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AVOCATIONS — A Magazine of Hobbies and Leisure, March 1938

by Andrew Emerine

BEING qualified for nothing better than an ordinary small city banker and being influenced possibly by the memory of past experience which did not prove to be of too lucrative a nature, I enjoyed a pipe dream of a variety of bank stock that would stand erect under any punishment it might be subjected to. One that would always appreciate in value, and never be subject to assessments or political annoyance.

This dream of eight years ago is now being realized in the possession of a substantial block of Old Penny Bank Stock which is well above par today and gradually advancing, and certain never to decline as there exists but a limited amount in the entire country.

When starting to collect banks only those that came to my notice were acquired. Had I known what I know today and had a little foresight at the beginning I would have plunged heavily at a time when stock could have been bought at five to ten cents on the dollar, It was not until Norman Sherwood entered the field and touched off the gun powder that we collectors were awakened.

Considerable credit is due Mr. Sherwood for what he has done to promote the Old Penny Bank. Though his study and research, the valuable information he has furnished to the collectors and dealers, the old mechanical bank of sixty-five years ago is placed upon the pedestal where it belongs.

It is generally conceded that Mr. Sherwood is considerably to blame for the rapid rise in Old Penny Bank Stock, and the scramble for rare banks the past few years has been heated, interesting and exciting to say nothing of the pressure on the purse. There would be absolutely no enjoyment or fascination in collecting banks if there were but one or two after them, it is the competition and scrap and final victory or disappointment that makes it all worth while.

The most amusing contest for a single rare bank that I recall occurred a few years ago when a lady in the East announced the finding of a very desirable bank in the attic of an old Cape Cod house, and offered it to the first person who would place $35.00 in her hand. At least five of us beat the others to it and secured the bank, and then only to learn that each of us was the owner of a clever old time "Forty Niner" cigar cutter.

There is one single bank in my collection that has affected my finances more than all the rest. It is a bank that was given to me, being the Circus Bank and having come from Mrs. Emerine’s family attic.

Two shelves of Old Penny Banks in the collection of the author.


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