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ANTIQUES, July, 1932

The Editor's Attic — by Homer Eaton Keyes, Editor
Helps for Young Hoarders

AN ARTICLE on old-time iron banks for children, which was published in ANTIQUES for October 1926, attracted not a little attention. Now from Andrew Emerine, of Fostoria, Ohio, the Attic has received photographs of another group of these ingenious mechanical devices, many of which were calculated to provide a full cent’s worth of fun for every coin cast into them.

32-07_Emerine.jpg (16012 bytes)

Here we have an eagle’s nest. On pressure of the snake-head lever, the mother eagle spreads her wings, tilts her body, and drops the coin into the nest, while her two eaglets in turn raise their bodies, open their mouths, and emit a distinct chirp.

William Tell shoots with a true aim that carries the coin into the castellated fortress behind his son’s head. Uncle Sam drops the saving into a carpetbag that opens and closes, while Uncle’s goatee wags in evidence of satisfaction. Turning a hand-organ crank inspires a monkey to drop his coin and tip his cap, while dog and cat revolve, and chime bells ring. A small frog lying on his back kicks the coin toward a larger frog, which opens its capacious mouth to receive the offering. Place a coin on the bulldog’s nose, pull his tail, and he grabs the coin and swallows it. And so on.

According to Mr. Emerine, about sixty different kinds of mechanical banks were made. None, however, reveals the maker’s name, though many record the date of patent application. Evidently these amusing articles were first placed on the market about fifty years ago, presumably for distribution as Christmas presents calculated to encourage thrift in the young. While such banks, in so far as known, have paid no dividends, they all pay one hundred cents on the dollar.


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