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MARCH 30, 1947 — By JOAN WERNER

Bank Holiday

Henry Stenger Didn’t Have A Bank To His Name Five Years Ago; He Now Owns 349 Of Them, Any Of Which Will Take A Penny

Henry Stenger Didn’t Have A Bank To His Name Five Years Ago; He Now Owns 349 Of Them, Any Of Which Will Take A Penny Henry Stenger Didn’t Have A Bank To His Name Five Years Ago; He Now Owns 349 Of Them, Any Of Which Will Take A Penny

1947_Stenger-2.jpg (56850 bytes)HAPPENING in a strange shop some five years ago, Henry Stenger of Indianapolis and Carthage spied, squatting on a shelf, an intriguing Negro boy who, with encouragement, popped pennies in his mouth and promptly gulped them down. Right then and there, Stenger found himself a hobby. Today, 348 penny banks later, he’s an expert in the specialized penny bank collecting world.

The Negro boy, of course, was a penny bank, one of the many cast iron, wood, tin and cloth ones which now line shelves in Stenger’s home near Carthage. Put a penny in the boy’s outstretched hand, push a lever, watch the hand raise to the mouth — and that’s where the money goes.

STENGER corresponds with numerous other bank collectors getting leads on rare buys, and has paid up to $200 for a single penny bank. This was a "guessing bank" which, along with teaching the virtue of saving, also offered the penny saver a 5-to-1 shot for his money. The gadget was made in the form of a man seated with a dial in his lap. Put a penny in a slot in his hat and a horsehair on the dial spun. If one guessed the place it would stop he got five pennies for the trouble.

Fortunately, Stenger sees no immediate danger of amassing all the varieties of penny banks there are in the world, thus wrecking his favorite hobby. As hard as he has looked, he has managed to acquire only some 80 mechanical, or moving part, banks out of what veteran penny bank collectors consider a possible 275 to get. That leaves him 195 — and lots of correspondence and strange stores — to go.

  1947_Stenger.jpg (17216 bytes)

 

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