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BATH TIMES — JANUARY, 1956

MECHANICAL BANKS IN A WINDOW DISPLAY ATTRACT ATTENTION

Cambridge Newspaper Comments On Window Showing In Shop Of Former Bath Woman.

Miss Elizabeth Webber, formerly of Bath and a sister of Harry C. Webber, Editor of the Times and Independent, has frequent exhibits at her gift and Knit Shop in Cambridge.

The Shakers from Sabbath Day Lake were recently received enthusiastically as they displayed their baskets, candy and numerous hand-knits. Years ago the Shakers had a sale in Bath sponsored by the local business girls in the name of the Cosmopolitan Club. Miss Webber, onetime society editor of the Times, was the originator of the Cosmopolitan Club.

A bank exhibit at Miss Webber’s shop which was held several days ago, attracted wide attention and Eliot Spalding of the Cambridge "Chronicle Sun" featured a story in his "Under the Sun’s Bonnet" column which is interesting to bank collectors and mechanical toy enthusiasts. Excerpts from Spaulding’s column are:

One of the most unusual collections in the city is the accumulation of old mechanical banks which Frank L. Ball, Cambridge, has gathered together

The banks are the kind children of 75 years ago used to receive as gifts. Every time a youngster deposited a penny, the mechanism would go into action.

Mr. Ball put a penny into position on a William Tell bank and immediately a figure representing the legendary Swiss patriot shot it, knocking the apple off his son’s head and casting the penny into the window of a tower, causing a bell to ring inside.

He also has an Eagle and Eaglet bank. When this is in motion the mother eagle feeds her youngster with the penny. Another bank features a monkey throwing a coin to a lion, and still another has a monkey putting a coin into a coconut.

Uncle Sam takes on the role of a miser in one bank which has the venerable gentleman dropping pennies into a capacious carpetbag.

During the recent war, Mr. Ball used his mechanical banks as window displays to encourage the sale of War Bonds.

 

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