman’s possession. The action is interesting, it is an early item, and only a few are known to exist in private collections.

Atlas Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1961

     One of a number of reasons for a collector’s interest in mechanical banks has to do with the diversified subject matter as represented by the many different type banks. The great variety of themes and actions of the banks seems unsurpassed in any other collector’s field and the originality, techniques, and ingenuity used in designing the banks resulted in an intriguing group of animated toy savings devices representing a broad assortment of subjects. If a person takes the time to seriously think about it mechanical banks comprise a unique group in the toy category and practically every mechanical bank is a unique item in itself. The numerous different actions and figures used in connection with the usually routine depositing of a coin in a bank are really almost unbelievable, particularly to those not familiar with the general subject.
     Mechanical banks have one thing in common, they are all savings devices with the addition of entertaining action. This sets them apart from all other type toys and puts them completely in a class of their own. Where else in the field of collecting can one find in animated form the following: — people and children in various activities including games and sports such as baseball, football, leap frog, roller skating, and so on; all types of animals performing tricks and various other actions; buildings with action; objects such as a street-car, camera, sewing machine, pistol, and so on; historical items representing the Civil War, Spanish-American War, North Pole, World War I, and others; political and satirical representations; religious representations; nursery rhymes and stories; circus items; and last, but not least, those with a surprise or comic motif.
     As we reach No. 92 in the numerical classification we come to a bank that well illustrates the broad subject coverage discussed here. This bank is the Atlas Bank and it depicts Atlas supporting the world on his shoulders, and certainly there is no other remotely similar bank among the other known mechanical banks. The Atlas Bank is very attractive, has good action, and the statement, ‘Money Moves The World’, one of the most significant appropriate statements to appear on any of the banks, appears thereon.
     Very little is known as to the background of the Atlas Bank. To the best of the writer’s knowledge there are no known facts as to the designer, manufacturer, or the period in which the bank was made. Extensive research in patents has been fruitless and so far there are no old catalogs or like material that would shed light on the Atlas Bank. Also nothing about the bank is characteristic of any other bank that would offer possible clues to indicate any particular designer or manufacturer. An examination of the map used on the globe of the bank offers some possibility of estimating the approximate period of the bank. Based on this it is the writer’s opinion that it dates prior to 1900 and possibly in the 1880 to 1900 period.
     The specimen shown is in fine completely original condition and was obtained by the writer some years ago in an antique shop in Boston, Massachusetts, under never forgotten circumstances. The bank was in the front window of the shop and this attracted the writer’s attention to the place for the first time. It was run by two elderly sisters and they had cats all over the place among the antiques, on tables, up on the shelves, on top of chests, under chairs, and around the floor. Every now and then one of the cats would take off, others would follow suit, and over would go some antique piece of glass or china. The sisters would sit impassively through these occasions and seem to take it as a matter of course and purely routine. No time was wasted in leaving the place after the bank was purchased and, as a matter of fact, subsequent visits to the shop mainly consisted of opening the door slightly and asking if there was anything new lately. The writer has had numerous weird and unusual experiences over the years of collecting mechanical banks and the one mentioned is one of many. Experiences of this type offer an added interest to the normal routine of collecting and discussing them with other collectors and their experiences adds up to interesting conversations.
     The Atlas Bank is very attractive, although it is not highly decorated. The figure of Atlas and the entire top of the building-like base is gold, the sides of the base are silver, and the door, two windows, and name are in gold. The globe is made of wood covered with a paper map of the entire world. There is a varnish-like finish on this paper surface and the colors of the different countries and continents are toned light yellow, light red, and so on.
     The operation of the bank is quite simple but effective. The lever on top of the base is pressed to the left, a coin is then placed in the thus exposed slot. Upon releasing the lever, which is at spring tension, it snaps back into place and causes the world to spin around counter-clockwise. Thus the motto on top of the base, ‘Money Moves The World’, is accurately and actively demonstrated.
     In conclusion a point of interest is the fact that the Atlas Bank is the only known mechanical bank based on Greek mythology. Atlas was the son of Titans Iapetus and Clymene and his name means bearer or endurer. Originally he was supposed to support the heavens on his head and unwearied hands, and in earlier works of art he was depicted in this fashion. In later times after the earth was discovered to be spherical he was then pictured as carrying the terrestrial globe. Thus the Atlas Bank accurately and properly portrays him in his endless task of supporting the world through eternity.

Giant in Tower Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1961

     Mechanical banks as a collector’s item have received increasing recognition, interest, and activity since the early 1930’s. There are known cases where the animated banks were collected prior to this time, in the 1920’s, but the real competitive situation among collectors of these toy mechanical savings devices actually began in the period of the 1930’s. These were the times of the so-called pioneer collectors and such names as Chrysler, Corby, Emerine, Jacobs, Jones, Marshall, Meyers, Ferguson, and several others are well remembered by the writer. The active specialist mechanical bank dealer of this early period was the never to be forgotten personality, Norman E. Sherwood, who lived in Asbury Park, N.J., and subsequently moved to Spring Lake, N.J. In each location he operated his bank business from his home and displayed the items for sale, as well as selling by mail and making personal deliveries to some of the collectors.
     The early collectors and dealers in mechanical banks deserve due recognition for their efforts in establishing a hobby that has continued to increase in popularity to the present time and shows every evidence of continuing to do so in the future. Many different specimens of mechanical banks were brought to light in this earlier period of collecting. It was natural, of course, that in the pioneer period previously unknown examples of mechanical banks would turn up with some frequency, but what has been of great interest to the writer is the fact that this same situation has continued to occur up to the present time. Perhaps the frequency of a new discovery does not occur as often as in the past but it certainly has been a continuing factor of real interest and stimulation to the collectors.
     The factors surrounding new discoveries in mechanical banks apply not only to those made in the United States, but also to those of foreign manufacture. As a matter of fact it is in the more recent times that foreign banks have really come into their own and factual background material established so that more and more is known about them. As we reach No. 93 in the numerical classification we have selected as our choice an English bank that was unknown until a few years ago. This bank is the Giant In Tower and it is a very interesting, attractive item. The writer, through old catalog material, had evidence that the bank had been manufactured but it was only recently that one was finally discovered and then another turned up, and undoubtedly there will be more found in the future.
     The specimen shown is in the fine collection of Leon J. Perelman and he obtained it from a Pennsylvania antique dealer in the early part of 1960. The bank in turn was obtained by the dealer through a contact in England. It is in practically mint condition and completely original.
     The bank was registered August 13, 1892 by John Harper & Company Ltd. and manufactured by this same concern. One of their old catalogs which is in the writer’s possession pictures the bank and advertises it as the Giant. To avoid confusion with the Giant Bank (HOBBIES, July 1952) made in our country the writer has named the English bank under discussion Giant In Tower. This name is simple, completely descriptive, and eliminates any possibility of confusion.
     Mr. Perelman is quite fortunate in that his pictured specimen of the bank is in extra fine paint condition. The tower is an overall brick red and the door and windows are yellow. The body of the Giant is brown and his face and hand are black. His tongue is red, as is the club held in his hand. As to the action of the bank, it is quite simple but effective. A coin is inserted in the slot located between the top arches of the two front windows. As the coin is pushed into this slot the Giant tilts forward as though threatening the depositor. The figure returns to its normal upright position as the coin drops inside the tower. The operation of the bank is the same principle as Mama Katzenjammer (HOBBIES, December 1958).
     In closing it bears mention that the Harper catalog picturing the Giant In Tower states that it came with two different finishes, one in various colors, the same as Mr. Perelman’s specimen, and another in what Harper called "Indian Black with the head painted only." The one in various colors originally sold for a slightly higher price per dozen than the Indian Black finish.

Smyth X-Ray Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1961

     A mechanical bank commemorating a discovery of great benefit to the entire world is our choice as No. 94 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank is the Smyth X-Ray, and while it actually works on the principle of an illusion, it does very properly convey in a broad sense the general principle of X-ray in seeing through certain objects. The object in this case is a coin used in conjunction with the operation of the bank.
     The Smyth X-Ray Bank was patented May 31, 1898 by Charles Smyth of Dayton, Ohio, and he assigned one half to Lena Hyman, also of Dayton. The patent papers are clear and concise in their description of his invention and the accompanying three drawings are exactly the same as the bank was actually made. The manufacturer of the bank is unknown, however, it is possible that Mr. Smyth had a foundry make the cast iron parts for him and then did the balance of the assembly work and so on either by himself or with employed help. It is also possible that some concern manufactured and marketed the bank for him, or he may have sold the patent outright to a company. In any event, perhaps at some future date the old catalog or advertisement will come to light which will reveal this information.
     The bank shown is from the very fine collection of Mr. L.C. Hegarty and it is in excellent original condition. The bank was formerly in the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby, but just where Dr. Corby obtained it is unknown to the writer. This specimen has an oxidized type finish over its entire surface. However, the bank was apparently produced in at least two types of finishes as Mrs. Mary Gerken has in her collection a nickel plated Smyth X-Ray in fine original condition. These same two type finishes were also used on the Automatic Coin Savings Bank (HOBBIES, January 1957).
     The name of the bank, as shown in the picture, also appears on the other side along with additional wording on the two T-shaped parts. One part has ‘Pat. Pending’ thereon, and the other ‘Trade Mark Rec’d.’. In each case the terminology appears on the horizontal side of the respective part. It is unusual to have Trade Mark on a mechanical bank, and particularly so in conjunction with a Patent reference. As the writer recalls there is only one other mechanical bank to bear both these inscriptions, the Little Jocko Musical Bank (HOBBIES, April 1960). The only Smyth X-Ray Banks seen by the writer to date all had ‘Pat. Pending’ thereon, and this would indicate they were all made while the patent was still pending. It is possible, however, even after the granting of the patent in 1898, that the terminology was never changed due to the fact it was felt the original Trade Mark was sufficient protection against infringement or duplication. In practically all cases where a mechanical bank was manufactured during the application or pending period of the patent term ‘Patent Pending’ or ‘Patent App’d. For’ was used on the bank. However, this was subsequently changed to the actual date of the issuance or granting of the patent and all future production of the particular bank bore this inscription.
     The operation of the bank is simple but effective. A coin is placed in the center between the two T-shaped parts. It stays in position resting on the operating lever. The small tapered viewing section, shown on the left in the picture, is then raised to the eye of the viewer. With the other eye closed, the bank is held in this position and directed or pointed towards some well lighted object. The viewer sees the object as though he were looking right through the coin. The lever is then depressed, the coin drops into the bank, and the object still remains in the vision of the viewer. This is an illusion and actually the viewer is looking at an image or optical counterpart of the object. This illusion is created by the use of four mirrors, two small and two somewhat larger, arranged in such a fashion that they reflect the image down into and back up through the inside of the bank. The illusion principle of operation is employed in two other banks; one, the mechanical Presto Bank (HOBBIES, September 1956), and the other a semi-mechanical, the Multiplying Bank. The Multiplying Bank by the use of two mirrors set in a V-shape creates the illusion of making one penny look like eight.
     In closing it bears mention that X-rays were discovered toward the end of 1895 by Wilhelm K. Roentgen, Professor of Physics at the University of Wurzburg, Bavaria. However, the first X-ray photograph was made January 12, 1896 by Dr. Henry Louis Smith, Professor of Physics at Davidson College in North Carolina. He used a human hand taken from a corpse and fired a bullet into it. He then took a 15 minute exposure which revealed the location of the bullet in the hand. It is of interest to note the coincidence of the similarity of names between the first user of X-rays and the inventor of the X-Ray Bank.

Clown Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1961

     In every field of collecting there exists a general interest, with the majority of collectors, in the background history of each of the individual items comprising the collection. Where was it made, by whom, when, why, and so on are some of the questions that too often remain unanswered. With certain types of collectibles this information is practically impossible to obtain, while with other types complete information is passed down over the years or can be ascertained with little effort. Research in any particular collecting field is, however, usually a persistent, time consuming proposition and often a matter of chance or luck, but in any case persistence greatly increases the percentage in favor of the researcher. Mechanical banks as collector’s items offer a very interesting, challenging problem to the collector who desires background information on his individual specimens. It is desirable to know as much as possible about each bank as it stimulates a person’s interest above and beyond the mere level of just forming an accumulation of intriguing toy animated savings devices. In most cases each of the known mechanical banks is an interesting item unto itself, with its attractive action, clever mechanism, and subject matter. However, when complete background data can be established there is no question as to the added interest plus the fact that the intrinsic and actual value of the respective bank is increased.
     Fortunately complete background information can be ascertained on many of the mechanical banks made in the United States. In numbers of cases this information even includes the original designer and patentee of the respective bank. Foreign mechanical banks have, however, posed a much greater problem in developing background history. Determination and persistence in research over a period of time has shed some light on a number of banks in this group and much more is known today than as recent as four or five years ago. A foreign bank, which until a few years ago fit into the unknown information category, is our choice as No. 95 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank is the Clown Bank and it is of English manufacture. The bank pictured was originally found by Bob and Mary Merritt of Merritt’s Antiques, Douglassville, Pa. They are well known, outstanding antique dealers and make frequent trips abroad to replenish their large representative stock. On one of these trips a few years ago they attended a street market sale in Brighton, England, and purchased the Clown Bank at this sale. The bank was shipped to their shop along with other antiques and subsequently sold to an individual who eventually passed it along to the present owner, L.C. Hegarty.
     Chamberlin & Hill, Ltd. manufactured the Clown Bank and it was carried in their line of specialty items as late as 1930. They also made the Little Moe Bank (HOBBIES, August 1958), as well as the Jolly Nigger (With Fixed Eyes). The writer has an original catalog picture of the Clown Bank in color along with the complete description. It was originally sold as the Mechanical Clown Money Box and priced at 30 shilling per dozen. The catalog states that the bank was painted in brilliant colors and if preferred it could be supplied in pale blue where shown in red. This was merely a variation in the trim. However, it did offer prospective buyers a choice.
     The bank shown is completely original with no repairs and in good paint condition. The overall bank is painted white. All the following parts are blue — the top of the peaked hat and rim, the ruffled part of the collar, the cuff on the sleeve, and the buttons down the front. The circular collar part next to the neck is yellow. The eyebrows are black and the tongue and lips red. The combination of colors does give a very bright attractive appearance to the bank.
     As to the operation, it is like most of the bust type of banks. A coin is placed in the extended right hand. When the lever located in the left rear shoulder is pressed the hand raises to the mouth and the coin slides therein. At the same time the tongue recedes and the eyes roll. Releasing the lever causes the respective parts to return to the position shown in the picture.
     In closing it is well to mention that there are a number of different type clown banks, however, there are only three known of the bust type. One is the bank under discussion and another is the Humpty-Dumpty. In spite of the fact that these two banks do not look alike there still exists the possibility of confusion. They are both clowns, they both have peaked hats, and they both have the same action. However, the Humpty-Dumpty has the name on the back of the bank and it is also considerably larger than the Clown Bank. The third bust type clown bank is the Bill E. Grin, but this is quite different than the other two and the name Bill E. Grin is across the front of the bank. Humpty-Dumpty and Bill E. Grin were both made in the United States.

Bull and Bear Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1961

     Anyone who has an interest in the articles on mechanical banks as published in HOBBIES Magazine is no doubt familiar with the fact of the writer’s special attention to the broad coverage of subject matter as represented by the various banks. This is, of course, just one facet of the writer’s interest, however, it is an important one since quite often the particular subject as represented by a certain bank definitely adds prestige to that bank.
     The various different types of subject matter such as historical, political, sports, and so on have been outlined and covered in past articles. However, as we reach No. 96 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks we have chosen a bank that is unique in its theme and representation. The bank is the Bull and Bear and its subject matter has to do with the Stock Exchange.
     The Bull and Bear Bank with its stock market theme naturally causes one to think of the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street. This brings mixed emotions to a wide group of the population. To many the disastrous crash of 1929 is an unforgettable event, to others the more pleasant recent years of a rising market is foremost in their thoughts.
     There’s no question but that the stock market has become more and more popular with an increasing percentage of the population from all walks of life. There still exists, however, and probably always will exist, a never ending tug of war between the "bulls" and the "bears" in the up and down trend of the market. The Bull and Bear Bank well typifies this struggle as there is no certainty if the bull or the bear will receive the coin. The coin in this case representing the profit and the swinging pendulum represents the trend of the market from "bullish" to "bearish" or vice-versa.
     The Bull and Bear Bank has unfortunately an unproven background as to the designer, manufacturer, or definite period in which it was made. Also the specimen shown is the only one that the writer has complete confidence in with respect to definitely having some original authentic parts.
     This bank is now in the possession of Leon Perelman and it certainly adds some distinction to his fine growing collection of mechanical banks.

Mr. Perelman obtained the bank from the late David Hollander. It was originally in the collection of Walter P. Chrysler. Mr. Chrysler had obtained the bank from the pioneer dealer Norman E. Sherwood, and Mr. Sherwood found the bank at the site of the J. & E. Stevens Company. This leads to some fairly conclusive information concerning the bank. It is the writer’s opinion that it was designed by Charles A Bailey and most likely produced at the Stevens Company foundry.
     As to the number manufactured, the writer has no idea but most likely it was made in very limited quantities. There are numbers of Bull and Bear Banks around which are heavy, cumbersome things in cast iron and brass. These are grotesque fakes and awkward reproductions of the original bank pictured. All these have no connection with the bank under discussion. Most of them were made some 20 to 25 years ago, some in more recent years, and they have, in the writer’s opinion, no value as a collector’s item.
     The bank shown is in good original condition with the exception of the bear. It is the writer’s opinion that the cast iron bear is not the original bear intended for the bank. The bull is a lead-like metal similar to Bailey’s Springing Cat (HOBBIES, September, 1952), Chinaman In Boat (HOBBIES, May, 1955), and others of his design.
     The workmanship of the bull is finely done, unquestionably original, and it is reasonable to assume that the bear would have originally been made in the same fashion and of the same material as the bull. The balance of the bank, the base and tree trunk, are cast iron and show all evidence of being fine original parts.
     Bailey employed this same combination of metals in his Germania Exchange Bank (HOBBIES, March, 1952). The legs and body of the barrel of this bank being cast iron and the figure of the goat in a lead-like material. Bailey’s Bismark Pig (HOBBIES, March, 1956), is also the same combination of the two metals.

The paint on the pictured bank is in good condition and completely original with the exception of the bear. The bull is an overall reddish brown with red nostrils and mouth, the front part of the ears are white, and the eyes are also white with black pupils.
     The bear is a dark brown with red mouth. The tree trunk is brown with the stump ends yellow with reddish-brown trim. The base of the bank is an overall green trimmed in red. The base has flowers thereon and these are in yellow and red. The name "Bull and Bear Bank" appears across the front of the base and this lettering is in gold.
     As to the operation of the bank, a coin is first placed in the provided slot in the top of the swinging pendulum. When the lever located near the base of the tree trunk is pressed, motivation is applied to the swinging pendulum in such fashion that there is no control or certainty as to the coin swinging to the bull or the bear. In either case the coin is deposited in the provided slot in the top of the respective animal’s head.
     In conclusion the writer can only say that circumstances surrounding the origin and background of the Bull and Bear Bank are similar to those of the Called Out Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1955). Time will tell if other examples of this same type Bull and Bear Bank turn up, and there is always the possibility that some form of proof will be found to definitely establish the fact that both banks were sold commercially.
     To date there is no proof that either the Bull and Bear or Called Out were ever produced in quantities or sold in stores. This has no effect on their desirability, however, nor the fact that there is no question as to the authenticity of either bank.
     Neither bank comes in the category of only having reached the pattern stage which, of course, would automatically disqualify them in reaching the level of an authentically produced original item in a collection of mechanical banks.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1961

     It has been some time since the writer has more or less informally gotten up to date with the various individuals who are interested in mechanical banks. The writer receives numerous letters from both collectors and dealers having to do with mechanical banks, and these letters cover a broad area of questions and problems. Some of these are of definite general interest to all mechanical bank collectors and dealers. Therefore, it is well occasionally to digress from the usual classification article and pass along some information concerning mechanical banks in general.
     One factor that seems to still concern both collectors and dealers are the reproductions of mechanical banks that have come on the market in recent years. Various forms of publicity on these reproductions has stimulated and increased general interest in mechanical banks and added prestige to the old original specimens.
     One must always bear in mind that the reproduced banks are being sold as such, not as original specimens. They are easily recognized as reproductions and not intended to mislead anyone. The writer knows of numerous new collectors of mechanical banks who have started in the past few years and their interest is in the original old banks, not reproductions.
     After all, any collector of mechanical banks wants original authentic banks in his collection and nothing else will do. It’s the same with collectors of stamps, coins, Currier & Ives prints, paperweights, and so on.
     The manufacturers of the reproduction banks, so far as the writer knows, have always sold them for what they are—reproductions. They have not intended to misrepresent. The unfortunate thing about it is that occasionally the banks get into trade channels and sometimes are sold to the unsuspecting as original, old banks.
     It is to be admitted that various forms of misinformation now and then circulate around, and while this does no great harm, it certainly does no particular good and is misleading. For example, a recent article on mechanical banks was called to the attention of the writer by a number of people.
     This article stated that a group of pictured mechanical banks were all recently made from the original molds found in an old foundry in New Jersey. This foundry, according to the article, years ago originally made the banks pictured. Well the majority of the mechanical banks pictured were originally made by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. Two were originally made by Kyser & Rex of Philadelphia, Pa. Two others were originally manufactured by Shepard Hardware Co. of Buffalo, N.Y., and finally another was made by Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pa. And, as a matter of fact, the writer knows of only one foundry in New Jersey that was ever active in the production of mechanical banks at any time, and this foundry produced only one type of mechanical bank.
     As to original patterns of mechanical banks, a very limited number exist today. For the most part the only original patterns still in existence were in the Stevens Company prior to World War II, and the majority of these were melted up during the war period.
     This information was given to the writer personally by an employee of the Stevens Company. As to the existence of patterns of other manufacturers of mechanical banks, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, there are none.
     In several collections of mechanical banks there are some original designer patent models, as well as original patterns, but these are very limited. As example, there exists two each of designer models of the Aunt Dinah And The Fairy and the Wishbone Bank. There is also one each of the respective designers’ model of the Feed The Kitty and the Blacksmith.
     There is absolutely no evidence or proof that any of these models ever reached the production stage, and this places them in a category of their own. Several experimental designer models of the Hall’s Yankee Notion Bank exist, but here again they come into the same category mentioned in the foregoing since an actual bank was never produced.
     Now to sum up the commercially produced reproduction mechanical banks which are being advertised and marketed by several sources. These banks are made by using an old production bank as a pattern. This does not give the same result as that which one would obtain by using an original pattern.
     Also some of these reproductions have been simplified in their mechanism to facilitate production. In this case the finished respective bank does not operate the same as an original or perform all the mechanical functions. To repeat, all the reproductions are easily identified as being the reproductions they are intended to be.
* * *
     It is always of great interest when one can discover practical proof that a heretofore unknown mechanical bank must have been actually manufactured. Well the Japanese Ball Tosser, which has appeared in the writer’s ad for some time, has finally materialized into some form of definite proof of manufacture.
     Two old catalogs recently obtained by the writer furnished this proof. One lists and describes the bank and the other has an excellent picture of the bank, as well as a complete description of the action.
     This is indeed a gratifying discovery as the writer has always felt that the Weeden Manufacturing Company had actually produced the Japanese Ball Tosser and distributed it to dealers for sale to the public.
     The bank operated with a windup mechanism and is also similar in general appearance to the Ding Dong Bell (HOBBIES, October 1954) and the Plantation Bank, both Weeden products. The figure of the Japanese is centered in the front recessed section of the bank and the realistic action of tossing the balls is well described in the text accompanying the picture of the bank.
     So, like the Coasting Bank (HOBBIES, April 1955), we now have the Japanese Ball Tosser, and some place or other examples of either or both banks must exist and are just waiting to be discovered.

Snake and Frog in Pond Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1961

     The Snake & Frog In Pond, a most unusual tin mechanical bank, is our choice as No. 97 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. It is unique in that it is the only bank known to utilize the representation of a snake in its action.
     A snake striking a frog would most certainly seem an unlikely subject matter for a child’s savings bank. The fact that such a bank was made, however, offers further proof of the extremes to which designers of mechanical banks went to in coming up with something different in the way of action and subject matter.
     The vast majority of people obviously do not like snakes. Transversely, however, most people are definitely fascinated by them and drawn to them in spite of being repelled.
     Within this realm of feeling, lurking in the subconscious of the individual, lies the particular interest in the Snake & Frog In Pond. Specifically, of course, with respect to a collector of mechanical banks. This is in addition to the collector’s usual desire of ownership and interest in any specimen of a mechanical bank.
     The Snake & Frog In Pond shown is owned by John D. Meyer, one of the pioneer collectors of mechanical banks. It was formerly in the collection of the late James C. Jones, who was also one of the early collectors. Just where Mr. Jones obtained the bank is unknown to the writer, however, it is known that the bank is of foreign manufacture.
     The wording "Made In Germany" is printed on the end of the bank where the frog is located. The initials "D.R.G.M." appear above this statement. This lettering has three interpretations or meanings.
     One, Deutsches Reichs Germein Musterschutz – Deutsches means German, Reichs means Empire, and in the last word "Muster" means registered, and "schutz" stands for design, trademark, copyright, or patent.
     Second interpretation or meaning is Deutsches Reichs Geschutzes Muster – this means German State Protected Material.
     The third and last meaning is Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchsmuster – this means a German Registered Design that is good for a short time only.
     Just which of these three meanings apply to the Snake & Frog In Pond is unknown, however, this is not necessarily important. What is important is the fact that the bank was a protected item, the same as a patented bank in our country.
     Other information on the bank is sadly lacking. The actual manufacturer or designer is unknown. So is the period or time in which it was made. The writer has never seen any old catalogs or other material that pictured or described the bank, which would be helpful in dating it. In any event, it is the writer’s opinion that it was produced after 1900, and most likely dates in the 1910 to 1920 period.
     The bank is a very attractive item with bright colors and fine details. The base represents a predominantly light green woodland scene. The large frog is in a lake and the indentation of the lake on top of the base goes to within an inch of the snake. The snake is among some brown and yellow rocks, green grass, and ferns.
     The lake is blue streaked with white, and in it are some raised lily pads in green and white. A green frog is swimming in the water and a green and yellow salamander is crawling towards the snake.
     A snail is crawling on the edge of the lake and surrounding the lake are many types of flowers in red, yellow, white, and blue. The lake is also represented along each side of the bank. Here again are highly colored flowers, snails, bees, frogs, and a lizard.
     The body of the snake is a mottled iridescent blue and gold. The top of his head is an iridescent blue with beady gold eyes. The underside of his head and mouth is yellow. The large frog on the end of the bank is a dark green and black with a yellow underside. All this detail and color add up to a very attractive bank.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the snake’s mouth (the lower jaw is movable). The operating lever is located under the snake, and when this is depressed the snake darts forward realistically and rapidly, and at the same time the frog opens his mouth. The snake stops at a given point and the coin flies from his mouth into the open mouth of the frog. The action is fast and accurate. The bank is pictured just after the coin has gone into the frog’s mouth.
     It occurs to the writer that sooner or later someone will undoubtedly refer to this bank as the Snake In The Grass Bank. This brings to mind an unforgettable occurrence years ago in the early stages of his collecting. He received word from an antique dealer that she had a Snake Fighting A Chicken Bank.
     After much anticipation and driving he arrived at the destination to see this great possible rarity. Well, believe it or not, it was the Eagle & Eaglettes Bank. The party thought the tree branch lever was a snake and the eagle a chicken! This probably sounds a little fantastic, but it’s absolutely true and only one of many similar incidents.
     Prior to obtaining his fine mint specimen of the Circus Bank (HOBBIES, October 1952) the writer was offered a forgotten number of Circus Banks, and in all cases they turned out to be the Clown On The Globe. This, of course, is somewhat understandable, but nonetheless disappointing at the time.
     In conclusion the Snake & Frog In Pond Bank most likely never reached any particular degree of popularity with children, and in all probability a limited number were made and sold. This is further borne out by the fact that only two, possibly three, of these banks are in private collections to date. It’s a very decorative, scarce little bank and a desirable item to add to a collection.

Mechanical Banks – Repairs & Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1961

     Mechanical banks that have parts missing or are broken in one way or another pose quite a problem to both dealer and collector. The writer receives numerous letters in regards to this problem, and in the majority of cases answers them. Some, however, are almost fantastic. For example, a recent inquiry concerned having a base plate and top plate of a certain bank and the party involved wanted to know if the missing parts could be obtained. Well that means that about one-third or less of the bank was on hand, and at best these could only be employed as repair parts, not to build a bank around them.
     The writer has often wondered when someone was going to come up with a coin trap and ask if the rest of the bank was available! Generally speaking some degree of good judgment must be used on the part of both dealer and collector in ascertaining when a bank is complete enough to be repaired or actually represents a few useful parts.
     In many cases, particularly with dealers, a broken bank is taken to some routine welder or handyman and is practically ruined by inexperienced hands, when it should have been repaired by a specialist in this very specialized field. Good sound advice is this — if the respective dealer with a broken or damaged bank does not intend to have the bank repaired properly, then leave it alone and sell it as it is. This is particularly true and becomes increasingly so with respect to the rarity of the respective bank. The rarer the bank, the greater the caution with regard to repairs. Collectors in the vast majority would prefer buying a bank as is, rather than repaired in some crude fashion. A few collectors prefer and are able to fix banks themselves, but generally most employ the services of a competent repairman.
     The repair of mechanical banks is a very specialized field that is time consuming beyond the normal realization of most people. To properly repair a bank takes considerable skill, experience, time, patience, and care. Numerous letters to the writer ask about supplying missing parts and repairing a broken or damaged bank. In the writer’s opinion a very competent man in this type of work is George W. Bauer of Pottstown, Pa. Mr. Bauer is experienced, conscientious, and he understands cast iron, welding, and other necessary factors to do this type of work. In cast iron welding or brazing he is careful to burn as little of the original paint area as necessary. He supplies missing parts and these are original parts whenever possible. Mr. Bauer is also active in the repair of cast iron toys generally, and these include the various type of horse drawn toys, trains, bell ringers, and so on. His regular business is in the field of antique brass, copper, and silver in repairing, replating, and other factors connected with this type of work, including making many interesting lamps from old ship lights and the like.
     The writer will not attempt to go into all the phases and angles of repairing mechanical banks and cast iron toys at this time. However, it is well to remember that a job can be done well, almost perfect, or it can be a crude mess. In any case it is best to have repairs on mechanical banks or cast iron toys done properly and pay to have it done right or don’t do it at all. This is particularly true with the dealer and he must decide himself if the expense of a certain repair is worth the additional investment.
     Speaking of cast iron toys, over a period of time the writer has received many requests to write on cast iron toys. Of course mechanical banks are cast iron toy savings devices, but the terminology cast iron toys refers to the wide group of horse drawn toys including fire equipment, carriages, work type, circus wagons, and so on. Also in the category are trains, automobiles, bell ringing toys, toy pistols, and cannon. The writer intends to eventually cover some of the more important toys, and as a matter of fact has written on animated cap pistols (HOBBIES, July 1958), bell ringers (HOBBIES, February 1957), and cannon (HOBBIES, July 1957). The writer is very interested in the general line of cast iron toys but it is a complex field with many types made by a number of manufacturers. In any event, an effort will be made in the future to cover the cast iron toys in some group form similar to the aforementioned three articles.
     Of general interest to mechanical bank collectors — The writer has obtained an original advertisement picturing the United States Bank (HOBBIES, August 1956). This details the action of the bank and so on and shows the manufacturer’s name as J. & E. Stevens Company, Cromwell, Conn. At the time of writing the article on the bank the writer could only logically attribute it to Stevens, but now definite proof exists to substantiate this opinion. Of further note is the fact that the picture and text bring out a previously unknown point of interest surrounding the bank. Quoting the text: "Each bank has lock and key, and is neatly finished. On depositing a coin of any size or weight, the cover springs up and a miniature bank-book appears into which the amount of the deposit may be entered." So the bank was originally sold with a deposit book which fit neatly in the space provided in the top of the bank.

New Finds
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1961

     The great majority of collectors, dealers, and individuals with an interest in mechanical banks naturally want to keep as well informed and up to date as possible. Generally speaking it is the writer’s policy to keep all interested individuals as current as feasible with occasional interruptions of the regular classification articles. Now and then some information, particularly in complete form, is a little difficult to pass along due to certain restrictions placed on the writer. Confidences must be respected and there are occasional circumstances whereby a particular collector or dealer wants to remain anonymous due to reasons of his own. Ofttimes a dealer will not want his name connected with a certain bank since he must maintain friendly business relations with the general group of mechanical bank collectors. Since it is impossible to please them all, at any one time, with one bank, his only recourse is to remain anonymous with some degree of secrecy. This is particularly true in the case of the rarer banks or unusual finds that come up now and then.
     A few more or less interesting new finds in mechanical banks have not been reported by the writer for some time due to circumstances beyond his control. However, at this time, with names eliminated, there is no reason not to inform interested parties on these banks, Under present conditions opinions, personal or otherwise, will not be expressed here with respect to desirability or other factors surrounding the banks involved. The writer has personally seen all banks under discussion.
     A mechanical bank that may have been known as the Barking Dog Bank is a rectangular box-like affair made of wood with tin sides. These tin sides are painted red and have round perforations. A rather large grotesque, angular wooden bull dog covered with brown color paper is on top of the box-like base. In operation, he is pulled into position to the end of the bank and a coin is placed at the proper location on the other end. A lever releases the dog and he springs toward the coin which drops inside the base. As this action takes place the mechanism inside the base simulates a barking sound. This is created by means of a tin arrangement dragging over a spring. The spring is fastened to one end of the base which acts as a sounding board. Part of the original paper label is on the underside of the base, but unfortunately most of it is missing and we can only surmise that the original name was the Barking Dog Bank. It is apparently a late item, possibly made in the same period as the Wireless Pup, which is a toy employing the use of a similar type bull dog in its action. The Wireless Pup was patented in 1913 and 1914 and was made during and somewhat beyond that period. The bank has a home-made look about it but the paper label would seem to establish its authenticity. This, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, is a new find in a mechanical bank.
     A second type Guessing Bank has turned up and the action is the same as that of the conventional Guessing Bank which is the figure of a man sitting astride a chair. This second type has the figure of what looks like a Gay 90’s woman standing beside a section containing a coin chute and dial with revolving pointer. A coin is dropped in the provided slot at the top of this section and the weight of the falling coin causes the pointer to spin on the dial. The dial is numbered and if the depositor guesses the number at which the pointer stops he is entitled to withdraw the amount of coins indicated. Otherwise the bank retains all coins. The name "Guessing Bank" appears on the front of the bank and it is made of a metal similar to that of the conventional Guessing Bank. This, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, is another new find in a mechanical bank.
     Another generally unfamiliar bank is the Safe Deposit Bank, and this name couldn’t be much more misleading. The bank is made of tin and consists of a rather large figure of an elephant on top of a rectangular shaped base. On each side of this base there is a paper label imprinted with the name "Safe Deposit Bank." The elephant is in a standing position with his trunk hanging down. To operate the bank a coin is placed in the curved tip of the trunk, and on moving the elephant’s tail the trunk swings and the coin drops into a provided slot in the base. The figure of the elephant is one of the semi-full type made in a two part stamping, which is similar to many of the tin horses and other animals used on various different types of early tin toys. The bank has been more or less under wraps for a number of years while in the possession of an inactive pioneer collector. However, a number of months ago it was in the temporary possession of another party and there were possibilities of it being offered for sale. While it cannot, strictly speaking, be classed as a new discovery, circumstances have at least brought the bank out in the open to a limited degree.
     The Trick Savings Bank is a simple, unpretentious little mechanical bank which, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, can be classed as a new find. It is a small rectangular shaped wooden box with a black tin front drawer in one end. On opening the drawer a circular section is exposed and a coin is deposited therein. Close the drawer and open it again and the coin has disappeared. This action is similar to that of several other mechanical banks such as the Presto and Give Me A Penny Bank. On the underside of the bank is a paper label which contains the following information:
          Trick Savings Bank —
          This bank should be opened by
          skill and not by force.
          TRY IT
     Patented May 24, 1892 by C. Tollner. It may be well to explain that there is no coin trap on this bank for the removal of coins and there is no apparent way to get the coins out once they are in the bank. There is a trick involved so that the drawer may be removed and the coins can be taken out through the opening which normally accommodates the drawer.

Monkey and Parrot Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1961

     A monkey and a parrot do a very clever trick, when the coin disappears, it does so real quick. This more or less appropriately describes the bank which is our choice as No. 98 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Monkey And Parrot, is a very gaily colored, extra good action toy savings device. It must have had definite appeal to both boys and girls and most certainly is desirable to the collectors of today. The action is quite fast and comparable to that of the Darktown Battery (Baseball Bank). As most interested individuals know, in operating this bank the pitcher really throws the coin to the catcher and more often than not one doesn’t see the coin in its travel between the two figures. Another bank with similar type fast action is Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat (HOBBIES, January, 1953).
     The bank pictured is in unusually fine original condition, and particularly so for a tin bank. As a matter of fact, the terminology "mint" could be used to describe it. The writer obtained the bank some years ago from Thomas Kelly, a country antique dealer near East Liverpool, Ohio. Mr. Kelly found the bank in the home of an elderly couple in the vicinity of Kingsville, Ohio. It was in the attic of the home in a box with miscellaneous dishes and toys and had been packed away for a considerable number of years. The writer well remembers obtaining the bank as it was under somewhat unusual circumstances as so often seems to be the case with mechanical banks. In any event, arrangements were made to meet on the highway approximately half way between East Liverpool and Pittsburgh in Imperial, Pa. Mr. Kelly was unknown to the writer, but regardless both parties arrived in Imperial at the same time, met, and started the business part of purchasing the bank right on the highway. Subsequently the transaction was completed in a local restaurant during lunch. It only goes to show one can never tell under what circumstances he is going to obtain a mechanical bank.
     To the best of the writer’s knowledge practically no background information is known to date concerning the Monkey & Parrot Bank. Sadly lacking is any proof of the manufacturer, date or period it was made, or anything else for that matter, except it was made in Germany. This statement appears stamped in the back of the bank. Judging from the bank itself, it is the writer’s opinion that it was made after 1900 and most likely in the area of 1910. Other than this we can surmise no further on any other points and can only hope that some form of factual information will turn up at a future date.
     The paint on the bank shown is really nice and in bright, fine condition. The front and sides are yellow and the rounded top and back are red. The base and operating lever are black. The section fastened on the front of the bank which serves to guide the coin from the monkey to the parrot is painted red. The monkey is brown shaded with tan and he has large white eyes. The belt across his middle is red. The parrot has a large red beak, yellow body with red and blue feathers, and his wings and top knot are blue. His perch and feeding cup are a light red. All these colors combine to form a very attractive showy bank.
     Just above the monkey’s tail, impressed in the metal, appears the statement "Put Money Here." To operate the bank a coin is placed as instructed. Then the lever shown on the left in the picture is depressed. As the lever is pushed down the monkey also bends down and the coin slides along his back and comes to rest in his upraised hands. At the same time the parrot opens his beak very widely and his eyes convey the effect of movement. Upon releasing the lever a spring action snaps the monkey back to his position as shown. The coin flies through its guided path, up and into the parrot’s beak. The parrot’s beak closes to the position shown in the picture as the coin enters. As mentioned, the coin travels very fast and the action is good and accurate. Originally the parrot let out a squawking noise when he opened his beak. There is a bellows type squeak mechanism inside the bank but this has long since ceased to operate. The writer has left this noise producing mechanism "as is" since there is possibility of damaging the bank in trying to take it apart in order to repair the bellows. Also this isn’t particularly important one way or the other under the circumstances.
     The combination of the monkey and the parrot have a real appeal and they seem to fit together in some natural sort of way. It’s a very clever bank with excellent action and makes a particularly desirable addition to a collection.

Pistol Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1961

     A toy pistol that could be said to have double barrel interest is our choice as No. 99 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. The clever dual purpose toy is not only an interesting, unusual action mechanical bank, but it could also be played with as a toy pistol. Thus, it has double interest, not only to collectors of mechanical banks, but also to collectors of toy pistols as well. Another point in its favor is the fact that it is one of the few mechanical banks that represent an object. The limited number of banks that fit into this category were dealt with in the article on the Safety Locomotive Bank (HOBBIES, September, 1960). The Safety Locomotive and the Pistol Bank also have another point in common since both banks require dimes in their operation in order to work properly.
     The Pistol Bank was patented by James Hall Bevington of Chicago, Ill., September 21, 1909. He assigned his patent to Edward N. Heller, also of Chicago, doing business under the name of Richard Elliott Company. The patent papers covering the bank are very detailed and lengthy covering over five pages of written description and another sheet with 14 figure drawings. The Pistol as manufactured by the Richard Elliott Company is practically identical to the patent papers with the exception of a bell which was intended to ring when the trigger was pulled. The bell was to have been contained inside the cylinder section of the Pistol, but for some reason, perhaps due to manufacturing difficulties, this was omitted in the actual production of the bank.
     It also bears mention that the patent papers always refer to the bank as a toy pistol or coin receiving toy pistol. On occasion some collectors in past years have referred to the bank as the Revolver Bank, however, logically, since the patent papers are so explicit and since it is a toy pistol, it would be best to standardize on the name Pistol Bank.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition and was obtained by the writer some years ago from an Ohio antique dealer. It is made of cast iron with a nickel plate finish. The fact it is cast iron is brought out since at a later date during the period of the manufacture of the bank it was also made in a sheet iron stamping with a nickel plate finish. Both types operate the same and so on, however, the one made in cast iron is more desirable.
     The operation of the bank is simple, fast and efficient, but quite different and unexpected. Naturally a toy pistol has the effect of firing something out of the barrel, whereas with the Pistol Bank a coin is in effect fired into the barrel. To operate the bank a dime is placed in the end of the barrel as shown in the picture. It stays in place and when the trigger is pulled a lever snaps out from inside the barrel, engages the coin and snaps it back into the barrel and down inside the butt of the pistol. The action is very fast and simultaneous with the pulling of the trigger. Coins are removed by means of a combination key mechanism in the base of the butt. This coin trap part has the following inscribed thereon: "Manufactured By Richard Elliott Company, Chicago, Ill." Also the word "Patented" appears under the hammer on each side of the Pistol.
     The Pistol bank with its unique action and dual appeal makes a very interesting desirable addition to a collection of mechanical banks. It is not an easy item to find and most likely many were originally broken or put out of commission due to being played with as a toy, not necessarily as a savings device.

Jumbo Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1962

     Elephants are well represented by a number of the mechanical banks and comprise a very interesting group of these intriguing animated toy savings devices. This group is not only desirable to the collector of mechanical banks, but also to the many individuals who collect elephant items as a hobby. As we reach No. 100 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks our choice is one that well represents the elephant category. This is the Jumbo Bank, and it is a dual purpose cast iron toy since it not only served as a savings bank, but could also be played with as a pull toy.
     The Jumbo Bank is very much like the Light Of Asia (HOBBIES, October, 1956) and unquestionably both banks were made by the same concern. This manufacturer is still an unknown factor as, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, no patent papers, old catalogs, or anything else have turned up which would furnish information of this kind. There are no dates or markings of any type on the bank itself and certain characteristics are not indicative of any one manufacturer in particular. There are possibilities it was made by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., or Kyser & Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., but nothing conclusively indicates either one, and some other company may well have made the bank.
     The definite period in which it was made is very well established under the circumstances of the writer obtaining his specimen of the Jumbo. The history of this particular bank is rather sad, however, it definitely dates the bank and also accounts for its excellent "like new" condition.
     The bank pictured was obtained by the writer from Mrs. J.G. Harrington of Paris, Ill., a number of years ago. It was originally purchased by her uncle, C.W. Moore, in Georgetown, Vermillion County, Ill., March 12, 1883. He had bought it as a gift for his little boy’s second birthday, but his son died on March 14, 1883 without ever seeing the bank. It was kept by the Moore family and never used or played with over the years. Subsequently the parents passed on and no close relatives remained and the bank came into the possession of Mrs. Harrington. It is rather exceptional for the writer to have first-hand information of this kind surrounding a mechanical bank’s history and it does seem unfortunate that the circumstances would be of such touching nature.
     The bank, of course, is in new original condition and the paint is practically mint. The Elephant is a dark brown and he has a red blanket on his back with the name "Jumbo" in gold. His mouth is red and he had white eyes with black pupils. The base and wheels are green with gold outlining and highlighting.
     The operation of the bank is quite simple. A coin pushed into the provided slot in the elephant’s back causes his head to nod up and down. The deposited coins remain inside the elephant and it is necessary to remove the screw that holds the elephant together in order to take the coins from the bank.
     As stated in the article on the Light Of Asia, it was the writer’s opinion that the Jumbo Bank may have been an altered example of the Light Of Asia made to coincide with P.T. Barnum and his acquiring the famous elephant "Jumbo" from the London Zoological Gardens in 1882. This would now seem definitely borne out by the fact that the Jumbo Bank is in the period of 1883 as proved by the writer’s specimen of the bank. It is logically quite certain that it had to do with this event irrespective of its being an altered model of the Light Of Asia.
     A word of caution is in order here. Both the Light Of Asia and Jumbo should have the fine heart type of wheels as shown in the picture. Due to the fact that a photo of a specimen of this bank, with small automobile type wheels, received some degree of circulation, the false impression was given that these wheels were proper. This is not so, and as a matter of fact the writer knows of several cases where these wrong type wheels have been substituted for the fine original ones due to a lack of knowledge on the part of the individuals involved. In addition to this, some Jumbo Banks have been sold as completely original with just the Elephant and no base or platform and wheels. The bank was obviously not made in this fashion since all specimens which consist of the Elephant only show signs where the lugs have been ground off the legs. These lugs fastened the animal to the wheeled base. The bank is only complete and original when it is as the one shown in the picture. This also applies to the Light Of Asia.
     To sum up, the Jumbo is a dandy little bank to have in a collection and it is a hard item to find in complete original condition.

The First Hundred Mechanical Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1962

     The January, 1962, issue of HOBBIES marked somewhat of a milestone insofar as mechanical banks are concerned. It hardly seems possible that a few months over ten years have elapsed since the initial article on the classification of mechanical banks appeared in this magazine. In that period, including a number of special articles, 100 mechanical banks have been covered, the 100th appearing in the January, ’62 issue.
     Naturally the rarest and most desirable of mechanical banks are in this first hundred, as well as those having the greatest value. Basically this group will remain unchanged. That is to say it will have a certain permanency about it in the years to come. True there can always exist the circumstances whereby some new find or discovery may turn up, but this likelihood occurs less frequently and to a diminishing degree as the years go by. Thus, in spite of this possibility, the first one hundred mechanical banks will remain fairly much unchanged.
     In the last ten years the interest in mechanical banks has grown by leaps and bounds. This increased interest has brought many new collectors into the field and today there are thousands who are collecting these interesting old toy saving devices. Along with this trend the writer’s correspondence has increased accordingly, and more and more letters are received with many types of questions concerning mechanical banks.
     To aid some who have followed the articles since their inception and all those who have come into the picture since, the writer feels it would be worthwhile at this point to list the first one hundred mechanical banks and the date each appeared in HOBBIES Magazine. This will be helpful from a number of angles including the fact it will also serve as a ready reference to those who have saved the articles.

Name of Bank              Date
1951

1. Freedman’s Bank     October
2. Clown Harlequin and Columbine Bank     November
3. Merry-Go-Round Bank     December
1952
4. Shoot The Chute Bank     January
5. Mikado Bank     February
6. Germania Exchange Bank     March
7. Girl Skipping Rope Bank     April
8. Bread Winners Bank   May
9. Sportsman Bank     June
10. Giant Bank     July
11. Roller Skating Bank     August
12. Springing Cat Bank     September
13. Circus Bank     October
14. Initiating Bank First Degree     November
15. Motor Bank     December
1953
16. Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat     January
17. Bank Teller Bank     February
18. Old Woman In The Shoe Bank     March
19. Girl In The Victorian Chair     April
20. Jonah And The Whale (Jonah Emerges)     May
21. Dentist Bank     June
22. Red Riding Hood Bank     July
23. Milking Cow Bank     August
24. Uncle Remus Bank     October
25. Confectionery Bank     November
1954
26. U.S. and Spain Bank     January
27. Butting Ram Bank     March
28. Football Bank (Darky and Watermelon)     April
29. Bull Dog Savings Bank     May
30. North Pole Bank     July
31. Octagonal Fort Bank     August
32. Ding Dong Bell Bank     October
33. Bowling Alley Bank     November
1955
34. Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog     March
35. Hindu Bank     February
36. Chinaman In Boat Bank     May
37. American Bank     July
38. Preacher In The Pulpit Bank     August
39. Panorama Bank     September
40. Called Out Bank     October
41. Turtle Bank    November
42. Camera Bank     December
1956
43. Billy Goat Bank     January
44. Bismark Bank     March
45. Clown on Bar Bank     April
46. Baby Elephant Bank—Unlocks At X O’clock     June
47. The United States Bank     August
48. Presto Bank     September
49. Light Of Asia     October
50. Wimbledon Bank     November
51. Football Bank     December
1957
52. Automatic Coin Savings Bank     January
53. Hold The Fort Bank     March
54. Woodpecker Bank     April
55. Cupola Bank     June
56. Afghanistan Bank     August
57. John Bull’s Money Box     September
58. The Target Bank     October
59. Shoot That Hat Bank     November
1958
60. U.S. Bank     January
61. Organ Grinder and Performing Bear Bank     February
62. Picture Gallery Bank     March
63. Monkey Bank     April
64. Bow-ery Bank     May
65. Goat, Frog and Old Man Bank     June
66. Little Moe Bank     August
67. Acrobat Bank     September
68. Dog Tray Bank     October
69. Calamity Bank     November
70. Mamma Katzenjammer Bank     December
1959
71. Lion Hunter Bank     February
72. Horse Race Bank     March
73. Tank and Cannon Bank     April
74. Time Is Money Bank     May
75. Butting Buffalo Bank     July
76. Chimpanzee Bank     August
77. Perfection Registering Bank     September
78. The Winner Savings Bank     October
79. Reclining Chinaman Bank     December
1960
80. Darky Fisherman Bank     January
81. Tommy Bank     February
82. Presto Savings Bank     March
83. Little Jocko Musical Bank     April
84. Bowing Man In Cupola Bank     May
85. Bird On The Roof Bank     June
86. Squirrel and Tree Stump Bank     July
87. Safety Locomotive Bank     September
88. Peg-Leg Beggar Bank     October
89. Royal Trick Elephant Bank     November
90. Hoop-La Bank    December
1961
91. Frog On Arched Track     January
92. Atlas Bank     February
93. Giant In Tower     March
94. The Smyth X-Ray Bank     April
95. Clown Bank     May
96. Bull and Bear Bank     June
97. Snake and Frog In Pond     August
98. Monkey and Parrot Bank     November
99. Pistol Bank     December
1962
100. Jumbo Bank     January

Guessing Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1962

     A somewhat imposing money box, which verges on being a gambling device rather than a toy mechanical bank, is our choice as No. 101 in the numerical classification. The Guessing Bank, as it is appropriately named, is also a complete departure from the generally accepted idea of a mechanical bank, particularly as to appearance. It is a rather impressive looking item and, simply expressed, it just doesn’t look like a child’s toy savings bank or for that matter a toy of any kind. However, it definitely is a mechanical bank and was patented as such, specifically as a toy money box.
     Edward G. McLoughlin of New York City patented the Guessing Bank, May 22, 1877, as an improvement in toy money boxes. The patent papers go on to state that McLoughlin has invented a new and improved toy bank, the object of which is to provide a game of chance in connection with a toy bank. The papers go on from there to explicitly outline the operation and mechanism of the bank. The actual manufacturer of the bank is, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, unknown. However, we are fortunate in having considerable background information due to the man responsible for turning up all known specimens of the bank.
     Mr. Mark Haber, the well known collector and dealer in mechanical banks, is the individual who through perserverance found the first example of the Guessing Bank and subsequently the remaining known examples. Mr. Haber has kindly furnished the writer with the information and circumstances surrounding his locating and obtaining the Guessing Banks. Using his own words the story is as follows:
     "The discovery of these banks was entirely accidental and unusual, and the lead was furnished by an old picker, who informed me that he thought he noticed something that might be a bank or statuette being used as a door stop at a house in South Windham, Conn. His meager description of the object and the location left me no other alternative but to comb every street in South Windham, until I finally espied the object. It was rusted and weather beaten, but unmistakably the bank patented by E.J. McLoughlin.
     "I had little trouble in purchasing the bank from the occupants, Mr. and Mrs. George E. Sherman. Further inquiry revealed that Mr. Sherman’s grandfather had purchased the patent rights and had a number of these banks made up for distribution to jobbers who were to show these to the trade through their salesmen. To the best of his recollection, the orders for these banks were so meager as to make it an unprofitable venture to go into large production. Being possibly a gambling device in the hands of a child it did not seem to have any appeal.
     "Further inquiry on subsequent visits revealed that there were a few of the banks left in an old barrel in the original packings in the fine old stable on the estate. Without going into further details, I managed to purchase two or three at each visit for sums of money plus some fine first editions which I always brought with me for Mr. Sherman as gifts. Mr. Sherman collected fine first editions and appreciated my thoughtfulness."
     The writer’s example of the bank is pictured. It is in mint condition and was originally obtained from Mr. Haber. The figure of the man sitting astride the chair is a fine detailed casting and is finished in an overall light gold-bronze color. The dial has a white porcelain type finish with black numerals and the base of the bank is a glossy black. Under the name Guessing Bank there appears in raised letters, "Pat. May 22, 1877." This lettering is worked into the design of the chair and is not too obvious.
     To operate the bank a coin is dropped into the provided slot in the man’s hat. The weight of the falling coin causes the hair-like pointer on the dial to spin. The pointer, as it revolves, engages the pins placed around the dial and of necessity must stop in one of the numbered areas. If the operator of the bank has guessed the indicated number prior to depositing the coin he is entitled to remove five times the amount deposited. There is a locked removable drawer in the back of the bank for this purpose.
     To sum up, the Guessing Bank is a rather large impressive item which does not look like the generally accepted version of a toy mechanical bank. To the best of the writer’s knowledge a limited number of these banks exist, all of which were found by Mr. Haber. It is a very interesting bank and makes an unusual addition to a collection of mechanical banks.

Pump and Bucket Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1962

     A mechanical bank that was not only sold commercially through the regular trade channels, but was also given away as a complimentary item, is our choice as No. 102 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank is the Pump and Bucket, and the fact that it was given as a complimentary item by a store is all the more unusual since the inscription bearing this out is inscribed on the bank itself. This means that the concern that made the Pump and Bucket necessarily had a special pattern base plate for the exclusive use of the store involved. In a mechanical bank this is a rather unique circumstance. True the Weeden’s Plantation Savings Bank was sold commercially and also given as a premium for selling subscriptions to certain magazines such as the
Youth’s Companion. All Plantation Banks, however, were regular production items with no special markings. Whether or not the manufacturer of the Pump and Bucket made others with special inscriptions for a number of different stores is not known. The specimen pictured from his collection is the only one of its type ever seen by the writer to date. Naturally and logically there were numbers of this same type produced for the store during the period of its distribution as a gift advertising item.
     The bank pictured was obtained by the writer a few years ago from an antique dealer exhibiting in an antique show in Ligonier, Pa. It is in very fine original condition with most of the original paper label on the underside of the bank. Unfortunately this label does not show the manufacturer or the date the bank was made.
     The label explains how to set the bank, the operation, that it can be opened when $5 in dimes has been deposited, and so on. The original name of the bank according to the label was the Pump Registering Bank, and it explains further that it is "Guaranteed If Not Misused."
     The writer has no old catalogs or information of any kind that would lead to the name of the company that made the Pump and Bucket. Also, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, there are no patent papers that cover the bank. On the top section lid of the bucket is inscribed "Pat. Apd.," but this is not helpful in any fashion and does not necessarily indicate that a patent was ever granted. Logically the writer feels that the Pump and Bucket was made by some concern who more or less specialized in making registering banks of the more conventional type such as buckets, kettles, trunks and buildings.
     This brings to mind that the writer receives letters from time to time suggesting that one or another of the various types of the foregoing mentioned conventional registering banks should be classified as a mechanical bank. A registering bank that simply designates the amount of money deposited is not a mechanical bank in the accepted definition of what the terminology "mechanical bank" has come to mean. A registering bank as such does admittedly have mechanism, but that in itself does not bring it into the class of a mechanical bank. There is a fine line of demarcation and the Pump and Bucket is a typical example. In operating this bank a dime is placed in the proper section in the lid of the bucket, moving the pump handle up and down causes the coin to register and drop on into the bucket and base of the bank. The fact that the operating mechanism is in conjunction with a pump and handle places this bank in the mechanical bank category, and not just the conventional registering type group. Of course it is also a registering bank, but please note that if there were no registering mechanism on the Pump and Bucket Bank it would still be a mechanical bank since the coin would drop into the bucket only when the pump handle was operated.
     The Pump and Bucket Bank shown is in good original paint condition. The pump is green with a gold acorn on top, the spout and handle are silver, and there is other silver and gold outlining on the pump. The bucket and top part of the base platform are nickel plated and the section of the bank under the platform is bright red. On the lid of the bucket appears the wording "Dime Register" and in smaller letters "Pat. Apd." Along the top length of the platform is the wording "Compliments of Gusky’s." This platform, by the way, is cast to represent wood type graining on boards.
     Gusky’s was Pittsburgh’s first department store and a very unusual type of store whose background bears out the fact of the Pump and Bucket being given away as a complimentary item. Jacob Mark Gusky, a Pittsburgh philanthropist, opened his store in 1880 and it was located in Downtown Pittsburgh on Market Street between Third and Fourth Avenue. Any boy whose father bought a suit at Gusky’s could expect a toy for himself. Every Christmas a line of horse drawn buggies pulled up to the store to be filled with toys for distribution to underprivileged children. This was a generous policy of the store as established under Jacob Gusky. He was a hard industrious worker, charitable and generous, and at one time had 500 people in his employ. He died at the early age of 45 in the year 1886. The store business was continued after his death by his widow and other relatives for a time and then other small business concerns moved into the building, The last connection of the name Gusky with the store was between 1903 and 1904, and in that period Gusky’s in its final stages with about 15 remaining employees went out of business.
     A tablet in memory of Jacob Mark Gusky hangs in his honor in the rotunda of the Pittsburgh Courthouse.

Circus Ticket Collector Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1962

     The circus is well represented by a number of the mechanical banks and, as a matter of fact, those with this theme form a surprisingly large versatile group. This fact is not too obvious at first glance. Proper consideration must be given to the mechanical banks that qualify or fit into the circus group. Those that do qualify and have been covered in the articles to date are as follows – No. 13 – Circus Bank, No. 16 – Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat, No. 45 – Clown On Bar Bank, No. 67 – Acrobat Bank, No. 68 – Dog Tray Bank, No. 89 – Royal Trick Elephant Bank, No. 90 – Hoop-La Bank, No. 95 – Clown Bank, and No. 100 – Jumbo Bank. (The numbers shown can be checked in the February, 1962, issue of HOBBIES as to the dates the articles appeared on each bank.) There are also many others such as the Trick Dog, Clown On Globe, Humpty Dumpty, and Elephant And Three Clowns On Tub, to name a few, that will be covered in future articles. At present, however, as we reach No. 103 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks, we have another addition to the circus group, namely the Circus Ticket Collector. And there is no question but that the ticket collector was an important part of the circus, perhaps not a popular one but certainly a necessary one.
     The bank shown has been known as the Circus Ticket Collector since the writer first started collecting banks. Whether or not this is the original name used during the period of its manufacture and sale is unknown by the writer. He has never seen this bank pictured or otherwise advertised for sale in any old catalogs or other similar type material. Also no patent papers are known to exist that cover the bank. So there is practically no factual background information as to the period of manufacture, designer, manufacturer, or anything else. The bank is very similar to the Peg Leg Beggar (HOBBIES, October, 1960) and very possibly could have been made by the same concern. Since background information on the Peg Leg Beggar is also sadly lacking, this possibility offers no help.
     The bank pictured was obtained some years ago from Rockwell Gardiner, a well known Connecticut antique dealer. It is in fine complete original condition and in good paint except for the face. There is a reason for this, however. The entire head was first painted black and then the flesh color face was applied over the black. This tended to allow for easy chipping and less adherence to the surface. Some of the other banks have this same condition and one that comes to mind at the moment is the Octagonal Fort. Here the ocean surface paint, between the cannon and fort, was applied over a hard glossy black paint and thus tended to flake off and not adhere too well. The Circus Ticket Collector is painted as follows: Black hair, flesh color face with black eyes and red mouth; the barrel and the coat and trousers of the man are a japanned type finish, and the barrel has red stripings on the bands. The shirt front of the man is yellow with a white collar, the shoes are black, and hands flesh color.
     The operation of the bank is simple. When a coin is inserted in the slot in the top of the barrel it causes the head of the man to nod forward in a gesture of appreciation or thanks.
     The Circus Ticket Collector is a rather scarce little bank to find in an original specimen. Some 20 odd years or more ago a certain party who dealt in mechanical banks at the time had a number of these banks recast from an original specimen. These recasts are still floating around, however, it is not difficult to distinguish them from an original.
     In furtherance of last month’s article on the Pump and Bucket Bank, the writer has a fine hardbound Marshall Field Catalog dated for the Season 1892-1893. There is a large excellent illustration of the Pump and Bucket in this catalog with the following text accompanying the illustration:
     "No. 127, Size 5½ inches high, 6 long, 3 deep. This article is a combination of a mechanical and registering bank. It is a very attractive novelty and cannot fail to please. The bucket is designed for dimes, in ordinary use only, and not for mutilated or old-fashioned coins of approximately the same size. Put a dime in the slot and push the pump handle up and down, when the amount will be correctly registered. When $5 have been deposited the lid of the bucket can be taken off; when replaced it is ready for business. If the directions pasted on the bottom of each bank are complied with, it cannot fail to work properly. Handsomely finished in nickel and wood colors, and packed one in a wooden box, per doz. …...$8.50."
     This information from the Marshall Field Catalog is quite helpful as it definitely establishes the period in which the bank was made and sold, and also proves the bank was sold through regular trade channels as well as being given as a complimentary item as pointed out in last month’s article.

Hen and Chick Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1962

     Farm and country life is accurately depicted by a limited number of the mechanical banks, and while this is a most appealing subject matter, it is surprising how few banks were made utilizing this theme. Only two banks of the 103 covered by the series of articles to date fit into this category. One is the Milking Cow (HOBBIES, August 1953), a fine, particularly desirable mechanical bank, and the other is Uncle Remus (HOBBIES, October 1953). A possible third border-line bank is the Squirrel And Tree Stump (HOBBIES, July 1960). As we reach No. 104 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks we have chosen the Hen And Chick which well represents this group. The other rural type banks to be dealt with in future articles are Mule Entering Barn, Boys Stealing Watermelons, Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest, and possibly the Rooster and several of the Rabbit banks. These banks comprise the comparatively small group representing farm and country. It is interesting to note that this same condition exists in the horse drawn cast iron toys as well. Those such as the Hay Rake, Mower, Plow, and Hay Wagon are rather scarce and there were not many different types made. One of the Royal Circus toys is a farm type and it is a scarce article. This is the Farmer Van Wagon and it has a rather large head of a farmer that moves up and down, in and out of the top of the van. In any event, it has always seemed somewhat unusual to the writer that the rural theme with its very definite appeal was not more widely used as a subject matter for mechanical banks as well as cast iron toys.
     Charles A. Bailey, probably the best and greatest of all the designers of mechanical banks, was responsible for the Hen And Chick. This, of course, is only one of the many banks that he designed and patented. As a point of interest, he is credited with the Milking Cow and he definitely designed the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest. As a matter of fact the writer has Bailey’s original sketch of the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest, and it was apparently his first intent to call the bank the Robber Bank since this name is shown on the bank in the sketch. Bailey patented the Hen And Chick October 1, 1901 as a design patent. He assigned the patent to J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The bank as made by Stevens is practically identical to the design patent drawings.
     The bank shown is in what one would term mint condition and was obtained by the writer years ago in New England. It is painted in bright attractive colors. The base is an overall green with blue and yellow flowers and highlighting of leaves and stems in a gold bronze. The large hen is white with red comb and wattles, yellow eyes and a brown beak. On one side the yellow head of a small chick is peaking out from under her wing, and on the other side there are heads of two chicks in the same fashion. The little full-bodied chick that comes forward from under the hen (not shown in the picture) is yellow with small black eyes and a brown beak.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the provided slot in front of the hen as shown in the picture. The lever is then turned over in the direction of the rear of the bank. In so doing the hen starts to cluck, opening and closing her beak rapidly, then the little chick springs forward from under the hen and pecks the coin into the bank. At the same time, the hen bends her head down as though watching the chick. Releasing the lever returns all working parts to the position shown in the picture.
     In conclusion, the Hen And Chick Bank certainly has a definite charm about it. It’s a most attractive bank and the addition of the Bailey touch very definitely adds to its desirability.

Schley Bottling Up Cervera Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1962

     Mechanical banks cover a broad area of subject matter, mainly Americana, and those having historical significance are always of considerable interest. Individuals who have followed these series articles are familiar with the fact that a number of the banks covered by past articles do have historical background involving prominent personalities, events, discoveries, wars, and so on. Many of the banks utilizing history as their subject matter are quite rare, a few are rather common. As we reach No. 105 in the numerical classification we have chosen a unique historical Spanish-American War bank to occupy this position. This unusual bank is the Schley Bottling Up Cervera. It is a complete departure, appearance-wise, from any of the other mechanical banks since it is in the form of a bottle with a large stopper and thus represents an object. Mr. Hegarty, the present owner of the bank, expressed his opinion to the writer that it looks like an old inkwell bottle.
     Circumstances concerning the designer, manufacturer, and so on of the Schley Bank are sadly lacking and there is no factual information to pass along. There are no identification marks or dates. On the back of the top part of the bank scratched into the paint appears "Apr. 15 ’99 V.M.". Mr. Hegarty feels that on this date in 1899 the bank was given by someone or to someone with the initials V.M. The writer is inclined to agree with this as similar circumstances are known to exist with some other mechanical banks and, for that matter, with other types of today’s collectibles which were given as gifts in past years.
     The bank shown was purchased some time ago by Mr. Fred Draper at an antique show in Ephrata, Pa. It then passed into the hands of one of the pioneer collectors where it remained for a number of years. Frank Ball obtained the bank from this collector recently and passed it along to the present owner, L.C. Hegarty. Needless to say, Mr. Hegarty was quite pleased to add the bank to his fine collection.
     The bank pictured is in good condition and completely original with one exception. A photo of Schley has at some time been placed over the original paper sketch of the Admiral. This sketch was damaged and apparently could not be restored properly. The paint is in very good condition and the colors are as follows: The entire piece is painted black, the lettering is in red, and the outlining around the lettering and the stopper is in gold. There is a cloud and sunburst effect around the picture section and the American flag and Spanish flag are painted in their respective appropriate colors.
     The operation of the bank is unique but simple. The bank is shown in the accompanying photo after the action has taken place. To reset the mechanism the operator picks the bank up and gives it a quick jerk to the left. This causes the picture of Cervera to appear in place of Schley. When a coin, preferably one of the large old style pennies, is placed in the slot in top of the stopper the picture of Schley replaces that of Cervera, thus ‘bottling’ him up. A coin cannot be placed in the bank when Schley’s picture is showing.
     The bank is cast iron and approximately 5 inches high, 3-3/8 inches wide, and 2-3/8 inches deep. It is made in two half sections held together by one screw. The back section has perforations in the bottom half and coins are removed by taking the bank apart. The inside operating mechanism consists of a cast iron piece in a somewhat oval or lobe shape. The front of this piece is covered with paper with the pictures of the Admirals thereon. The back of the piece contains four pins placed in such fashion that a coin, in contacting the pins, causes the piece to flop over showing Schley’s picture. Transversely then, when the pins are in this position a coin cannot be inserted as the pins now block the coin slot. It bears mention that this inside part is also weighted in such a way so that it stops in place exposing Cervera, and does not move until a coin is inserted in the bank.
     In conclusion a shore resume of the event involving the two Admirals is in order to explain the "bottling up" angle. It’s a rather lengthy story but briefly, Winfield Scott Schley, 1839-1911, was an American Naval Officer in the Spanish-American War involved in battle with a Spanish Naval Officer, Pascual Cervera Y Topeta Cervera, 1839-1909. In 1898 Cervera was chosen to command the Spanish Fleet and on July 3rd of that year he was in the bay at Santiago de Cuba with his ships. Schley blocked up the bay with the ships under his command and thus "bottled up" Cervera. Cervera could not navigate from therein under these circumstances. Schley received credit for this maneuver, however, he was late in carrying it out under orders from W.T. Samson and thus endangered the movements of a ship named Texas. This delay in tactics was not brought out until 1901, and while there were some issues made of this at the time no serious charges of damaging consequences ever resulted.

Bank of Education and Economy
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1962

     Education and economy are two words which are probably used with greater frequency today than at any time during our history. We continually hear and read about the importance of education on the television, radio, newspapers, and so on. The same applies to our economy. So these two words, over the years, have continued to attain more important meaning and more frequent usage right up to our present time. Now let’s go back a number of years to 1895 and we find ourselves in a period where some foresighted individual or individuals used the two words in combination to appropriately name a mechanical bank. This bank, our choice as No. 106 in the numerical classification, is the Bank Of Education And Economy, and its action and appearance carry through and well illustrates the chosen name. It is a very neat trim bank and is unique and completely different than any of the other mechanicals.
     The specimen shown is from the ever increasing collection of Leon Perelman, a more or less recent and most avid collector of mechanical banks. It is in nice complete original condition and was purchased by Mr. Perelman from an antique dealer near Fostoria, Ohio, about a year ago.
     Unlike a number of the mechanical banks, the background of the Bank Of Education And Economy is easily determined as this information appears in detail on the bank itself. It is unusual for a mechanical bank to be dated and also have the maker’s name thereon. On the front, under the name, as shown in the picture, is the date "Patented April 30, 1895" with "Pat’s Pend’g." On the underside of the base appears the name of the concern who made the bank—"Mfg-By Proctor-Raymond Co., Buffalo, N.Y." It is made of cast iron with a nickel plated finish. The top, sides and back are cast with a very attractive scrollwork which definitely adds to the appearance of the bank.
     Actually, like the Pump And Bucket and several others, the Bank Of Education And Economy is a dime savings device. That is to say it is necessary to use a 10c piece for proper operation. The coin is placed in the provided slot in the top of the bank. Then the knob on the right, shown in the picture, is turned clockwise and this causes a paper slip to come up through a slot provided for this purpose. Part of the paper slip is shown in the photograph. As this action takes place the dime goes into the glass front section. The slip of paper can then be torn off and the bank is ready for another coin. The paper slip has a question printed on the front and a quotation or saying on the back. The question is to be answered by the operator, of course, and at the same time he learns a saying or quotation.
     The mechanism inside the bank is very well made and will not operate, nor can the knob be turned, until a dime is dropped into the coin slot. The dimes accumulate and stack neatly in the glass front section. As they continue to stack up a lever rises higher and higher from the top of the bank. After a certain number have been saved the lever is depressed and this automatically releases the sliding coin trap in the base. The many different questions and quotations are printed on a rather sizeable continuous roll of paper inside the bank.
     The Bank Of Education And Economy is a very unusual little bank, and in conclusion it is of interest to note several of the wordings that appear on the original complete roll of the writer’s specimen of the bank:
Question—"Where was Samual Sullivan Cox born?"
Quotation on back—"There are three things difficult —to keep a secret, to suffer an injury, to use leisure—Voltaire."
Question—"What classic literature has Mr. Gladstone studied very carefully?"
Quotation on back—"The true university of these days is a collection of books—Carlyle."
Question—"What became of William Couper in 1763?"
Quotation on back—"Strong reasons make strong actions—Shakespeare."
     Educational, philosophical, and an interesting bank to have in a collection.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1962

     Judging by the writer’s recent correspondence there exists considerable confusion and misunderstanding concerning certain mechanical banks. In particular there has been an increasing number of letters about the Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears), Dinah, and the Tin Monkey made by J. Chein Company. This confusion seems so widespread that it warrants attention and, therefore, the writer decided to reach all interested parties in this fashion rather than attempting to repeatedly write individual letters on the same subjects.
     The bank most often questioned, increasingly so in recent times, is the Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears). This is an English bank which is not necessarily a Jolly Nigger, that is to say this name does not appear on the bank itself. However, all bust type banks of this general appearance are referred to as Jolly Niggers unless some specific name appears on the bank. There were many different types of negro bust banks made in England and some have names thereon and some do not. A man by the name of Starkie designed the original Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears) and his name ‘Starkie’s Pat’ appears across the back of the originals as produced under his Registered Design. The ears on his banks are located forward near the eyes on each side of the face. Some were made with a high hat and all were made of aluminum. Now these are the old valuable type of Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears), and only a few originals have been found to date. In 1948 to 1950 a member of the Starkie family registered another type of Jolly Nigger which moves its ears. This bank is quite different than the old type although it too is made of aluminum. It has a waffle like base plate and the initials ‘TAD’ are cast on this part. This is the easiest way to identify it. The name Starkie does not appear across the back, the ears are centered between the front and back half of the head and not forward by the eyes. This is easily determined by anyone looking at the bank. These recent types with movable ears do not have value as collector’s items and it will undoubtedly be some years before they do.
     In all cases where people have written to the writer thinking they have a valuable bank they have had the modern type of Jolly Nigger with moving ears. So caution is advised to anyone who is offered a bank of this type. Please let it be understood that there is nothing wrong about any of this situation as both type banks are authentic, the only wrong that can happen is if an individual knowingly offers one of the modern type as an old one. And there is nothing anyone can do to control a circumstance of this kind.
     Now another factor enters the picture here, and this has to do with exaggerated values placed on the old original Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears). This has occurred in recent years through the issuing of value lists on mechanical banks by some individuals who know nothing about mechanical banks or their value. They just publish something and some degree of authenticity is obtained merely by the fact that it is published. This misleading information does harm and no good to the hobby. As example, an inflated value will be placed on the Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears), and some really much more valuable bank will be listed at a lesser value. This helps no one, collector or dealer alike. Please understand that the old Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears) is a good mechanical bank and commands a fair price, however, along with some of the other mechanical banks certain spurious value lists have placed them beyond their present day worth. Transversely others are valued below their present day worth. Unfortunately this may sound confusing and it is, particularly to those not too well versed on the subject of mechanical banks such as new collectors or dealers who come into the field.
     Generally speaking, mechanical banks as to price have been pretty much a hush-hush proposition for years, especially so with the very desirable rare banks. In years past some rather accurate price value lists have been published, however, these have become outdated within a relative short period of their publication. Some of these lists of a few years back do have value as a guidepost, but they are no longer obtainable. After all, when all is said and done, the buyer and seller, plus supply and demand, establish prices, and mechanical banks, along with paperweights, coins, and some other collectibles have advanced rapidly in price, particularly in the past fifteen years or so. And all indications are that they will continue to advance if we are to judge by past performances.
     Now briefly to Dinah, another English bank. The type with the cast iron arm or "flowing sleeve" is somewhat more desirable than the later type pressed steel arm. The Dinah Bank is one of the only mechanicals which has come down in price. This is due to the fact that persistent effort in seeking banks in England has resulted in quite a few Dinahs turning up in recent years. One must remember that the bust type of bank was an English specialty and they were very popular in their day. The Jolly Nigger (High Hat) is another mechanical that has leveled off in price along with Dinah, which is against the trend, but with a definite reason. Numbers have turned up and thus a proper level of value has been established. This does not lessen their desirability, only their price. Also this does not affect other of the rare desirable English banks as they just don’t turn up. These banks have continued to increase in value and desirability. Dinah, Jolly Nigger (High Hat), and some of the other Jolly Nigger busts are simply re-establishing their price level in a proper area compared to the rest of the mechanical banks.
     As to the tin Monkey Bank made by J. Chein where a deposited coin causes the monkey to tip his hat, this was made in the 1940’s. It cannot be considered as an antique collectible bank, and while they have been offered for sale by some antique dealers, this has not changed the facts. Most certainly at some time in the future the bank will probably be listed and have a collector’s value, but it is of too recent manufacture to be listed at this time. This also applies to the Uncle Wiggily and Clown Bust made by Chein in the same period.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1962

     A considerable number of the letters received by the writer concerning mechanical banks consists of questions which are quite often of general interest to all collectors of these interesting animated toy savings devices, and for that matter to dealers as well. Continuing along with the same trend as last month’s article, it is felt by the writer that a few more of these questions are worthy of attention and important enough to be dealt with here in this fashion. Naturally all queries received by the writer cannot be answered in article form, some, however, do bear special attention and are important enough from a general information standpoint.
     Getting back to the English mechanicals, we must realize that there has been greater and increasing interest in these banks in more or less recent times. This is quite natural as in the earlier days of collecting mechanical banks a far greater degree of concentration and effort was placed on finding the ones made in our country. They offered the line of least resistance, were more readily available and obtainable, and for some of these earlier years the English banks just didn’t have the same recognition and acceptance. This seeming lack of interest in English Banks was mainly due to the fact that no one knew anything about them and they just were not available. No one had ever taken the time and effort to dig into the situation and ferret out the facts as to what banks were made over there, where they were made, by what company, and so on. More misinformation and conjecture existed than actual truth and this didn’t help the situation any and, as a matter of fact, retarded it. It is not necessary to go into detail here as to the effort and time put into correcting the foreign mechanical bank problem in general, and the English banks in particular. Suffice to say that today we have considerable information and background. The English banks, as well as German and others, have all come into their own and are no longer mysteries in most cases.
     It has been well pointed out that the bust type bank was a very popular item in England, and the Dinah, Jolly Nigger (High Hat), and some others have re-established a value level. They were made over a period of years in considerable quantities and persistent effort in seeking them out has resulted in a number being found. Do not, however, be misled by this as some of the later bust type banks are very hard to find as they were made in smaller quantities and manufactured for a short period of time. Little Moe and the Clown Bust are typical examples of this fact. Also concentrated effort for some years now has not resulted in changing the situation on fine rare banks like the Football Bank, Wimbledon, Tommy Bank, Giant In Tower, and John Bull’s Money Box, to name a few. At this stage of the game it’s fairly safe to say that things will remain pretty much as they are with English banks. A great deal of interest has been generated in England in seeking out and looking for mechanical banks, and the general situation over there is now comparable to that in the United States. In closing on the English and foreign banks for the present, it bears mention as to the surprising number of American made mechanical banks that have turned up in England. This is not really too surprising when one considers the numbers of mechanical banks that were exported to England by some manufacturers in the United States, in particular the J. & E. Stevens Company. The opposite is true in our case, as most of the English banks have turned up in England, with a scattering of them being found in our country.
     Now we will try to settle the problem of the Feed The Kitty Bank. Facts are facts and when they are known there is not much point in disputing them. The Feed The Kitty Bank was never manufactured commercially or put on the market for sale to the public. All examples of this bank that exist today were made some years ago by a party in the East who borrowed the original patent pattern model from the New York inventor himself, cast a number of examples of the bank and painted them to look old and so on. This was not done with the consent of the inventor. In any event, there is no such thing as an authentic Feed The Kitty Bank and there never will be. There is an authentic pattern of the bank and that’s all there is. As a pattern it is in a class with some of the other pattern banks such as the Blacksmith, Twin Bank, and Hall’s Yankee Notion Bank, which, like Feed The Kitty, were never produced commercially. Some patterns of commercially produced mechanical banks also exist. The existing patterns of banks, however, form their own group and are known as such. Now if a collector wants to have one of the Feed The Kitty Banks in his collection, it is certainly his privilege to do so, but it’s something else again if he represents it as an authentic mechanical bank, as this it can never be. It is simply an oddity, the same as Long May It Wave and the Carnival Bank. One slight difference is the fact that these two banks were represented as authentic banks when sold some years ago.
     This leads us back to certain individuals who have published supposedly authentic rating and value lists on mechanical banks when they actually have limited knowledge on the subject. Feed The Kitty, Carnival, Long May It Wave, and others have been listed as authentic mechanical banks. This is only misleading to both collector and dealer and it is hoped by the writer that the information herein will clarify the situation.
     In closing, there is another frequently questioned problem and this has to do with the percentage or degree of decrease in value of repaired banks or banks with replaced figures or parts as compared to complete original specimens. This is an involved problem and will be dealt with in the near future since it is quite a subject in itself. So to all those who have written on this problem be advised that this subject will be covered.

National Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1962

     Every mechanical bank has its own individual points of interest and each has its own particular appeal. Some are especially attractive, some have extra clever action, others have appealing subject matter, and so on. The individual banks then, of course, form into different groups and these groupings are of considerable interest since each has its special points of appeal.
     The idea of grouping banks into certain categories such as historical, bust, buildings, shooting, and circus, and so on, is not only a basically good idea to begin with, but it also offers collectors the opportunity of getting together certain banks that have special interest to the respective collector. As an example, elephants in all forms, shapes and sizes were a favorite of the late James C. Jones, an early collector of mechanical banks. So naturally the group of mechanical banks comprising this category were of greatest interest to him, although he collected all types.
     Now another factor of importance in placing mechanical banks into certain categories has to do with the spiraling prices of these desirable collector items. Frankly speaking, a considerable amount of money can be invested if one attempts to collect all the known mechanical banks—this plus the fact that many are not available at any price. So by forming the banks into groups it does enable a person to specialize in a certain field of collecting mechanical banks. The same as with coins, stamps, and other collectibles. In this fashion the investment involved is considerably less, one is actually collecting banks but just not trying to get all the different types. Please understand the writer is not recommending any particular field or group as his interest lies in all of them and he collects all the types of mechanical banks that were made. However, like all collectors, he has his special favorites and reasons for liking one bank more than another.
     Actually the writer has stressed the grouping of mechanical banks largely due to the fact of so often hearing the remark as to how an average person can collect or start a collection in today’s market. Well it’s up to the discretion of each individual and certainly a good conservative method of approach is to specialize in one or more of the various groups.
     A very interesting fine category of banks is the building type group. In this category are some of the more common on up to some of the rarest and most desirable banks. As we reach No. 107 in the numerical classification we have chosen the National Bank which well represents the building type of bank. The National can also be placed in another category — the cashier or actual "bank" type of bank. It is not unusual for a bank to fit into several different groups. As example, there are a number of cashier or "bank" type banks such as Hall’s Excelsior, Magic, Home, Novelty, Hall’s Lilliput, and so on. All these also belong in the building group of banks. Then the Magic Bank can be placed in a third group, the magic type itself. So a collector who may wish to specialize in the building type can acquire some very interesting specimens with good variety.
     The National Bank was patented August 5, 1873 by H.W. Prouty of Boston, Mass. The patent papers are quite detailed and explicit and contain five diagrams of the bank. J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., most likely manufactured the bank and in so doing they followed the pattern papers very closely, the finished product being practically identical to that described and pictured in the papers.
     The specimen shown is owned by Leon Perelman who is doing a very commendable job of formulating a good collection of mechanical banks. Mr. Perelman obtained the bank a few years back from the late Henry Miller, a dealer who specialized in the field of cast iron toys. This example of the National Bank has the name in raised letters. Some others, including the writer’s example, have the name thereon in the same fashion, but the letters are not raised. The bank shown is in good original condition and painted as follows: The roof is red with yellow eaves; the front, back and sides of the building are a cream white, and the ornate filigreed windows (one each side and back) are green. Outlining of various parts is done in blue and the base is yellow. The name National Bank is in black and the wording "Receiving Teller" appears on the inside of the door. The figure of the teller is tin covered with a printed paper.
     To operate the bank a small brass knob on the door is pulled forward, this causes the door to turn on a center axis. In turning the door a full half revolution it snaps into place in the position shown in the accompanying photograph. As the door revolves into position the figure of the teller (inside the bank) moves from the right to the left and centers itself to appear in the back of the opening in the door. A coin is then placed on the tray located on the door, the operator presses the small brass knob to the right, the door rapidly snaps closed throwing the coin into the bank, and the teller moves swiftly to the right inside the bank and disappears from view. The bank must be reset each time a coin is to be deposited.
     The National Bank is a rather difficult item to find, particularly in good condition. It is an early item as mechanical banks go and apparently was not made in any great quantities nor over a long period of time. The writer has never seen one of these banks in what he would call fine or mint condition.

Grenadier Bank, Volunteer Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1962

     Classifying two mechanical banks in the same article is a complete departure from all previous articles since their inception. Since, however, both the Grenadier, No. 108 in the numerical classification, and Volunteer, No. 109, are so much alike, each made in England, and each a direct copy of our Creedmore Bank, they lend themselves very well to being written up together.
     Before going further, let it be understood that the bank pictured is the Grenadier and not our popular Creedmore. The writer is being specific about this since there have been numerous occasions whereby Creedmore Banks have been mistaken for either the Volunteer or Grenadier. This was further emphasized by the fact that for numbers of years there was some uncertainty about the authenticity of the Grenadier and Volunteer and some thought existed as to their being recast specimens of the Creedmore with the name altered in each case. This is not so and the Volunteer and Grenadier are authentic English mechanical banks, although they were copied from our Creedmore.
      The Grenadier Bank pictured is from the collection of Leon Perelman and he obtained it from an antique dealer who had purchased the bank in England. It is in very nice condition and painted as follows: The base has a grass-like surface in green, the tree trunk is brown with a yellow top and white target section. The soldier has gray trousers, black coat with yellow belt, and a red cape. His hat is red with a yellow band and he has flesh color face and hands.
     To operate the bank the coin firing mechanism is set in place by pushing back on the small wedge-shaped piece on top of the gun barrel. In so doing this causes the head of the figure to tilt forward as though taking aim. A coin is then placed on the barrel and the right foot of the figure is depressed. This triggers the mechanism and the coin is fired into the tree striking a bell therein. The head, at the same time, returns to the position as shown in the picture. To further add to the action a powder cap can be inserted in the provided section of the gun, and this is fired as the coin goes into the tree.
     Please note the hat on the specimen pictured. This is similar to our Creedmore, which, however, does not have the peak. The Grenadier was also made with a different type hat. This type, which is the one the writer has, is about twice as high and has a very small peak. The name "Grenadier" appears inscribed on the base plate in either case, and other than the hat the banks are identical.
     The Volunteer Bank is painted similarly to the Grenadier and operates in the same fashion. All known Volunteer Banks, however, have a hat just like our Creedmore, with no peak.
     Neither the Grenadier or Volunteer have a date shown on the bank, only the name in each case. It is known, however, from old English catalogs in the writer’s possession that they were made in the period of the 1890’s. It is interesting to note that the original illustrations of the Grenadier show the bank with the higher type hat and small peak.
     The name Grenadier has some significance. In England in the mid 17th century a special group of powerful soldiers with exceptional physiques was formed as a military employment within the companies. This special group of soldiers, termed the Grenades, consisted of individuals known as Grenadiers. They wore a distinctive type uniform and a mitre shaped hat which was more appropriate to throwing grenades. The Grenadiers were mainly used in siege and trench warfare. After the 18th century they were retained as storm troops. In the British Army the Grenadiers were a special task force until around 1850, then in World War I they were trained in the firing of rifles as well as throwing grenades. After this war they disappeared as a unit as all infantry-men were trained to throw grenades and so on. In general the terminology "Grenadier" has always referred to a member of a special regiment or corps, as example, a Grenadier of Napoleon’s Guard.
     The name Volunteer also has some significance. The term "Volunteer" originated in England around 1757 and its usage was in general reference to soldiers who were not professionals or not permanently under arms. They were put in and out of service over the years. In 1863 a new act was passed whereby all volunteers were to be immediately reorganized upon any possibility of an expected invasion. There were several occasions of reorganization and one of the last was in 1907 and 1908. This marked one of the last reorganizations under the name of Volunteers. They are now called the Territorials or the Territorial Army.
     In conclusion, there is no question but that the Volunteer and Grenadier Banks were copied from our Creedmore, whose original date of manufacture is considerably earlier than either of the two English banks. However, while very much alike, there are differences in the castings, particularly on the tree section, the hats, and so on. Generally, appearance-wise, they are very similar, operate the same, and are even painted similarly. Some, however, have red coats with black capes, but this is of no particular significance.

Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1963

     Of particular interest are certain of the mechanical banks that have as their theme various forms of object lessons. These object lessons vary, some are instructive in teaching a child what to do and others are constructive in showing or demonstrating what not to do. The Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest is an excellent example of the latter type, and is our choice as No. 110 in the numerical classification. All the mechanical banks were made to encourage the habit of saving in an amusing or entertaining fashion and were, of course, in most cases a toy as well as a savings device. Those such as the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest with the additional instructive feature are of considerable interest and in a class of their own. Some of the other mechanical banks in this same area of the instructive element are the Picture Gallery, Bank of Education and Economy, Boys Stealing Watermelons, and Uncle Remus.
     The Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest is a very attractive, well made mechanical bank and is an original creation of the outstanding designer, Charles A. Bailey. It was produced and marketed by the leading manufacturer of mechanical banks, the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., and when sold by them it was known as the "Tree Bank." No name appears on the bank itself and for some years now, for collecting purposes, it has been known as the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest. This is more definitive of the bank itself and actually closer to the name originally planned for the bank by Bailey. The writer, as mentioned in the Hen And Chick Bank article (June, 1962), has Bailey’s original sketch of the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest and the name "Robber Bank" appears on the base of the bank in this drawing. Obviously this was not a particularly appealing name and was subsequently discarded in favor of the more attractive, simple name, "Tree Bank." This did not, of course, detract from the obvious object lesson of what could happen to boys who would climb trees to steal bird’s eggs. As produced commercially the bank is practically identical in appearance to Bailey’s original sketch, with one exception. There is a large stick leaning against the tree in the drawing. This was probably intended to indicate that the boy on the limb had unsuccessfully tried to get the bird’s nest by using the stick before climbing the tree.
     Leon Perelman is the owner of the fine specimen pictured and, as can be judged from the photograph, the bank is in excellent original condition. Mr. Perelman obtained the bank from an Eastern antique dealer a few years ago. The paint is in mint condition with colors as follows: The base is an overall green highlighted with gold. Pink flowers appear on the base, along with the boy’s gray hat. The tree is brown with greenish-silver vines climbing up the trunk, red berries appear on these vines. The two birds are yellow. The boy has an orange shirt, blue trousers, and brown shoes and hair. Three small white eggs are in the nest.
     To operate the bank a coin is first placed in the provided slot. This slot runs vertically in the trunk and is located just under the branch which the boy is climbing. The coin when placed in the slot stays in place protruding somewhat from the trunk. The lever to operate the bank is located just below the bird on the left. When this lever is pressed down the entire branch of the tree, including the boy and bird’s nest, falls and hits against the trunk, striking the coin and knocking it into the bank. The action is good and very effective. To reset the bank for operation the branch is manually raised to the position as shown in the picture. The branch locks in place and stays there until the lever is again pressed.
     There are no markings, dates or anything else on the bank. However, the bank speaks for itself, as it is so obviously Bailey’s work. This is substantiated, of course, by the original Bailey’s sketch in the writer’s possession. As to the date or period in which it was manufactured, this is established by a dated 1906 catalog of the J. & E. Stevens Company which pictures the bank. The Shoot The Chute Bank, another Bailey design, also appears in this catalog. Thus apparently both banks were put on the market about the same time.

Bailey’s Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1963

     Designers of mechanical banks were located in various parts of the country, but New England was the most active area of this specialized vocation. This was largely due to the talents and work of one man, Charles A. Bailey, the greatest and most outstanding of all the mechanical bank designers. He not only designed banks, but he also manufactured some himself.
     Bailey’s first known effort in the field of banks was a representation of a pocket type watch made of a lead-like material or white metal. This was a still bank and he manufactured it in his own shop in Cobalt, Conn. He patented this item as a toy money box November 25, 1879. In the papers he referred to it as a "toy watch bank" and went on to outline the convenience of the item, as well as the inexpensive advantages the bank offered insofar as manufacturing costs were involved. His next bank, the Baby Elephant Bank Unlocks At X O’Clock, was patented November 16, 1880. This was his first known mechanical bank, and again he was the inventor, designer, pattern maker and manufacturer. Please understand he made some mechanical banks in certain periods that are as yet not identified with a certain date. The Chinaman In Boat and Darky Fisherman Bank are two of these. Also it is possible that he made a bank or banks which to date have remained undiscovered. In any event, the Baby Elephant Bank is recognized as his first mechanical and, of course, the date of this bank is definitely known from the patent papers.
     Soon after this, and while producing some banks on his own, Bailey started some design and pattern work for the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. This had to do with mechanical banks, of course, but he also worked with toys, and among these he was responsible for some fine bell ringing toys such as The Landing Of Columbus, Drummer Boy, and Evening News Baby Quieter. Pattern parts made by Bailey were found at the Stevens Company some years ago for a Christmas Morn bell ringer, but this was apparently never put into production.
     After a few years of doing fine ingenious designing and pattern work for Stevens, Bailey moved to Middletown, Conn., and opened a pattern shop there. This was in the period of 1885 to 1890. He then went to work for Stevens as their exclusive pattern maker and bank designer and continued with them until around 1915, at which time he again opened a shop of his own in Cromwell, Conn.
     Mechanical banks were apparently his first love, but he did make some other out-of-the-ordinary things. For example, the writer has an unusual inkwell in the shape of a large pipe with a hinged covered lid on the bowl. It is very ornate and made of the white metal type material which he used so often when manufacturing things himself. A large rose is on the cover, on the front of the pipe bowl is the bust of a woman, and on the back there is a reclining figure. There are vines and flowers all over the piece, and the entire pipe is finished in a bronze gold color. The wording "Pipe Of Peace" appears along one side, and on the underside of the finely stippled base in raised letters there appears "C. A. Bailey, Designer."
     Our concern and interest, of course, has to do with the mechanical banks that he was directly responsible for. Please keep in mind that he had a hand in a number of banks which we are not sure of and possibly never will be. As a designer and pattern maker at Stevens he conceived and made many banks and bank parts, as well as toys and toy parts, and most likely toy pistols as well. We do have an accurate setup on what banks and bank patterns we know he made, plus those identifiable as such by his distinctive type work. Following is a list of these banks:
     Stevens Foundry: Gem Registering, World’s Fair Bank, U.S. & Spain Bank, Chief Big Moon, Hen & Chick, Shoot The Chute, Teddy & The Bear, Billy Goat Bank, North Pole Bank, Lion Hunter Bank, Called Out Bank, Boy Scout Bank, Bread Winner Bank, Bismark Bank, Football Bank (Darky & Watermelon), Dentist, Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest (Tree Bank), Professor Pug Frog, Perfection Registering Bank, Milking Cow Bank, Jonah & The Whale (Jonah Emerges), Germania Exchange Bank, Bad Accident.
     Cobalt & Middletown: Baby Elephant Bank (Unlocks X O’Clock), Trick Watch Bank, Darky Fisherman Bank, Springing Cat Bank, Chinaman In Boat.
     Patterns—Stevens Foundry: Aunt Dinah & The Fairy, Wishbone Bank.
     Attributed to Bailey—Stevens Foundry: Bull & Bear Bank, Girl in Victorian Chair, Red Riding Hood Bank.
     From the foregoing, please note that Bailey is personally responsible for at least 29 mechanical banks. This represents over 10% of all the known mechanical banks, both domestic and foreign, so we can readily realize what an important factor he was to the mechanical bank era.
     Charles Bailey had many patents on mechanical banks and in some cases sold the rights of the patents to J. & E. Stevens Company. The writer has in his possession an original handwritten letter by Bailey to Stevens. This letter, including the letterhead, is as follows:

CHAS. A. BAILEY
Designer and Sculptor
Dies, Moulds and Patterns to Order.
Portraits and Busts in Bronze and Plaster a Specialty.

Middletown, Conn.,
March 15, 1887
Paid Mar. 16th

For and in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars I agree to sell all my right, title and interest in a certain new Toy Money Bank to The J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn. Said bank is composed of an ornamental base representing a landscape a pond stream of water etc. the principal feature is a Frog which is made to jump out of the pond represented there is an Indian Chief and Squaw which is made to work by the mechanism which causes the frog to jump a wigwam etc. goes to make up the character of the design which is called a Surprise in Camp.

Chas. A. Bailey

     The name "Surprise In Camp" referred to in the foregoing letter was Bailey’s original idea for the name of the bank we know as Chief Big Moon. Stevens, when the decision was made to put the bank into production, decided to change the name for one reason or another. This was not an unusual circumstance. Refer to the January, 1963, article on the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest. Bailey originally named this the "Robber Bank," but Stevens advertised and sold this as the "Tree Bank."
     There is more to be said of Bailey and at some time in the future we will go into further details. In closing at this time, however, and as further proof of Bailey’s leadership as a designer of mechanical banks look over the foregoing list of his banks once more. One then realizes that if he had just the banks that Bailey designed or made he would have a fine collection in itself. Some real rarities are included, as well as a number of the most attractive and interesting mechanical banks ever made.

The J. & E. Stevens Co.
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1963

     On numerous occasions individuals have approached the writer as to when he was going to do a complete book on mechanical banks, as to when he was going to write a book or more articles on cast iron toys, and when he would write about some of his more personal experiences in collecting banks and toys over the years.
     Well right now the writer is bedded down with a bad case of flu, and this month’s article is overdue. So this will be an opportune time for a discussion about the writer’s experiences at the J. & E. Stevens Company. This is well in keeping and follows through with last month’s writeup on Bailey’s banks.
     The J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., manufactured approximately one-third of all the known different mechanical banks. They were the most important factor in the mechanical bank era, and their banks are among the finest, most attractive, and best made. They were the pioneers in this field and made the first known dated cast iron mechanical bank. This is the Hall’s Excelsior of 1869. A tin alligator type toy was made by another company a couple of years earlier, but this is not a mechanical bank as some people think. It is merely a toy that employed the use of a coin in its action. The coin was never deposited in any fashion and no receptacle existed that would hold coins. The Alligator is an interesting toy in itself but cannot be classed as a mechanical bank. So Stevens made the earliest known dated mechanical bank, and after all the years of intensive collecting it is very unlikely that any earlier dated bank is going to turn up.
     The writer over a period of years spent considerable time at the Stevens Company and fortunately most of this time was in the 1930’s and up until about 1940. He would drive down to Cromwell, Conn., on occasional weekends and stay in the area. One of the most convenient times to look around the place in those days was on Saturday afternoons. The writer, in time, became very friendly with the Superintendent, Mr. Russell Frisbie, who was most kind in eventually permitting him to just about have the run of the place. Mr. Frisbie had his own set of keys for all the buildings and rooms for the entire Stevens set-up and he would give these to the writer and tell him to go ahead and enjoy himself.
     The Stevens layout was located in most attractive surroundings just on the outskirts of Cromwell. A pond was beside several of the buildings and, as we understood it, was loaded with fish. Never got to try the fishing, however, as always too interested in learning all that could be learned about banks and toys. There were several particularly interesting rooms in the buildings and one of considerable interest that was always kept locked was called the pattern maker’s room. In this room underneath a large work counter were many mechanical bank parts and toy pistol parts, all carved in wood. The workmanship on these wood pattern parts was extremely well done and the writer spent considerable time going over all the different parts and studying them, and in some cases complete banks and pistols were found. In other sections of the same building containing the pattern room there were barrels and barrels of cast iron mechanical bank parts which had been setting around for years. There were parts for the Jolly Nigger, ’Spise A Mule, Artillery Bank, and numbers of others.
     The foundry was a separate brick building in itself and the writer was fortunate in being able to talk to some of the old timers there who had worked on banks such as the Girl Skipping Rope. This, according to one old foundryman in particular, was the most difficult item they ever produced since it was almost impossible to get perfect castings of this bank as it was so ornate. The molten iron would not flow into the mold completely.
     Another building, adjacent to the foundry, was used for painting the banks, and this was all handwork. During the time they were actively manufacturing mechanical banks women were generally employed for the purpose of painting the banks. One would specialize in eyes and eyebrows, for example, another in clothing, and so on, and it was more or less done on an assembly line basis, each bank going down the line and paint applied to certain parts by each individual. The fact that women did most of the painting is one reason that the Stevens banks have such a nice appearance about them, good facial definition, and, generally speaking, a better type of paint job.
     Another one of the old buildings contained stacks and stacks of original bronze and brass patterns of many mechanical banks, and the writer spent endless hours studying these. Another building adjacent to this had a number of samples of different toy pistols and other things they had made, as well as some experimental parts and pieces of various banks, including some which were probably never produced.
     In the main office building there was a large safe and on top of this safe sat an original Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog. This was one of the banks that had been found tucked away up on a rafter in the building where the painting was done. There was a mistake in the painting and the woman who had done this had apparently just hidden it away. In any event, Mr. Frisbie kept this bank setting on top of the safe as a memento of the days when they were so active in the field of mechanical banks. In a room to the left of the main office there were quantities of old literature and papers stacked up from long years past and the writer spent considerable time here also going through these papers and learning much interesting information as to the background of the Stevens Company and their activities in mechanical banks.
     The writer mentioned it was fortunate he was able to spend time at the Stevens Company prior to 1940. In the first place not too many people had been through the place to any great extent previous to this time and then, of course, World War II came along and, as the writer was given to understand, many patterns and various other things that had been lying around for years were melted up, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of. Fortunately there were paper materials that were securely packed away and more or less hidden which survived the war period, and some of this came to light after 1950. The writer had been out of touch with the Stevens Company for something over 15 years and on a trip there in the middle 50’s he learned that some rather interesting material which had survived had unfortunately gotten scattered around a bit. In any event, the place had changed considerably from the period of the writer’s activity prior to 1940 and it is of great benefit to have this early actual background experience with the company when it was more or less the same as in their active days of producing banks.
     One speaks of writing a book on mechanical banks and it’s a little difficult to know where to begin when, as a matter of fact, there is more than enough interesting information on the Stevens Company and their activities to almost fill a book. There did not seem to be too much material available prior to 1890 but some did turn up and the writer has slowly but surely gotten together material prior to this date and has built up a collection of Stevens Catalogs which starts with one of their earliest known catalogs of 1859 to one dated 1926.
     Well so much for Stevens for now and at some future date we will pass along more information concerning the company, possibly in book form. There is much to be said about the Stevens Company and their importance in the mechanical bank era.

Bucking Mule
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1963

     A concern that manufactured a rather extensive line of mechanical banks has not received much recognition to date in the monthly series articles. This manufacturer is the H.L. Judd Company of Wallingford, Conn., and there is a very definite reason we have not heard much about them. While they made many mechanical banks, the Judd Company line consisted for the most part of those which were rather small, simple in action and movement, and were generally not of the type that would enter the picture in the classification articles until this time.
     Above and beyond this, there is another factor that has to do with some of the Judd banks. Due to the fact that for the most part they were simple in their make-up, they lent themselves to being a somewhat easy target for being recast. This was done some 20 to 25 years ago by an individual in New Jersey. This person saw fit to recast a number of the Judd banks, such as the Gem, Boy And Bull Dog, and the Bucking Mule, among others. This is one of those unfortunate circumstances. However, the banks he reproduced are still recognized as such today by their pebbly surface, inferior castings and finish. The fact that these recasts were sold in some quantities years ago left the impression at the time that original Judd banks were not particularly rare, and as a matter of fact rather common. This impression, in some cases, has continued on until the present time. Actually most of the Judd banks are rather difficult to find as original specimens. The most popular of their banks were the Gem and Dog On Turntable, and these two banks were made over a period of years and widely sold. Thus today either one of these is not too difficult to find in an original specimen. This is not the case, however, with some of the other Judd banks, and in particular the Bucking Mule, one of their best little mechanicals. It is a small, very attractive bank with simple but clever action, and is our choice as No. 111 in the numerical classification.
     The bank shown is a fine original in excellent condition and was obtained by the writer a few years ago when the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby was sold. Just where Dr. Corby obtained the bank is unknown to the writer, but like a number of the banks that were in his collection, it is in an unusually good state of preservation with some paint wear and chipping on the figure of the colored boy astride the mule.
     Another feature of Judd banks generally is the fine detailed casting and ornate design work that went into their make-up. This is well borne out by the Bucking Mule, and certain features of the base detail can be seen in the pictured specimen. A handsome spiral column is at each of the four corners and a four-leaf clover type design is in each end plate of the base. The two side plates are made with symmetrically designed open work. The top of the rectangular base has attractive lined detail and ornamentation inscribed thereon.
     As previously mentioned, most of the Judd banks were quite small and the Bucking Mule is typical of this fact since it is only somewhat over 4 inches long. Also it is well to point out that in keeping with their small size most of the Judd banks were made to employ use of pennies, nickels and dimes. No larger coins can be used in the Bucking Mule, as is the case with most of their other mechanicals. Judd did make at least one large size mechanical bank, and this is known as the Mosque Bank. It is a rather sizeable ornate building, and again in keeping with this size, the larger type coins can be used in its operation.
     The Bucking Mule is painted rather simply as are all the banks made by Judd. The entire base and mule are done in a japanned type finish in black. The Negro astride the mule has red trousers and a yellow shirt, and that’s it.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the provided slot in front of the mule as shown in the picture. It is held in place there by means of a spring arrangement inside the bank. The mule is then pulled back into position where it snaps into place for operation. When the tail of the mule is given a slight lift he shoots forward as though bucking and stops suddenly at the proper point. This causes the figure of the Negro to be thrown forward and over the mule, and in so doing his head hits the coin and knocks it into the base receptacle. The Negro’s feet are fastened or pinned to the mule in such a fashion that he pivots on and off the mule’s back. After the coin has been deposited in the bank the figure is moved manually onto the mule’s back and can again be reset from there for further action.
     The Bucking Mule has no dates or patent information on it whatsoever and apparently the Judd Company did not patent their banks, with possibly an exception or two. One is the Gem, which merely has the inscription ‘Patd.’ on one side of the top roof decoration. So it is rather difficult to place any one of their banks in a more or less exact period. An old Judd catalog is helpful, however, in placing the Bucking Mule, along with a number of their other mechanicals, in the period of the 1880’s. Most likely, to pin it down a little closer, the Bucking Mule was first made in the 1884 to 1888 period.
     In closing it is well to stress that the Judd line of mechanical banks consisted of some nice desirable little items, and one of their best is the Bucking Mule. None of their banks were spectacular or highly colorful, but they do have an individual appearance that sets them apart from other banks in a more or less distinctive fashion. They are well made and detailed, and in most cases hard to find in original specimens.

Monkey and Cocoanut Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1963

     A very attractive, rather realistic representation of a monkey is our choice as No. 112 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Monkey & Cocoanut, is an outstanding example of good designing and is exceptionally well made. It is one of the writer’s favorites and, in addition to the factors mentioned, it also has well timed excellent action completely appropriate to the figure involved. Apparently James H. Bowen, the designer and patentee of the bank, had a real knack for clever mechanism with split second timing. Several of his banks bear this out, in particular the Darktown Battery. This bank, which depicts three baseball players — pitcher, batter and catcher — is about the greatest action bank ever made. The pitcher throws the coin so fast that one has difficulty seeing it on its way to the catcher and the timing of the movement of all three figures is outstanding. Another Bowen bank, which is a fine example of this coordinated timing action, is the Bull Dog Bank. Here the coin is flipped from the dog’s nose into his mouth and this method of depositing the coin is most unusual and clever. Then too Bowen designed and patented one of the most important of all the mechanical banks, the Girl Skipping Rope (HOBBIES, April, 1952). This is another great action bank and, of course, has the additional feature of continuous movement for a period of time.
     In addition to the banks mentioned, Bowen held patents on the Creedmore, Cat & Mouse, Frog Bank, I Always Did ’Spise A Mule, Owl, and Calamity Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1958). He also patented a Bird Bank in 1881, but apparently this was never made or put into any state of production. Bowen’s first mechanical bank would seem to be in 1877, the Creedmore, and his last, judging from patent papers, was in 1905, the Calamity. A situation, somewhat unusual, existed where Bowen was concerned. He designed and patented his different banks but it would seem that he had nothing to do with actually making any of the master patterns or pattern parts for any of his banks. He let this work out to a specialist pattern maker by the name of John Page. (Please see HOBBIES, December, 1953, The Toy Bank Maker, for details on Page. It is interesting to note that Page, in describing his activities at the time was working on the pattern for the Monkey & Cocoanut.) Since full details are covered in this 1953 article, it is not necessary to go over all the information again at this point. Pertinent at this time is the fact that Bowen apparently did none of his own pattern work. Both Bowen and Page were residents of Philadelphia, Pa.
     The Monkey & Cocoanut was patented March 2, 1886 and the bank as actually produced closely follows the three diagrams contained in the patent papers. The bank was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., as were all of Bowen’s known mechanical banks. He must have had a working arrangement with Stevens whereby he sent his patterns and so on to them. He was not apparently ever actually employed by Stevens.
     The bank shown has been in the writer’s collection for some years now. It is completely original and in unusually fine condition. The paint work is very realistic and most attractive. Colors are as follows: The body of the monkey is done in shading of brown, his face is a medium tan with gray worked in around the eyes, nose and the wrinkles of his forehead. Shadings of red appear on the ears and the hair hanging from his jowls is dark brown. He has red lips and his eyes are an orange brown. The cocoanut held in his lap is a very dark brown, and the foliage upon which he sits is green. Red edging around the base completes the coloring of the bank. Of special interest is the fact that the plate in the base of the bank is very decoratively done in an attractive design. Bowen employed this same type of decorative base plate in his Darktown Battery Bank.
     To operate the Monkey & Cocoanut, a coin is first inserted in the fingers of the right hand as shown in the picture. Then the lever located on the back of the bank is depressed. In so doing the following action takes place. The left forearm of the monkey turns clockwise raising the top half of the cocoanut to a vertical position. The coin is released by the thumb of the right hand and falls into the bottom half of the open cocoanut and on into the base. The monkey opens his mouth and rolls his eyes downward as though watching the action. Upon releasing the operating lever all moving parts automatically return to their normal position as shown in the picture.
     In conclusion it bears mention that James Bowen and his banks were an important factor in the era of mechanical banks. Those he designed form an exceptionally interesting group and while, of course, he does not reach the stature of Charles Bailey, he most certainly deserves due recognition for his fine banks.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1963

     The writer, on various occasions, has pointed out that misinformation on mechanical banks is considerably more misleading than no information at all. Specifically, at this time, there appeared in a publication an article on a particular pattern bank. The article started out, in so many words, with the broad, completely erroneous statement that only a few of the mechanical banks could be as completely documented as this certain bank. This is a complete misstatement of fact as actually the majority of the known different mechanical banks can be completely documented and thoroughly authenticated. There was other misinformation in this article but there is no need to go into all points at this time. Sufficient to point out that the bank covered in the article under discussion is not an authentic factory produced item. It is a pattern of a mechanical bank that was never produced commercially. In this pattern form it qualifies as such, along with some other existing patterns of mechanical banks that never reached any actual production stage.
     If one wonders why the writer makes a point of a circumstance of this nature, the reason is simple and important. The line must be drawn somewhere. Certainly it cannot be condoned that a person would take a pattern of a bank, cast specimens from this, and then pass them off as collector’s items. This has occurred in the past and can happen again, but it doesn’t change anything insofar as the fact that the banks so produced are not authentic mechanical banks.
     Original patterns of mechanical banks that exist today have a value and interest, and certainly it is anyone’s privilege to respect them for what they are. But to pass them off as commercially produced items or anything else other than what they are is misleading and altering the facts. Any mechanical bank cast from a pattern bank that is positively known to have never been used for commercial production is simply a spurious item.
— O —
     Now to patent papers for a moment. There are individuals who think that patents are the positive end proof of a given or certain mechanical bank. This is not so. Patent papers are very important, informative, and substantiate many of the banks. They are most helpful in establishing definite dates, patentees, designers, and so on. But they do not establish the fact that any certain bank was manufactured or ever reached any stage of production. Numbers of patents were taken out on mechanical banks that never got beyond this stage. In other cases the banks as produced are totally different than the patents covering them. Usually in these cases a certain principle in the design, operation, mechanism, and so on is adhered to so that the patent applies. Now please note that the writer is in no way diminishing the importance of patent papers as is obvious to those who have read his articles. They are very helpful, but not necessarily the final word or proof on all mechanical banks. Some of the greatest, most desirable, and completely authentic mechanical banks have no patent papers at all.
— O —
     Since some general confusion exists on the subject matter of a letter recently received by the writer, we would like to quote this friend’s letter in its entirety:

"I have just finished your article in the February HOBBIES on banks designed and made by Charles A. Bailey.
     "I thought that you might be interested in knowing of an iron still bank in the shape of the Liberty Bell on a wood base and marked "Centennial Money Bank 1876 Pat. Apr. 75". On the bottom of the wood base is a paper label barely legible reading ‘Bailey’s Centennial Money Bank’ and also showing the patent date of April, 1875. It gives the history of the Liberty Bell and says that the replica may be used as a bank and a paperweight.
     "The April, 1875, patent date is four years earlier than the pocket watch bank described in your article as being Bailey’s first known effort in the field of banks.
     "I thought that you might like to have this information."
     Well, our friend is correct up to a point, and he would have no way of knowing beyond this point without some degree of research. True, Bailey did patent a Liberty Bell Bank, but it was not Charles A. Bailey. Thomas A. Bailey of Philadelphia, Pa., was the patentee of the Centennial Money Bank. This was under Design Patent No. 8,257 dated April 6, 1875. While Charles Bailey had nothing to do with the Liberty Bell, he did, however, on June 22 of the same year, 1875, patent a bell ringing toy ball with one or more bells permanently suspended therein. These bells were substantially the same as the sleigh type on leather straps, typical of the period.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1963

     To continue on from last month’s Ramblings, we have a couple of additional interesting factors concerning Charles A. Bailey, as well as several other points of interest.
     Recently, the writer obtained an exceptionally well made toy cannon from Lloyd Ralston of Warren, Ohio. Lloyd is dealing in cast iron toys and mechanical banks, as well as retaining some of these items for his own collection. The cannon has unusual detail on each side of the carriage. On one side is a well designed large eagle and on the other there is a pyramid of cannon balls and a powder keg. This type of ornamentation is somewhat unique on a toy cannon, and the entire cast iron carriage is quite graceful and attractive. On the trail appears the date August 28, 1894. The two cast iron wheels are well made and the cannon barrel is brass with a star on top where the barrel pivots in the frame. The barrel, from the front, can be swung on down and back between the wheels, which is also unusual. All told the cannon intrigued the writer, and other than the feeling that it was made by J. & E. Stevens he had to find out all about it. Subsequent research into the matter revealed that Charles A. Bailey designed and patented the cannon. As a matter of fact he took out two patents on toy cannon under the date of August 28, 1894, both of which were assigned to the J. & E. Stevens Company. So along with the many fine mechanical banks designed and patented by Bailey, we can now add toy cannon. There is considerable interesting detail and information in the patent papers concerning these two Bailey designed cannon, however, we will not attempt to cover it here at this time.
     Now please refer to the article on the Perfection Registering Bank, HOBBIES, September, 1959. At the time the writer attributed this bank to Charles A. Bailey and the J. & E. Stevens Company. The bank, as pointed out in the 1959 article, merely has the terminology "Patent Applied For" thereon. This affords practically no help at all insofar as locating the patent papers as after all when a patent was applied for, it would not necessarily indicate that a patent was granted, only the possibility of such would be indicated. The writer is pleased to say that he has found the patent papers covering the Perfection Registering Bank. It was designed and patented by Charles A. Bailey, January 10, 1893, and assigned by Bailey to the J. & E. Stevens Company. There are four full sheets to this patent, two of the sheets consist of eight drawings of the bank and various parts; the other two sheets are filled with complete details as to all parts and their operation. As pointed out in the papers, one main feature was to provide a bank with mechanism that would not easily get out of order. Of interest is the fact that in the patent diagrams of the bank the wording "Put In The Dimes" appears in place of the name Perfection Registering Bank. This was apparently Bailey’s original idea, however, when put into production it must have been decided that it would be well to point out the trouble free mechanism by using the chosen name. Other than this wording angle the bank as produced by Stevens is practically identical to the patent diagrams and descriptions.
     Another point of detail is brought out by a recent letter and quoted from in part:
     "Enclosed please find $2 for one of your mechanical bank booklets.
     "Mr. Griffith I hope you can give me a little information on a mechanical bank I have.
     "Every article I have seen on this bank spells it ‘Creedmore.’ I have one of these banks and it is marked ‘Creedmoor,’ Bank, November 6, 1877. I got this bank from a friend who had it given to him about 40 years ago by a rich lady for whom his aunt worked.
     "I would appreciate hearing from you."
     Well, our friend is correct, and the spelling should be "Creedmoor," with the double "o" just as it appears on the bank. Along with everyone else apparently, the writer has somewhat carelessly misspelled the name in general usage and the lady whose letter we have quoted is in for a mild surprise as the writer has also misspelled the name in his booklet.
     Last but not least, at this time we would like to clarify the facts as to the earliest known dated mechanical bank. The Hall’s Excelsior of 1869 has, for some time, been accepted as the bank to occupy this position. This is true up to a point but being very technical if we use just the terminology "mechanical bank" in the broad coverage, then it is not correct. Please refer to the March, 1963, article on the J. & E. Stevens Company where the writer refers to the first known dated cast iron mechanical bank as being the Hall’s Excelsior. This is true when referring to a cast iron bank and the date of the patent is December 21, 1869. However, on February 16 of the same year, 1869, James Serrill of Philadelphia, Pa., was issued a patent on what he termed "The Magic Savings Bank." This consisted of a wooden bureau having a movable drawer with a false bottom. Coins put into the drawer disappeared when the drawer was closed. This bank was produced commercially and the date and Serrill’s name were stenciled on the inside bottom of the drawer. Actually then, this bank is the earliest known dated mechanical bank. While in the same year as Hall’s Excelsior, it precedes the Excelsior by some ten months. As to the actual time or date that the first mechanical bank was made may never be known. Hall’s bank could have been produced before Serrill’s, but this would have nothing to do with changing the factors surrounding the dates on the banks themselves.

Weeden’s Plantation Saving Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1963

     A tin mechanical bank with a windup mechanism that furnishes sustained action to the figures involved is our choice as No. 113 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank has been called the Weeden’s Plantation Darky Savings Bank, but is more commonly known as Weeden’s Plantation and occasionally is referred to as the Plantation Bank. It has a rather interesting background since it is one of the few mechanical banks known to have been given as a premium item. The bank was sold commercially through regular channels, however, in addition to this the Youth’s Companion offered the Weeden’s Plantation as a free premium item to those who sold subscriptions to their magazine. Of further interest is the fact that when originally put on the market it was produced for a period of years and then discontinued for a number of years, only to be revived again and manufactured once more for a period of time.
     The Weeden Manufacturing Company of New Bedford, Mass., manufactured the Plantation Bank as well as several very interesting and similar companion banks. Their banks have in common the rectangular box shape in tin with a windup mechanism that provided a certain timed action for each coin inserted, The Weeden’s Plantation has a somewhat different appearance than the others since the roof slants to the rear and it is intended to look like an old shed or shack.
     One of Weeden’s banks is very rare, and this is the Ding Dong Bell (HOBBIES, October, 1954). Of possible greater rarity and desirability is the Japanese Ball Tosser (HOBBIES, July, 1961). This bank under existing circumstances cannot be classed in any area since, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, no specimen has ever been found to date. In addition to the information on this bank in the July, 1961, article, the writer has an original wooden box for the Ding Dong Bell Bank and the paper label on this box lists the Japanese Ball Tosser along with the Plantation and Ding Dong Bell. So it certainly must have necessarily been manufactured and it follows logically that somewhere there should be an example or two of this bank in existence today. Transversely, the bank may have been manufactured in a very limited quantity, only a certain number sold, and, therefore, it is possible that there are no surviving specimens.
     The Weeden’s Plantation has the following patent information printed on a paper label on the back: "Five U.S. Patents Aug. 7, 1888." Usually it is not too difficult to locate patent papers when the month, day, and year are known. When necessary one can go through all patents of the particular day involved. Now and then, however, this does not work, and in the case of the Plantation Bank the writer has had no success so far in locating any papers whatsoever, let alone five patents as stated on the original label. Further research may bring the papers to light. In any event, the bank was very definitely made in the late 1880’s and through the 1890’s since it was offered by the Youth’s Companion in that period. As mentioned, the manufacture of the bank was discontinued for some years and then around 1918 or so it was once more put on the market. The same dies and so on were used and the banks made in this period were identical to the earlier models.
     The bank shown is from the ever increasing collection of Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa. Lee, by the way, has set up a very fine addition to his home just to house his mechanical banks, toys, and other of his interests. It is a very attractive setup and the writer was pleased to have the opportunity of looking it over recently.
     The paint on the bank shown is in reasonably good condition and the figure of the Jigging Negro is original. This figure simply hangs on the operating lever and more often than not is missing. The shed is painted white with the roof and bottom section in red. Gold outlining is used, and on one side of the shed there appears the following wording in gold: "Jig Dancin’ "; on the other side also in gold "Pete Jonson" - "Banjo Lessuns" - "One Cent." The figure of the dancer has a white hat, red shirt, blue trousers and brown shoes. The figure of the banjo player is painted the same and he holds a brown and white banjo. He is sitting on a brown bale of cotton. The base, back and other parts of the inside structure of the bank are wood. A paper label covers the back section above a locking coin door. This door has the terminology "Coin Safe" thereon. Instructions to operate the bank and how to unlock it appear on the paper label along with the name and date. The key to the coin safe is also held in place on the paper label section. The operating instructions state that a penny or nickel be used.
     To operate the bank it is first wound by turning the winding key counter-clockwise as indicated by an arrow. Then a penny is inserted in the coin slot on the lower side of the shed. The dancer starts to jig and the banjo player’s right arm moves as though playing the instrument. This action continues for a certain length of time and then stops automatically. It is necessary to insert another coin for more action. This continues on in this fashion until the mechanism runs down and then, of course, it is necessary to rewind. It is a very nice action bank and the dancer really steps it out.
     In closing a word about the Weeden Manufacturing Company is in order. A friend of the writer’s Mrs. Sara Lowe of New Bedford, Mass., has kindly furnished the following information and we quote:
     "The following is taken from page 475 of ‘History of New Bedford and its Vicinity’ (1602-1892) by Leonard B. Ellis, 1892, D. Mason & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N.Y.:
     "The Weeden Manufacturing Company – The company occupies the two story brick building Nos. 112 and 114 North Water Street. The business was founded in 1883 by the late William N. Weeden of New Bedford. In 1884 Mr. Weeden invented a toy engine under an arrangement with Perry Mason & Company, publishers of the Youth’s Companion, and later this scientific toy was patented, and has been largely manufactured since. Movable toys are also manufactured, as well as other novelties in metal. A stock company was formed in July, 1887, with a capital stock of $50,000, and the business has steadily increased. The company employs seventy-five workmen with a weekly payroll of $500. The present officers are as follows: President, J. Arthur Beauvais; Treasurer, Charles E. Barney; Directors, J. Arthur Beauvais, Charles E. Barney, George S. Homer, and Edward S. Brown."
     It bears mention that Weeden Manufacturing is responsible for one of the finest and most desirable toys ever produced. This is the Weeden’s Live Steam Fire Engine, and Mrs. Lowe was directly responsible in helping the writer obtain the original display model that the Weeden Company had on exhibit for many years. Needless to say, it is all in perfect original condition.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1963

     Referring to last month’s article on the Weeden’s Plantation Savings Bank, it was pointed out that the paper label on the back showed five patents under the date of August 7, 1888. The writer stated that he had been unsuccessful in locating the patent papers and, of course, five patents on one mechanical bank is unique. The situation offered somewhat of a challenge to the writer knowing that five patents must exist or the information on the bank itself was completely wrong. Well, after going into the matter further, the copies of the patent papers are now in the writer’s possession. It’s no wonder they were difficult to locate since each of the five patents have to do with watches and clocks. They are all under the date of August 7, 1888 and taken out by William N. Weeden of New Bedford, Mass., assignor to the Weeden Manufacturing Company of the same place. The patents are as follows:
387,469 Arbor for clocks, watches, etc.
387,470 Means for making pinions for clocks and watches
387,471 Pinions for clocks, watches, etc.
387,472 Method of making pinions for clocks and watches
387,548 Method of making arbors for clocks and watches
     So here’s a case where the patent papers on a mechanical bank are in a completely different group and class than those covering toy money boxes, or for that matter anything remotely connected with a mechanical bank. The five patents, of course, actually cover part of the clock-like mechanism of the Plantation Bank, and not the bank itself.
     Now please refer to HOBBIES for August 1962, and the article on the Bank of Education & Economy. Here you will note that complete information is given on the bank itself as to the date, April 30, 1895, and the manufacturer, Proctor Raymond Company, Buffalo, N.Y. There is no question about this, however, the actual patent papers had eluded the writer, but he knew they must exist. To make a long story short, an original copy of the patent is now in the writer’s possession. Here again this patent was far and away from the group and class of toy savings banks. It is dated, as stated on the bank, April 30, 1895, and the patentee was James S. Barcus of Chicago, Ill. The patent was issued to cover a "Coin Controlled Apparatus for Advertising and Educational Systems." The patent consists of five sheets, three of which contain eight diagrams of the apparatus that, when actually produced, resulted in a toy savings device, the Bank of Education & Economy.
     While we are on the subject of patent papers there are two other mechanical banks previously covered by classification articles whose papers seemed continually to elude the writer. These papers have been found recently by the writer and this situation can now be clarified.
     The patent on the Sportsman Bank (HOBBIES, June, 1952) was issued June 14, 1892 to Edwin I. Pyle of Bridgeport, Conn. As stated in the papers the patent covers a "Mechanical Toy," not a money box or toy savings device. This toy patent was simply converted into a mechanical bank when produced by the J. & E. Stevens Company. While the patent did not cover a savings device as such, it did cover the mechanism, working parts and figures of the hunter and bird. As a matter of fact the Sportsman Bank as produced by Stevens closely follows the original diagrams in the patent papers as to the figures of the hunter, bird, and so on.
     The papers covering the English made Football Bank (HOBBIES, December, 1956) were issued as a design register. This department, the Register of Designs, is in the Patent Office in London, England. The registration number 247,326 was assigned to the Football Bank and registered January 7, 1895 by John Harper & Company, Ltd., the manufacturers of the bank. The negative photostat copy of the representation of the bank as supplied to the writer by the Patent Office is identical to the bank as produced by Harper.
     An interesting little bank has recently come into the possession of the writer through the good help of Arnold Johnson of the 1738 House, Petersham, Mass. Since the bank represents a watch we will call it the Watch Bank. It was purchased by Mr. Johnson at a small antique show in the area.
     The Watch Bank is made of sheet iron and the finish is nickel plate. It is a stamping, very nicely done with attractive decoration and wording. The hands on the face of the watch are set at 8 minutes past 10. Between the hands appears the wording "Chase Poverty." Under the hands is inscribed "Check Waste Create Thrift." Below this in a circle where the second hand would normally be appears "Copyright Patent Apd." In a diamond shaped section in the middle of this circle appears "C. L. Russell, N.Y." In the center of the back of the watch there is inscribed an inverted horseshoe. Around this is the following wording "Holds 25 Dimes" – "Just Fill It" – "It Will Open" – "Then Re-Lock."
     The bank as far as the way it was made, material and finish, is similar to the Pistol Bank, which was also made in cast iron at an earlier date. (HOBBIES article on Pistol Bank, December, 1961). The operation of the Watch Bank is the same principle as the Safety Locomotive (HOBBIES, September, 1960). This places it as a borderline bank in the mechanical to semi-mechanical area. It is not a registering bank as there is no registering mechanism.
     Naturally the writer wanted to find out all he could about the Watch Bank as to the date of manufacture and so on. In his opinion, judging from the bank itself, he placed it in the 1920’s.
     His initial approach was to operate the bank and this turned out to be a stroke of luck. The coins are inserted in a provided slot by the top wind stem ring. Sure enough after 25 dimes the bank opened automatically, and inside the bank was the original paper label! This reads as Follows:
     How to Relock This Bank
     Place the lip, on the bottom of this case, in the slot, in the other case, under the figure 5; bring the two cases together so that the rings over the figure 12 meet; press, and the bank is locked again.
          Charles Lee Russell,
          199 Cook St.
          Brooklyn, N. Y.
     Now to finding out about the bank. The writer first sent a letter to Mr. Russell at the address shown. This was returned as unknown. Meantime he sent a letter to the Brooklyn Public Library. The next step was to check all patentees by the name of Russell. This the writer did, including all patents and design patents from 1886 to 1945. No luck—no Charles Lee Russell with a bank patent.
     The Brooklyn Public Library, and in particular the Business Library, came through with flying colors. They maintain back files of the Brooklyn Telephone Book in microfilm. This disclosed the following: in a 1920-21 Book a listing for Russell, C.L., metal nvlts, 199 Cook Street. The book for 1923 has this listing, Russell, Chas. L., Mfr. savings banks, 199 Cook. Continued checking indicates the same listing through 1925. The 1926 book and on no longer lists Mr. Russell.
     So there is no question but that the Watch Bank was made during the 1920 to 1925 period and that most likely 1925 was the end of it.
     It is a nice little bank, and unlike Charles Bailey’s earlier watch type still bank, this one has nice mechanism inside with springs and so on, and is definitely in the mechanical category.

Elephant & Three Clowns on Tub
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1963

     A mechanical bank which has the unusual distinction of being covered by the same patent papers as those of two other banks is our choice as No. 114 in the numerical classification. This fine little mechanical bank with its circus theme background is the Elephant And Three Clowns On Tub. It has very clever action and actually the proportion and designing of this bank ranks it as one of the best from these standpoints. As has been mentioned by the writer in certain previous articles, the mechanical banks in the circus group have a definite appeal, and this continues to increase as time goes on. It is not necessary to again list all those that represent this subject matter and sufficient at this time is the fact that the bank under present discussion is one of the most interesting and desirable in the circus group.
     The Elephant And Three Clowns has the following patent information inscribed on the base plate: "Eng. Pat. July 28, 1882 — U.S. Pat. Aug. 8, 1882." This is somewhat unusual as a very limited number of the mechanical banks were patented in both the United States and England. Even more unusual is the fact that three of these mechanical banks, including the one under discussion, are all protected by the same patent papers. James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., was the inventor responsible for this unique situation. The patent papers in this instance were issued to him on the basis of a "Toy Savings Bank" and the accompanying drawings are those of the Frog Bank. In the printed detailed text of the papers, however, is where four methods of operation, based on a basic principle, are outlined and thoroughly described. This is the basis on which at least three entirely dissimilar appearing mechanical banks are covered by the same patent papers. The third bank is the Reclining Chinaman (HOBBIES, December, 1959). Thus, the Elephant And Three Clowns, Frog Bank, and Reclining Chinaman all share certain similarities in their operating mechanism which is covered by the same patent papers. As further explanation, a short quote from the rather lengthy papers is in order: "The savings bank herein described may be made in the image of living beings of any kind and character or of any other desired shape." Mr. Bowen also specified that use could be made of a "representation of a leg or other limb or part of a living being." This point is well carried through by all three banks made under the patent. They were manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn.
     Leon Perelman is the owner of the bank shown and he obtained it through the good help of George Bauer of Pottstown, Pa. Colors are as follows: The Elephant is gray, white tusks and eyes, mouth and tip of trunk in red, and the blanket over his back is blue with yellow fringe and tassels. The tub is tan trimmed in gold, with a red top. The two clowns, one holding the gold rings and the other balancing the gold ball on his feet, are painted alike with blue costumes and red belts and flesh color arms, legs and faces. The front clown has a handlebar type mustache. The clown astride the elephant has a red costume with a large star on his chest. His peaked hat is red with a blue rim, shoes are black, and arms, legs and face are flesh toned, the same as the other two clowns.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed between the two rings held by the clown standing beneath the elephant’s trunk. The ball balanced on the feet of the clown on the steps is then pulled backward. The legs of this clown actually operate as a lever and cause the elephant’s trunk to swing to the side, thus knocking the coin between the legs of the elephant and on into the coin slot in the top of the tub. At the same time the clown riding the elephant turns at the waist to face the same direction as the other two clowns. Upon releasing the ball all moving parts automatically return to the positions shown in the picture.
     In conclusion a point of some interest is in order. Some years ago the writer had occasion to visit the late Norman E. Sherwood, who was a pioneer dealer in mechanical banks. At the time Mr. Sherwood showed him an original pattern of the Elephant And Three Clowns made in bronze. In examining this pattern the writer noted that the clowns faced in the opposite direction than those of the production bank. In other words, in looking at the photograph herewith the back of the heads would show if the bank had been made from this pattern. It was apparently never used to make production banks since the writer has never seen any with the heads facing in this direction. It is the writer’s opinion that the bank was produced as shown so that it could be properly operated with the right hand.

Zoo Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1963

     Alphabetically speaking, our choice of the 115th mechanical bank in the numerical classification is most certainly last, but assuredly not least. This is the Zoo Bank, and to the best of the writer’s knowledge, the only mechanical bank having a name beginning with the letter Z. As a matter of fact, until the first part of the year, only two letters in the alphabet, Q and X, were not represented by names in mechanical banks. Now only X remains since a Queen Victoria Bank turned up some months ago. This is a bust type bank made in England. When a coin is deposited in the crown atop her head the eyes blink. The bank was made in celebration of the Jubilee of 1887, the 50th reigning year of Queen Victoria. As to the letter X, there are some who may feel this is represented by the X-Ray Bank, and this could be accepted in this fashion, except for the fact that the full proper name appears on the bank itself as "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" (HOBBIES, April, 1961).
     The Zoo Bank is one of the so called "little" mechanical banks, and some others in this category are the Afghanistan Bank, Girl In Victorian Chair, and Elephant And Three Clowns On Tub. The Zoo, like the Elephant And Three Clowns, is very nicely proportioned for so small a bank. Also it has excellent action considering its size which is 4¼" both in height and width, and 1½" in depth. Further, while other mechanical banks utilize various animals in their action, this bank has the distinction of being the only one to actually represent a Zoo house.
     No dates or patent information appear on the Zoo Bank, nor does the writer have in his possession any old catalogs or other material that picture or describe the bank. So far the writer has also been unable to locate any patent papers that would possibly apply to the action or mechanism involved. Using the bank itself as a guidepost we can fairly accurately narrow the possible manufacturers down to two concerns. Wording appears inscribed on the back of the bank as follows: "Zoo Bank." Under this, "Press the Monkey," and below this the number "134." The same method of wording was used on the Uncle Remus Bank in the same fashion, along with the number "136." Using this along with other characteristics of the Zoo bank we can reasonably assume that either Kyser & Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., or the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Conn., made the bank.
     Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa. is the collector who owns the pictured bank. It is a nice original specimen with good paint and the colors are as follows: The house and cupola are red and each has a gray roof highlighted with gold. The shutter-type door and the shutters on the two windows are green with gold outlining and striping. The bench and bucket in front of the house are done in gold as is the pulley-lift arrangement left top of the door. The small patch of ground around the base of the house is done in green with yellow and red highlighting. The face of the monkey which appears in the cupola is black and bronze, with small white eyes and black pupils. The face of the bear in the left window is black and silver with a red mouth and same type eyes as the monkey. The lion in the right window is tan with brown, a red mouth and black eyes.
     The bank as pictured is shown after the action has taken place. To prepare the bank for operation, using the picture as a guide, one must first manually close each of the two shutters on the windows. This causes the faces of the bear and lion to recede into the bank. At the same time the face of the monkey moves forward into the window of the cupola. The shutters, due to a spring arrangement inside, snap into place and stay closed. To operate the bank a coin is placed in the provided slot in the roof of the cupola. This rests at a given point partly exposed, it does not fall into the bank. The face of the monkey is then pressed. This causes the lion and bear to move forward into their positions in the windows and the shutters fly open exposing their faces. At the same time the coin drops into the bank automatically. A small key-lock type coin trap is provided in the base for the removal of accumulated coins.
     The Zoo Bank is a very nice little item, particularly difficult to find in complete original condition and in good original working order. It is a bank that is securely held together by means of peened over pins in the casting. Since it could not readily be taken apart apparently children were prone to try to pry it open, pull on the shutters, or try to pry the lion or bear out. The mechanism as compared to many of the more sturdy mechanical banks is rather delicate, small in size, and would tend to get out of order with any degree of rough treatment.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1963

     The Ding Dong Bell is one of the rare desirable mechanical banks and it appeared in article form in the October, 1954, issue of HOBBIES. In this article the writer stated that the back of the bank was the same as the Weeden’s Plantation Darky Savings Bank (HOBBIES, August, 1963). This is true with respect to the winding key, key to unlock the bank, the locking coin door, and so on. However, there is a difference in the wording of the Ding Dong Bell, and this has some importance and is of interest. This came to the writer’s attention at the time of his having some difficulty in locating the five patent papers covering the Plantation Bank.
     The Ding Dong Bell has the statement "Five U.S. Patents Allowed" on the back paper label. This, of course, protected the bank under the same patents of August 7, 1888, which covered the Plantation Bank. This statement also means that the Ding Dong Bell was made after this date. Other wording on the back of the bank which is of considerable significance is as follows: "Weeden Manufacturing Company — New Line of Mechanical Savings Banks — Six Styles." This is one of the few cases where mechanical banks, as we use the terminology today, were originally referred to as mechanical banks. In other words, the animated toy savings devices we have come to generalize as mechanical banks were practically never referred to as such during their period.
     The mention of "Six Styles" would certainly indicate that Weeden produced six different mechanical banks, all most likely covered by the same five patents which actually protected the clock-work type mechanism. To the best of the writer’s knowledge only two types of Weeden mechanical banks are known to exist, and these are the Plantation and Ding Dong Bell. It is fairly well established that they made a Japanese Ball Tosser (HOBBIES, July, 1961), but to date the writer knows of no example of this bank existing in private collections or otherwise. This then, would leave the possibility that three other different mechanical banks with a clock-work type mechanism were produced, and the further possibility that examples of these may still exist as yet undiscovered by collectors. Rumors for some years have indicated that Weeden made a Grasshopper Bank and a School Teacher Bank. However, the writer does not have, nor has he ever seen, any evidence or proof of any kind that would substantiate either of these banks.
     While we are on the subject of the Weeden Manufacturing Company, Mrs. Sara Lowe of New Bedford, Mass., has come up with another interesting sidelight concerning the company. Mrs. Lowe recently obtained a few old, small bottles of 3-In-One Oil. They are attractive triangular shape and green in color. A folder that came with each bottle is imprinted with the name "Weeden Toy Steam Engines", and these small bottles of oil were given as samples by Weeden with their various steam toys.
     Of considerable interest is the recent discovery of a companion bank to the 5c Adding Bank. This is the 10c Adding Bank and it is pictured herewith through the courtesy of Leon Perelman in whose collection it now resides. While both are registering banks, the 5c Adding has been considered in the mechanical category for some years now, the same as the Perfection Registering (HOBBIES, September, 1959) and the Registering Dime Savings Bank (Mechanical Clock). The 10c Adding, like the 5c, has the same automatic front opening door and is the same overall size and structure. Of course, it works with dimes rather than nickels, but other than this the two banks are alike, including the mechanisms. Both carry the same patent date of August 20, 1889, which is stenciled on the back of each bank. Details of this new find, as well as the 5c Adding, will appear at the proper time in the regular classification articles. In any event, Mr. Perelman is to be congratulated on turning up what is, to the best of the writer’s knowledge, a heretofore unknown mechanical bank.
     In closing at this time we can add another name to the list of known mechanical banks. This too, as far as the writer knows is a new discovery. The bank is the Music Bank, and it is an unusual looking affair made of sheet metal. It is a decorative item of good construction and very definitely, in the writer’s opinion, a commercially produced piece, most likely of foreign manufacture. It is painted black with extra fine decoration of birds, flowers, and so on, somewhat similar in appearance to Worcester china. A coin dropped in the provided slot in the top of the bank causes the music to play for a given time and then another coin repeats the action and so on. Further details on the bank, who found it, and other information will be given at the proper time in a subsequent article.

A Tribute to Frank Ball
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1964

     It was with deep regret the writer learned of the death of Mr. F. L. Ball the morning of October 31, 1963. Frank, as he was known to his many friends and associates, will be sorely missed; he was a real gentleman and it was always a pleasure to be in his company.
     Frank was a great asset to the hobby of collecting mechanical banks and cast iron toys and was one of the early pioneers in this field. He increased the dealing phase in these items more actively after his retirement as an executive with a New England utilities firm. He bought and sold over the years from his home and then in a place he fondly referred to as The Loft. In recent years he was associated with F.A.O. Schwarz of New York City. They formed an antique toy department and Mr. Ball’s activities were centered around this division of the Schwarz Company.
     In past years Frank handled a number of the fine rare mechanical banks and some of the best of the cast iron toys. The writer vividly recalls one trip in particular to Cambridge a few years ago. At the time Frank had available the large size Ives cast iron pull train in complete and fine condition, and a three seated Hubley brake, complete and original with all figures, and several other excellent toys. In addition, of course, there were varieties of other type cast iron toys and a good representative group of mechanical banks. Some of the best pieces collectors have in their respective collections, particularly so in cast iron toys, came to them through the good help of Frank Ball.
     Frank was a most conscientious person and he always tried to be fair in his dealings. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and admirers, particularly those who collect mechanical banks and cast iron toys.
     An Interesting Discovery
A most interesting and informative experience occurred recently on the occasion of the writer’s visit to the Churchill Country Club antique show. Smiths’ Antiques of Mt. Union, Pa., brought with them a Fortune Teller Savings Bank that Mrs. Smith had purchased at another show several months prior to this show. The Fortune Teller Savings Bank has been a more or less unknown quantity since the only wording on the bank, other than the name, are the letters "PAT" on the underside bottom of the safe. The Smiths’ example of this bank, however, is in complete, fine, original condition including the original paper label which covers the entire back of the large safe. This is something the writer had never seen and the label is of great interest, informative, and most attractive.
     The large center section of the label is a decorative picture. Above this appears "Fortune Teller Savings Bank Patented Feb. 19, 1901." Below the picture are the directions as follows:
     "Directions – Drop the coin in the slot of the lever." (Here appears the picture of a hand holding a coin over the lever slot.) Then push the lever back hard and quick. This will spin the wheel of fortune. When the wheel stops, pull the lever forward as far as possible and your true fortune will appear at the window every time."
     Across the bottom of the label appears, "Mfg’d. by Baumgarten & Co., Baltimore, U.S.A."
     The large center picture is a country scene of two women in old fashioned puffed sleeve dresses sitting in chairs out in the open. A barrel is represented as a table between them. On the barrel top sets the Fortune Teller Savings Bank, and one of the women is inserting a coin therein. In the background of the picture there is a tent with a coal stove inside; to the left of this, among some trees, is a prairie schooner type wagon with two unhitched horses.
     The entire label is done in bright attractive colors of red, green, blue, brown, yellow and so on. Frankly speaking the label adds measurably to this bank since it is a rather plain nickel plated safe type bank and not particularly attractive in itself. The writer will pass along further information regarding the Fortune Teller Savings Bank at the time of the regular classification article.

Jonah and the Whale Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1964

     A mechanical bank with a biblical background is our choice as No. 116 in the numerical classification. This is the Jonah And The Whale, and it is a large, well designed, impressive bank with good action. The name, as shown in the picture, is cast in large letters along both side plates. Since there are two known different types of the Jonah And The Whale, it is well to point out that only one type has the name on the bank itself. The other type Jonah And The Whale is very rare and is No. 20 in the numerical classification (HOBBIES, May, 1953). There has always existed some degree of confusion since both banks have the same theme, and while they look nothing alike appearance-wise, the easiest way to remember to distinguish one from the other is by the large lettered name on the one now under discussion. No name whatsoever appears on the rare type. This plus the fact that in the one pictured Jonah is thrown towards the whale’s mouth, and in the case of the rare one he comes out of the whale’s mouth. There are many other differences and checking the photo in the May 1953 article with the one herewith will bear all this out. Actually the only confusing similarity between the two banks is in sharing the same subject matter and name.
     The Jonah And Whale pictured was patented July 15, 1890 by Peter Adams of Buffalo, N.Y., assignor to Charles G. Shepard and Walter J. Shepard, also of Buffalo. The patent is a design patent and covered a design for a toy savings bank. The diagram or sketch accompanying the text of the patent is practically identical to the actual manufactured item. The manufacturer of the bank was the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo. It bears mention at this point that not many mechanical banks, as such, were covered by a design patent alone. Most of the mechanical banks that were covered by a patent are on the basis of a regular patent which also protected certain features of the operating mechanism.
     The bank shown is from the fine collection of Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa. It is in original condition with good paint and the colors are as follows: The side and end plates of the base are red with yellow corners, and the letters of the name are done in gold. The edges of the bottom plate and top part of the bank are striped in yellow and black. The water and waves are realistically done in light bluish-green with white highlighting. The whale is a dark green-black color with a red mouth and white teeth. The boat is an off shade of yellow with stripes of gold, white, blue and red. The robes on the two figures are red and blue and they have white beards, flesh color faces and hands, and so on. All in all the Jonah And Whale is a very bright, attractively painted bank and gives a fine impressive appearance.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed on the back of the figure of Jonah. The lever, which is recessed in the end plate under the rear of the boat, is then pressed. As the whale opens his mouth wide the figure holding Jonah moves forward in the boat toward the whale. The figure of Jonah tilts downward as though entering the whale’s mouth, but instead the coin is thrown from his back into the whale. Releasing the lever returns the figures in the boat to the position shown in the picture. The whale’s mouth closes and re-opens as though swallowing the coin. This action of the lower jaw continues for some time since it is balanced in a fashion to do so. Coins are removed by means of a key lock trap in the underside of the base.
     In closing, a few words as to the story of Jonah are in order. Jonah was a minor prophet. To escape the Divine summons to preach repentance to Nineveh, Jonah embarked by boat from Joppa for Tarshish, but during a severe storm was, at his advice and by the issue of a lot with the sailors, thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. The Lord had prepared this fish to swallow up Jonah. After being thrown overboard and swallowed by the fish, the storm subsided. Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. The Lord then spoke unto the fish and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
     A further point of interest in closing is the fact that the bank under discussion represents the first part of Jonah’s ordeal, that is being cast to the whale. Then the other rare Jonah And Whale represents the end of his three days and nights ordeal by emerging from the whale. They make a fine pair of banks to have in a collection.

Leap-Frog Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1964

     The general basic idea or purpose behind most of the mechanical banks was to produce an animated toy with certain mechanism and action that would appeal to children and encourage and stimulate their interest to save pennies and other coins. On this basis alone, excluding the commercial phase at the moment, it is surprising how few of the known different mechanical banks made over the many years of their popularity depict children playing games as such or simply at play. This broad field of subject matter, certainly of interest to children, seems to have been largely left untouched by the various designers and manufacturers of mechanical banks. Just to name a few for example, such play and games as shooting marbles, hide and seek, teeter-totter, croquet, swinging, tag, spinning tops, hopscotch, and many others are not represented. Strangely enough the mechanical banks that were made utilizing only a few specific types of this theme are for the most part rather scarce and hard to find. These include the Girl Skipping Rope (HOBBIES, April, 1952), the Roller Skating Bank (HOBBIES, August, 1952), and the more available bank we have chosen as No. 117 in the numerical classification — the Leap-Frog. There is another rare possibility and this is the Coasting Bank, should an example ever turn up. Two other possible considerations are the Boy On Trapeze (French’s Automatic Bank) and the Merry-Go-Round (HOBBIES, December, 1951). Borderline banks like Darktown Battery (Baseball), A Calamity (Football) (HOBBIES, November, 1958), and others of this nature are considered to be more representative of specific sports as such and are thus grouped in this category.
     The Leap-Frog Bank is a very fine example of children, boys in this case, at play and best represents this theme, along with the Girl Skipping Rope and Roller Skating. It was patented September 15, 1891 by Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams of Buffalo, N.Y. Adams was the assignor to Walter J. Shepard, also of Buffalo. The patent in this case is a design patent and relates to the configuration of a toy savings bank which represents the game of leap-frog. The diagram or sketch accompanying the text of the design patent is practically identical to the bank as actually produced. It was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, an outstanding producer of mechanical banks. As a matter of fact, until the Shepard line of banks was taken over by Stevens they possibly ranked on a par with or were second only to Stevens in this specialized field. Remembering, of course, that Stevens started some ten years or more before Shepard in producing mechanical banks, and then after acquiring the Shepard line of banks Stevens continued to manufacture certain of the former Shepard mechanical banks for many years under their own name.
     Leon Perelman, a collector who has real interest and pride in his collection of mechanical banks, is the owner of the Leap-Frog pictured. It is in good original condition and the paint, while showing some wear and chipping, is in an unusually good state of preservation for this particular bank. Colors are as follows: The base is green with the name in gold, the tree stump is dark brown shaded with gray, and the top and other markings are yellow. The back fence is yellow with some white in the board separations. The plate that encloses the mechanism and covers the back of the fence is red. The boy in the stooping position has a red cap and knickers, blue socks and shirt with red and yellow trim. The other boy has a blue cap and knickers, red socks, and a yellow shirt with red trim. Details of the face of each boy, including eyes, eyebrows, mouth, and so on are exceptionally well done. This is the case with all the mechanical banks produced by Shepard where facial detail was concerned.
     It bears mention at the moment that a number of the Shepard mechanical banks are quite difficult to find with the original paint in fine or better condition. Including the Leap-Frog, others are Uncle Sam (especially so), Mason Bank, Trick Pony, Speaking Dog, Jonah And The Whale (HOBBIES, February, 1964), Circus Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1952), Humpty Dumpty, Picture Gallery (HOBBIES, March, 1958), and Punch And Judy. Any collector possessing all these banks with original paint in fine to mint condition can feel they have achieved a goal that is very difficult to accomplish.
     The bank as pictured is shown at the middle point of its operation. To operate the bank the figure of the leaping boy is placed in position behind the figure of the boy in the stooping position. A coin is then placed in the provided slot in the top of the tree trunk where it stays in place. A lever in the rear of the bank is then moved to the side and the boy in the standing position leaps over the other boy, and in so doing depresses a lever on the tree trunk with his right hand which causes the coin to drop automatically into the bank. The bank is reset by hand as described for subsequent operation.
     The Leap-Frog makes a nice addition to a collection, particularly so with its exceptional realistic action. The mechanism which causes this action is unusual and quite clever. It is not felt necessary to go into detail on this; sufficient to point out, however, that it is unique and completely different than any other known mechanical bank.
     It is with much regret the writer reports the death of Edward T. Richards of Peace Dale, R.I., on January 14, 1964.
     Ed was very well known in the mechanical bank collecting field and both he and his wife, Grace, were most avid and enthusiastic in their efforts of building up an outstanding collection of mechanical banks.
     Mr. Richards founded and presided over for many years the Mechanical Bank Collectors Club of Rhode Island and was the prime organizer and president of the Mechanical Bank Collectors Club of America. He was also a well known and leading attorney with offices in Providence, R.I.
     We know that many HOBBIES readers who knew him personally will be deeply touched, as was the writer, by the sad news of his untimely death.

Boy Scout Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1964

     A mechanical bank that represents a very fine worthwhile organization is our choice as No. 118 in the numerical classification. This is the Boy Scout Bank and it well depicts one of the important and original activities of scouting, camping out. The Boy Scouts of America, since its inception, has been and continues to be a great stimulating constructive movement for boys in their formative years. The fact that a mechanical bank was made to more or less commemorate this organization during its early stages certainly adds a degree of interest and stature to the bank itself. And with the continuing increased activity and interest in scouting over the years, this naturally has reflected through to the Boy Scout Bank as an increasingly desirable collector’s item.
     The bank was made by the J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn., and very definitely designed by Charles A. Bailey. So far the writer has had no luck in locating any patent papers that would apply to the bank. This, like some other banks designed by Bailey, has no dates or other helpful information on the bank itself, however, this does not preclude the fact that the bank may have been covered by a regular or design patent. It is the writer’s opinion that if papers do exist covering the bank they are in the form of a design patent and future research will bring them to light. Stevens catalogs, in this case, are helpful in placing the approximate period in which the bank was originally produced. It is not shown in their 1911 catalog or prior to this time but it is pictured along with their Called Out Bank (HOBBIES, Oct., 1955), another Bailey item, in the 1917 catalog. So this narrows it down to a six year time period between 1911 and 1917.
     The bank shown, which is from the fine collection of Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa., is in nice original condition with good paint. Colors are as follows: The base area around the tent is done in green highlighted in gold with some gray areas representing soil and rocks. The tree to the right of the tent is tan with green foliage over to the top of the tent. The owl perched in between is white with gold overtones. The tent is a cream color and a red pennant with gold staff rests against same. The large cooking pot is black with a silver handle, and the coffee pot is also silver. The scouts have brown uniforms and hats with orange socks and black shoes. Face and hands are flesh color. The flag held by the scout is white and the wording thereon, "Boy Scout Camp," is in gold.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the provided slot located in the foliage of the tree on top of the tent. The coin stays in place. The lever, located underneath the owl, is then depressed. The coin drops into the bank automatically and the scout holding the flag raises it high over his head. Releasing the lever causes the scout to lower the flag.
     Certain information as to the origin and so on of the scout movement is in order and of interest. The boy scout idea was founded in England by Sir Robert Baden-Powell. This was to develop self reliance, resourcefulness, courage and other hardy virtues among the recruits to the constables that were sent out to him in South Africa. After the Boer War he was invited to develop a program for boys based on his ideas and the program included two units in the United States. This was in 1908. In our country during this year the Sons of Daniel Boone was organized by Daniel Carter Beard and the Woodcraft Indians were organized by Ernest Thompson Seton.
     In 1910 the actual Boy Scout movement as such was brought to the United States by William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher. On a visit to England Boyce accidentally came across a boy scout in the street who directed and took him to a certain address he was seeking. The scout was most courteous and refused to accept the coin offered to him by Boyce. This intrigued Boyce and he checked into the scout movement, thus became interested and returned with this interest to the United States. The scouting movement was then incorporated as The Boy Scouts of America, February 8, 1910. In September of the same year Sir Baden-Powell visited the United States and under his direction the National Council of Boy Scouts was organized. President Howard Taft accepted the office of Honorary First President and Teddy Roosevelt was Honorary Vice President and Chief Scout. Daniel Carter Beard was the first National Scout Commissioner.
     In 1916 the organization was granted a Federal Charter by Congress. It is non-sectarian, non-political, and neither military nor non-military in character. In 1963 the Boy Scouts of America had a membership total of 5,322,000.
     Many basic ideas in back of the original boy scout movement as organized would seem to be more closely based on the Woodcraft Indians as set up by Seton. There are a number of books by various authors that go into many detailed phases of the scouting movement, its origins and so on, and anyone interested in the subject, beyond the information herewith, can pursue the matter further by use of these books.
     In closing, the Boy Scout Bank is a very attractive item and in spite of the fact that it is a rather late bank, it is not readily available and somewhat difficult to find in nice original condition. It would logically follow that the bank would have a popular appeal and therefore be produced in quantities, however, it came rather late in the popularity era of mechanical banks and thus was not apparently manufactured over a period of years, nor were any great quantities ever made in any given time.

"Starkie’s Pat. No. 152,588" (Moves Ears)
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1964

     A mechanical bank which is surrounded with confusion, more so than any other known to the writer, is our choice as No. 119 in the numerical classification. This is the "Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears)," and the writer continually receives letters which practically all contain the same questions regarding what is thought to be this bank. Unfortunately in all cases the questions have not been about this bank, but are in fact about another somewhat recent type with similar appearance and action. It is hoped that information herewith will once and for all clarify this situation.
     To begin with, the bank pictured is an original Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears) made in England in the period of the 1920’s. On the back between the shoulders in a semi-circular fashion is inscribed "Starkie’s Pat. No. 152,588." This patent was issued to Robert Eastwood Starkie of Burnley, England, October 21, 1920. It contains a detailed descriptive text and five diagrams which accurately cover the bank as produced. It is made of aluminum and apparently Starkie never had any of these banks made of cast iron or other metal. The very few originals of this bank that the writer has ever seen over the years have all been aluminum and somewhat crude in their castings as compared to other mechanical banks. This being a little crude in its construction goes along with Starkie’s Tank & Cannon Bank (HOBBIES, April, 1959).
     The bank pictured is in good condition, particularly so when one considers that the paint was inclined to readily chip from the aluminum surface. Colors are as follows: The jacket is red with a white collar and blue bow tie. There is a white cuff on the sleeve of the right arm and a white band down the front of the jacket with blue buttons thereon. His entire face is black with red lips, red tongue, white teeth and red lines between the teeth. His eyes are white with brown iris and black pupils. The top hat is white with a black band. The entire back half of the bust, excluding the hat, is black (note profile picture). The back of the head has round perforations in the casting arranged in a symmetrical fashion and the base plate has the same type holes or perforations.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the extended hand as shown. The lever at the rear left shoulder is then pressed. This raises the right hand to the mouth and the coin slides therein, and at the same time the tongue recedes into the mouth, the eyes roll downward, and the ears move back and forward. Releasing the lever returns all parts to their normal position.
     Now for the movement to the modern or more recent type of this bank which seems to always be confused with the old original one. On August 27, 1945 in the Register of Designs Division of the Patent Office in England, No. 844,290 was issued to a Robert Patterson Starkie covering a bank of similar design, operation and appearance to the bank pictured. This copyright expired August 27, 1950. In addition to the copyright a patent was applied for by Starkie December 1, 1945. No. 32,537, and accepted May 4, 1948 under Patent No. 601,362. This bank was also made of aluminum, but considerably lighter in weight than the original type. It was put on the market as the Sonny Boy Bank and in another version as a clown with a peaked hat and called the Clown Money Bank. Thomas Ashworth & Company — trademark "TACO" — of Burnley, England took over the Starkie business and production of these banks in 1952. Prior to this, from 1947 to 1952, Thomas Ashworth supplied the castings for the banks to Starkie.
     There are many differences between the old original bank, named "Jolly Nigger" (Moves Ears) and the modern Sonny Boy version. First check the profile photo and note that the ear is located forward near the eye. A V-shaped section in the back half of the casting fits into a v-groove in the front half and holds the ear in this position. In the Sonny Boy type the ear is located in the center where the front and back castings join together. Secondly there is no inscription of any kind on the back of the Sonny Boy. Third, the base plate on the modern bank is of a waffle type (cross bars) with the following inscriptions: "Reg. No. 844,290," "Starkie’s Pat. No. 32,537," "Patented In Foreign Countries." In addition the TACO trademark appears thereon. Fourth, the right arm on the Sonny Boy is not raised up from the elbow as on the Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears), (note full view picture). Fifth, the thumb on Sonny Boy’s right hand is a separate casting and not an integral part of the entire arm and hand casting as on the original bank. Sixth, the bow tie is considerably larger on the old type and this also applies to the ears. Seventh, the modern type can be operated by moving the ears by hand. This causes the arm to raise and so on. This cannot be done with the old original — moving the ears by hand causes the eyes to move and tongue to recede but the arm will not rise. Eighth, there are no perforations or holes in the back of the head of the modern type. There are various other differences in the castings, but to sum this all up, when the two banks, old and new, are examined together it is very easy to tell them apart. Certainly the information given above will enable collectors as well as dealers to identify an old, original Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears) should they ever run across one.
     The bank shown was found some years ago in Eastern Pennsylvania. As previously mentioned it is in very good condition for this particular bank and it is very difficult to find an original old specimen. As a matter of fact in all the years of collecting the writer has seen less than five of these banks. To further bear out their scarcity every few weeks a letter is received from someone thinking they have an original Jolly Nigger (Moves Ears). In all cases to date, and this covers a considerable number of letters, none of them have had an old original, all have been the recent Sonny Boy.

The Magician Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1964

     A magician performing his feats of magic is one form of entertainment with universal appeal, intriguing both young and old alike. The magician seems to maintain and occupy a somewhat unique position as a performer and in turn his counterpart or representation in a mechanical bank can be said to occupy a unique position among the mechanical banks. While there are a certain number of the mechanicals that have to do with magic in one form or another, there are none that more accurately depict the magician than the Magician Bank itself, our choice as No. 120 in the numerical classification. Very frankly this bank has always been one of the writer’s favorites — it has good interesting action, an attractive appearance, a coin is a necessary part of the action, and it is a well proportioned piece. Then, of course, the subject matter, magic, very definitely adds to its desirability.
     The bank was patented January 22, 1901, by William C. Bull of Philadelphia, Pa., assignor to Abraham L. Kesner, also of Philadelphia. This, like a number of the mechanicals, was patented as a "money box," and the papers contain two drawings of the bank. In this case the bank as actually produced is considerably different than the original patent drawings. For example, the overall appearance and configuration of the actual bank, plus much of the mechanism, is quite unlike the drawings. The figure of the magician, the table, and general principle of operation are, however, somewhat similar. This is not an unusual circumstance as many of the mechanical banks are at variance with their respective patent papers. There were numbers of reasons for these changes, including a better operating bank, a more attractive item, more efficient operating mechanism, problems of casting parts, ease of assembly, and so on. In the specific case of the Magician Bank there is no question but that the changes made from the patent drawings resulted in a more attractive bank with better operation. It was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., and pictured in their catalog for 1906, but does not appear in the 1911 issue or any of their catalogs after that year.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition with good paint. The back and front of the platform, which has steps on each side, are blue with yellow edgings. The name "Magician Bank" is in black. The steps and floor of the platform are a yellow-orange color. It is possible that this section may have originally had a pink or red flocking thereon to represent a rug. The writer has seen an example of this bank with a light coating of gray flocking over the steps and floor of the platform and there is no question in his mind but that it was originally made in this fashion. This does not preclude the possibility, however, that numbers of the Magician Banks were originally produced with this same section simply painted and no flocking applied. The table is red with gold edging on the legs. The magician’s outfit, including his hat, is black with a white shirt front and black bow tie. His hands and face are flesh color and his eyes, eyebrows, goatee, and elegant turned-up mustache are all black, as is his hair. A defined part of the casting of the hat is outlined in gold to represent a wand held in the right hand of the magician.
     The bank operates as follows: A coin is placed on the provided section in the center of the table (note picture). The lever is then depressed. The magician lowers his hat covering the coin on the table and at the same time his head tilts forward as though observing his own actions. Upon releasing the lever the parts automatically return to the position as shown in the picture and the coin has disappeared. The magician, of course, is now ready for another coin so he can make it disappear too. Actually the coin rests on a trap door, the hat when lowered trips the trap and the coin slides into and down a chute through the legs of the magician and on into the base platform. The trap door is spring actuated so that it automatically returns to place when the hat is raised. It’s a clever action bank, well designed, and will work with any coins up to and including those the size of a quarter.

Mason Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1964

     It bears mentioning that we have reached a point in the classification articles where a number of the mechanical banks are in the same area of desirability, value, and so on. That is to say they all have about the same rating and placing one ahead of another can be somewhat a matter of personal choice. This would apply to several already covered, the present article, and a number to be covered in future articles. Those we have done so far that are in the same level or rating category are the Magician Bank (June, 1964), Boy Scout Bank (April, 1964), Leap Frog Bank (March, 1964), Jonah & The Whale (February, 1964), Zoo Bank (November, 1963), and several others.
     Most of the banks in this same rating level are quite interesting, appealing, and have good action. This, of course, led to their popularity in their respective periods, and thus quantities of each were made and sold. So, while these banks are more or less common as compared to those in the first 100 mechanical banks (HOBBIES, February, 1962), actually they are among the most interesting and desirable of the mechanicals from the standpoint of good action, popular appeal, and so on. By the way, describing these banks at this level as being common is not meant to convey the impression that they are readily available. Such banks as the Boy Scout Camp, Jonah & The Whale, and others in this area are not easy to come by, particularly so in good original condition with no missing parts or repairs. Some of the other mechanicals in this same rating group to be covered by future articles are Cat & Mouse, Mammy & Child, Bill E. Grin, Boys Stealing Watermelons, Clown On Globe, Monkey With Tray, a number of others, and now at present the Mason Bank, our choice as No. 121 in the numerical classification. This is a good action bank with good subject matter and an attractive appearance.
     The Mason Bank shown is from the fine collection of Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa. He obtained it from an Eastern antique dealer and it is in good original condition. The bank was patented under a design patent February 8, 1887 by Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams of Buffalo, N.Y. The design patent states "said Adams assignor to Walter J. Shepard of same place." The bank was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company, also of Buffalo. It is one of their "Excelsior Series," and the bank itself bears this inscription on the underside of the base plate. The drawing which is part of the design patent is practically identical to the bank as produced by Shepard Hardware, even to the details of the facial characteristics of the two figures. Actually about the only difference is the fact that the name "Mason Bank" does not appear on the sketch or drawing.
     As mentioned, the bank is a very attractive item and painted in realistic colors. The brickwork which represents a wall or portion of an unfinished building is red with mortar spaces in white. This rests on a block-like section or base which is blue-gray. The overall base surface of the bank is tan and the bucket setting thereon is yellow with black bands and handle. The mortar receptacle resting on the base is brown and the mortar mix therein is light gray. The hoe in the mortar mix is black with a brown handle. The angled sides or edges of the base are maroon with black and gold striping. The figure of the hod carrier has black shoes, blue trousers, green suspenders, red shirt, and a gray hat with a green band. His face and arms are flesh pink and, as with all the Shepard produced banks, the facial work is very well done with well defined eyes, eyebrows, and so on. The hod over his right shoulder is tan and brown with gray mortar. The figure behind the wall laying the brick has a blue jacket and white shirt. His hat is brown and yellow, the trowel is brown and again holding gray mortar. Face and arms are the same color as those of the hod carrier and the facial work is excellent with a fine, large black moustache. The back of the building or wall section is maroon with a gray top. On the square shaped end of this section appears the name "Mason Bank" in large gold block letters. This name is repeated on the base in front of the mortar receptacle in smaller block letters, also in gold. The many different colors used make it quite a colorful bank.
     The bank operates as follows: A coin is first placed in the hod. The lever, located in the end of the bank by the mortar receptacle, is then depressed. This causes the hod carrier to lower his right arm tilting the hod forward. The coin slides from the hod into a provided section behind the brick wall. This section opens automatically to receive the coin. The other figure raises both arms lifting the trowel and brick simultaneously. Upon releasing the lever all parts return of their own accord to the positions shown in the picture. The section that receives the coin also closes automatically. So the bank has nice realistic action and the coin plays a part in this action, which is a desirable feature. Accumulated coins are removed from the bank by means of a rectangular key-lock coin trap in the base plate under the building-like section.
     The Mason Bank makes a very interesting addition to a collection of mechanical banks with its construction or building motif. It is unique among the mechanicals in representing and utilizing this subject matter as its theme.

Two New Discoveries
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1964

     The formulation of a collection of mechanical banks is a fascinating hobby which offers, among many other things, a sustained seemingly never ending interest. This interest is stimulated by the fact, unlike many other collectible items, every now and then some heretofore unknown specimen turns up. For some years now this has been going on, since mechanical banks were first collected through the years to date, and all evidence points to the fact that this will continue to be the case for years to come. A never ending challenge exists for the individual bank collector to own an example of each bank ever made, but this is practically an impossibility for any one person to ever accomplish. In a number of cases only one or two specimens of a certain mechanical bank are known to exist, however, there is always the chance and hope that more will turn up.
     In any event, at present the writer is most pleased to pass along the unique news of the discovery of two previously unknown mechanical banks. There is no question of them being commercially produced items and therefore made in some quantities. Both banks are tin, one was known to have been manufactured due to old catalog information in the writer’s possession, and the other was completely unknown to the best of the writer’s knowledge.
Negro Bust (Tin)
    
This bank could be said appearance-wise to represent in miniature the Hindu (HOBBIES, February, 1955) except, of course, that it is the representation of a Negro. As can be judged from the picture, Figure 1, it is obvious as to its small size when compared to the penny shown beside the bank. Originally it was a brightly colored item with various colors including red, blue, and yellow, however, the one pictured is somewhat the worse for wear with some rusting evident. The operation is simple, a coin dropped in the provided slot in top of the turban causes the eyes to roll and the tongue to stick out. The weight of the coin causes the action and the parts return to their respective positions automatically. This bank is pictured in the Butler Bros. catalog circa 1907 and was listed to sell at 33 cents per dozen. It is a somewhat fragile item of rather light tin and obviously could not stand any degree of rough usage. Its size plus its lack of durability most likely accounts for the fact of its scarcity today. In the writer’s opinion the bank was made in Germany.
The Sentry Bank (Tin)
    
Through the courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. William Werbell the writer is able to pass along information on the Sentry Bank. They were kind enough to send it to the writer so that he could look the bank over, photograph it, and so on. It is a very nice bank, attractive appearance, and has good action. It is of German manufacture and very similar to the Minstrel (Tin) and the Scotchman (Tin). As a matter of fact, in the writer’s opinion, all three were made by the same concern.
     The bank is lithographed tin in various colors of brown, red, blue, and so on. Note Figure 2 which shows the bank before the action takes place. Depressing the knob as in Figure 3 causes the Sentry to move the gun into the position shown and his eyes look to the right. In so doing the coin slot in his hat is opened from the inside so that coins may be inserted. Releasing the lever returns all parts to the positions as in Figure 2, including the fact that the coin slot is blocked from the inside. In other words, the bank must be operated in order to insert any coins. The specimen shown is in very good condition and the Werbells are to be congratulated on their recent new find.
     In closing, the Sentry along with the Negro Bust offer a further incentive to all mechanical bank collectors in trying to add one or both to their respective collections.

Mammy and Child Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1964

     A mechanical bank with two coin slots that receive coins in a different fashion, simultaneously, or individually, is our choice as No. 122 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. The Mammy & Child is the bank with this unusual feature and it is a very attractive well made item with excellent realistic action. Here again is another bank that is among the writer’s favorites. The theme and idea of the action is quite original, with the coin in one case representing either food or medicine being given to the baby. In addition to the unique feature of the two coin slots the subject matter of the bank is also unique among the mechanicals.
     The Mammy & Child was patented October 21, 1884 by Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., and manufactured by Alfred C. Rex & Company. The patent papers and accompanying drawing are of noteworthy interest. The two drawings, for example, are practically identical to the bank as produced except for one unusual feature. The bank as manufactured is in complete reverse to the original patent sketches. As example, in the drawings the Mammy holds the child’s head in her right hand and the spoon in her left hand. The operating lever is on the left side instead of the right, and so on. This is one of the only cases the writer knows of whereby a mechanical bank was made with parts transposed to the positions as shown on the original patent drawings. The patent was issued to Rex as a "Toy Money-Box," and is referred to in the papers in several places as a "Mechanical Toy Money-Box." Attention is called to the fact that the child’s large wide mouth serves as one of the coin slots and that this is "capable of receiving a five cent piece." Then it is pointed out that the slot in the apron pocket can be used for larger size coins and that the mechanism operates in either case. In other words, no coins can enter the bank through the apron pocket slot without working the operating lever which, of course, causes all parts to function, including the inside mechanism of the pocket slot. This allows the coin to drop in automatically. The patent papers go on to state that the pocket slot is of "sufficient width to take in a quarter of a dollar." Actually it will accommodate a half dollar as shown in the picture. Apparently this change was made in the production bank as an improvement since the mouth of the baby will take no coins larger than the five cent piece as stated in the patent. Thus quarters as well as half dollars work nicely in the pocket section.
     The bank shown is in unusually fine all original condition and formerly resided in the collection of the late Dr. Arthur E. Corby. The spoon is complete and all original. This is quite unusual as most specimens of this bank turn up with the spoon completely gone or at best with the handle part there but the bowl missing. Apparently children were prone to play with the spoon part, and since this is not cast iron but rather a piece of formed sheet metal it was subject to being bent and thus eventually breaking off. The spoon was cast into the right hand part in such fashion that the thumb and index finger meet on the top surface of the handle and thus actually give the appearance that the spoon is being held and gripped by the thumb and fingers. This is a well made part but it could not stand any great degree of rough treatment, and it is quite exceptional to possess one of these banks with the complete spoon intact.
     Along with the fact of the pictured bank being all complete and original is the further point of the paint being in extremely fine condition. It is painted in bright attractive colors. The face and hands of the Negro Mammy are a dark brown, she has white eyes with black pupils, a red mouth and white teeth. The red scarf on her head and the one around her neck have yellow polka dots thereon. She wears a dark blue dress with black shoes. The cuffs of the sleeves of her dress are yellow with red polka dots. Her apron is white with red trim at the top, bottom, sides and along the top pocket edge. The baby rests on a large red pillow with yellow polka dots. The baby’s face, hands, feet and legs are a lighter brown than the Mammy’s. She has white eyes with black pupils and red lips. Her dress is yellow with white trim at the bottom. The hood covering the baby’s head is white. The Negro Mammy is sitting on a red seat and both the operating lever and the spoon are gold.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed on the spoon as shown in the picture. Another larger coin can be placed in the pocket as also shown in the picture. The operating lever (not shown in the picture) is then pressed downward. This is done more or less slowly and carefully, unlike most of the banks, so that the coin on the spoon is caused to slide properly into the mouth of the baby. When the lever is depressed the Mammy lowers her head as though watching what she is doing. At the same time she turns her right hand lowering the spoon to the open mouth of the baby so that the tip of the spoon touches the lower lip of the baby. The coin slides into the baby’s mouth and on into the bank. In conjunction with this action the legs of the baby rise upward and the coin in the apron pocket drops automatically inside of the bank. Occasionally it is necessary to maneuver the lever somewhat to cause the coin to slide properly from the spoon. Upon releasing the lever all parts return automatically to the positions shown in the picture. Coins are removed from the bank by means of a key lock coin trap in the bottom or underside.
     In closing it bears re-mention that the Mammy & Child is a most attractive bank with unusually clever and realistic action. It is a good challenge to find one completely original including the spoon. When sold commercially in the 1880’s and after, catalogs of the period listed the bank as the "Baby Mine." In later years as a collector’s item the present name was used to better identify it.

Bill E. Grin
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1964

     A rather late mechanical bank which is another of the writer’s favorites is our choice as No. 123 in the numerical classification. This is the Bill E. Grin, an exceptionally nice little bank, unusual in appearance, and the action necessitates the use of a coin. The bank fits into two groups; the bust group, and since it represents a clown it can also be classed in with the circus type banks.
     This particular bank intrigued the writer for years insofar as trying to find one in all original condition with better than good paint. In the first place it is somewhat difficult to find an original Bill E. Grin since it was a late bank and apparently never made in any great quantities. Being a late item and made after the popularity of the mechanicals was more or less over, it was therefore not made over a long period of time, unlike many of the other banks. Then some years ago a party in New Jersey made a number of reproductions of the bank, and while these are still around and have fooled a few dealers and collectors alike, they are not difficult to judge for what they are—recasts. The original bank has a fine smooth surface inside and out for one thing, and the recasts are rather rough and poorly painted. They are in fact painted to look old and this is rather obvious in itself. The paint work, in addition to being rather crude, is considerably off in colors, apparently to give an aged effect. They are a yellow-brown color, while the originals are white. This leads to another reason for the difficulty in obtaining a nice original Bill E. Grin. When they were manufactured only a light coat of white paint was used over the entire bank, and all that were made were painted in this fashion. This paint was not durable, chipped and scratched rather easily and could not stand much wear. Then too this was the type bank that lent itself to possible rough usage such as the Hindu (HOBBIES, February, 1955) by being tossed around in toy boxes, and so on.
     The Bill E. Grin was patented July 27, 1915 by J.W. Schmitt of New York City and manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The bank was made exactly the same as the five drawings that are part of the patent papers. Several points of interest in connection with this bank are herewith quoted from the text of the patent papers:
     "My invention relates to toy banks and more particularly to a type of non-registering banks having movable parts adapted to be actuated by a coin inserted therein for the purpose of affording amusement.
     "In toy banks of the type to which my invention relates, the object sought to be attained is the encouragement of the habit of saving in the young by providing a bank structure, the operation of which, upon the insertion of a coin therein, will be amusing or grotesque.
     "A bank made in accordance with my invention embodies a casing so constructed as to simulate the head and shoulders of a human being, and having mounted therein a simple mechanism which will, when a coin is deposited in the bank, be so actuated as to simultaneously change the expression of the eyes and project the tongue in a manner to amuse and to arouse the interest of the user. The arrangement of the mechanism is such that the effect produced will vary in accordance with the sizes of different coins deposited. The mechanism for actuating the tongue and eyes is simple in design, may be readily assembled in the bank casing, and, in addition to securing the effect of a change in facial expression of the casing, will protect the coin slot and the mouth opening in a manner to prevent the removal of coins from the bank therethrough. The various parts are overbalanced in such a way as to dispense with the use of springs and hence the mechanism cannot be so disarranged as to clog the coin slot or permit the coin to be withdrawn therethrough."
     The bank pictured is in exceptionally fine original condition and the best specimen of this bank the writer has ever seen. Colors are fine and bright and it is painted, as are all other originals known, as follows: The overall bank is white in a sort of cream tinge. The eyebrows, two marks between the brows, the eyes, and the name Bill E. Grin are all done in black. The lines beside each of his eyes are red as are the two v-shaped marks on each cheek. His tongue and lips are also red. There is a black line around his collar and a black button above the name. On the back of the bank appears the wording "Pat. App’d. For." In the base of the bank is the conventional round Stevens coin trap.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the slot as shown in the picture. Pushing the coin into the slot causes the eyes to give the effect of blinking and the tongue protrudes from the mouth. Parts return automatically to the position shown after the coin drops inside.

Cat and Mouse Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1964

     A rather large impressive appearing bank that actually looks more like a clock than a savings device is our choice as No. 124 in the numerical classification. This is the Cat And Mouse Bank, and upon first seeing the item few people would realize that it is an animated toy bank. While no clock face is evident the general appearance and configuration leaves the impression that it is a clock. In any event, the bank is a very well made item, unique in both appearance and action.
     The bank was patented April 21, 1891 by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa. Here again the patent papers are of considerable interest. Please note the picture and in particular the mouse clinging to the ball that is held in the upraised hind legs of the cat. In the patent papers and the drawings specifically this ball is held so that the mouse faced the front and actually revolved with the ball. In other words it was designed by Bowen so that when the action took place the mouse spun around with the ball suspended in the hind paws of the cat. Apparently this was changed by the J. & E. Stevens Company, the manufacturers of the bank, to simplify its production.
     As we shall see though this does not follow through smoothly with the continuity of the action as originally planned by Bowen. Although it is possible he made the change himself as it could be the additional mechanism and parts were not practical or feasible to permit this extra action. In addition to this change from the original patent papers, an entirely different figure was possibly used in place of the cat standing on his head as pictured. Several examples of this part were found at the Stevens Company some years ago. In this case a fierce-looking cat is sitting upright and the mouse is held in the mouth of the cat. In addition a kitten has the mouse by the tail. While it is not known how many banks, if any, were actually produced in this fashion, there is no question but that it was felt by certain individuals at Stevens that this was a too realistic representation, likely somewhat unpleasant to children, and thus discarded in favor of the more pleasing figure as shown in the picture herewith.
     Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa., is the owner of the excellent specimen shown. It is in original condition with fine paint and the colors are as follows: The overall bank is brown and the ornate parts on each side are a tan color. Sections done in gold include the decorative feet or legs of the base, the front area under the lever, and the circular beading around the large face of the cat. This face is black and white with a large red bow under the mouth. Blue is used to highlight the background of this circular area. The cat standing on its head has a bright yellow costume trimmed in red and blue and the face is painted the same as the larger one. The ball is white with red stripes and the mouse is gray with black eyes. On the base is inscribed the patent date of April 21, 1891. It bears mention that the Cat And Mouse Bank was painted in various ways, that is to say other specimens have the large face of the cat in two tones of gray and the costume of the cat on top in red, some have the overall bank in a gray color instead of brown. In any case, it is a very colorful, attractive bank.
     The bank as pictured is shown after the action has taken place. To operate the bank from the position shown the figure on top is pushed backward and it revolves and clicks in place inside the bank. As this is done the figure of a mouse revolves into place on top of the bank. This mouse faces forward. The bank is now ready to operate. A coin is placed in front of the mouse. The lever, under the large cat’s face, is then depressed and the mouse disappears to reappear on the ball as shown in the picture. The coin drops on down inside the bank. Coins are removed by means of the conventional round type Stevens trap.

Pelican Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1964

     In selecting the bank which is the 125th in the numerical classification an old saying is brought to mind, which goes something like this: "A peculiar bird is the pelican — His bill holds more than his belly can." True or false this does not apply to the Pelican Bank since the inside of the pelican holds more coins than his bill ever will. However, as we shall see, his bill does hold a surprise therein.
     John Girard of Trenton, N.J., patented the Pelican Bank, October 15, 1878. He assigned the patent to the Trenton Lock & Hardware Company, also of Trenton, N.J. They manufactured the bank and made it practically identical to the five diagrams in the patent papers. It is a unique item, both in appearance and operation. As a matter of fact, on first seeing the bank one would not necessarily recognize it as a savings device, but rather as a figure for decorative purposes. Only the slot in the top of the head for insertion of coins indicates its being a bank. It is a very well made piece with fine detail and quite attractive. It bears mention at this point too that no markings of any kind are on the bank itself. So here we have a case where a bank was patented but no dates or anything else appear on the bank to identify it as being patented.
     The Pelican Bank shown is in original mint condition. It is painted an overall very dark japanned color highlighted and mixed in with gold bronze. The eyes are red. The figure inside the pouch of the bill has a brown face and large red mouth with white teeth. The eyes are white with black pupils. He or she, as the case may be, has either a white turban or duster type hat on its head. The figure from this point on back is red. This figure has often been referred to as a Hindu, however, it could well be a Negro Mammy. The writer is inclined to believe it is the latter.
     To operate the bank the top of the bill (open as shown in the picture) is pushed down. This in turn pushes the figure into the pouch where it locks in place. Pressing a coin into the slot in the top of the head releases the mechanism and the figure springs up into position pushing the top part of the bill open and thus exposing the figure as shown in the picture. The coin drops inside the body of the pelican. To remove accumulated coins it is necessary to take out two screws that hold the pelican to the base. The base, by the way, is very decorative with shells, fish, seaweed and the like thereon.
     An advertising flyer from the late 1870’s or early 1880’s has considerable interest. This was issued by James M. Vance & Company, Hardware and Cutlery, 211 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. This flyer pictures the Pelican Bank and the text is as follows:
          The Ornamental Pelican
          Savings Bank
          Patented October 15, 1878
          Combines Amusement,
          Ornament and Utility
     As a savings bank it is as useful as any that have been offered for the favor of the public.
     The very neat mechanical trick by which the mocking face of the cashier appears when a coin is deposited is a source of perpetual surprise and amusement to young and old.
     The bank is handsomely bronzed and is highly artistic in design and execution making it a desirable ornament for the bracket or mantle.
     The form is novel and attractive and the reasonable price at which the bank is offered recommends it to buyers generally.
     In closing it bears mention that the Pelican Bank was made with three different figures inside the pouch. There is the one shown in the picture herewith, another is an imp type representation thumbing his nose, and the third is that of a rabbit. In the writer’s opinion all three types are of approximate equal desirability, however, the imp thumbing his nose is the more common of the three.

Boy on Trapeze Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1965

     A great favorite of the writer’s, and one of the nicest of all the mechanical banks, is our choice as No. 126 in the numerical classification. This is the Boy On Trapeze Bank, a very attractive well made item with clever action based on the size and weight of the coin used in its operation. A coin is thus necessary in operating the bank and causes the animated action. This, as has been pointed out in past articles on some of the other mechanical banks, is a very desirable feature. In addition, the bank is well proportioned and has a certain graceful appearance about it.
     In spite of the fact that there is evidence the Boy On Trapeze had a patent pending during its period of manufacture, the writer has to date been unsuccessful in his search for any patent papers that would apply to the bank. Fortunately, however, an original advertising flyer of the period is most helpful in establishing factual background information about the bank. This advertising card, like some others used to publicize mechanical banks during their era, is printed on both sides. On one side there are two pictures of the bank in colors. One shows it in position before operation and the other during the action. The pictures accurately depict the bank and are bright and colorful. Printed between the pictures is the following:

Children’s Choice
French’s Automatic Toy Bank
For one penny dropped in the
head the boy revolves once.
For a nickel twice.
For a quarter dollar three times.
For a half dollar six times.

The other side of the card has the following information printed thereon:

The Children’s Choice
FRENCH’S AUTOMATIC
TOY BANK

     The Savings Bank that never fails—is always open for deposits—paying interest from the start.
     For one penny dropped in the head the boy revolves once and deposits the coin. For a nickel he will go around twice—for a quarter dollar three times—for a half dollar four times—showing that the more money the boy gets, the more he will do to earn it.

It is entirely automatic and cannot get out of order.
Each bank packed securely in a wooden box. Patent pending.
For Sale by JACOBS, WHITCOMB & CO. Boston, Mass.
The J. BARTON SMITH CO., Sole Manufacturers, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A.

     It’s interesting to note that this original advertising item on the Boy On Trapeze actually contradicts itself. The front states he revolves six times for a half dollar, and the back says four times for the same coin. In any event, this is a minor but interesting mistake. The importance of the card lies in knowing the manufacturer, one of the sales agents, and the original name of the bank. The original name, by the way, would indicate that a person by the name of French designed and possibly patented the bank. The name French’s Automatic Toy Bank also brings up another salient point. This is the necessity in some cases where the name is not inscribed on the bank itself, such as the one under discussion, for renaming the bank with a more descriptive title. The Boy On Trapeze readily identifies the bank for what it represents, while its original name would give no clue as to its appearance.
     The bank shown is in fine condition with good paint and the colors are as follows: The boy has a red shirt with a blue ruffled collar, his socks are also red, as is his peaked hat which is tipped in black. His hands and face are a flesh color. His hair and the ball suspended from his right foot are the same color, a brown maroon shade. Blue trousers or knee breeches and black shoes complete the coloring on the boy. The entire base has a dark brown japanned type finish thereon. The base of the bank bears special mention since it is one of the finest and most attractive of all the mechanical banks. It consists of decorative, somewhat intricate scrollwork on the four sloping sides, as well as the top and bottom sections. A mask is cast at the front and back of the large slot that receives the coins. Two screws would appear to hold the bank together, one screw is genuine and the other is a representation of a screwhead made in the casting. The bottom plate of the base is actually a large coin trap. This is hinged and held in place by one screw. When this screw is turned, the entire plate swings open. The upright side supports that suspend the boy are also cast in a decorative fashion.
     The operation of the bank has already been explained in quoting from the original advertising flyer. The solid ball on the right foot acts as a counterweight balance, of course, and the number of revolutions is controlled by the various weights of the different coins used. Needless to say, dimes were not considered by the designer or manufacturer of this mechanical bank as a 10c piece would interrupt the continuity.
     In closing it bears mention that the Boy On Trapeze shares similarities with a very rare bank, the Clown On Bar (HOBBIES, April, 1956). Naturally there is no comparison in value between the two banks since the Clown On Bar is a rare, very desirable bank. However, this does not preclude the fact that the operation of the Boy On Trapeze is considerably more interesting and is the more decorative of the two.

Clown on Globe Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1965

     A circus type mechanical bank with very lively action is our choice as No. 127 in the numerical classification. This is the Clown On Globe Bank and rather usual, than unusual is the fact that its original name, Funny Clown Bank, was changed to one which is more completely indicative of the bank itself. This is not exceptional as a number of the original names of mechanical banks have been changed to one that is more descriptive. Understand this is in respect to mechanicals such as the Clown On Globe which have no name inscribed on the banks themselves. Being a member of the circus group is a very desirable feature, and this plus other factors of the Clown On Globe, such as its outstanding action and very attractive appearance, make it a must item to have in a collection of the animated toy savings devices.
     At this point it may be well to mention that if the writer seems to be enthused about the bank under discussion, he is. As a matter of fact, for some months past and some months to come we are in a period, so far as these articles are concerned, where some of the finest of all the mechanical banks have been and will be covered. Their popularity during their respective periods of manufacture bear this out. And the fact that today they are more available than many of the rare banks is beside the point. We must not lose perspective and appreciation for each bank for what it is and what it represents. This so often happens to collectors as they become more advanced, not only to those who collect mechanical banks, but to collectors of other items as well.
     The Clown On Globe is covered by the patent papers of an outstanding mechanical bank, The Girl Skipping Rope (HOBBIES, April, 1952). At first thought this would not seem feasible as there is no resemblance between the two banks whatsoever. However, the patent coverage has to do with the operating mechanism, and here the two banks share similarities. A spinning weighted wheel mounted horizontally inside causes the continuing action of the Girl Skipping Rope, whereas the spinning globe mounted vertically causes the sustained action of the Clown On Globe. So in each case the operation of the mechanism is similar, based on the same principle, and covered by the same patent. The patent was issued to James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., May 20, 1890, under No. 428,450. This patent number is cast on the base plate of the Clown On Globe. It, like the Girl Skipping Rope, was made by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. Original Stevens catalogs of the period show both banks and designate the Clown On Globe by its original name, Funny Clown Bank. Incidentally, The Girl Skipping Rope was originally called The Jumping Rope Bank in the same catalog.
     The bank pictured is from the Perelman Antique Toy Museum and was obtained by Leon Perelman in his area a few years ago through the services of an antique dealer. It is in original condition and with what may be described as good paint. That is to say there is some degree of wear showing on the painted surfaces. This is usual in the case of this bank due to the fact the figure was handled often in each winding of the bank for action, particularly around the face. It is difficult to find a specimen with the original paint in fine condition. Colors are as follows: The Clown has a white face with red mouth and other markings in red. His eyes are well defined with a lighter white, blue iris, black pupils and black lining of the eyebrows and lashes. His peaked hat is gray with red edging. He has a bright red jacket with a yellow accordion-pleated collar. The buttons on his jacket are gold. He has white hands and the ornamental part between them is maroon with gold outlining. Olive color shoes, white ribbed stockings with a red band at the top, and maroon knickers or knee britches complete his outfit. The globe is blue with a wide band in gold around it. The base is in two shades of tan, the top part being lighter. Scrollwork and bead type decoration on the base is in brown. The operating lever is gold. From the description of the various colors used one can readily judge that this is a very colorful bank and took considerable time to decorate. It is, as a matter of fact, one of the most colorful of all the mechanical banks.
     To operate the bank please first note the picture and in particular the operating lever and coin slot. These two parts are respectively on the right and left hand side of the top of the base as shown. The lever is pushed upward and snaps into position. This causes a part to partially cover the coin slot from the inside. The clown is then revolved or turned with the globe clockwise. The lever acts as a ratchet as well and clicks into place as the clown is revolved. He can be turned approximately one revolution. A coin is then placed in the provided slot where it rests in position. Pushing the lever down causes the clown to spin rapidly counter-clockwise and the coin is deposited automatically. After this action the bank is reset as described for a somewhat different performance. When set this time, a lever in back of the globe is pressed causing the clown to spring legs up and head down so that he stands on his head. He then, in this position, will spin around with the globe when the operating lever is pressed.
     In closing it bears mention that the Clown On Globe is a bank that could be said to have almost haunted the writer for some years. In the earlier period of collecting mechanical banks many individuals took the Clown On Globe to be the Circus Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1952). Thus over the years numerous letters offered the writer a Circus Bank and in all cases it would turn out to be the Clown On Globe.

Chief Big Moon
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1965

     A number of mechanical banks are somewhat obvious as to their action, that is to say when looking at the bank it is rather obvious as to what will take place in the mechanical operation of the parts in connection with the depositing of a coin or operating the lever. Transversely, there are a certain number of mechanicals which one could refer to as a "surprise" group. These are very interesting and entertaining banks as their action parts are often concealed and nothing is apparent as to what the bank does. Banks of this nature have a very definite appeal and are of particular interest to the writer. One of the best of the surprise type banks is Chief Big Moon, our choice as No. 128 in the numerical classification.
     Chief Big Moon is an outstanding example of the clever ingenious design work of Charles A. Bailey. How he ever thought up or dreamed some of his designs for mechanical banks we will probably never know, but he certainly had a real knack for utilizing unusual and clever subject matters including political, satire, and so on. Bailey patented the bank August 8, 1899 and assigned the patent to the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., the manufacturers. The bank as produced by Stevens follows the patent drawings in practically every detail. A rare handwritten letter by Bailey covers the transfer of right and title of Chief Big Moon to the Stevens Company. For details of this letter please refer to the special article on Charles Bailey in HOBBIES for February, 1963.
     The bank pictured is completely original and the paint is in practically mint condition. Colors are as follows: the sides of the base are a brown gold with a wide silver rim around the bottom, the decorations on each side which include a papoose, tomahawks, peace pipe, Indian Chief bust, the name "Chief Big Moon," and other things are in silver. The top part of the base representing woodland is in green highlighted with bronze and gold, and a couple of blue and white flowers. The rippling blue lake has two white ducks thereon and water lilies are white with green leaves. The large frog normally concealed under the lake is dark green with large yellow eyes and black pupils. His underside is yellow and his mouth red. The figure of the squaw is reddish brown, she has long black hair, and her clothing is yellow. The fish in process of being cooked over the campfire is silver, and the brown tepee has considerable design and figure work inscribed thereon.
     To better illustrate the surprise feature of Chief Big Moon, it is shown in two photographs—Figure 1, before operation, and Figure 2, after. As shown in Figure 1 a coin is placed in the provided slot just to the front of the fish’s tail. Near the coin and somewhat hidden, a lever (not discernible in either photo) is then lightly touched, immediately the large frog springs from under the lake toward the fish. However, the Squaw lifts the fish up away from the frog, as shown in Figure 2. The coin meantime has been automatically deposited inside the bank, its position replaced by the figure of the frog. All parts are returned to their positions as in Figure 1 by lifting the lake (which tilts back) and pushing the frog on back and under the lake top. The weight of the lake top, which acts as a trap door, holds the spring balanced mechanism of the frog in place. As mentioned before, this is a very clever well designed bank—one of the best.
     In closing, two points of interest are in order. For one, the patent papers explain Bailey’s original intent in the way the bank should be operated with a coin. Actually the coin should be pushed into the slot and the frog in moving into position above the coin slot will then strike the hand of the operator affording additional surprise or amusement. This was intended to be an inducement to use coins to operate the bank. The lever as we use it today was originally provided for the sole purpose of operating the bank as a mechanical toy when no coins were available. In other words, Bailey’s provision for the lever was only so the bank could be operated without a coin—not to operate the bank when using a coin. Secondly, the bank was originally called the Indian Camp Bank in old Stevens catalogs and advertised as such. The name Chief Big Moon actually refers to the Indian bust itself which appears on each side of the bank. For years now, however, since this name is on the bank, it has been known as such.

Paddy and the Pig Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1965

     A most unique situation whereby four different mechanical banks all share the same patent papers confronts us as we reach No. 129 in the numerical classification. This bank is Paddy And The Pig, and it is the fourth one so far to be covered by Patent No. 262,361. Another, The Elephant And Three Clowns on Tub, appeared in the October, 1963, issue of HOBBIES. Previous to this was the article on the Reclining Chinaman, HOBBIES, December, 1959. The one remaining is the Frog Bank which will be taken care of in its proper order. All four of these mechanical banks under the same patent share similarities while still being completely different appearance-wise. One similarity is that each bear the following patent information on the base plate: "Eng. Pat. July 28, 1882 —U.S. Pat. Aug. 8, 1882." All, of course, have somewhat similar mechanical action and mechanism which are covered by the single patent, however, the one under present discussion is by far the most mechanical of all of them with its greater number of moving parts. As a matter of fact, Paddy And The Pig is one of the great mechanical banks with unusually clever fine action. It is a realistic type bank with excellent timing as it is an unusual occasion when the coin does not enter the bank properly during the action.
     James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., was the inventor and designer of Paddy And The Pig. It was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. They pictured it for sale in a number of their catalogs and at the time the name "Shamrock Bank" was used. This name, of course, gave no clue as to its appearance, action, or anything else. In later years, since this name was not imprinted on the bank itself, the present name came into usage to better identify it for what it represents.
     The Paddy And Pig shown is in exceptionally fine original condition with excellent original paint. Colors are as follows: The base upon which the large figure of Paddy is seated, legs extended, is a grass-like effect in green with some yellow highlighting. Beside the figure under the right knee there is a tan knapsack with a brown stick through the knotted top. A brown jug protrudes from his left rear pocket. Paddy is wearing a dark green jacket with a black collar and cuffed sleeve buttons in gold. His tie is brown and yellow and the handkerchief in his breast pocket is tan with red dots. His breeches are yellow with black buttons, and he has bright red ribbed knee socks. Shoes are black with large buckles in gold. His hat is gray with a black band. Seemingly held in place under the hat band are two items—a large green shamrock on the front and a white clay pipe on the right side. He has black hair with bushy extended sideburns. His eyelashes and eyebrows are also black. His eyes are white with brown iris and black pupils. He has white teeth and pink lips and tongue. His large face and hands are a flesh color pink. The figure of the pig is all white with black spots. His mouth and under-ears are pink, and he has tan hoofs. The top of his snout is gold and the rope binding his right front leg is tan. As can readily be judged from the description of all these parts and their colors, Paddy And The Pig is a very bright, attractive, colorful bank. This bank normally has a definite appeal the moment anyone sees it.
     To operate the bank, a coin is placed, as shown in the picture, on top of the pig’s snout. A lever, located in the back end of the bank, is then firmly depressed. In so doing the left front leg of the pig kicks toward his snout and hits the coin knocking it back toward Paddy. Simultaneously with this action, Paddy rolls his eyes upward, opens his mouth and sticks out his tongue. The coin shoots on to his tongue and slides thereon into his mouth and on down inside the bank. Upon releasing the lever all parts return automatically to the positions as shown in the picture.
     It bears mention that Paddy’s lower jaw is hinged in such fashion that his mouth opens realistically and his tongue really protrudes when he sticks it out. Paddy And The Pig is a fine action bank, well designed, and the coin seldom misses its target.
     In closing, a rumor from some years ago that still persists here and there today about Paddy And The Pig should be set straight for the records. This has to do with the period in which the bank was made. Supposedly some Irish Society felt that the bank was somewhat insulting to the Irish race and requested that production be stopped. There is no foundation for this story to the best of the writer’s knowledge. The bank was made for a period of years and had popular appeal. It is a very attractive, clever savings device and it would take some stretch of the imagination to find it in poor taste or any way derogatory toward the Irish. Most likely the story was started in order to place it in a rarer category than it actually is, that is to say if production had been stopped there would have been less of them made and consequently considerably harder to find an example today. For the record it is difficult enough to find one today as it is, particularly so in the condition of the one pictured.

Bad Accident Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1965

     One of the most popular mechanical banks of the many designed by the great Charles A. Bailey is our choice as No. 130 in the numerical classification. This is the Bad Accident Bank and it is a fine action piece, well proportioned, clever subject matter, and to all appearances is simply a mechanical toy, rather than an animated toy savings device. As a matter of fact, like some of the other mechanical banks, and in particular a number designed by Bailey, there is no question that the Bad Accident, while a savings device, was also intended to be used without coins as a mechanical toy. A couple of other outstanding Bailey banks with this same feature are Shoot the Chute (HOBBIES, January, 1952) and Chief Big Moon (HOBBIES, March, 1965). For information on other mechanical banks that Charles A. Bailey designed, patented and in some cases manufactured, please refer to the special article, Bailey’s Banks (HOBBIES, February, 1963).
     Like many of the mechanical banks patented and designed by Bailey, the Bad Accident was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. No patent dates or anything of this nature appear on the bank itself and no patent papers, design or otherwise, are known to exist. At least none have been found to date. However, we can ascertain the period in which it was made through the help of old Stevens catalogs. The Bad Accident appears for the first time in their catalog, circa 1891, and in a number of others after that date. In this catalog there is also pictured what Stevens called the Donkey Wheel Toy. This toy, a pull type, utilized the same donkey as that of the bank, and necessarily a wheel in this case is between the front legs of the donkey. The driver, seated in a cart of the type used on the bank, moved his right arm and hand, with a whip therein, up and down as though urging the animal on. The description of the toy in the catalog states: "Each rotation of the wheels causes the driver to strike the donkey with the whip." Of interest too is the fact that the Bad Accident as pictured in this catalog has the name right side up. The name "Bad Accident" on the actual bank appears on the base alongside the donkey and in the normal sense it is upside down. In other words, to read the name properly one must turn the bank around and view it from the back. Over the years the writer has seen only one specimen of this bank with the name in a readable position when looking at it from the front.
     The bank pictured is in fine original condition, and colors of various parts are as follows: The base consists of a tan road with wheel tracks thereon, and on each side of the road is green foliage with white and yellow flowers, (a Bailey trademark). The name, Bad Accident, is in gold. The large cattail plant the Negro boy hides behind has green leaves and the tails are brown. The boy has blue trousers and a red shirt. The donkey is brown with black harness trimmed in some red and gold. The cart is yellow with red striping and a blue and tan top surface. The wheels are red with black markings on the spokes. The driver has black shoes, tan spats, and a tan hat with blue band. He wears red trousers, light blue jacket with dark blue collar, a white shirt, and a red and yellow tie. He holds a ripe piece of watermelon, in appropriate colors, between his hands.
     The bank, to better illustrate the fine action, is shown in two photos—Figure 1 before the action, and Figure 2 after. As mentioned previously, the Bad Accident is not an obvious savings device and, as a matter of fact, unless one is familiar with it the place to put the coin is actually somewhat concealed. In any event, to operate the bank the coin is first placed under and between the shoes of the driver as in Figure 1. A two part lever beside the cattail plant is then pressed together with the thumb and index finger. Immediately the boy darts from behind the plant and turns facing the front. Simultaneously the donkey rears back on his hind legs (as though frightened by the boy) and in so doing causes the cart to tilt up and back in the fashion as shown in Figure 2. In turn the coin slides from between the shoes of the driver back into a provided slot in the cart and on inside same. When the lever is released the boy automatically returns to his hidden position behind the plant. To reset the rest of the bank for action, the donkey is pressed down onto the base where the projection on the hoof of his left front leg clicks into place and is held there. Then the cart is moved on down into position as in Figure 1 where it stays in place. Coins may be removed from the cart body by means of a conventional type round Stevens trap in the underside of the cart.
     Needless to say, the Bad Accident is a somewhat delicate bank, more or less easily broken, and could not stand rough play or usage. More often than not, when a specimen is found, it isn’t in the perfect, unrepaired condition as the one pictured.

Darktown Battery Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1965

     The popular American game of baseball is well represented by the bank we have chosen as No. 131 in the numerical classification. This is the Darktown Battery Bank, often as not called the Baseball Bank, and it is one of the really great mechanicals. It has just about everything one could want in a mechanical bank—terrific action, clever and unique use of the coin, excellent designing, attractive appearance, and so on. The bank had wide popular appeal in its day as a toy savings device, and this has carried right down through the years to its present status as a collector’s item.
     The Darktown Battery was designed and then patented by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pa., January 17, 1888. It was manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The production bank is practically identical to the drawings and text of the patent papers, both in appearance and mechanism. No doubt, as was Bowen’s custom, he furnished Stevens with the original model or pattern of the bank. Bowen was an outstanding designer of mechanical banks and probably Charles A. Bailey was the only one to top him in this specialized field. Practically all of Bowen’s banks are among the best and most desirable. As example, the Girl Skipping Rope (HOBBIES, April, 1952), A Calamity Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1958), Reclining Chinaman (HOBBIES, December, 1959), Elephant & Three Clowns On Tub (HOBBIES, October, 1963), Creedmoor Bank, I Always Did ’Spise A Mule, and others. Then, too, his banks tend to be unique with unusual features. The Darktown Battery, in particular, and the Elephant & Three Clowns On Tub are outstanding examples. They are the only cast iron mechanical banks having three stationary figures, with each figure having movable parts. There are other mechanicals with three figures such as the Clown, Harlequin and Columbine (HOBBIES, November, 1951), Initiating Bank First Degree (HOBBIES, November, 1952), and the Bowen designed A Calamity Bank, however, these all have figures that move but the figures themselves have no movable parts. Bowen’s Girl Skipping Rope combines both features of a movable figure with moving parts plus sustained action of the figure and parts. Strangely enough, too, is the fact the Darktown Battery is the only mechanical bank to represent the game of baseball. To the best of the writer’s knowledge, only one other patent was issued on a baseball type bank. This was to O.A. Hensel of Pennsylvania in 1928. This bank never got beyond the patent state, however, and thus was not produced commercially.
     The Darktown Battery pictured is in excellent original condition with no repairs of any kind. The majority of the examples of this bank that exist today either have some type of repair or need same. The paint on the bank shown is in mint condition and colors of the various parts are as follows: The bottom plate of the base has black edges, the front and back of the base are outlined in brown and the plume type decorations thereon are in pink. The crossed ball bats are yellow with red at the top and handle of each. The two baseballs and small round decorations between the bats are in gold. The name "Darktown Battery," which appears on the front only, is in red. The ends of the base are green. The top of the base between the players is painted brown and the sections under the players are in green with some yellow highlighting. The pitcher has a white cap with red stripes, blue top button, and a yellow visor. He has a red shirt and around his shoulders and down his back is a yellow scarf with blue polka dots. Blue knee britches, black belt, red socks, tan spats, and brown shoes complete his outfit. The catcher is painted exactly the same as the pitcher but he wears no scarf. The batter has a white cap with blue stripes, a red top button, and yellow turned up visor. He has a blue shirt with white stripes and the name "Possums" across the front of the shirt is in red. His knee britches are yellow with a black belt, blue socks with white stripes, and shoes the same as the other two players. He holds a bat painted the same as those on the sides of the base. A brown tree stump is in back of the catcher’s right side. All these colors add up to an exceptionally bright attractive bank.
     To operate the Baseball Bank, the pitcher’s arm is first pulled back into the position as shown in the picture. In so doing his head lowers forward and down and the parts snap into place. A coin is then inserted in his right hand where it is held by means of a thumb-like clamp. A lever located by the tree stump is then pressed down. Immediately the pitcher throws the coin toward the catcher and his head snaps back into position. Simultaneously the batter raises his bat high and turns his head from right to left as though watching the coin. The catcher moves his head forward and his left hand in toward his body as though catching the coin. A lower front section of the catcher moves inward so that the coin actually goes inside his body and drops down into the base of the bank. Releasing the lever returns the various parts of the batter and catcher into the positions as shown in the picture. The coin travels so fast that one must watch closely in order to see it in flight.
     The Darktown Battery is one of the finest action banks of all the mechanicals. It could be called a perfect example of what a mechanical bank should be. The coin representing a baseball and taking part in the action as it does is especially desirable. Use of a coin is completely essential to obtain the proper effect.
     James H. Bowen justly deserves recognition for the fine mechanical banks he designed and patented. As a matter of fact, if he had only designed two banks, The Girl Skipping Rope and the Darktown Battery, he would be credited with two of the greatest mechanical banks ever made.

Uncle Sam Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1965

     The action of the greater number of mechanical banks is set in motion by either of two methods. One, used on the majority of the banks, is by means of a lever or some part that acts as a lever; and the second is the use of a coin which sets off the action, either by its insertion or weight. There are some exceptions to these two methods. For example, a select group of the mechanicals are operated by means of turning a crank. These are the Merry-Go-Round (HOBBIES, December, 1951), Mikado Bank (HOBBIES, February, 1952), Circus Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1952), American Bank (HOBBIES, July, 1955), Woodpecker (HOBBIES, April, 1957), Little Jocko (HOBBIES, April, 1960), and the four different Organ Banks. Two banks, the Presto Savings Bank (HOBBIES, March, 1960) and Bank of Education & Economy (HOBBIES, August, 1962) are motivated by revolving a knob. Then there is the Shoot The Chute (HOBBIES, January, 1952) where the boat when placed on top of the chute slides down and knocks the coin in the bank, and the Wireless Bank whose action is triggered by sound vibrations.
     As to the action itself, the majority of mechanical banks operate on either of two basic principles. First, there are those always ready for operation having moving parts all of which return automatically to their respective positions after the action. Second are those having some part or parts which must be moved into certain positions before they can be operated properly. Some mechanical banks combine both basic principles of action, and a good example is the Darktown Battery (HOBBIES, June, 1965). The right arm of the pitcher must be set in position each time the bank is operated. All other parts return automatically to their respective positions after operating the bank. There is a fine group of mechanical banks that have clockwork or windup type mechanisms. These include the Freedman's Bank (HOBBIES, October, 1951), Girl Skipping Rope (HOBBIES, April, 1952), Motor Bank (HOBBIES, December, 1952), Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat (HOBBIES, January, 1953), Bull Dog Savings Bank (HOBBIES, May, 1954), Ding Dong Bell (HOBBIES, October, 1954), Organ Grinder & Performing Bear (HOBBIES, February, 1958), and Weeden’s Plantation Darky Savings Bank (HOBBIES, Aug. '63). This group of banks must be wound, of course, before they will operate, however, they are all set in motion by use of a lever or coin. Some have timed mechanism (certain length of time of action per coin), and others operate until they run down, but in either case the figures involved are always ready for action after each respective bank is wound. There are no figures involved on the Motor Bank as the bank is an operating unit in itself.
     Only four mechanical banks have a degree of sustained action by means of a counter-balanced part which moves of its own accord after the operating lever, in each case, is released. The Uncle Sam Bank, our choice as No. 131 in the numerical classification, is one of these banks. The others are Jonah & The Whale (HOBBIES, February, 1964), Stump Speaker, and the Speaking Dog Bank. The parts in each case are – Uncle Sam’s lower jaw and beard, lower jaw of the Whale, lower jaw and chin of the Stump Speaker, and the tail of the Speaking Dog. The Uncle Sam Bank, as well as the other three, were made by the same concern, The Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, N.Y. Uncle Sam was covered by a design patent dated June 8, 1886 and a regular patent November 16, 1886, both of which were issued to Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, assignor to Walter J. Shepard, all of Buffalo, N.Y.
     The Uncle Sam shown is one of the finest specimens of this bank ever seen by the writer. It is completely original with excellent paint. This is quite unusual as the paint on most surviving specimens is usually rather badly chipped, peeled, flaked, or worn. For one reason or another, the paint simply didn’t stay on most of the Uncle Sam Banks too well. The paint work itself, however, was exceptionally well done with fine facial detail and other parts in bright appropriate colors. These are as follows: Uncle Sam wears a fine gray hat with a wide blue band, having silver stars thereon. His face and hands are a pink flesh color, and the facial detail is exceptional as to the eyes, eyebrows, red mouth, and so on. His long hair and beard are a light gray. His shirt cuffs and collar are white and the flowing tie is white with red stripes. The swallow-tailed coat he wears is dark blue and the lapels are lined with red. His vest is light blue with a number of silver stars on same. The long trousers are white with red stripes and he wears black boots. A green umbrella, in his left hand, with tan handle, gold strap, and black top and bottom, complete his outfit. The large carpet-type bag is brown with the initials "U.S." in gold. The handles and binding are black with a gold line. The rectangular shape box which Uncle Sam stands upon has a gray top with white lines to simulate a platform made of boards. The concave underside edges of platform, the corners of the front, back and side plates, and the concave edges of the bottom plate are in green with yellow striping. The front, back and side plates are in bright red. Each side plate has the name "Bank" in gold. The large eagle on the front is gold and the name "Uncle Sam" on the blue banner held in the eagle’s beak is also in gold. This completes the coloring on a bright, attractive mechanical bank.
     To operate the bank, a coin is first placed in the extended right hand. A lever to the back of the umbrella is then pressed down. The bag opens and the right arm lowers so that the coin falls into the bag where it stays temporarily. At the same time the mouth of the figure closes tilting the beard forward and upward. On releasing the lever, the arm raises to the position shown in the picture, the bag closes, and the coin drops on inside the base. Uncle Sam’s beard, being counter-balanced, then swings up and down, and his mouth opens and closes for some time as though he were talking. The action is clever and quite realistic. Coins are removed by means of a key lock coin trap in the back plate.
     Uncle Sam is a true typical American bank and a fine patriotic item. It is unquestionably one of the most attractive of all the mechanical banks and makes a very desirable addition to a collection of the mechanicals.

Home Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1965

     A mechanical bank having the possible unique distinction of being designed and patented by a woman is our choice as No. 133 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. The bank is the Home Bank and, as can be noted in the picture, it was made in two types, one with dormer windows shown on the left and the other without the dormer windows shown on the right. This is not really important insofar as the rarity or value of either type is concerned. One is as good as the other in the writer’s opinion, and since both operate the same and are in the main alike, with the exception of the windows in the roof, they are not considered to be two different banks.
     Insofar as mechanical banks go, the Home Bank is one of the very early ones. It was designed and then patented July 16, 1872 by Doras A. Stiles of Middletown, Conn. The drawings accompanying the patent papers are practically identical to the bank shown on the left in the picture. That is to say, in addition to everything else, the drawings show the bank with the dormer windows. J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. manufactured the bank.
     There is a known circumstance where a woman designed mechanical banks. M. Elizabeth Cook designed, but held no patents, on four mechanical banks made by the Kilgore Manufacturing Company of Westerville, Ohio. She was an artist and sculptress and made the models of the Frog On Rock, Rabbit in Cabbage, Owl (Slot In Head), Owl (Slot In Book), and the Turtle Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1955). Please note that she designed four banks, but that there are actually five since the Owl was made in two types. These are considered as two different banks. Their operating mechanism is not alike and the coin slot location in each is not the same. True this is a border-line case, but it is not of great importance either way one wishes to look at it. What does have some meaning is the possibility that two women designed mechanical banks, and one of them, if we are to assume that Doras Stiles was a woman, may have patented a mechanical bank.
     The Home Bank can be referred to as a sturdy mechanical bank. There is not much that can go wrong mechanism-wise and it is not easily broken. However, it is rather unusual to find one of these banks in better than good paint condition. The banks shown are painted as follows: The one on the left has a white top roof with red edging, the roof section containing the dormer windows is blue, the windows are white with red crosslines thereon. The front, back and sides of the building are white with outlining of windows and other parts in red and blue. The name "Home Bank" is in blue. The front door is tan and brown with green striping. The figure of the cashier inside the bank has flesh color features and wears a brown coat and vest. This figure is cast iron as is the rest of the bank. The name "Cashier" which is cast under and in front of the figure is in white. Blue steps and base complete the coloring on this bank. The bank on the right has a yellow top roof with red and blue edging and striping. The section of roof with no dormer windows is red with a white stripe. The front, back and sides of the building are yellow with red and blue outlining of the windows and other parts. The name "Home Bank" is in red. The front door is red and light blue with dark blue striping. The cashier as shown in the picture is painted similarly to the one in the other bank, but has the detail of the buttons on his jacket and vest in yellow and black buttons on his shirt. The figure of the cashier in this case is made of a lead or pewter-like material. This figure is original. The rest of the bank is cast iron. The name "Cashier" is not on this bank. At one time there may have been a paper label with the name thereon similar to that used on the Hall’s Excelsior Bank. Red steps and base complete the colors of the bank.
     The operation of the bank is simple but effective. The one on the left shows the bank before or after the operation, and the one on the right is pictured set to go. To accomplish this, the large knob to the right of the door is pulled forward. In so doing the figure moves into the doorway replacing the door, and the knob and lever in the forward position holds all parts in place by means of a slot in the lever. A coin is then placed in the provided section in front of the cashier as shown. The knob is then lightly pushed to the right and the parts all snap back into position as shown in the bank on the left. The cashier, of course, goes inside and the coin is propelled from its holder into the bank.
     The Home Bank is a typical "savings bank" type mechanical bank since it represents a bank building complete with cashier. Either type, dormer windows or not, makes a nice addition to a collection.
     As of this writing it is not known as a certainty that Doras Stiles was a woman. It is hoped that subsequent research will prove this out one way or the other.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
CORRECTION
Last month’s article, Uncle Sam Bank, was erroneously listed as 131 in the numerical classification. This should have been No. 132. Sorry.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Boys Stealing Watermelons Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1965

     Mechanical banks that have to do with or represent farm scenes and country life are particular favorites among many of the collectors of the animated toy savings devices. This nostalgic subject matter is well represented by a limited number of the mechanicals, and while there are not too many, there are enough to form an interesting, desirable group. Those we have covered so far in article form are Milking Cow (HOBBIES, August, 1953), Uncle Remus (HOBBIES, October, 1953), Pump & Bucket (HOBBIES, April, 1962), Hen & Chick (HOBBIES, June, 1962), Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest (HOBBIES, January, 1963), Weeden Plantation Savings Bank (HOBBIES, August, 1963), and Bad Accident (HOBBIES, May, 1965). Others as yet not covered in article form are Mule Entering Barn, I Always Did ’Spise A Mule, and our choice as No. 134 in the numerical classification, the Boys Stealing Watermelons. This bank most certainly well depicts a country type scene whose action theme was not an uncommon occurrence in years gone by. Under certain tempting circumstances the compulsive thought of some nice ripe watermelon was just too much to bear for many country boys, and any degree of controlled judgment simply went down the drain. The bank accurately represents a circumstance of this kind.
     There is not too much known in any factual area as to the background of the Boys Stealing Watermelons. To the best of the writer’s knowledge, the designer of the bank is not known and so far no patent papers have turned up that would apply to this particular bank. Then too old catalog information is sadly lacking. Several features plus certain characteristics of the bank are helpful, however, in forming a fairly accurate judgment as to who made it. For one thing the number 133 which appears on the back plate of the bank is significant. In the same fashion the number 136 is on the Uncle Remus Bank and number 134 on the Zoo Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1963). In addition, all three banks bear striking similarities in their makeup, paint, and so on. Considering all factors the Boys Stealing Watermelons was most likely made by either of two concerns, Kyser & Rex of Phila., Pa., or the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Conn. The bank was probably produced by one of these companies in the 1885 to 1895 period.
     The bank shown is in the fine collection of Leon Perelman of Merion, Pa. He obtained it a few years ago from an Eastern antique dealer. It is in good original condition and painted as follows: The simulated stonework base is white with black highlighting. Above this is a slanted area to represent ground and this is dark brown. The watermelon vine and watermelons are green. Two of the watermelons, the one the boy is reaching for and the one held by the boy on the fence, have white lines thereon. The dog house is tan with a red roof and the dog is black and silver with red mouth and nose. The boy in the prone position has a blue cap, red shirt, and yellow knee britches or knickers. The boy climbing the white fence has a yellow cap, blue shirt, and red knee britches or knickers. The green tree over the dog house is highlighted with yellow and red. A gold operating lever, located on the back of the dog house, completes the coloring of the bank.
     To operate the bank a coin is first inserted in the provided slot in the roof of the dog house where it is held in place about halfway into the slot. The operating lever is then depressed. This causes the boy in the prone position to move his right arm down toward the watermelon. At the same time the dog moves out of the dog house toward the boy and the coin is automatically deposited in the bank. On releasing the lever the moving parts return to their normal positions ready for anther coin.
     The Boys Stealing Watermelons, in addition to being a member of the group of country life type banks, is also representative of another small select group of object lesson banks. Some banks in this group taught a child what to do, but others, such as the Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest and Uncle Remus, are constructive in demonstrating what not to do. As example, the tree branch falls with the boy thereon when he is in the act of stealing the bird eggs. The Boys Stealing Watermelons has the same type what not to do object lesson, with the watch dog getting after the boys when in the act of stealing the watermelons. It’s a nice interesting bank and makes an attractive addition to a collection of the animated toy savings devices.

The Freedman’s Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1965

     Many requests have been received over a period of time for a photo of the Freedman’s Bank, the rarest and most desirable of all the mechanical banks. We have chosen the time this month to picture the bank originally published in article form in HOBBIES, October, 1951.
     Due to a personal tragedy in the writer’s family, the death of his father, Dr. F.H. Griffith of Savannah, Ga., on August 21, there will be no regular classification article this month. The articles will be resumed in the November, 1965, issue of HOBBIES.

Bear Standing (Slot in Chest)
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1965

     A simple action, rather attractive mechanical bank known as the Bear Standing (Slot In Chest) is our choice as No. 135 in the numerical classification. The original name of the bank is unknown to the best of the writer’s knowledge, and it may well have been made during the popular "Teddy Bear" period which, of course, was associated with President Theodore Roosevelt. The bank that really commemorates this period is Teddy And The Bear, and this bank will be dealt with in a near future article. In any event, regardless of the original name, the present name "Bear Standing (Slot In Chest)" was chosen some years ago out of necessity in describing the bank with short accuracy in order to avoid confusion with several other mechanical banks.
     Unfortunately factual background information on the Bear Standing has as yet not been established. It is pretty well accepted though that it was made by the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., since, for example, the round conventional type Stevens coin trap patented in 1875 was used on this bank. If we may digress for a moment at this point, we would like to mention a fact of some importance. Over a period of years the writer has received numerous letters with reference to various mechanical banks having been made in 1875 since this date showed on the coin trap. The patent date of February 2, 1875 only has reference to the round Stevens coin trap itself. This same trap with the same date was used on banks made by Stevens for many years on into the 1900’s and as late as the early 1920’s. So do not be misled by the date of 1875 — it has nothing to do whatever with the period in which a mechanical bank was manufactured. As example, the Bear Standing under discussion has the 1875 round Stevens trap, but it is most unlikely that the bank is of this early period. No patent dates or markings of any kind appear on the bank and, therefore, it is not known who actually designed it. It has, however, for some years been attributed to Bailey, and this is certainly a possibility until we can prove otherwise.
     Some collectors feel that the Bear Standing was made by the Kenton Hardware Co. This assumption is based on the fact that Kenton used the same type round trap on some of their still banks such as the Statue of Liberty and on their mechanical Mamma Katzenjammer (HOBBIES, December, 1958). Mamma Katzenjammer employs the use of the same type trap but the diameter is considerably larger than those normally used by Stevens. The same date "February 2, 1875," however, appears on this larger size trap, and Kenton was not making mechanical banks in that period. It is most likely that Kenton as a matter of convenience used the Stevens type trap years after the patent protection had expired.
     The Bear Standing shown is a completely original specimen and in good condition for this particular bank. It is rather difficult to find an original since apparently not too many were made. A number of recasts, however, were produced approximately 20 years ago by a party in New Jersey. These are not difficult to distinguish as recasts, and the parts are held together by a screw instead of being riveted and permanently fastened together. The recasts are considerably heavier than the original pictured, parts do not fit together well, and much of the detail in the casting was lost in the recasting of the bank. Unfortunately the Bear Standing lent itself to being recast by its simplicity and the fact it was hard to find an original then, just as it is today. Fortunately, to repeat, the recasts are easily identified as such.
     The original bank pictured has the body of the bear painted an overall light tan. He has brown eyes and nose, and a red mouth completes the coloring. The operation like Mamma Katzenjammer, is simple. A coin pushed into the slot, as shown in the picture, causes the mouth to open and it recloses as the coin falls inside the bank.
     In the writer’s opinion the Bear Standing is a somewhat underrated bank and actually is considerably rarer than most collectors realize.

Monkey With Tray and The Cross Legged Minstrel
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1965

     Two mechanical banks made of tin and of foreign manufacture are our choices as Nos. 136 and 137 in the numerical classification. The Monkey With Tray is No. 136 and the Cross Legged Minstrel No. 137. They are both rather interesting banks, nicely made, good action, and quite colorful. Everything about the two banks indicates they were made in Germany, and most likely in the early 1900’s. Neither bank carries any of the German markings or terminology that would indicate they were covered by what we call a patent, so it is very doubtful that we will ever know too much about the background of either one. Even if the German designation D.R.G.M. (which is similar to out patent or copyright) did appear on either bank, this would not be helpful other than indicating the bank was a German protected product. The setup of protected items in Germany was entirely different than our Patent Office, and for detailed information on this please refer to the article on the Snake And Frog In Pond Bank, HOBBIES, August, 1961.
     The Monkey With Tray pictured is in very nice condition with good original coloring. Around the sides of the box type base appear monkeys in various forms of play. Two are fussing over apples. The monkey on the front is beating a drum. Two on the other side show one monkey knocking in the top hat worn by the other monkey. A monkey on the back is pulling the tail of the monkey who is crushing in the top hat. Five of the six monkeys are dressed in bright clothing of red, green, white and yellow. They all appear on a blue background. The top of the box-like base is red. The large monkey on top of the base is naturally done in shadings of brown and black, giving him a realistic appearance. The inside of his mouth is red and he has a gold collar around his neck.
     To operate the Monkey With Tray, a coin is first placed on the tray as shown. The tail of the seated monkey is then pressed down. This causes his arms to raise and lift the tray to his mouth. As the arms rise, the top half of the monkey’s head tilts back opening his mouth. A small lever on the tray strikes the underjaw or chin of the monkey, and this allows the coin to slide from the tray into his mouth. Releasing the lever returns all parts to the positions as shown in the picture.
     The Cross Legged Minstrel shown is also in fine original condition with bright attractive colors. A red band is around the oval base. Above this appears green grass, red flowers, and green vines trailing up a brown tree trunk. The minstrel leans back against this trunk. He has brown shoes, blue and white striped trousers, bright red frock coat, yellow vest, white shirt, green tie, and a yellow flower in his lapel. In his right hand he holds a yellow top hat with black band.
     To operate the Cross Legged Minstrel a coin is placed, as shown, in the slot in his chest where it stays in position. A lever on the right side of the bank is then pressed down. The coin automatically enters the bank and the minstrel moves his right arm forward and down taking off his hat. His right hand also moves forward so his hat is caused to tilt realistically. He does a very neat job of tipping his hat in thanks for the coin. Releasing the lever returns all parts to their respective positions as shown in the picture.
     The Monkey With Tray and Cross Legged Minstrel are clever mechanical banks with good action and make interesting additions to a collection of animated toy savings devices. Some collectors do not seem to favor tin mechanical banks as compared to those made of cast iron. This basically, in the writer’s opinion, is a mistake as the tin mechanicals offer a fine group of good action banks, and there is one thing for sure, it is most unlikely they will ever be reproduced due to the costs and difficulties involved.

Coin Registering Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1966

     A so-called border-line mechanical bank has not come up in the classification series for some time now. As we reach No. 138, however, we have chosen a bank that more or less fits into this category. This is the Coin Registering Bank, a fine handsome savings device, representative of the building type group of the mechanicals. The bank, like the Pump and Bucket (HOBBIES, April, 1962), is a registering bank and this is its main mechanical function — to indicate the increasing amount as each coin is deposited. However, rather than being a simple registering savings device, the Coin Registering Bank has a unique operating feature that has classed it as a mechanical bank for some years now. This has to do with the fact that the dome of the building must be turned clockwise in order to operate the mechanism. This is comparable to the operating pump handle on the Pump and Bucket, and since on this basis it rates as a mechanical bank, then it follows logically that the Coin Registering Bank must also be considered as such. Registering banks, as pointed out in a previous article or two, are in a class of their own and are not considered mechanical banks in the accepted terminology. A few, such as the one under discussion, the Pump and Bucket, Perfection Registering (HOBBIES, September, 1959), and one or two others are classed as mechanicals due to special operating features and mechanisms.
     The Coin Registering Bank was made in the 1890 period and this date appears on the front of the bank as shown in the picture. A paper label on the bottom plate states that a patent was pending, although no patent papers have been found to date by the writer. The 1890 date on the bank is significant, but does not mean it was patented in that year. Several old catalogs picture the bank for sale. Conway Brothers of Philadelphia offered the bank at $9 per dozen and in describing it stated: "It has the great advantage over other banks in the market of registering both 5 and 10 cent coins on the same dial." The Charles Y. Kay Company of Alliance, Ohio, used a similar statement in their catalog picturing the bank, but they listed it at $12 per dozen, and a nickel plated version at $20 per dozen. The writer has never seen an example of the Coin Registering Bank in nickel plate. In fact it is difficult enough to find an example of the regular painted type in nice original condition. This brings to mind that when certain banks were originally made in two finishes, painted or nickel plate, the plated type sold at a higher price and was considered more desirable. To collectors today the position is reversed in that the painted type is more highly prized.
     The Coin Registering Bank shown is in fine original condition with better than usual paint. The overall building is done in a japanned type brown color finish. The dome is bright red with gold striping and a gold top knob. Key type edging just under the dome is silver and the section below this is gold. The name and date are also in gold. Windows are outlined in silver with bronze decorations. The supporting columns of the front entrance are highlighted in gold. The arched doorway is silver with red doors and gold hinges. The side and back windows are done in similar fashion to those on the front, and the rear doorway is also painted like the one on the front. It’s a well designed, decorative, good looking building.
     The operation of the bank is accurately described on the original paper label on the bottom plate. This is as follows:
No. 126 Coin Registering Bank (Patent Pending)
    
Put the nickel or dime in the slot marked for it, and turn the dome to the right until the coin disappears, when the amount will be correctly registered. Do not put nickel and a dime in at the same time, as only one can be registered, and do not put a dime in the nickel slot. When the last coin necessary to make the amount $5.00 has been deposited the door in the rear of the bank will open.
     To set the bank, reverse it while the door is open and turn the cylinder to the left until the figure 0 is opposite the opening. Then spring the door in and the bank is ready for deposits.
     In closing it bears mention the writer is not certain as to the actual manufacturer of the Coin Registering Bank. One of a number of concerns could be responsible. It is most likely the company that did manufacture it is also responsible for the Pump and Bucket, Presto Bank (small building), the semi-mechanical Globe Savings Fund, and possibly several others.

Uncle Tom
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1966

     There are two Uncle Tom mechanical banks, one with the name thereon, the other without; each, however, has the initials U.T. on the coin trap. They are different banks even though they both have the same patent date and are somewhat alike in appearance. One is known as Uncle Tom (No Lapels) and this is our choice as No. 139 in the numerical classification. The other with the name on the lapels is called, of course, Uncle Tom and is No. 140 in the classification.
     Both Uncle Tom banks were made by Kyser & Rex of Philadelphia, Pa. A patent was issued January 24, 1882 to Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex as an improvement in toy money boxes and it covered a bust type bank with certain moving parts. These parts, however, were not necessarily to be in accord with the diagram included with the patent papers. Thus we have two similar appearing banks which operate quite differently. Uncle Tom (No Lapels) is shown in Figure 1, and note that his lips and teeth are well defined and he has no jacket with lapels. His shirt is red and he has a blue tie with yellow polka dots. His tongue, lips, nostrils and corners of the eye sockets are red. His eyes are brown with black pupils and his teeth are white.
     To operate this bank a coin is first placed on the tongue inside the mouth of the figure. A lever in back of the head is then pressed down. This causes the tongue to recede dropping the coin inside the bust. At the same time his eyes lower. On releasing the lever the moving parts return to the positions as shown in Figure 1.

Uncle Tom, Figure 2, has lips that protrude, no teeth, and wears a jacket with the name Uncle on the right lapel and Tom on the left. His jacket is blue with the name in gold. He has a white shirt and a red tie with white polka dots. His inside lower lip, tongue and eye socket corners are red. His eyes are white outlined in black with black pupils.
     To operate this bank a lever located in the center of his back is first pressed or pushed in. This causes his tongue to come forward and protrude over his lower lip. At the same time his eyes roll up. A coin is then placed on his tongue and the lever released. The parts return to the position as shown in Figure 2 and the coin slides from his tongue on inside the bank. This bank operates on the basic principle as outlined in the drawing accompanying the patent papers. There is a spring shown in the patent drawing, but this is not necessary as the weight of the parts is sufficient to cause them to operate as described.
     It is interesting to note that Uncle Tom, Figure 2, is one of the lever operated mechanical banks where the lever is pressed before the coin is placed in position. There are only a few mechanical banks that operate in this fashion, and one other that comes to mind at the moment is the Old Woman In The Shoe (HOBBIES, March, 1953).
     Just why Kyser & Rex chose to make Uncle Tom in two different types may never be known for sure. Nor can we tell which was made first or if they were manufactured concurrently. Both mechanisms are sturdy and substantial and would stand considerable usage so this could not have been a factor. There is this possibility—when placing the coin on the tongue of the one in Figure 2 there is a tendency for the coin to slide off the tongue into the bank before the lever is released. Actually, while the writer’s preference seems to lean towards this bank, the other, Figure 1, operates much better and the coin cannot go into the bank until the lever is pressed.
     In closing it bears mention that the rare Hindu Bank (HOBBIES, February, 1955) was produced by Kyser & Rex under the same patent as that covering both Uncle Tom banks. Detailed information concerning this was included in the Hindu Bank article.

Bull Dog Standing - - - - Bear and Tree Stump
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1966

     Two animal mechanical banks, a dog and a bear, each made by the same concern, H.L. Judd Company of Wallingford, Conn., are our choice as Nos. 141 and 142 in the numerical classification. These are what we might call "simple action" banks, as were most of those manufactured by Judd. They produced a nice line of good banks over a period of years, but none were particularly outstanding or highly animated. Unfortunately, this simplicity of construction and mechanism made a number of their banks prime targets for recasting, including the two under present discussion. Actually original specimens of the Bull Dog Standing or the Bear And Tree Stump are not plentiful or easy to come by. This has become increasingly so as the years have passed since mechanical banks first became collectors items. The recasts that have been made of the various Judd banks can be recognized as such, and for further detail on this situation please refer to the April, 1963, article in HOBBIES on the Bucking Mule Bank. This was the first of the Judd banks to be covered in the series of articles.
     The general line of Judd banks were made with good detail in their casting. Hair lines, for example, were well done with fine definition, and both the Bull Dog Standing and Bear And Tree Stump are representative of this. Their banks were usually painted in one of a number of basic colors. Judd listed these colors as Ebony or Ebonized, Bronzed, Copper Bronze, Maroon, Gilded, and Dark Antique Finish. Thus none of their banks are particularly colorful, although a touch of red and yellow was used on the Bucking Mule and several others. In some cases certain of their banks were painted in combinations of two of their basic colors. The various basic colors, by the way, were in a japanned type finish. With the possible exception of the Mosque Bank, all other Judd production banks were comparatively small in size and only small coins—pennies, dimes and nickels—could be used in their operation. Most of their banks were made in two half-sections with no coin traps, making it necessary to take the respective bank apart in order to remove accumulated coins.
     In spite of the fact that this is only the second time Judd banks have appeared in this series of articles to date, they, as a mechanical bank manufacturer, are among the top ten companies who made mechanical banks in the United States. They were quite active in this field during their period.
     The Bull Dog Standing shown, Fig. 1, is a fine original specimen with the ebony or ebonized type finish. The only other color on this bank are the two white eyes of the dog. The operation of the bank is simplicity itself. A coin is placed on the dog’s tongue and his tail is then lifted. This causes the tongue to recede into the dog’s mouth and the coin drops from there inside the bank. The tongue in receding tilts to the side as it goes inside the dog and the coin slides therefrom. The weight of the tail, when released, returns the tongue to the position as shown in the picture. A fine illustration of this bank appears in the 1887 catalog of C.F. Rice, Chicago, Ill. They priced it at 20c each.
     The Bear And Tree Stump is pictured in Figure 2 and it also is a fine original specimen with the ebony or ebonized type paint. The only other color is the red tongue of the bear. To operate the bank a coin is placed on the tongue of the bear and a lever in his back is then depressed. This causes the tongue to lift up and the coin slides on inside the body of the bear. The tongue returns by its own weight to the position shown in the picture. A fine illustration of this bank also appears in the same 1887 Rice catalog and it was priced at 25c each.
     In closing it bears mention that most of the Judd banks have more appeal to the advanced collector rather than the beginner. They are not spectacular nor colorful and action is limited. This, however, does not detract from their being desirable additions to a collection.

World’s Fair Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1966

     The World’s Fair Bank, our choice as No. 143 in the numerical classification, is a mechanical bank that we could say has a lot going for it. In the first place it represents an important event in our history, the discovery of America by Columbus. Along with this it commemorates an exhibition in honor of Columbus, the Worlds Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Ill. Further the bank was designed by Charles A. Bailey, the greatest of all mechanical bank designers. Then it is a surprise type of bank in that there is nothing obvious about the action that takes place. These factors along with its ornate decorations, attractive appearance, and excellent action make the World’s Fair Bank add up to quite a desirable animated toy savings device. Another point of interest, it is one of only three known mechanical banks that utilize an Indian as part of the subject matter. The other two are Chief Big Moon (HOBBIES, March, 1965) and the Indian and Bear.
     The World’s Fair Bank was patented October 10, 1893 by Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Conn., and assigned by him to the J. & E. Stevens Company of the same place. The bank as made by Stevens closely follows the four diagrams which are part of the patent papers. The bank pictured was made prior to the date of the issue of the patent and the terminology "Pat. Apld. For" appears on this bank under the word "World’s." It was first made in this fashion with the name thereon. Then for some years, after the World’s Columbian Exposition was over, it was made without the name. Thus, while the bank is generally known as the World’s Fair Bank, it is also often called Columbus And The Indian. Either name is appropriate since it was made with and without a name, and while the writer prefers the type with the name, actually one or the other is of about equal value. Stevens in their catalogs and advertising cards of the period simply called it the Columbus Bank.
     The bank shown is in fine complete, original condition. It is painted simply but effectively as follows: The overall bank is gold including the figure of Columbus. A large flower by his left foot and the operating lever in the tree stump (upon which Columbus is seated) are in silver. The log in front of Columbus has a leafy vine and berry representation on it, and this is in silver. The figure of the Indian has bronze color legs, arms, face and neck. His clothing, headdress and peace pipe are silver. The inside of the log (which covers the Indian as in Figure 1) and the decorated section inside the bank, into which the Indian fits, are a tinted green silver color. The name World’s Fair Bank is highlighted in silver. The perforated base plate is quite decorative with the name "Columbus" in large letters curved across its length. The entire plate is painted brown. As can be seen in both Figures 1 and 2, the base has a fine embossed representation of a buffalo hunt with the Indian on horseback running down the buffalo. On the other side of the base there is considerable floral, leaf and vine work surrounding the center section. In relief in this section is a good representation of Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria. So one can readily judge from the picture plus the description that this is a very ornately detailed toy savings device.
     To operate the bank a coin is placed in the provided slot in front of the feet of Columbus (Figure 1). It stays in place resting against the end of the log. The lever is then pressed down. The log snaps up and back as the figure of the Indian rises to the position as shown in Figure 2. Columbus lifts his right arm in greeting as the Indian offers him the peace pipe. The coin meantime slides down a slot-like chute into the bank. On releasing the lever Columbus lowers his right arm. The log with the Indian must be pressed down by hand for further operation. The bank then appears as in Figure 1 ready for another coin. Coins are removed by means of the conventional round Stevens trap in the base plate.
     The World’s Fair Bank is a sturdy well made mechanical bank. However, over the years, of the number of these banks seen by the writer, most of them have been broken. This is rather strange, and in most cases the breakage had to do with the figure of Columbus. The only logical explanation would seem to be that for some reason the World’s Fair Bank was subject to rougher treatment than most.
     In closing, a point of kindred interest has to do with a cast iron bell ringing toy. In the period of the World’s Fair Bank, Bailey designed the Landing of Columbus bell toy. This was also made by Stevens and depicted Columbus in his ship along with some of the crew.

The Three Musical Savings Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1966

     Not one, but three different type Musical Savings Banks, are known to exist. All three operate on the same principle—the insertion of a coin starts a musical mechanism to play. Other than this and having the same name, the three banks are quite unalike, particularly appearance-wise. For classification purposes we have placed the banks in the following order—"Musical Savings Bank," "You pay—I play" easel or picture frame type, Figure 1, is No. 144; "The Musical Savings Bank" upright music box type, Figure 2, is No. 145; "Musical Savings Bank" "You pay—I play" house or building type, Figure 3, is No. 146.
     Taking the banks in their numerical order we will first consider No. 144, Figure 1. L.C. Hegarty is the owner of this fine, completely original, Musical Savings Bank. It is made of wood, mainly walnut, with the frame front in a lighter color, like a light mahogany. As can be seen in the picture, ornate carved scrollwork is at the top and bottom of the frame along with a small amount on each side. The name, wording and center design work on the front wood panel are indented or stamped into the wood in gold. The locking key is shown inserted on the side of the bank and the entire back opens for removal of coins.
     An original old catalog circa 1885 pictures and describes the Musical Savings Bank for sale. The catalog was issued by John F. Stratton & Company, Importers, 49 Maiden Lane, New York, and Lipsig, Saxony. The text of the ad for the bank is as follows:
          Musical Savings Bank
          Playing 2 Airs
          #1876 each $7.50
     A mantel-piece ornament, beautifully carved. On the front are the words
Musical Savings Bank" and the brief statement "You Pay—I Play.
     "There is in the top a hole large enough to admit small coins, and every time a piece of money is dropped in the box it plays one air.
     This is entirely new this season, being made for us expressly from specifications of our own.
     No. 145, Figure 2, is also in fine complete original condition and is owned by Leon Perelman. The name "The Musical Savings Bank" appears on the ornate brass plate on the front base as shown in the picture. This plate also tells the story as to the manufacturer as the name "Regina" and "Trade Mark" is inscribed thereon. This bank, like other Regina music boxes, is a well made item and the photo herewith well illustrates its good sturdy construction. Mr. Perelman has a Montgomery Ward Catalog #67, Summer of 1900, which pictures and describes the "Regina Musical Boxes." Text is as follows:
     "The Regina is an automatic or self-playing musical instrument of American manufacture, and is not only far superior to the old style Swiss boxes, but everything considered, is the best music box made. Interchangeable metallic tune sheets or discs (one tune on each sheet) circular in shape, unlimited in number, are used instead of the old style cylinder.
     The mechanism is driven by a strong spring motor, wound with detachable outside crank, and is so simple that it is not liable to get out of order. All working parts, like the tune sheet, are interchangeable, and in case any part is broken a new duplicate can be supplied quickly at a reasonable expense, and be replaced by any skilled mechanic.
     The cases are either oak or mahogany, of attractive design and finely finished.
     The tune sheets are made of steel, material and workmanship are the best and with proper care will last a lifetime."
     This bank, by the way, is just about the largest in size of all the known mechanical banks being 17" high x 12" wide. For the record, some may say the Ferris Wheel occupies this position, but this is not the case as it isn’t an authentic mechanical bank. It is simply a toy that has been converted into a bank. As a matter of fact the conversion of the Columbian Ferris Wheel into a savings device is still being done to date, and it does seen a shame to ruin a fine original toy in this fashion.
     No. 146, Figure 3, is a well made wood bank in walnut with interesting carving of a bird and nest with eggs (note photo). The bank pictured is in fine original condition and is in the collection of Mrs. Mary Gerken. The name "Musical Savings Bank" and wording "You pay—I play" are stamped in gold on two pieces of leather and fit into the provided sections on the bank as shown. The bank operates the same as the two previously described—a coin, dropped in the chimney slot in the roof in this case, starts the musical mechanism to play. Dates, manufacturer, and so on concerning this bank are unknown to the best of the writer’s knowledge. However, one pertinent piece of evidence is of importance. While the lettering of the names are not alike, please note Figure 1 and Figure 3 that the wording "You pay—I play" is identical. This is more than a coincidence and it is entirely possible that both banks were turned out by the same concern and in the same approximate time period.

Teddy and the Bear Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1966

     A mechanical bank that has the unique distinction of being the only one to represent a former President of the United States is our choice as No. 147 in the numerical classification. Theodore Roosevelt, popularly known as Teddy, was an adventurer of the first order and a flamboyant controversial figure in his time. It is quite appropriate that an animated toy savings device, Teddy And The Bear, was made in representation of his hunting abilities. And, of course, the use of a bear on the bank at the time fit completely with the popular toy Teddy Bear which was practically a must for children during its period of wide popularity. The bank, in addition to its unique representation of a President, has a number of other very desirable features. For example, it is a surprise type bank, the bear does not show until the bank is operated. It was designed by Bailey and is an outstanding example of his clever touch for designing mechanical banks. It is a very attractive, well made item and must be considered to be one of the most desirable of the mechanicals.
     Teddy And The Bear was patented by Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Conn., February 19, 1907, and assigned by him to the National Novelty Corporation of Westfield, N.Y., a corporation of New Jersey. The J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., were the manufacturers of the bank. The patent papers in the case of this bank have a degree of interest. There are a total of six drawings that accompany the text, and the bank as produced by Stevens is practically identical to these drawings. However, there is one point of complete difference operation-wise between the text and the way the bank was made by Stevens. Following are two quotes from the text:
     "A further object of the invention is to provide a bank in which two or more movable figures are so arranged as to be operated in successive order, or only the first may be set into motion as desired."
     "If the operator wishes to expose the head of the bear the trigger (operating lever), after releasing the sear (firing gun mechanism) is further depressed allowing a spring to elevate the head of the bear."
     This means that Bailey’s original intent was that the gun shot the coin into the bank first and then second the bear’s head protruded from the tree stump. The bank operates exactly opposite to this. The bear’s head comes up first, then the gun fires. As a matter of fact, if one wishes to do so the bank can be operated so that only the bear’s head comes out of the stump.
     The bank shown is in fine original condition and colors of parts are as follows: The base is green with bronze highlighting and a brown stone-like representation thereon. The lettering of the name is in silver. The tree stump is dark brown streaked with gold, and the coin slot area, as well as two other sections, are in yellow. The top movable cover of the stump is leaf-like in green and silver. The bear’s head is a reddish brown with a red mouth and nostrils and white teeth and eyes. Teddy wears black shoes with green puttees having gold buttons. His breeches, jacket and hat are tan and his shirt is blue. The gun is silver with a brown stock. He has flesh color hands and face with red lower lip, brown mustache and gold glasses. All this adds up to an attractive, colorful bank.
     The bank is pictured after the action has taken place. To operate Teddy And The Bear from the position shown, the bear’s head is pushed down into the stump and the cover placed thereon. The piece along the top of the gun barrel that shoots the coin into the bank is pushed back along the barrel until it snaps into position. At the same time the head lowers as though taking aim. A coin is then placed on the gun barrel. The lever located between Teddy’s legs is pressed forward all the way. When done in this fashion all parts work together. The coin is shot forward into the stump and Teddy snaps his head back as though looking at the bear whose head springs from the top of the tree trunk. If one desires noise to accompany the action, there is a provided section in the gun for exploding caps.
     In closing it bears mention, as the writer has stated before, that some of the best and most interesting mechanical banks are those that are considered by collectors to be more or less common. Teddy And The Bear is an excellent example of this type of bank. It was a fine salable item to begin with and made over a period of years. Thus quantities were produced and logically numbers survived. In the accepted terminology of "common," the bank is not that readily available an item but specimens turn up now and then and new or less advanced collectors of today still have a good chance of finding a reasonably good specimen.

Advertising Cards
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1966

     Catalogs and advertising cards were two mediums used by manufacturers, distributors, jobbers and retail stores to promote the sale of mechanical banks. During the height of the popular period of mechanical banks, say from 1880 to 1910, many catalogs were issued which pictured and listed the interesting animated toy savings devices for sale. Please understand there were catalogs of this nature prior to 1880 and after 1910, but the 30 year period mentioned is undoubtedly the most active. These catalogs today are quite desirable to collectors of mechanical banks and are a kindred hobby. They have become increasingly difficult to find and paper material of this type has never been easy to come by. Particularly difficult and the most desirable are those catalogs issued by the manufacturers of mechanical banks.
     Along with the catalogs and of similar nature are the advertising cards, sometimes referred to as flyers or fliers. These were often sent through the mail along with letters, other material, or invoices. They were also given out by hand by drummers and other means of distribution. In the strict terminology they were not all cards, as many were simply printed on paper in blue, brown, black, and other color ink. Numbers of the cards were lithographed in brilliant colors and are most attractive. In many ways, today and for some years past, the mechanical bank advertising cards are considerably harder to come by than the old catalogs. This is understandable as catalogs, particularly those issued by stores, fashion houses such as Ehrichs’, and so on were kept as reference for years since they showed numbers of items other than toy banks. An advertising card showing a mechanical bank was definitely a disposable item unless now and then a brightly colored one found its way into a scrap book. And this, by the way, is where some do turn up.
     More or less advanced collectors of mechanical banks are familiar with the advertising cards and in most cases have some in limited numbers showing different banks. There are many less advanced collectors, however, who are not familiar with the cards, and for their enlightenment, as well as others, we are picturing herewith several original J. & E. Stevens Company advertising cards. They are in fine original condition and those shown are self-explanatory. In size the cards are approximately 3½" x 5".

Indian and Bear Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1966

     A mechanical bank with a very fine representation of an Indian is our choice as No. 148 in the numerical classification. This is the Indian And Bear Bank, one of the three known mechanicals that have an Indian as part of their subject matter. The other two are Chief Big Moon (HOBBIES, March, 1965) and the World’s Fair Bank (HOBBIES, April, 1966). As can be seen in the photo, Figure 1, the Indian is exceptionally well detailed with a handsome set of feathers down his back, tomahawk in his belt, buckskin trousers, feather headdress, and so on. It bears mention at this point that when one of these banks turns up the back feathers are more often missing than not. There are two reasons for this — they are not too securely fastened to begin with, and they are rather fragile and subject to easy breakage.
     Patent papers may exist on the Indian And Bear, but so far the writer has been unsuccessful in locating them. On the underbase of the bank pictured there appears in large block letters the wording ‘Pat. Pend’g.’, but this is of no help other than the possibility that a patent was granted. There is every likelihood the Indian And Bear was designed by Charles A. Bailey, although we did not include it among his banks in the article titled "Bailey’s Banks" (HOBBIES, February, 1963). The bank was made by J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn., and was one of their good sellers and popular for a number of years.
     The bank pictured, Figure 1, is completely original and in fine condition. The bright attractive colors are as follows: The base is green with a dark brown tree stump. The Indian wears a red jacket with yellow fringe down the sleeves. He has a string of white animal teeth around his neck and yellow, blue and white feathers in his headdress and down his back. A loop in brown hangs from his right arm, the gun is black, and his moccasins are brown. The tomahawk in his brown belt has a gold hatchet head and brown handle. He wears tan buckskin trousers with yellow fringe down the side. The bear is an all over light brown with red mouth and white teeth and eyes. His claws are black and a green trailing vine up the right side of the bear completes the coloring.
     The bank as shown in Figure 1 is ready for action. The gun mechanism has been set and the coin placed on top of the barrel. The lever on the base between the legs of the Indian is then pressed. The gun fires shooting the coin into the bear. The Indian raises his head and the bear opens his mouth. On releasing the lever the bear closes his mouth. The gun must be reset for further operation.
     Now please refer to Figure 2 and what the writer hopes will prove to be a pleasant surprise to a number of readers of these articles. Pictured is an original advertising card or flyer of the Indian And Bear Bank. Last month’s article, July, covered advertising cards in detail. In any event, some years ago the writer was fortunate enough to obtain from Mr. Frisbee of the J. & E. Stevens Company a limited number of original Indian And Bear cards. His good fortune will now be shared with 20 HOBBIES readers. The first 20 letters received by the writer will be given one each of these original cards.
     All letters must be postmarked on or before July 30, 1966, and accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. Letters postmarked after July 30th, will not be eligible. Send to F.H. Griffith, P.O. Box 10644, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15235.

New Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1966

     The designer, or possibly the manufacturer, of the mechanical bank which is our choice as No. 149 in the numerical classification most likely felt that the name ‘New’ would best describe what was felt to be a different or new type mechanical bank. The writer has often pondered as to why this name was chosen and this would seem to be the only logical explanation. After all, Guard Bank or Watchman Bank, in either case, would be a much more appropriate or fitting name. Be that as it may, the New Bank is a very attractive building type savings device, and while there is not much action involved, it is completely appropriate as to the idea of protecting ones savings.
     The New Bank is more or less a companion piece to the U.S. Bank (HOBBIES, January, 1958). The buildings are similar in appearance, the paint is the same type done in the same fashion, and the same brass metal stamping of the watchman or policeman is in the doorway of each. At the same time of writing the article on the U.S. Bank the writer had no information whatsoever as to the background of either bank. Since then he has been able to shed some light on the situation. There is a still bank known as the Metropolitan Bank, and this utilizes the same brass stamped figure as the U.S. and New Banks. The Metropolitan fortunately was covered by a design patent and there is no question but that all three were designed by the same individual. The design patent was issued to Anthony M. Smith of Brooklyn, New York, January 23, 1872. This covered a design for a toy safe wherein the watchman (this terminology for the brass figure was used in the original patent text) stood in a niche beside the safe door. He did not move and the patent was for a still bank. This fact is brought out since a few Metropolitan Banks have been converted to mechanicals in somewhat recent times, and, of course, these are simply fakes. The Metropolitan is a very nice still bank as such, and in its original state has a certain value. Why anyone would want to fake it into a mechanical seems somewhat beyond reason. It bears mention that in the altered version the figure moves slightly forward when the door of the safe is opened.
     The New Bank shown is in fine original condition and painted as follows: The overall building is green with the inside of the bottom base section in dark blue. Brown edging is around the square foundation section. The front windows are red, as is the edging of the doorway and the sections which contain the name. The top and bottom of the door and windows are done in white, as is the name ‘New Bank’. The top cup-shaped part of the roof is black, the dome is red with a black line around the bottom, and then comes a section in blue. Below this is roofing in white, then a green band, and finally another roof section in red. The figure is a gold color and he is fastened to an inside section painted in blue. The operating lever with a red hand completes the coloring of a very bright, attractive bank.
     The operation of the New Bank could hardly be more simple or appropriate. A lever is pressed to the operator’s left and in so doing the figure moves to the side and a coin slot appears in the open doorway. A coin is then deposited and on releasing the lever the figure snaps back into place as though guarding the deposit.
     In closing, so that the writer does not receive letters from some individuals defending what they think to be a mechanical Metropolitan Bank, let this be said for the record. The writer knows who, when and where some Metropolitan Banks were converted to mechanicals. It is very obvious that threaded parts are not original and to date the writer has never seen a Metropolitan Bank in its complete original state in other than a still bank. It is extremely unlikely that it was ever originally made otherwise.

The Indian and Bear Card
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1966

     Where to start? How does one begin to tell about an interesting experience, because that’s what the advertising cards give away, or call it what you will, turned out to be. The response, for example, far exceeded any thought the writer had in this area. He was swamped with mail in the matter of a few days. In a way this is great, but then in another way there will be quite a few disappointed people around since 20 cards were allocated on a "first 20 request" basis.
     Some of the letters were of considerable interest and some were strange. It’s odd how certain people will put their own interpretation into something they have read that is quite specific and clear. For example, a number of letters received did not contain return envelopes, and other requests were simply on a postcard. In either case, these were what you might call disqualified. In one case there was only an envelope—nothing else, no mention of the card or anything.
     Among the interesting letters was one from a man, whose request unfortunately arrived too late. He went into detail as to wanting a card for his collection of advertising cards. However, he was thoughtful enough to explain that individuals interested in mechanical banks should come first, and if their requests outnumbered the 20 then he would rather they be favored. This really appealed to the writer as an unselfish approach to a hobby.
     We go from this to another extreme where there were letters requesting two cards, and while the intentions here were probably well meant, there was no way to comply with a request of this nature.
     The writer was quite surprised and rather pleased with the overall replies to his offer. Many letters referred to the Mechanical Bank articles and how they were read and appreciated, and he certainly wants to thank all those who were thoughtful in writing in this manner. So please let this "thank you" apply in each case as the writer cannot answer all the mail received in this particular circumstance.
     In answer to numbers of requests in these letters, the writer cannot supply back copies of the Mechanical Bank articles from the early 1950’s on. To many others who ask as to publishing the articles in a book form—this has been given some consideration and time will tell. Now to those who inquired about a new edition of the Mechanical Bank Booklet. This is now in process and should be ready in a month or so. Due to increased costs, the price per copy will be a little higher than the original copyrighted in 1956. There will be numerous additions to the listing of banks and other changes right up to date. Accuracy as far as possible and the general form of the original booklet will be maintained. Anyone wishing to reserve a copy ahead of time may do so by sending a remittance of $3 to the writer at the address shown in his various want ads in HOBBIES.
     Now to the list of those who received one each of the original Indian and Bear advertising cards:
James Riley, Battle Creek, Mich.
Charles G. King, Chicago, Ill.
Mrs. Robert W. Gabler, Chambersburg, Pa.
W.W. Tudor, Chicago, Ill.
Marvin D. Houghton, Arlington, Va.
Harry Knapp, Orlando, Fla.
Michael A. Santell, Los Angeles, Calif.
Dr. Ralph F. Merkle, Allentown, Pa.
Wilmot R. Craig, Rochester, N.Y.
Miss Janet E. Masteller, Columbus, Ohio.
S.R. Mahan, West Chester, Pa.
Charles B. Follert, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Vernon V. Voris, Seattle, Wash.
J.R. Jenista, Caldwell, Kans.
Mrs. Roger F. Summ, Cromwell, Conn.
Larry E. Mowrey, Ephrata, Pa.
Hubert B. Whiting, Wakefield, Mass.
Harold W. Miller, Vinton, Iowa.
David K. Bausch, Allentown, Pa.
Elmer A. Cottrell, Round Rock, Tex.
     In closing, the writer certainly hopes the recipients are pleased, and he only wishes he had enough to go around to all who replied to his offer.

Calumet Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1966

     An interesting little mechanical bank with an exceptionally unusual background is our choice as No. 150 in the numerical classification. With the exception of patent papers, which was all he had to go on for years, the writer knew very little about the Calumet Bank until recently. Then Ann and Ed Rost of St. Louis, Mo., found the bank pictured, and we now know considerably more about it. A unique feature of the Calumet, in addition to its being a production bank, is the fact that it is distinctly an advertising item. It was either given away or distributed as a premium in some fashion. Very few of the mechanicals fall into this category. The Weeden’s Plantation Darky Savings Bank, for example, in addition to being sold through regular channels was given as a premium for selling a certain number of subscriptions to the Youth’s Companion. The Pump And Bucket was also used as an advertising item by at least one concern, Gusky’s of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The exclusively advertising angle of the Calumet Bank very definitely adds to its interest.
     From about 1898 to 1925 the Calumet Baking Powder Company was in business under this name in Chicago, Ill. They had considerable difficulty with competitors in using the name "Calumet." Calumet is an Indian word and it means "pipe of peace." This name was used by the Baking Powder Company in a broad sense to mean peace between housewife and grocer, and peace between grocer and manufacturer. The word Calumet was widely advertised and became a household name, along with the "Calumet Kid" shown in the picture. The Indian head, also shown in the picture, was their Trade Mark, and this was well known. In any event, due to certain business angles, on July 1, 1925, the Company changed their name to the Calumet Distributing Company.
     Systems, a magazine of business, in its June, 1922 issue, goes into some detail about the Calumet Kid and his prominence as a national figure. At the time there were even movies made about the Kid.
     The Calumet Bank was patented as an advertising novelty September 16, 1924, with the papers and drawings filed July 17, 1922. The patent was issued to Edward E. Barnes of Chicago, Ill., assignor to Calumet Baking Powder Company of Chicago, a corporation of Illinois. Two paragraphs from the text of the patent papers are of interest:
     "My invention relates to toy banks of the kind designed for use more particularly as advertising novelties, one that is designed to attract attention by means of an image which is so positioned with respect to the coin receptacle of the bank that each time a coin is dropped into the receptacle the image will be actuated by the coin contacting with a portion of the body thereof extended into the receptacle, which causes the image to move.
     "A further object of my invention is to provide a construction of this kind which is cheap to manufacture and which is arranged to provide a suitable surface for presenting advertising matter of any kind which will at all times be displayed in front of the moving image."
     The Calumet Bank pictured is in fine original condition including the paper wrapper or label around the can receptacle. The size of the can approximates the ones used today to hold concentrated frozen orange juice. Colors of the bank are as follows: The paper surrounding the receptacle is an all over orange red with all printing in blue. The name "Calumet Baking Powder" is outlined or shaded in white. There is various outlining in red such as the Indian Trade Mark in the center. The front of the bank as to the name and so on is self explanatory as per the picture. On the back appears wording such as "Save Time and Money by using Calumet Baking Powder" – "You Save—when you buy it, when you use it, materials it is used with" – "Its saving qualities explain its popularity." The bust of the Calumet Kid has a black shirt with the wording "Thank You" in white. He wears a blue bow-tie with white polka dots. His face is flesh color with tinted pink rosy cheeks. Blue eyes, red tongue and black hair complete the coloring.
     To operate the bank a coin is dropped into the provided slot and this causes the Kid to rock back and forth. The weight of the coin causes the action and this, as with a number of the other mechanicals, is a desirable feature. There is no provision for removing coins from the bank, and this undoubtedly contributes to its scarcity. Most were probably destroyed in getting the coins out of the bank.
     In closing, the circumstances about Mr. & Mrs. Rost finding the bank are of interest. They were doing an antique show in Iowa where there was a display of old advertising items. The bank was in this display and the Rosts purchased it from the original owner who had it as a child in Fremont, Nebr.

Santa Claus Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - December, 1966

     We can say with complete confidence that it would be impossible to select a more appropriate mechanical bank for the 1966 Christmas issue than Santa Claus as pictured on the cover. Santa standing by the chimney conveys the full old fashioned tradition of gifts and toys to come for girls and boys. So with pleasant timing the Santa Claus Bank, a fine representation of the traditional Santa figure, is our choice as No. 151 in the numerical classification.
     Before going into details concerning the Santa Claus mechanical bank, it bears mention that collecting various representations of Santa Claus is quite a hobby in itself. In the toy line, for example, there is the classic cast iron sleigh with Santa driving two reindeer. There are also several different type Santa still banks which are quite attractive. There is a fine Ives walking figure Santa Claus. This winds up, the mechanism is inside the figure, and it is made of wood, metal and cloth clothing. The writer even has an old cast iron ashtray which is the face of Santa Claus. There is another type toy cast iron Santa sleigh where he drives one reindeer, and a tin Santa still bank, and so on.
     The Santa Claus Bank was patented October 15, 1889 by Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams of Buffalo, N.Y., with Adams the assignor to Walter J. Shepard. The patent was issued as a design for a toy savings bank and the drawing included in the papers is practically identical to the production bank. As to the manufacturer, there is some question between the Shepard Hardware Company, Buffalo, N.Y. or the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. It has been attributed to Stevens in spite of the Shepard patent. This is based on the fact that Shepard patents were assigned to the Stevens Company and the Speaking Dog for example, was first made by Shepard and then later on by Stevens. As a matter of fact, the writer has the original papers covering assignments of patents and in two cases at least, the Speaking Dog and the Stump Speaker were assigned by Shepard to the Stevens Company, June 4, 1894. However, as to Santa Claus, the writer has never seen a Stevens Catalog or anything else that would indicate they made the bank at any time. The bank pictured has the identical type distinctive paint work done by Shepard. The eyes, for example, have the same detail as on Uncle Sam, which was only made by Shepard. Of course, it isn’t earth shaking to pin it down definitely as the Santa Claus was made by either of the two companies, or each at different periods. The writer leans to its being an exclusive Shepard Hardware Company product.
     The Santa Claus shown (cover) is in complete original condition with very good paint. Santa wears a gray coat and hat flecked all over with white to simulate snow. The coat down the front and around the bottom is brown and the inside of his hat, exposed around his face, is red. His hands and face are pink and he has white eyebrows, blue eyes, and a fine white beard. The basket-like bag on his back is yellow with a black band at the top. Gold color toys, a boat, horn, doll, wheelbarrow, rocking horse, sword, high chair, and so on, are on a red background in the top of the bag. He wears black boots and stands on a gray-green base. The name "Santa Claus" in gold appears by the toes of his boots. The red chimney with white outlining of the bricks to simulate mortar completes the coloring of the bank.
     The operation of the bank is simple but effective. As shown in the picture (see cover), a coin is first placed in the raised right hand of Santa. A lever located to the rear of his right foot is then pressed and Santa lowers his right hand dropping the coin into the chimney.
     The Santa Claus Bank is a very fine, attractive item and, of course, particularly appropriate at Christmas time. In closing, it bears mention that the bank pictured has the wording "Pat. Appd. For" on the underside of the base. This, generally speaking, means that this bank or any bank with this terminology was manufactured before the patent date. However, it does not necessarily follow that immediate action was taken on the date a patent was issued to inscribe the date on any given bank. Some mechanical banks were not made for a long period of time and never got beyond using "Pat. Appd. For" on all examples produced. However, when given examples of a specific bank are known to exist with some inscribed "Pat. Appd. For" and others with a patent date thereon, we know that those without the date are the earlier types and usually produced before and not long after the date of patent.
SOME FINE CAST IRON TOYS (See Cover)
     Our cover this month of December, 1966, features along with Santa Claus some excellent examples of very desirable cast iron toys. The writer has received many, many requests to do articles on cast iron toys and here at long last are some of the desirable types.
     A quite rare toy is the Brownie Patrol evolved from the original creation of Palmer Cox whose Brownies swept the country with their popularity in the 1880’s and ’90’s. The toy is attributed to Wilkins Toy Company of Keene, N.H., circa 1890. It has the Policeman, the Dude, the Chinaman, and so on riding in the patrol. It is a well detailed, colorful, rather small toy and very desirable.
     The Spider Phaeton is a rare type cast iron horse drawn toy pleasure vehicle. The coachman sits up in back with folded arms while the lady drives. This fine toy was made by Kenton Hardware Mfg. Co. of Kenton, Ohio, circa 1903.
     The Coach is an excellent example of fine detail in the horse drawn pleasure type of cast iron toy. It was made by Wilkins Toy Company, circa 1892, and undoubtedly is the best type coach in its carriage category ever produced. When pulled along the horses move rocking up and down, and the doors are hinged for opening and closing.
     The Monkey On Tricycle bell ringer, is a product of the J. & E. Stevens Company. It was patented in 1883 and appears in a number of their catalogs of the period. When pulled along, the Monkey moves its legs as though riding the tricycle and the bell rings by motivation of the rear wheels. It is painted in bright appropriate colors.
     Another fine bell toy shown is the Ding Dong Bell made by Gong Bell Mfg. Co. of East Hampton, Conn. It appears in their L 1 Catalog for the years 1903 and 1904. When the toy is pulled the bell is caused to swing back and forth and ring merrily along.
     Last, but by far not least, is the great Kenton Steamer Fire Engine. It is probably the finest pumper type toy fire engine ever made. The detail is unusually well done and it is a very colorful large piece. Overall it measures 26½ inches long and the three realistic action horses are 11 inches long. It has been said by some that Ives made the finest cast iron toys of all times, but this simply isn’t fact. Kenton, Hubley, Wilkins, Pratt & Letchworth, and several other concerns made cast iron toys that in numbers of cases surpass anything ever produced by Ives. Please understand this does not imply that Ives did not make some excellent toys as they most certainly did do so. However, their general line, and understand we are speaking of cast iron toys, most certainly did not surpass everyone else’s. The Kenton fire engine pictured on the cover was made by Kenton Hardware Company, circa 1915, and, by the way, if anyone notices that the word "Manufacturing" is left out of the company name this time, it is because the word was dropped from their name sometime after 1903.
     Of noteworthy interest is the fact that the six cast iron toys as detailed here are all in fine original condition with no repairs and excellent paint. All figures, drivers and riders, are original.

The Fourth Musical Savings Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1967

     It would seem safe to assume since mechanical banks have been collected for so many years now that no other mechanical bank was made using the name Musical Saving Bank when three different types are known to exist already (see HOBBIES, May, 1966).
     Well this isn’t the case, as there is another type, quite different from the other three, particularly appearancewise. This bank is all metal with the exception of the wood sounding base upon which the musical mechanism is mounted inside the bank. The Musical Saving Bank pictured is our choice as No. 152 in the numerical classification, although it should be numerically with the other three. There isn’t much we can do about this, however, as it is not impossible that a fifth type exists, unknown to collectors today, which could turn up at any time. This is rather unlikely but it could happen, and that’s why it’s difficult to list or class banks in any permanent order. After all, a Coasting Bank or Japanese Ball Tosser is sure to turn up sooner or later, and when this happens the bank, in either case, should be ranked far up the list. This also applies where the rarity of a bank is concerned. For example, let’s take the case of the Schley Bottling Up Cervera Bank. The first specimen of this bank turned up about 25 years ago, then to the best of the writer’s knowledge, no others were found until the past year, and in the last year’s time two others have been found! This is one of the many fascinating phases in collecting mechanical banks—you just never know what may show up next. The unpredictable and unknown factors involved are stimulating and maintain an interest level at all times—there is no point of near boredom or reaching a point where you can’t go beyond. You might say it’s almost impossible for any one person ever to own a complete collection of all known mechanical banks, but you can keep trying. And to sum this up, the purpose of the writer in the articles is to convey information on the individual mechanical banks, and in his booklet to grade them and so on in as permanent a fashion as possible. In other words, the numerical angle of the articles is not the important phase and it more or less bears out one of the writer’s favorite expressions—"there is nothing so permanent as change."
     The Musical Saving Bank pictured is from the collection of Hubert B. Whiting of Wakefield, Mass. Mr. Whiting, after reading the article on the three other Musical Saving Banks, was kind enough to advise the writer of the unusual specimen in his possession. It formerly belonged to a man named Bishop who has since passed on and so no information is available beyond that point as to where Mr. Bishop obtained the bank, and so on. Fortunately on the back of the bank in the metal stamping appears "Swiss Made," and across from that "Swiss Patent No. 102591." The Swiss Patent Offices were more than completely cooperative with the writer and furnished him with an original copy of the patent through the Bureau Federal De La Propriete Intellectuelle. The patent on the Musical Saving Bank was issued to Madam Alice Reuge Ste-Croix Vaud, Suisse, March 1, 1923. The text of the patent is in French and there is a page of drawings, Figure 1 through 5, depicting the method of operation. The text goes into detail as to the music only playing upon the insertion of a coin.
     The bank pictured is in fine original condition. It is a rather sturdy tin stamping in the decorative form as shown. It is painted entirely in black with a silver color medallion showing the Amsterdam Rijks Museum. To the left and back of the top of the bank there is a coin slot with the word "Coin" along the slot. On the back of the bank there is a small clock-like key. This is first wound and then a coin is dropped into the slot. The music starts and plays two pieces, The Bells of Monastery and Rigoletto. It stops automatically after both pieces are played—ready for another coin. Coins are removed by means of a key lock in the bottom base, which is hinged and opens completely. The inside of the bank is well constructed with a chute for the coins to operate the lever, and the music mechanism is completely enclosed in a metal box so there is no interference when coins accumulate inside the bank. The metal box has the wooden sounding base as previously mentioned.
     In closing, it bears mention that another specimen of this bank is now known to exist, and the medallion on the front is that of an English setter in the pointing position. This example also plays two pieces, however, they are Santa Lucia and Carmen Toreador. Other than the medallion and the musical renditions, this bank and the one belonging to Mr. Whiting are identical.

The Mary Roebling Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1967

     We divert from our usual dissertation on old or antique mechanical banks this month to give recognition to a very unusual animated savings device of recent manufacture. The writer in his normal routine is not concerned with so-called modern mechanical banks which are being made today. There are some very clever ones such as the Haunted House, Rover, Fingers, and the Hole-In-One. These include operations by battery powered motors and wind-up. They undoubtedly in future years will become collector’s items. However, there is no question, while of modern manufacture, the Mary Roebling Bank is and will increasingly become a desirable bank to collectors. There are reasons for this, of course, and they mainly surround the circumstances under which the bank was made.
     To begin with, Mrs. Mary G. Roebling is Chairman of the Board of the Trenton Trust Company in Trenton, N.J., and in addition to being a very active busy woman she sets aside certain time to the avocation of collecting mechanical banks and has a deep interest in her collection. Sometime prior to 1963, the 75th anniversary of her bank the Trenton Trust, Mrs. Roebling came up with the idea of creating a mechanical bank to commemorate the occasion. She wanted the bank to have the characteristics of the old cast iron type and be made in the same fashion and material. This required a bit of ingenuity on her part, and to begin with she acquired the services of the well known sculptor, Anthony Greenwood of Philadelphia, Pa. He worked for some six months to develop the original idea and two working models were made. These at a later date completely and mysteriously disappeared.
     It was decided by Mrs. Roebling to make a limited edition of 200 of the banks, each to be numbered. The Grey Iron Casting Company of Mt. Joy, Pa., made the bank from designs by J.E. Brubaker. The Mary Roebling-Trenton Trust mechanical bank was designed to symbolize the free enterprise system upon which our country’s economy thrives — to commemorate 25 years during which Mrs. Roebling has served as President and Chairman of the Board of Trenton Trust—to show the bank’s location, significant in historic times, as well as today, where it is the highest building in Trenton.
     As to the mechanical bank itself (see Picture 1), the base is simulated red cobblestone like long gone streets of old Trenton, where a historic battle for freedom was fought and won by our Revolutionary ancestors. On this base stands a scaled down replica of the Trenton Trust bank building painted cream with brown accents, each window and door of its 14 stories clearly defined. Atop the building is a large white and gold sign "Trenton Trust," much like the electric sign on the actual building. Seated on a gray office type chair is a figure representation of Mary Roebling dressed in a blue dress with white ruffled collar. Her hair is gold with highlighting and she holds in her lap a large gold key with the word "Security" inscribed thereon. The front panel of the base is white with "75th Anniversary" in gold. The rear panel in the same colors has the wording "Trenton Trust F.D.I.C." The bottom base plate contains the following information cast in raised letters: "Created for Mary Roebling by Anthony Greenwood – Sculptor; J.E. Brubaker – Designer; Grey Iron Casting Company – Founders; one of 200 Pieces, ‘The Brotherhood For Survival of Free Enterprise’ — M.G.R."
     The bank operates as follows: A coin of any size, including a silver dollar, is first placed on the key as shown in Picture 1. The Trenton Trust sign on top of the building is then pressed down and it snaps into place (the bank is pictured with the sign up to better illustrate same). A lever, located to the back of the building, is then pressed down. Mrs. Roebling’s right arm raises and moves forward causing the coin to slide from the key into the bank, Picture 2. At the same time her head turns toward the building and the sign atop the building springs into the position as shown. All parts except the sign return automatically to position on releasing the lever. The sign is again pushed down and the bank is ready for another coin.
     As previously mentioned, each bank is numbered and, of course, Mrs. Roebling has No. 1. A limited number were presented by Mrs. Roebling to certain individuals on the occasion of a special event held by her to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Trenton Trust in 1963. Other well known outstanding possessors of the bank are General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Hon. James J. Saxon, Governor Richard Hughes, Brig. General David Sarnoff, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, Drew Pearson, Lawrence Litchfield, Jr., and many more.
     The circumstances, reasons, and so on surrounding the production of the Mary Roebling Bank are quite unique. It is an authentically produced limited production item. As years go on there is no question as to its becoming an increasingly valuable desirable collector’s item. The writer on the occasion of a recent visit with Mrs. Roebling spent a very interesting and entertaining Sunday afternoon with her in her town house in Trenton. During and after a fine luncheon we discussed her mechanical bank hobby and her banking business. Despite a demanding schedule, Mrs. Roebling finds time for her banks and other collections, including paintings, art work, and even to rare exquisite buttons. Needless to say, the writer was very pleased when on this occasion Mrs. Roebling presented one of her banks to him. She is to be complimented for creating a very unique bank — a modern day mechanical made despite many obstacles and problems of manufacture and made in the tradition and design of the treasured old mechanical banks. In closing it is of interest to note that Mrs. Roebling used Bank No. 1 as the centerpiece of the luncheon table.

Kick Inn Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1967

     Mechanical banks made of wood with colored paper representations thereon are quite unusual and as a matter of fact only two are known to have been manufactured in this fashion. One, the Kick Inn Bank, is our choice as No. 153 in the numerical classification, and the second is the very rare Presto Savings Bank (HOBBIES, March, 1960). While these are the only known mechanical banks made this way, there were many other type toys made of paper covered wood. These included fire pumpers, hook and ladders, trains, boats, carriages, and many, many types of games, including blocks. It’s surprising that toys of this nature, many of which were made in the 1880’s, have survived to the present time. While they certainly aren’t plentiful, they do turn up now and then. This type toy, including the two mechanical banks, were and are, in the final analysis, in a rather fragile category and could not stand any degree of dampness or moisture with respect to the paper covering. Transversely, being made of wood, they had a certain sturdiness about them whereby some have survived through the years.
     The Presto Savings Bank, as mentioned, is a very rare mechanical bank and an early item, having been made in the period of 1885. The Kick Inn Bank is a considerably later item, 1921, and not even remotely as hard to come by as the Presto. There is no comparison in this area between the two banks, and as matter of fact the Presto Savings Bank is a much more finely produced item. It is rather strange when one considers the span of years between the two banks and the fact no other types are known to have been made in paper covered wood during this long period of time.
     The Kick Inn Bank was patented February 15, 1921 by Melville E. Stoltz of St. Louis, Mo. It was manufactured by the Presto Novelty Company, also of St. Louis. The writer is indebted to Arnold Stoltz of Beverly Hills, Calif., the son of Melville E. Stoltz, for background information concerning his father, the bank, and so on. His father started making toys when German imports were cut off by World War I, and one of his first was a toy theatre complete and with Cinderella in a break away pumpkin that became a coach. At the time of the Kick Inn Bank, while the original label states it was made by Presto Novelty Manufacturing, in reality this was a name used by his father when he actually had the Wilder Manufacturing Company of St. Louis make the bank. In other words, Wilder, who made other toys on their own, was the manufacturer for Presto Novelty. Mr. Melville Stoltz died in 1937 at the age of 81 and one newspaper referred to him as a "Pied Piper" since he always had a bunch of neighborhood children on his doorstep. He had been a pal of Diamond Jim Brady, manager for David Warfield, and press agent for Flo Ziegfield, and while he had walked with the great in his day, his happiest times, according to his son, was to see a child’s pleasure when playing with one of the toys he had produced.
     The Kick Inn Bank shown is in excellent complete original condition and colors are as follows: The inn has a red chimney and a dark green roof. Front, back and sides of the inn are covered with paper showing light blue windows and stone block. The name "Kick Inn" appears in black under the peak of the roof in front. A red tin canopy is over the entrance way. The inn and mule are on a light green base. The mule is gray with red and white mouth effect. He has floppy leather ears and a hemp tail. A red tin operating lever is on the base between the mule and the inn. The underside of the base has four rather thick round red felt pads, one on each corner. Also on the underside a paper label gives directions for assembling the bank. This shows the name "Kick Inn" and underneath "Mechanical Toy Savings Bank," then appears the patent date and the manufacturer "Presto Novelty Mfg. Co."
     The bank as pictured is ready for operation. A coin has been placed in the slot in the canopy and the rear legs of the mule set on the lever. When the lever is pressed the mule pivots on his front legs and his rear legs kick out and up. In so doing he kicks the canopy holding the coin. The canopy is hinged so that the coin is thrown into a coin slot in the inn over the canopy. The mule who ends up more or less standing on his head is then reset by hand for further action and operation.
     Frankly speaking, the Kick Inn Bank is a somewhat crude mechanical bank and has a certain almost primitive hand-made look about it, particularly as compared to the other mechanicals. There is no question, however, as to its being an authentic commercially produced item and it’s a must to have in a collection. Its primitive or hand-made appearance does have a certain appeal, as for example note in the picture the way the wire springs are simply fastened to the front and rear legs and completely exposed. In any event, that’s the way the bank was made and it makes an interesting addition to a collection.

Organ Bank, Miniature
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1967

     The old time organ grinder and his monkey are brought to mind once again as we reach No. 154 in the numerical classification with our choice of the Organ Bank (Miniature) to occupy this position. To begin, there are four similar but different mechanical banks all with the name Organ Bank thereon. They are all covered by the same patents and made by the same company. First, and the rarest, is the one under discussion. Then comes the largest type organ with the boy and girl on top along with the monkey. Third is the same type and size with a dog and cat in place of the boy and girl. Fourth and last is the single monkey on top a medium size organ with the same action as the monkeys on the two larger type. There is a fifth type organ bank with the same subject matter but not related to this group of four, and this is the Little Jocko Musical Bank (HOBBIES, April, 1960). This bank plays music when the crank is turned, while the Organ Bank group of four all ring a bell or bells. Last of related subject matter are the Monkey Bank (which depicts the organ grinder with the organ and the monkey) and possibly, if one wants to include it in the category, the Organ Grinder And Performing Bear (HOBBIES, February, 1958).
     The Organ Bank (Miniature) is covered by two patents and this information appears as follows, cast in raised letters on the underside of the base of the bank:
Pat May 31 81
Pat June 13 82
     Above this appears the number ‘235’ followed by four vertical dots. This had to do with the number and assembly of the bank. Both patents, May 31, 1881 and June 13, 1882, were issued to Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., and their concern, Kyser & Rex, manufactured the bank. The patent of May 31, 1881 covers a single monkey sitting atop a medium size organ with sound produced by means of pins on a shaft striking a musical fork. The patent of June 13, 1882 covers the large size organ with monkey and the cat and dog. This patent well defines the sound as produced by means of bells, rather than a musical fork, and this feature, along with others, were considered as important over the patent of 1881. While the four different type organ banks were produced under one or both patents, the writer has never seen any with the musical fork sound mechanism. All, to the best of his knowledge, utilized one, two or three bells in their musical sound effect.
     The Organ Bank (Miniature) pictured is a fine condition, completely original specimen of this bank. It is one of the smallest of all the mechanical banks and its size can be well judged by comparison with the penny resting in the slot as shown. The paint is in practically mint condition with colors as follows: The organ is an overall brown with outlining of various sections in gold. The star on the front and the leaf-like design work underneath is in silver. The name Organ Bank and the crank handle are in gold. The brown monkey wears a yellow jacket with red trim. He has white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. His hat is blue with a red plume. A gold tray or plate in his right hand completes the coloring.
     The operation of the bank is simple but effective. A coin is first placed as shown in the picture, then the crank is turned clockwise. The monkey revolves counter clockwise and pushes the coin with his tray or plate on into the slot where it drops inside the bank. As the crank is turned and the monkey revolves a bell rings inside the bank. So it is good appropriate action for the subject matter represented.
     In closing, it bears mention that the action of the monkey on the Organ Bank (Miniature) is entirely different than those on the other three Organ Banks. In each case of the other three, the monkey tips his hat with his left arm and raises and lowers the coin tray with his right arm, which action, of course, is even more apropos to the subject matter. The Organ Bank (Miniature) is a desirable little bank to have in a collection and is rather difficult to find in comparable condition to the one pictured.
Correction:
     Re Kick Inn Bank article (HOBBIES, March, 1967), the third paragraph should read "The Kick Inn Bank was patented February 15, 1921," not 1821.

Bureau Bank (Serrill Patent)
Freedmens Bureau Bank
Give Me A Penny Bank

PART I
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1967

     There is a group of mechanical banks whose operation is based on the principle of a trap door effect, in that they all have in common a drawer with a tilting or false bottom. The majority of these banks are made of wood, however, there are several made of cast iron. The most interesting of this specific group are those made of wood, and these include the Bureau or Chest Bank in several types, the two different types of the Trick Savings Bank, Bureau Bank (Serrill Patent), Give Me A Penny Bank, and the Freedmens Bureau. Those in metal are the Chandlers Bank and the Presto Bank.
     At present we are concerned with the three best of those made of wood, and these are Give Me A Penny Bank, Bureau (Serrill Patent), and the Freedmens Bureau. It is sort of a toss-up as to the numerical ranking of these three banks. There are those who prefer the Give Me A Penny with its interesting added action of the rising picture, then others would lean toward the Freedmens Bureau with its close alliance to the Freedman’s Bank. Last, and certainly not least, is the Bureau (Serrill Patent) which has the distinction of being the earliest known patented, dated mechanical bank. This bank is our choice as No. 155 in the numerical classification, and in order, the Freedmens Bureau No. 156, and Give Me A Penny No. 157. Undoubtedly there will be individuals who will not agree with the order of the ranking of these three banks. However, it is not earth-shaking one way or the other as each is a very fine bank in itself and any one could be ahead of the other two with some justification in each case.
     The Bureau (Serrill Patent) was patented February 16, 1869 by James Serrill of Philadelphia, Pa. So there will be no confusion as to the date of January 26, 1869 as shown on the bank, please note the patent itself states as follows: "Letters Patent #87,006 dated February 16, 1869; antedated January 26, 1869." This bank then is the earliest known patented mechanical bank. (Hall’s Excelsior usually placed in this position was patented December 21, 1869, a little over ten months later, since it was antedated December 7. Keep in mind, of course, that Hall’s Excelsior is the earliest known patented cast iron mechanical bank.) Mr. Serrill, in the patent papers, refers to his toy money box as a bureau and specifies the name "The Magic Savings Bank." To the best of the writer’s knowledge, however, this name was not used in connection with the bank when it was commercially produced, nor does it appear on the bank itself. It is interesting to note that Serrill’s name is spelled in two different ways in the patent, Serrill and Serrell.
     The bank shown, Figure 1 and Figure 2, is in fine original condition and is in the extensive collection of Leon Perelman of Philadelphia, Pa. He purchased the bank some years ago from an antique dealer in Sanatoga, Pa. Figure 1 pictures the bank with the workable top drawer in the closed position. The two lower drawers are representations and do not open. Figure 2 shows the top drawer open with part of the stenciled wording showing on the bottom of the drawer. This reads as follows: "Phil’a Pa Patented January 26-1869." Above this wording (the photographer was unable to focus this properly) appears "Jas. Serrill Patentee." The bank is finished like a piece of walnut or mahogany furniture, varnished and so on.
     The operation of the bank is simple. The top drawer is pulled open and a coin is placed therein. The drawer is closed and upon reopening the coin has disappeared. This is caused by the tilting bottom of the top drawer. It is constructed in such fashion that the bottom of the drawer drops down at the back when it is in the closed position. This cannot be detected when the drawer is open since it immediately raises back up into normal position when the drawer is pulled forward. It’s really very simple action but quite clever and rather puzzling to those who are not familiar with the operation.
     It bears mention in concluding on the Bureau Bank (Serrill Patent) that the patent papers include coverage of a cloth bag-like effect for the inside of the bank, into which coins would drop after sliding from the drawer bottom. Although not stated in the patent, this could have had a possible deadening effect on the sound made by the coins dropping into the bank.
     (To be continued in the June Issue)

Bureau Bank (Serrill Patent)
Freedmens Bureau Bank
Give Me A Penny Bank

PART II
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1967

     The Freedmens Bureau, Figure 3, is also in fine original condition and was obtained by the writer through the good help of Ross Trump of Medina, Ohio. The operation and general setup of this bank is the same as the Bureau (Serrill Patent). While a commercially produced item, no dates are shown on the bank and it is doubtful it was ever patented. The wording on the bank as shown in the picture is of considerable interest and appears as follows: On the top of the bureau in rather large gold stenciled letters is the name "Freedmens Bureau." The letters form a curve and in the center of the name is a gold decoration. On the front, also stenciled in gold letters, the top drawer in curved fashion has "Now You See It;" the center drawer has a decoration with "&" in the center; and the bottom drawer "Now You Don’t." This bank is a well made small size chest in walnut and finished appropriately in varnish and so on. The two lower drawers are representations and do not operate. As to the age of the bank, it is reasonable to assume it was made in the approximate period of the Freedman’s Bank, which would place it circa 1882. It could, however, be earlier than this.
     The Give Me A Penny Bank is an exceptionally well made mechanical bank. It is in complete original fine condition and was obtained by the writer some years ago from the late Dave Hollander. It is not a bureau but does have the same type operating top drawer as the previous two banks. The bank as pictured in Figure 4 has the drawer open to receive the coin. When opened the drawer causes the picture of the monkey to rise into position as shown in the photo. In closing the drawer the picture lowers down inside the bank so the top is completely flush with the top of the bank. On the front of the bank under the drawer appears a fine representation of a lion’s head.
     The bank is nicely finished varnished walnut. The lion has black eyes and a red mouth. The monkey and the wording are stenciled on a plain unfinished light wood. The name "Give Me A Penny" is in black. The monkey is brown with a red jacket and blue trousers. He has a red protruding tongue, yellow tie and sleeve cuffs, and holds a black hat in his left hand. On the other side there is a rather ornate stencil in black and the large letter S is formed in the stencil. This bank has a key lock drawer in the lower back. This drawer is lined with a carpet-like material and the coins drop therein from the top front drawer.
     In conclusion on the Give Me A Penny Bank, we are faced once again with a bank having no dates thereon, no background information to the best of the writer’s knowledge, and no certainty as to the period in which it was made. There is no question as to its having considerable age or its being a commercially produced item. It is hoped that some future research will turn up definite information on the bank. There is the possibility, unlike the previous two banks made in the United States, that it is of English origin. This could account for the lack of background information, but this is only a guess.
     The three banks pictured, Bureau Bank (Serrill Patent), Freedmens Bureau, and the Give Me A Penny Bank, are difficult to find items and quite rare. As of this writing, the number of fingers on one hand can account for all known specimens that exist in collections to date.

Elephant with Tusks on Wheels
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1967

     Discovery of a heretofore unknown mechanical bank is always of great interest to all collectors of these desirable toy saving devices. The bank we have chosen as No. 158 in the numerical classification, Elephant With Tusks On Wheels, more or less comes into this category. The terminology "more or less" is used simply because the bank has apparently laid dormant and unnoticed in one of the pioneer collections for some years. The collection was that of Andrew Emerine of Fostoria, Ohio, and the writer had no recollection of seeing the bank in his collection in years past. There’s no doubt, of course, that he simply overlooked it. In any event, Edward Mosler, Jr., purchased the Emerine collection in recent times and not too long thereafter the bank came into the writer’s possession through the good help of Mr. Mosler.
The bank pictured is similar to, with marked differences, the Light Of Asia (HOBBIES, October, 1956) and the Jumbo Bank (HOBBIES, January, 1962). All three, in the writer’s opinion, were undoubtedly made by the same concern. The differences are quite obvious when the Elephant With Tusks On Wheels is compared with the other two. There’s no name on the bank for one thing and for another the elephant has tusks. The platform on which the elephant stands is entirely different and the four wheels are in slots in the platform itself. The wheels are not heart type, but rather a conventional spoke type. They are smaller in diameter, necessarily so as to fit the slots. The blanket, while shaped like that on the Jumbo, has different edging and design work thereon.
     The operation of the three banks is identical — a coin inserted in the back of each respective elephant causes the head to nod up and down. All three also share the desirable feature of being pull toys, as well as mechanical banks. The figure of the elephant in each case is the same size and shape. When displayed together the banks form a unique, attractive, interesting group.
     Colors vary somewhat on each bank. The Elephant With Tusks On Wheels has the same green color base, but there is no gold highlighting as on the other two. The elephant is painted a similar brown to that of Jumbo. He has large white eyes with black pupils, a red mouth, and white tusks. His blanket is red with yellow edging or fringe representation. Complete colorings on the Jumbo and the Light Of Asia have already been covered in their individual articles. All three elephants, by the way, are fastened to their bases in the same fashion — by means of bent-over lugs cast in the right front and left rear legs.
     The date of manufacture of the Elephant With Tusks On Wheels is well established by an 1885-1886 Salchow & Righter Catalog, which has a nice picture on Page 11 advertising the bank for sale. The old catalog picture is practically identical to the photo of the bank shown. Above the catalog picture appears the simple wording "Elephant Bank." Below the picture, quoting from the text, appears the following:
     "Size 3 in. high, 4 in. long, 2 in. wide 48. The animal moves his head when a coin is deposited. It is a toy as well as a bank. Painted natural colors and packed one-half dozen in a box.
          PRICE, $1.75 PER DOZEN"
     The writer has had this old catalog in his possession for years and often wondered if in fact a bank was made like this, or if it was an unintentional misrepresented picture used to illustrate the Jumbo. To explain the writer’s point — on Page 9 of the same catalog the "Kicking Mule Bank" is pictured for sale. The picture used is that of the toy Kicking Mule, not the bank. While similar in appearance, they are quite different. In any event, this semi-mystery is now cleared up and we know that the Elephant With Tusks On Wheels is an actuality.
     In closing, it bears mention that the writer is now convinced that partial confusion by early collectors as to the proper heart wheels on the Jumbo often resulted in their mistakenly replacing them with the improper wheels of a spoke type. The Jumbo and the Light Of Asia were made with the heart type wheels only, to the best of the writer’s knowledge. He has never seen what could be considered original wheels of any other type on either bank.
     A final note — the Elephant With Tusks On Wheels should be further up (lower number) in the numerical classification, along with the Light Of Asia and before Jumbo. As mentioned in previous articles with regard to banks in the same circumstances (recent new discoveries, and the like), there isn’t much we can do about this as after all they are the exception, not the rule, and must be included in the classification articles.

Correction: The illustration of "The Give Me a Penny" bank in the June issue was erroneously printed upside down. Sorry!

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - August, 1967

     A rather interesting, informative and noteworthy experience occurred recently on the occasion of the writer going over some of the Emerine papers with Edwin Mosler, Jr. Mr. Mosler came into possession of the papers when he purchased the Emerine collection of mechanical banks last year. This was one of the few remaining intact collections of the so-called pioneer mechanical bank collectors.
     One of the more outstanding papers involved from an information and background standpoint consisted of an analysis dated 1940 of 127 of the rarer and more desirable mechanical banks considered to be such at the time. Nine of the early collectors of mechanical banks — Corby, Hull, Ferguson, Meyer, Jones, Emerine, Downes, Thayer, and Wieder — were listed in columns, and each bank of the 127 was checked under the individual’s name who possessed an example of the bank. Of considerable interest was the fact that out of 127 different banks only 8 were owned collectively by all nine collectors. These banks were the Bull Dog Savings Bank, Chimpanzee, Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat, Dentist, Calamity, New Bank, Horse Race, and, of all things, the Uncle Sam Bust, a fake bank then and now.
     In the list are a number of fakes, a few patterns, a few semi-mechanicals, and several items that are not banks at all. The heading or title of the list is "Mechanical Banks Rarity List", "Summary of 127 Items, October 1940". The rating of the nine collectors at the time insofar as the 127 items are concerned is as follows: Corby – 108, Jones – 102, Emerine – 64, Wieder – 60, Meyer – 49, Ferguson – 43, Thayer – 38, Hull – 27, and Downes – 17. Downes and Hull, the two smallest possessors in the group, were among the earlier collections to be broken up or sold. Corby and Jones, the two leaders by far in the group, are also collections that have been sold and broken up. And then, of course, the third place leader, the Emerine collection, was sold last year.
     The list, as prepared by the group of nine collectors, has very definite helpful information with respect to today’s collectors of mechanical banks. This in spite of the fact that a number of collectors at the time did not choose to join in. These include Marshall, the Evans collection, Chrysler, the writer, and a number of others. There may have been various reasons at the time why the group of nine prepared the list and also reasons on the part of those who did not participate.
     Some of the individuals in preparing the list, in addition to wanting to know what other collectors of mechanical banks had in their collections plus a summary of how many of each bank was known to exist, perhaps had the idea of trying to control the market and prices of certain rare banks. Naturally this was completely unsuccessful from the price angle, as after all, there has never been, and most likely never will be, any set price on any mechanical bank, much less the rarer, more desirable ones. So all that would be accomplished by a price control effort would be to let some other collectors get some nice specimens for their collections. All one has to do if they want to question set prices on mechanical banks is to check old sales lists of Sherwood, then move to Miller and Ball, on into the Hollander-Chrysler sale list, and then to date, and the answer is clear—supply and demand and then what the individual collector is willing to pay. That’s the price situation.
     Back to the list of 1940! Of considerable interest is the fact that a number of the rare, desirable mechanical banks have remained, with little change in numbers, as to the known specimens that existed then and are now known to exist today—some 27 years later. For example:
Ding Dong Bell — Corby and Wieder on the list (Chrysler not included); none since.
Bow-ery Bank — Corby; and still the only known example.
3 Freedman’s Banks in various stages — Ferguson, Emerine, and Meyer; and the only known complete original specimen has turned up since.
Frog on Arched Track — Corby; and only one other has turned up since.
Old Woman In The Shoe — Corby on the list (and Griffith not included); no others since.
Preacher In The Pulpit — Corby only; and one since.
Snake And Frog In Pond — Meyer and Jones; and still the only two.
Turtle Bank — Corby, Hull, and Jones; and none since.
The Target Bank — Corby; and possibly one authentic specimen since.
Clown On Bar — Corby; and only one since.
     There are others but this is sufficient to well illustrate the point. The Bowling Alley is listed showing no owners, however, the late F.W. Wieder did obtain an example of the bank and it is still the only one known to exist.
     Some fake banks listed are Barrel With Arms, Bull and Bear (Chrysler example only known authentic specimen), Bull Charging Boy, Carnival, Cat Chasing Mouse, Lost Dog, Ferris Wheel, Feed the Kitty, Hannibal, Moody and Sanky, Presto (all metal), Uncle Sam Bust, Trick Donkey, and a few others. Of the nine collectors, all owned in varying numbers all the listed fakes. In other words, three had Barrel With Arms, all nine had the Uncle Sam Bust, and seven had the Bull and Bear, and so on. Of course, in 1940 most of the collectors did not then realize that the fake banks they had were actually fakes. Others would try to justify their fakes in spite of their own suspicions that they were not authentic banks. Of course, this was just fooling one’s self. It was an interesting period in mechanical bank collecting — there was good activity, competition really generated, and mechanical banks rapidly got off the ground as desirable collector’s items. A thirst for knowledge and background information on mechanical banks developed and grew, as little was known about mechanicals then by most who collected them.
     Activity and competition has continued through the years to date. And since the 1940 list our knowledge of these fine mechanical toy savings devices has made great strides and continues to do so. Many fine rare discoveries have been made since the list was compiled and we will try to go into this at another time.

Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1967

     There has been some good action in recent months in mechanical bank circles insofar as "finds" are concerned. Outstanding above all else is the fact that a Seek Him Frisk Bank (Dog Trees Cat), after all the years that mechanical banks have been collector’s items, has finally turned up, and it’s a great bank with top action. This bank will be written up shortly—possibly in next month’s issue. Seek Him Frisk, by the way, was listed in the 1940 group of banks which was discussed in last month’s (August) issue. Even then it was a sought for bank, but no possessors among the nine collectors.
     Another Giant In Tower has been found and this is noteworthy since it is a very scarce, difficult bank to find. It is English, of course, and of rather early manufacture as English banks go, having been made in the 1892 period. For details on the Giant In Tower see HOBBIES (March, 1961). It bears mention that the Giant In Tower makes a great companion bank to the American made Giant Bank (HOBBIES, July, 1952). The two banks make quite an attractive display when placed together.
     Noteworthy, too, is the occasion whereby another Jonah & The Whale (Jonah Emerges From Whale’s Mouth) comes to light. The fortunate collector in this case is Hubert Whiting, and he located a fine original specimen through a party in Long Island, N.Y. It is a very tough mechanical bank to come by and less than the fingers on one hand can account for all examples known to exist. This, of course, is one of the great banks, and for further information on same see the HOBBIES, May 1953, article wherein the Emerine specimen is discussed.
     George Bauer, collector and well known repairer of mechanical banks, recently obtained a Wimbledon Bank, and this is certainly worthy of mention as it is a fine specimen with the original flag, which is exceptional, as the flag is usually missing. The Wimbledon is one of the fine mechanicals and there are not too many around. It is also one of the early English banks and for detailed information see HOBBIES article, November, 1966.
     Another Bureau Bank (Serrill Patent) has turned up through the good help of Mrs. Lillian W. Childs. Mrs. Childs is a doll collector and she had kept the Serrill Patent Bureau in with her doll collection as it was sold to her years ago as a salesman’s sample of a doll’s chest. This is a rather difficult item to come by and, of course, is important since it is the earliest known dated patented mechanical bank. See HOBBIES, May, 1967, for information on the Serrill Bank.
     Of some interest to all mechanical bank collectors and particularly to those who like or specialize in the animal type, in particular elephants, a different type Elephant mechanical (at least to the writer) has come to the writer’s attention. Most all collectors of the mechanicals are familiar with the two Gray Elephants, Large and Small, which simply move their trunks when a coin is inserted in their backs. These are No. 66 and 67 in the writer’s mechanical bank booklet. In each case they have a Howdah on their back wherein the coin is inserted. Either bank is rather common and more or less easily obtainable. The Elephant in question is of similar appearance and action, however, there is no Howdah on his back, but rather a raised lip-like section where the coin is inserted. The trunk moves with more action than Nos. 66 and 67 as it is better constructed. "Pat. Appd. For" appears inside on one of the rear legs and the overall casting of this Elephant is different than the other two. So actually it is a different mechanical bank and adds another to the list of the known mechanicals. Please understand this is not an important item, but it is a bank that meets all requirements of being a mechanical, not a semi-mechanical. It is possible that the writer has overlooked this Elephant on some past occasion, taking for granted it was No. 66, the larger of the common type.
     Some collectors of mechanical banks collect related items in cast iron toys. For example, the Donkey Cart as used on the Bad Accident Bank was made as a pull toy by Stevens. As well as the mechanical bank, they also made an I Always Did ’Spise A Mule toy. This toy has been a puzzle for years due to four lugs on the base that gave every appearance of being axles for some type of wheels. The writer could never justify the lugs being used as wheel axles due to their rather large diameter and the fact that each lug had a rounded capped end as part of the casting. Well at long last patent papers have come up with the answer. James H. Bowen, who also patented the mechanical bank, patented the toy April 22, 1879. In both the drawings and the text it is well defined as to the purpose of the lugs. Fixed pieces or bands of rubber were placed on the lugs and held in position by the capped ends of the lugs. These rubber rests prevented scratching or injury when the toy was played with on a table. In addition, it overcame the tendency of the toy to move when the rider struck the base. Last, they acted as a cushioning effect to ease the strain on the base. For those not familiar with this mechanical bank related toy, it should be explained that the writer has never seen the toy with the pieces or bands of rubber on the lugs. Various collectors over the years have asked if he knew what the lugs were for or what purpose they served. This being a rather early toy, it is most likely that the rubber pieces simply did not last for any great length of time.
     It is with regret that we pass along the information that Andrew Emerine, a pioneer collector of mechanical banks, passed away July 3, 1967 at age 94. In the 1930’s and 40’s Mr. Emerine was very active in collecting mechanical banks and was one of the first to turn up such rare banks as the Jonah & Whale (Jonah Emerges From Whale’s Mouth), John Bull’s Money Box, Wimbledon, Red Riding Hood, Freedman’s Bank, and a number of others. He formulated quite a collection and enjoyed his hobbies which also included animated toy pistols, cigar cutters, animated toys, and a few cast iron toys. All of his collections, however, have been disposed of.

Seek Him Frisk Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - October, 1967

     An occasion of the greatest satisfaction in collecting mechanical banks is that whereby a heretofore unknown mechanical bank is brought to light. As years and more years have gone by since mechanical banks first became collector’s items, the frequency of such an occasion has, of course, percentage-wise decreased. But it still happens, and that’s one of the great, intriguing aspects of collecting these interesting mechanical toy savings devices. So it is with real pleasure that we pass along the information a Seek Him Frisk Bank has been found, and it’s a wonderful bank with lots of good action. This bank then, necessarily so at this point, is No. 159 in the numerical classification. Here again it must be brought out that the Seek Him Frisk belongs far up the list from its present classification, however, the number in itself is not now important and will suffice for present purposes.
     Seek Him Frisk was patented July 19, 1881 by John Murray of New York City. The bank pictured as produced commercially operates as per the patent, with one improved exception. The cat, instead of going straight up the tree, actually goes around and up the tree. This improved action is considerably more attractive and realistic as described further on. Seek Him Frisk is the second of several banks patented by Murray. His first known patented bank (as yet undiscovered to the best of the writer’s knowledge) was May 3, 1881.
     This consisted of a bust type bank wherein the tongue protruded from the mouth of the head. The tongue was counter-balanced so a coin placed thereon caused the tongue to swing inside the mouth and the coin dropped or slid from the tongue hitting another counter-balanced lever inside the bank, which caused the eyes to vibrate up and down.
     Murray patented another bank March 21, 1882 (also undiscovered to the best of the writer’s knowledge). Quoting from the patent papers, this bank was as follows: "Invention consists in a toy savings bank constructed of a slotted platform having the figure of a man and a money-receiving compartment at its rear end and the figure of a hen-coop and a man at its forward end and carrying the figure of a dog connected with it by a slide and a spira