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The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Saturday, March 10, 1934

New Yorker’s Hobby Collecting Banks
Isn’t Quite So Simple as It Sounds

NEW YORK, March 10 — Within a stone’s throw of the world’s fattest money vaults, there are more than 200 empty banks, it was discovered today. Some have a few pennies of early nineteenth century vintage left, and one, at least, can boast a silver half-dime, but the most of them are so bare of coins that their discovery would bring a federal bank examiner on the double-quick if they were not toy banks.

The emptiness was, therefore, not a ravage of the depression, according to Dr. Arthur E. Corby, a dentist well known in the financial district here, who has gathered then together from hiding places known only to himself. They were raided by tiny hands, prying out the hoard of pennies and dimes with a knife blade through the narrow crack by which they entered. The patience of their burglary, Dr. Corby said, has saved the china banks for his collection, which, incidentally, was said to be the largest of its kind in the world, and made them very rare. Otherwise they would have had to be smashed to recover their treasure.

Dr. Corby has all kinds of toy banks — china, tin, iron, wood and even glass. For the politically minded, there are two in a class by themselves. On one, a very gay and carefree "Boss" Tweed accepts your offering and solemnly nods his head with an expression suggestive of well-filled caverns below. Beside him on the shelf squats "Boss" Croker, made into a frog in a kind of ferrous pun. This last is a masterpiece of iron cartooning, for he fairly eats the money, and such a voracious leer did the ironworker build into that gaping mouth that the visitor ranks it with the Nast cartoons as a bit of political satire.

There is a fierce bulldog that rises up provocation by a hidden button and snatches the coin from an outstretched hand in a strange reversal of modern banking polity. Near-by, a mule wheels completely around and administers a lively kick to a seated person behind, while the money slips down out of reach. There are trapeze artists and dancers who perform their routines to the chinking tune.

Once the question was asked Dr. Corby by an impertinent visitor why he had not stepped downstairs to Wall Street and bought up a few real banks for his collection, during the recent depression. But the doctor, it appeared, prefers his own less speculative variety.


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