The Three Musical Savings Banks
Not one, but three different type Musical Savings Banks, are known to exist. All three operate on the same principlethe insertion of a coin starts a musical mechanism to play. Other than this and having the same name, the three banks are quite unalike, particularly appearance-wise. For classification purposes we have placed the banks in the following order"Musical Savings Bank," "You payI play" easel or picture frame type, Figure 1, is No. 144; "The Musical Savings Bank" upright music box type, Figure 2, is No. 145; "Musical Savings Bank" "You payI play" house or building type, Figure 3, is No. 146.
Taking the banks in their numerical order we will first consider No. 144, Figure 1. L.C. Hegarty is the owner of this fine, completely original, Musical Savings Bank. It is made of wood, mainly walnut, with the frame front in a lighter color, like a light mahogany. As can be seen in the picture, ornate carved scrollwork is at the top and bottom of the frame along with a small amount on each side. The name, wording and center design work on the front wood panel are indented or stamped into the wood in gold. The locking key is shown inserted on the side of the bank and the entire back opens for removal of coins.
An original old catalog circa 1885 pictures and describes the Musical Savings Bank for sale. The catalog was issued by John F. Stratton & Company, Importers, 49 Maiden Lane, New York, and Lipsig, Saxony. The text of the ad for the bank is as follows:
Musical Savings Bank
No. 145, Figure 2, is also in fine complete original condition and is owned by Leon Perelman. The name "The Musical Savings Bank" appears on the ornate brass plate on the front base as shown in the picture. This plate also tells the story as to the manufacturer as the name "Regina" and "Trade Mark" is inscribed thereon. This bank, like other Regina music boxes, is a well made item and the photo herewith well illustrates its good sturdy construction. Mr. Perelman has a Montgomery Ward Catalog #67, Summer of 1900, which pictures and describes the "Regina Musical Boxes." Text is as follows:
This bank, by the way, is just about the largest in size of all the known mechanical banks being 17" high x 12" wide. For the record, some may say the Ferris Wheel occupies this position, but this is not the case as it isnt an authentic mechanical bank. It is simply a toy that has been converted into a bank. As a matter of fact the conversion of the Columbian Ferris Wheel into a savings device is still being done to date, and it does seen a shame to ruin a fine original toy in this fashion.
No. 146, Figure 3, is a well made wood bank in walnut with interesting carving of a bird and nest with eggs (note photo). The bank pictured is in fine original condition and is in the collection of Mrs. Mary Gerken. The name "Musical Savings Bank" and wording "You payI play" are stamped in gold on two pieces of leather and fit into the provided sections on the bank as shown. The bank operates the same as the two previously describeda coin, dropped in the chimney slot in the roof in this case, starts the musical mechanism to play. Dates, manufacturer, and so on concerning this bank are unknown to the best of the writers knowledge. However, one pertinent piece of evidence is of importance. While the lettering of the names are not alike, please note Figure 1 and Figure 3 that the wording "You payI play" is identical. This is more than a coincidence and it is entirely possible that both banks were turned out by the same concern and in the same approximate time period.