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Coin Registering Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - January, 1966

66-01.JPG (24275 bytes)A so-called border-line mechanical bank has not come up in the classification series for some time now. As we reach No. 138, however, we have chosen a bank that more or less fits into this category. This is the Coin Registering Bank, a fine handsome savings device, representative of the building type group of the mechanicals. The bank, like the Pump and Bucket (HOBBIES, April, 1962), is a registering bank and this is its main mechanical function — to indicate the increasing amount as each coin is deposited. However, rather than being a simple registering savings device, the Coin Registering Bank has a unique operating feature that has classed it as a mechanical bank for some years now. This has to do with the fact that the dome of the building must be turned clockwise in order to operate the mechanism. This is comparable to the operating pump handle on the Pump and Bucket, and since on this basis it rates as a mechanical bank, then it follows logically that the Coin Registering Bank must also be considered as such. Registering banks, as pointed out in a previous article or two, are in a class of their own and are not considered mechanical banks in the accepted terminology. A few, such as the one under discussion, the Pump and Bucket, Perfection Registering (HOBBIES, September, 1959), and one or two others are classed as mechanicals due to special operating features and mechanisms.

The Coin Registering Bank was made in the 1890 period and this date appears on the front of the bank as shown in the picture. A paper label on the bottom plate states that a patent was pending, although no patent papers have been found to date by the writer. The 1890 date on the bank is significant, but does not mean it was patented in that year. Several old catalogs picture the bank for sale. Conway Brothers of Philadelphia offered the bank at $9 per dozen and in describing it stated: "It has the great advantage over other banks in the market of registering both 5 and 10 cent coins on the same dial." The Charles Y. Kay Company of Alliance, Ohio, used a similar statement in their catalog picturing the bank, but they listed it at $12 per dozen, and a nickel plated version at $20 per dozen. The writer has never seen an example of the Coin Registering Bank in nickel plate. In fact it is difficult enough to find an example of the regular painted type in nice original condition. This brings to mind that when certain banks were originally made in two finishes, painted or nickel plate, the plated type sold at a higher price and was considered more desirable. To collectors today the position is reversed in that the painted type is more highly prized.

The Coin Registering Bank shown is in fine original condition with better than usual paint. The overall building is done in a japanned type brown color finish. The dome is bright red with gold striping and a gold top knob. Key type edging just under the dome is silver and the section below this is gold. The name and date are also in gold. Windows are outlined in silver with bronze decorations. The supporting columns of the front entrance are highlighted in gold. The arched doorway is silver with red doors and gold hinges. The side and back windows are done in similar fashion to those on the front, and the rear doorway is also painted like the one on the front. It’s a well designed, decorative, good looking building.

The operation of the bank is accurately described on the original paper label on the bottom plate. This is as follows:

No. 126 Coin Registering Bank
(Patent Pending)

Put the nickel or dime in the slot marked for it, and turn the dome to the right until the coin disappears, when the amount will be correctly registered. Do not put nickel and a dime in at the same time, as only one can be registered, and do not put a dime in the nickel slot. When the last coin necessary to make the amount $5.00 has been deposited the door in the rear of the bank will open.

To set the bank, reverse it while the door is open and turn the cylinder to the left until the figure 0 is opposite the opening. Then spring the door in and the bank is ready for deposits.

In closing it bears mention the writer is not certain as to the actual manufacturer of the Coin Registering Bank. One of a number of concerns could be responsible. It is most likely the company that did manufacture it is also responsible for the Pump and Bucket, Presto Bank (small building), the semi-mechanical Globe Savings Fund, and possibly several others.


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