Ingenious cast-iron banks, made
by German artisans who came to this country about the middle of the last
century and which helped their owners weather the depression of the '90s,
and were used for savings in the Spanish-American and first world wars,
have been pressed into service again to assist in the purchase of War
Their owner, Monroe F. Dreher, head of the advertising firm which
bears his name, has taken them out of his collection for use by himself
and the employees in his New York and Newark offices and, he told The New
York Sun today, they already have accounted for the purchase of a number
Mr. Dreher, who is interested in all types of antiques, began
collecting the mechanical banks some years ago and has more than sixty of
them. Although all of them are more than half a century old, they still
work without a hitch, some of them depending on springs and others being
operated merely by the weight of a coin.
Several Ingenious Banks.
Possibly the most ingenious is one
which Mr. Dreher has on his own desk at his office in the RCA Building.
When a coin is placed in the beak of an eagle the bird leans forward and
drops it into the nest, where two eaglets open their mouths as though to
be fed. The coin falls between them into the bank and the eaglets squeak
their thanks for the meal. It has swallowed up most of Mr. Dreher's spare
change but it has bought several bonds for Joan, his 12 year-old daughter.
The caller at the Dreher offices gets introduced to the banks at the
start since the receptionist has an unusual one on her desk. The weight of
a coin placed in the hands of Uncle Sam causes a carpet bag beside him to
open. The coin drops in and Uncle Sam's beard moves as though he were
Cordelia Forrest, a space buyer for the company, has on her desk a
trick dog bank. This operates with a spring, a trigger causing the dog to
jump through a clown's hoop and the coin, which has been placed in the
dog's mouth, flies into a barrel.
Pitcher Hurls Coin.
Another strong mechanical bank
is the "Darktown Battery," a pitcher, batter and catcher. The coin is
hurled by the pitcher past the batter, who swings and misses, and the
money falls into a slot in front of the crouching catcher.
One of the most adroit of the banks has a political angle. It is
labeled "Tammany Bank," and shows Boss Tweed pocketing any money that
comes into his hand. The money, placed in the right hand, is dropped into
the vest pocket behind the left arm, folded across the chest, with such
speed that it is hard to follow it with the eye. This bank, incidentally,
is facing a window overlooking Central Park, the sale of which to the city
was listed among the
Boss's major steals.
Mr. Dreher keeps the keys to all the banks and when they are opened
their contents are credited to the bond accounts of the employees who have
them. They are in excess to the 10 per cent the workers have subscribed.
PITCHER AND BOSS TWEED SWELL WAR CHEST
This mechanical bank, called "Darktown Battery," is helping to accumulate
funds for the purchase of war bonds by Monroe F. Dreher, advertising man,
and his employees. With a coin in his hand, the pitcher winds up, then
tosses the metal past the batter, who always strikes out. The coin falls
into the bank where the catcher's glove would be.
This cast iron figure of Boss Tweed,
another mechanical bank, will pocket all money that comes his way. Money
placed in the right hand goes quickly into the vest pocket.
Sun Staff Photo.