of 'Good Old Days' Typified
Ingenious Stunts of Toy Banks
CLEVELAND, 0., March 16 (UP)— In the "good old days," when thrift was a
foremost virtue, children learning to save put their coins in banks and
watched tiny figures do everything from extracting teeth to turning
somersaults on bicycles.
James C. Jones, one of the country's 10 foremost toy bank
collectors, had one when he was a child. Now he has hundreds.
"The only thing that worries me," he said, "is where to put them
all. I've built shelves all over the house, and now I'm starting on the
The toy dentist bank endeavors to make saving less painful by
demonstrating a tooth extraction.
When a coin is inserted, the operator pushes a lever. The dentist
gives a tremendous pull, and topples over backward with the aching
molar. The patient also goes flying when the chair topples over.
"I guess the idea behind that design," Jones said, "is to make the
child so happy that it is not he who is having the tooth pulled that he
will not feel the pain of depositing a nickel he wanted to use for
Of the estimated total of 300 designs used by children of an
earlier decade, Jones has about 250.
"Here's one which was considered a sensation in its time," said
Jones. "It is called the initiating bank."
The collector put a coin on a tray held by a tiny figure bent into
the characteristic posture of a college freshman or other neophyte.
He pulled a lever, an adjacent goat moved. and the buttee, shocked
and grieved, flipped the coin into the mouth of a frog which stood
waiting to play its part in the drama.
Prof. Pug Frog's great bicycle feat must have been an early
thriller, for the professor, seated on a bicycle, made a complete
revolution, together with his vehicle, when the coin was Inserted and
the lever depressed.
"I like this one particularly," Jones said. "It's called the
He, dropped another coin—he said he always carries a pocketful of
pennies—pressed a lever. The figure of a girl pivoted around to what
looked like a series of drawers. The top of the drawer opened, and the
girl swung back again with a candy wafer.
"It's fun—and think of the money saved!" Jones said. "Ill venture
to say that many of our great financiers got their start that way."