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MIAMI HERALD, December 1952


MIAMI HERALD, December 1952

Cast Iron Mechanical Banks Pitch, Shoot
     Or Just Drop Coins in Fancy Depositories

By GWEN HARRISON, Herald Staff Writer


     "I should have been a millionaire's son," declared Dr. Ellias Freidus, 420 W San Marino island, "I've a procivity for collecting and hobbies expensive ones."
     He's a home movie fan, an enthusiastic rose grower, but dearest to his heart is his collection of mechanical or toy banks.
     Little banks are ancient as civilization, as Greek and Egyptian museum collections prove. But Dr. Freidus confines his collection to American cast iron banks, made by the cast iron stove foundries of the 1800s.
     "I began the collection when I found a William Tell bank in a junk shop in Miami. I'd seen one when I was a child and I bought this one for sentimental reasons."
     From a shelf in his den he took the bank, propped a nickel on William Tell's gun, tripped the trigger and the coin flew through the air, knocked an apple off the head of Tell's son, and deposited itself into a castle back of the child.
     The doctor searched his pockets for another coin, reached for another bank> "I don't restore the colors or exteriors," he explained, I just oil the mechanisms. All the banks work."
     His vacation trips now are geared to tours where the doctor may find more of the banks, as through the antique-shop roads of New England.
     "But I'm frustrated by millionaires," he sighed. "They've had their agents there before me. One collector is Walter Chrysler, Jr. I can't compare with millionaires."
FAVORITE of Dr. Freidus is "Bird's Nest." Mother bird, coin in beak, leans forward, spreads wings, baby birds open mouths, coin drops in nest.
UNCLE SAM, coin in hand, deposits it in satchel as his head nods thanks.
WILLIAM TELL bank is tripped by gunner's foot. Coin on gun knocks apple from child's head into castle.
ONLY ON THIRD PITCH does coin leave pitcher's hand and enter bank under catcher. Bank made in 1800s.
Herald Staff Photos


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