Three articles related to books about
copied from 1947 Newspaper Clippings.
Sunday, August 2, 1947
Mechanical Banks Told
By CHARLES MESSER STOW.
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
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
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
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