PROFILE section of the MILWAUKEE SENTINEL Sunday, June 7, 1953
INTEREST IN THE PENNY PRINCIPLE
FORTY-THREE YEARS AGO, over there in Germany, young John Johannsen gave his still younger nephew a going-away present.
It was the mechanical penny bank that John had used as a child a spectacular affair featuring a hunter with a rifle and a lion ready to charge. The penny goes into the rifle, and when you press a lever the gun goes off, the lion rears up, the penny hits him in the chest and drops into the bank.
Johns young nephew was heading for America with his family back there in 1910. Fifteen years later, John followed, and ten years after that he got a novel Christmas present from his nephews family.
That was 1936. Today the old lion hunter bank sits in a place of honor on the trim shelves that run around the upper room of Johannsens home at 2524 N. 67th St.
VALUED UP TO $10,000
Beyond that, the contagion of his hobby spread through the whole family. His wife, Amalie, began collecting fine chinaware, and his daughters now Mrs. Richard Bieganski, 2546 N. 67th St., and Mrs. Victor Hansen, 3355 S. 45th St. went in for old-fashioned dolls and antique green glassware.
But with mechanical penny banks, Johannsen gets an extra dividend. This is the kind of collection that has made a mecca out of "Johannsens attic" among the junior citizens of the neighborhood and he keeps a jar full of pennies handy to make things work.
There are several favorites besides the lion hunter. Theres Teddy Roosevelt with a rifle, who shoots a penny into a tree stump and out jumps a bear. Theres Jonah being tossed out of a boat into the gaping jaws of a whale but in the nick of time Jonah tosses the penny down the hatch and buys his life.
But the grand climax in Johannsens attic is a very non-antique item. Each junior visitor gets to work this himself and keep the proceeds. Its a gumball machine!
New-Style Saving: You Eat the Interest?
we make bold to say, are confusing times. Every day raises issues on which we
are glad we do not have to take a stand. Consider the new trend in children's
toy banks. We yield to no one in advocating thrift, especially for others. To
put money in the bank instead of spending it is widely held to develop
character, and certainly requires it.