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Monkey and Parrot Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - November, 1961

61-11.JPG (23941 bytes)A monkey and a parrot do a very clever trick, when the coin disappears, it does so real quick. This more or less appropriately describes the bank which is our choice as No. 98 in the numerical classification of mechanical banks. This bank, the Monkey And Parrot, is a very gaily colored, extra good action toy savings device. It must have had definite appeal to both boys and girls and most certainly is desirable to the collectors of today. The action is quite fast and comparable to that of the Darktown Battery (Baseball Bank). As most interested individuals know, in operating this bank the pitcher really throws the coin to the catcher and more often than not one doesn’t see the coin in its travel between the two figures. Another bank with similar type fast action is Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat (HOBBIES, January, 1953).

The bank pictured is in unusually fine original condition, and particularly so for a tin bank. As a matter of fact, the terminology "mint" could be used to describe it. The writer obtained the bank some years ago from Thomas Kelly, a country antique dealer near East Liverpool, Ohio. Mr. Kelly found the bank in the home of an elderly couple in the vicinity of Kingsville, Ohio. It was in the attic of the home in a box with miscellaneous dishes and toys and had been packed away for a considerable number of years. The writer well remembers obtaining the bank as it was under somewhat unusual circumstances as so often seems to be the case with mechanical banks. In any event, arrangements were made to meet on the highway approximately half way between East Liverpool and Pittsburgh in Imperial, Pa. Mr. Kelly was unknown to the writer, but regardless both parties arrived in Imperial at the same time, met, and started the business part of purchasing the bank right on the highway. Subsequently the transaction was completed in a local restaurant during lunch. It only goes to show one can never tell under what circumstances he is going to obtain a mechanical bank.

To the best of the writer’s knowledge practically no background information is known to date concerning the Monkey & Parrot Bank. Sadly lacking is any proof of the manufacturer, date or period it was made, or anything else for that matter, except it was made in Germany. This statement appears stamped in the back of the bank. Judging from the bank itself, it is the writer’s opinion that it was made after 1900 and most likely in the area of 1910. Other than this we can surmise no further on any other points and can only hope that some form of factual information will turn up at a future date.

The paint on the bank shown is really nice and in bright, fine condition. The front and sides are yellow and the rounded top and back are red. The base and operating lever are black. The section fastened on the front of the bank which serves to guide the coin from the monkey to the parrot is painted red. The monkey is brown shaded with tan and he has large white eyes. The belt across his middle is red. The parrot has a large red beak, yellow body with red and blue feathers, and his wings and top knot are blue. His perch and feeding cup are a light red. All these colors combine to form a very attractive showy bank.

Just above the monkey’s tail, impressed in the metal, appears the statement "Put Money Here." To operate the bank a coin is placed as instructed. Then the lever shown on the left in the picture is depressed. As the lever is pushed down the monkey also bends down and the coin slides along his back and comes to rest in his upraised hands. At the same time the parrot opens his beak very widely and his eyes convey the effect of movement. Upon releasing the lever a spring action snaps the monkey back to his position as shown. The coin flies through its guided path, up and into the parrot’s beak. The parrot’s beak closes to the position shown in the picture as the coin enters. As mentioned, the coin travels very fast and the action is good and accurate. Originally the parrot let out a squawking noise when he opened his beak. There is a bellows type squeak mechanism inside the bank but this has long since ceased to operate. The writer has left this noise producing mechanism "as is" since there is possibility of damaging the bank in trying to take it apart in order to repair the bellows. Also this isn’t particularly important one way or the other under the circumstances.

The combination of the monkey and the parrot have a real appeal and they seem to fit together in some natural sort of way. It’s a very clever bank with excellent action and makes a particularly desirable addition to a collection.


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