Year by year in the past decade mechanical banks have continued to more firmly establish themselves as a collectors item. As with Currier & Ives prints, stamps, guns, and other collectible items, it is always of great interest when a heretofore unknown specimen turns up or evidence is found of an unknown specimen.
As an interesting sideline to collecting mechanical banks the old catalogs that picture them are of great interest. Particularly so if one turns up picturing an unknown bank that to the best of the writers knowledge has never been found.
William J. Stackhouse of Ellenville, N.Y., recently found the Ehricks Fashion Quarterly, Volume X, No. 4, Winter 1884. This was issued by Ehrick Bros., 8th Ave. & 24th St., New York City. Pictured is page No. 426 of this catalog showing a number of mechanical banks, among them the Coasting Bank. This bank is not known to be in any collection and the catalog offers us our first information about it.
Details of the bank and descriptive information is shown in the blown-up picture of the bank itself. It is somewhat similar to the Shoot The Chute Bank in its action. A check of patent papers did not reveal that the bank was patented which, of course, was true of a number of the mechanical banks.
The catalog was found in a second hand shop in Norwich, N.Y. Mr. Stackhouse happened on the scene at the right time as the place was going out of business and the catalog was about to be discarded along with some old magazines.
It is interesting to note that the rare Germania Exchange Bank is pictured as well as the rare Bismark Pig. This, of course, adds to both these banks as it definitely shows they were sold commercially as toy savings devices.
To sum up, we can safely assume that a Coasting bank was actually on the market and for sale to the public. It is very unlikely that Ehricks would picture and advertise for sale a bank of this kind if they did not actually have it on hand or available.