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Second Annual Convention of
the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1959

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The second annual convention of the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America was held Saturday, September 19, 1959, at the Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa. The club is scenically located in the Eastern suburban section of Pittsburgh.

The day’s program got under way around noon time with a registration and social hour. The convention was then called to order and F.L. Ball gave an entertaining talk on his experiences in collecting and dealing in mechanical banks. Naturally, Mr. Ball is well qualified to discuss this subject as he is one of the pioneers in this field. His talk was interesting and enlightening and everyone present enjoyed it. Mr. Ball’s talk was followed by another social period and the serving of light sandwiches and refreshments. Mark Haber was the next speaker on the agenda and his talk had to do with mechanical banks that reflected historical significance. Mr. Haber used his usual thorough precise approach to the subject and his presentation was well received by the members present.

Following Mr. Haber’s talk a short business meeting was held and the new by-laws as drawn up by E.T. Richards were distributed to the group. Also several committees were appointed to further the interests of the organization. The afternoon session was then terminated.

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It might be well to mention at this point that some of the dealer members brought along some mechanical banks to sell and these were nicely displayed on provided tables. Those bringing banks to sell were Frank L. Ball, David Hollander, and Mark Haber. A high point of this phase of the convention was the purchase of the Darky Fisherman Bank by Mrs. Mary Gerken from Mr. Hollander. A number of mechanical banks were sold by each of the dealer members present and they are to be commended for the quality and variety of the items they had for sale.

The evening session started with a cocktail hour followed by the formal evening banquet. After this the writer, who was the speaker for the evening, gave a talk on English and foreign made mechanical banks. He then discussed several of the rarities brought to the convention by their respective owners. These included the Turtle Bank recently acquired by the writer and the Chinaman In Boat recently obtained by Mr. Richards. The writer then conducted an open question and answer period. Directly following this the formal evening business session was called to order and E.T. Richards did an excellent job of handling the meeting. By-laws were adopted, officers and directors were elected, dues were established, the new insignia pin was adopted and the name of the organization officially established as Mechanical Bank Collectors of America. E.T. Richards was elected President for the coming year and F.L. Ball was elected Secretary-Treasurer. At the termination of the meeting it was decided that the third annual convention will be held between September 10 and October 10, 1960 in the vicinity of White Plains, N.Y.

Several points of interest bear mention. There was a nice display of shooting mechanical banks presented by the Rhode Island group of mechanical bank collectors, and a number of historical banks were on hand to go along with Mr. Haber’s talk. Also it was a real pleasure to have Mrs. Leon Cameto and John D. Meyer present at the affair. Mrs. Cameto’s late husband, Leon Cameto, was an avid and a leading collector of mechanical banks, as well as being a close personal friend of the writer. John Meyer, of course, is one of the pioneer collectors of mechanical banks.

The writer would like to suggest that seriously interested collectors of mechanical banks contact Mr. Ball or the writer should they have an interest in or a desire to join the club. In closing the writer would like to mention the fact that the convention was a very successful affair and all present expressed their approval and enjoyment of the activities.


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