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Three articles related to books about Mechanical Banks
copied from 1947 Newspaper Clippings.

Sunday, August 2, 1947

History of Mechanical Banks Told

          Black cardboard covers enclose 146 apparently type-written pages in a loose-leaf binding, and this is a book, "Mechanical Toy Banks," by Louis H. Hertz. The publisher is Mark Haber, 12 Kenwood Road, Wethersfield, Conn., who has issued an edition of 300 copies (only 275 for sale at $10). Two factors account for this novel form of a book scarcity of paper and the clamor of collectors for the results of Mr. Hertz's research.
          He explains in his introduction that all the material has been obtained from original sources, much of it from the men and women who were actually concerned in the manufacture of toy banks, more from authentic documents, factory records and catalogues. Though other works on the subject have been published, Mr. Hertz does not think them authentic enough to warrant a bibliography.
          By the way of a couple of iconoclastic pronouncements, the author states: "First, very few types of mechanical banks were manufactured prior to about 1875. From 1875, through the '80s and '90s. mechanical bank production soared. . . . Second the twenty-five-year period following 1906, which was formerly believed to have been devoid of banks, was actually the period in which the greatest the greatest quantities of any bank were turned out." Quoting various catalogues the author shows that many types believed to be fairly old are fairly recent. By 1926 the cost of iron was slowing down production. The Stevens line was discontinued in 1928 because cap pistols were more profitable to make.
          Thus, though toy banks cannot be called antique, those who collect them will not worry, because the great number of styles and mass production insure good hunting. Though there is no index, the chapters cover thoroughly the makers and their products, and the work as a whole is a practically complete history of the manufacture of mechanical banks in this country.

Web Note "Mechanical Toy Banks" by Louis H. Hertz
is posted to M.B.C.A. web at: 1947 Hertz Toy Banks


Handbook of Toys
Full of Information

          Louis H. Hertz has added now "The Handbook of Old American Toys" to his avocation series (Mark Haber & Co., Wethersfield, Conn. $3.50). The word "old" in the title does not mean antique, for the author uses it in a relative sense as applied to the toys in a given classification, and his research has been concerned chiefly with the output of the toy industry on a mass production basis.
          An incredible variety of toys was turned out through the nineteenth century to amuse young America. They were tin, steel, iron and wood; clockwork, steam electric, musical, friction, wheel toys; banks, cannon and cap pistols, games, dolls and still others, all of which are described and many of them illustrated. An appendix consists of a "Mechanical Bank Gradation List," a check list of known toy banks of this sort with their comparative scarcity noted. Most of them were made in America, but the negligible number of foreign manufacture have also been included. There is a large and increasing number of collectors of this sort of toy to whom this chapter will appeal.
          Members of the doll collectors' clubs will find rather skimpy treatment of their subject, for Mr. Hertz gives only an outline of the subject, mentioning only an outline of the subject, mentioning some of the types made in this country. He assigns the first manufacture on a large scale to the rubber dolls and doll's heads patented in 1851, some of which carry the name "Goodyear," or the patent date of 1851 or the name or initials the India Rubber Comb Company.
          Though small, the handbook contains an amazing amount of information about nineteenth century toys, the product of careful research, and gives to the toy industry a higher rating than most folk suspected it had.

Web Note Information related to Mechanical Banks from
"Handbook of Toys" by Louis H. Hertz is posted to M.B.C.A. web at:
1947 Hertz Toys

New York Sun, September 1947

Rare Bank

          J. M. Boyd of Birchrunville, Chester county, Pa., a dealer with an eye for oddities, writes the Quester about one of the rarest toy banks he ever found. It was the tin alligator type, patented in 1867, and worked this way: blowing into a mouthpiece caused the alligator to emerge, slide down a tin track, grab the coin and retreat to his hiding place, dropping the coin into a slot on the way. This was obtained by John D. Meyer, a banker of Tryone, Pa., who has in preparation a book which will contain illustrations of 1,500 mechanical and still toy banks, all in his own collection.

(Web Note John Meyer's book was published in 1952.
Links to text and images are posted on M.B.C.A. web at:
1952 Meyer Handbook

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