The Mikado Bank, of which there is so little known as to origin, ranks in the fifth position among the top mechanical banks.
To the best of the writers knowledge, it is not definitely known who manufactured or designed the bank and there is no patent information to trace. However, from certain indications such as the coin trap, inside construction, and design, it would seem to be the work of Kyser and Rex, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They manufactured the Baby Mine Bank and the coin trap on that bank and the Mikado are interchangeable.
The bank pictured was obtained through the good help of Dr. Arthur E. Corby who, by the way, was among the first to collect banks.
Ordinarily without patent information it would be difficult to say just when a bank was manufactured. However, in the case of the Mikado, we have definite information in the Selchow and Richter Catalog of 1886 in which the bank is pictured. Lets quote from this catalog which will also cover the operation of the bank:
"We present this year a Japanese Magic Bank. Place the coin in the recess in the top of the cabinet under the hat in the Mikados right hand and when the lever is turned the coin will disappear and reappear under the hat in his left hand where it will remain until another coin is deposited, when the first coin will drop into the bank. A sweet chime of bells will be heard when the lever is turned. The bank is richly painted and decorated and packed each in a wooden box. Price $8.50 per dozen."
The bank pictured is original throughout. A note of interest is the fact that this bank was made to use the old large copper pennies and only operates properly when such coins are used.