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Goat, Frog and Old Man Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1958

58-06.JPG (18103 bytes)

A mechanical bank with the unusual feature of having a companion mechanical bank is our choice as No. 65 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Goat, Frog, And Old Man is a companion piece to the Initiating Bank First Degree. The Goat, Frog And Old Man was originally advertised in old catalogs as the Initiating Bank Second Degree, however, since this name does not appear on the bank it has been felt by present day collectors that the present name is more descriptive and offers more accurate identification.

The Initiating Bank First Degree and Goat, Frog And Old Man are both covered by the same patent. This was issued September 28, 1880 to George W. Eddy of Plainville, Conn. This patent was also assigned to Andrew Turnbull and James A. Swanston, both of New Britain, Conn. They operated under the firm name of The Mechanical Novelty Works and made the Goat, Frog And Old Man as well as a number of other mechanical banks. This concern, of course, also made the Initiating Bank First Degree. The article and information on this mechanical bank appeared in the November, 1952, HOBBIES.

The Goat, Frog And Old Man, like its companion bank, is typical of the times when secret societies and fraternal organizations used a goat in their initiation ceremonies. Both banks employed the use of the same goat with modifications in the original pattern to include the old man astride the goat. The frog is identical on both banks and a similar type mechanism is employed to operate the two banks.

The bank shown was obtained by the writer some years ago in an antique shop in Providence, R.I. It is in excellent condition, completely original, and with good paint. The frog has a green head with an under jaw in yellow and white. The mouth is red and the eyes are a copper bronze color. The figure of the old man is entirely painted the same copper bronze color as the eyes on the frog. The base of the bank, the frog, and the goat are all painted in a dark brown varnish type of finish. There is a gold line around the top and bottom edges of the base to add a finishing touch. While not particularly colorful or lively the painting of the bank is attractive and interesting.

The bank operates as follows: A coin is placed as shown on the tray-like container held in the hands of the old man. The lever located in front of the goat is then pressed and the goat springs forward. At the same time the frog raises on his hind legs so that the coin is deposited in his mouth at the time of contact of the figures. The coin goes through the frog on into the base of the bank. The bank is reset for operation by pulling the goat back and down into the position shown in the picture.

The Goat, Frog, And Old Man is a very interesting bank and rather difficult to find in good original condition. This bank paired up with the Initiating Bank First Degree is a very desirable combination to the mechanical bank collector.


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