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Banks . . .

That have stood
The Test of Time
Since 1882

For

Fifty-Seven Years
The FIRST NATIONAL BANK
Of Fostoria, Ohio

Has been
Dependable and Progressive
It is recognized as one of the
Outstanding
Banks of Northwestern Ohio

Back in the good old days when THRIFT seemed a virtue, even to the extent of attempting to influence the child to save its pennies, several enterprising iron foundries were competing and striving to produce the most attractive and best selling Mechanical Bank.

These clever and interesting units of mechanism were constructed of intricate parts and timed to perform their respective stunts with promptness and precision. They were sold by the general store as ‘toy banks’ and presented to the boy or girl, often serving as a Christmas gift, and many a Grandfather today recalls with pleasant memory his old boyhood penny bank.

Over six hundred different varieties were made, resulting in many thousand banks being retailed between the years 1860 and 1885, some two hundred and sixty of the six hundred having had moving parts and been known as ‘Mechanical Banks’ while the others are called ‘still banks’.

The common mechanical bank today is one of the many varieties that was produced in vast quantities, while the rare and extremely rare are the few survivors of those whose production was limited to a very few.

It is not difficult to gather in a collection of the first one hundred of the more common banks, but it is quite difficult to acquire the last fifty after the collection has reached two hundred in number.

There are ten outstanding collectors in United States and practically all the known surviving rare banks are included in these collections.

THE
FIRST NATIONAL BANK
of

Fostoria, Ohio
Since 1882

OFFICERS

Andrew Emerine………………President
E.E. Mergenthaler………..Vice-President
Eldren E. Layton……..….Vice-President
R.S. Powley…………………....Cashier

DIRECTORS

Stanton Carle          Eldren E. Layton
Glenn H. Eaton     A.E. Mergenthaler
Andrew Emerine            J.L. Newton
R.S. Powley

Member Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

1939 Emerine Brochure side 1
1939 Emerine Brochure side 2


Text from the magazine ANTIQUES, July 1939, page 22.

ANIMATED TOYS AND
MECHANICAL BANKS
By ANDREW EMERINE

ALLIED to the mechanical penny banks that were cherished by small fry for the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and are today equally prized by collectors, are key-winder toys of about the same period. The iron banks were produced by several foundries in over two hundred different patterns varying in degree of complexity. Some are set in motion by the mere turning of a crank; others are so intricate as to be operated by clockworks. All, however, have one primary function the swallowing of pennies. The key-winder toys, on the other hand, were designed, not to encourage habits of thrift in the young, but purely and solely to amuse.

While cast iron enters into the construction of some, they consist for the most part of jointed wooden figures, dressed in cloth garments. All are equipped with clockworks, wound by a key, which put the pupped through a series of antics for the duration of several minutes. The works are usually cased in walnut boxes of admirably simple construction.

Of the toy characters here illustrated in conjunction with some penny banks, the majority happens to be darkies. Probably the possibilities for animation and caricature suggested by negro subjects appealed quite as strongly to the toy manufactures as to the children who were eventually to wind the keys and watch the little figures spring into lifelike and entertaining activity.

(Web note: Illustrations from a photo copy of the article were not suitable for reproduction.)

PROCLAIM LIBERTY!
The cast-iron soldiers in the illustration below considerably antedate the mechanical toys and banks illustrated on these pages. Carefully modeled and appropriately garbed in painted uniforms of the style of the late 1700's, they were probably made at some time between the Revolution and the War of 1812. The bronze Liberty Bell whose call they have answered is a penny bank, a souvenir of the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876. It is inscribed THE OLD LIBERTY/BELL/PROCLAIM/1776/LIBERTY. The cannon behind the soldiers are os brass and capable of firing an actual discharge. They are somewhat more recent than the bell.

ULYSSES S. GRANT
The Key-winder General actually smokes a small cigar or cigarette. When the clockworks in the box are wound, the effigy raises his left arm, bringing the cigar holder to his lips, and inhales a full draft of smoke; then he lowers his arm, turns his head to the left, and puffs out the smoke. The works run for five minutes, giving him ample time to consume his weed. This toy was found in Washington, D. C., and was probably produced in the late 1860's, during the period of Grant's high popularity.

CONTINENTALS ON GUARD
The squad of iron soldiers, shown in the illustration above, consists of two officers, five privates, and three cavalrymen. They stand guard here before Philadelphia's Independence Hall, which has been reconstructed in three iron versions, equipped to receive penny deposits. These structures, like the Liberty Bell, are banks without mechanically operated parts.


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