12 Kenwood Road,
I have shipped by todays Railway Express the Jolly Nigger, Straw Hat, together with your Home Bank.
Now for comment on the Home Bank ..
I have studied this bank very thoroughly, and examined all the interior constructional detail, and find some idea of the dating of this bank, but have been unsuccessful so far. It is unquestionably, in my opinion, a rarity, and I am frank to say that I have never seen one, nor handled one before. I do not know of one in any of the many collections I have seen, so I think you have something there. I believe it was made in the 1920s or possibly a little earlier, but I may be all wrong, and will withhold positive opinion until I have made further research. Of course the bank looks quite new, but that has no bearing on its desirability, nor its age either. It may have been up in an attic for quite a few years. This is true with many mechanical iron banks, and are sometimes found in almost new paint condition.
In examining the interior, I immediately felt that something was either missing or broken, and after a few hours of study, found what was wrong. If you will notice the wire which is looped through the upper part, near the roof, you will agree with me, that this serves no purpose, as it is. It was there for some reason, and I solved it by the following conclusion. This wire is broken at both ends .it originally formed a loop, which extended under the curved hook, in order to hold the receipts which were ejected, and also served as an entry in order to insert new receipts, by simply unhooking the loop and re-hooking it again .very easily repaired.
I would, by all means, get this bank, as it looks like a good one to me. As far as the price is concerned, I am sure it will not be exorbitant, and you can buy it with the thought and feeling that you have acquired a good bank.
P.S. Are you getting the Patent Papers?
Excerpt from letter of Charles A. ONeal, August 30, 1945
TIN Home Bank
This bank was made by a man who went broke trying to improve it. As you know, the patent was applied for the year was about 1899. When this man got as far as the model I sent you he owed money and could not meet his loan so the creditor took the banks which he had. They were made in Baltimore and the creditor sold them to try and get some of his money back. As I understand there were from 500 to 700 banks made and they were in Baltimore stores and sold very quickly. Of course, as they were tin the children busted them up and they were gone quickly. The bank I sent you I bought about eight years ago.
Copy to: Mark Haber