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"Type" Mechanical Banks
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - April, 1968

68-04.JPG (13141 bytes)Reference to a new setup with respect to "type" mechanical banks, which in fact adds a number of mechanicals to the regular listing, was made in the November, 1967, article on the Bureau Bank. It was explained that banks which were made in two different types will belong in a regular collection, listed as such, and properly recognized and designated as different banks. This does not affect varieties. As in the past, varieties will remain as such, simply a variation of a certain bank, not an addition to a regular collection.

While not earth shaking, this is a rather important step forward in the mechanical bank collecting field since it corrects a situation whereby certain banks have been improperly listed as a variety and thus due recognition has not been afforded these specific banks when listed in this fashion. Also, some degree of past confusion is corrected. This specifically applies where a collector wondered, for example, which Hold The Fort was the proper or "right" one, or which Horse Race, and so on.

The new setup will in no way affect the specialty collector of varieties. As a matter of fact, it will help clear the air for the variety collector by establishing a better line of demarcation. Any variety of a mechanical bank will be just that—a variation of any given mechanical. The individual collector then in his varieties can draw the line as fine as he wants to—even going so far as, for example, where a bank has Patent Applied For thereon or the Patent Date. The writer has never considered this, Patent Applied For or the Patent Date, important enough in itself to recognize as a variety. However, it is up to the individual collector and it is his privilege to do so if he chooses.

Now going the other way—if a bank has Patent Applied For thereon, and at a later date a different type was made and the Patent Date used or not, then this is a different story and we are now into the "type" banks, not a variety.

At this point we will list the present known "type" banks in their alphabetical order.

Bureau (Wood) – Type I
(Serrill Patent Applied For)
Bureau (Wood) – Type II     (Serrill Patent)
Cat And Mouse Bank – Type I     (Cat standing upright)
Cat And Mouse Bank – Type II     (Cat standing on head)
Halls Lilliput – Type I     (No tray)
Halls Lilliput – Type II     (Tray)
Hold The Fort – Type I     (5 holes)
Hold The Fort – Type II     (7 holes)
Home Bank – Type I
Home Bank – Type II     (Dormer windows)
Horse Race – Type I     (No coin trap)
Horse Race – Type II     (Flanged base – edged archways)
New Bank – Type I     (Lever in center)
New Bank – Type II
Trick Savings Bank (Wood) – Type I     (End drawer)
Trick Savings Bank (Wood) – Type II     (Front drawer)
Uncle Tom – Type I     (Ear lugs – no star – solid base)
Uncle Tom – Type II     (Screw – star – base plate)

Please note the foregoing list of banks does not in each case show all differences between Type I and Type II. Only the salient or quickly identifiable difference is noted. For example, there are a number of other different features between Type I and Type II Hold The Fort, but each is quickly identified by the number of holes along the side of the fort. Also please note that at some future date there may be additions to the present list. It is always possible that another type of a certain bank may turn up. In the past year or two, for example, many new varieties have been discovered. This is a result of more careful examination plus new finds.

To help illustrate the situation with regard to "type" mechanicals, we picture in Figure 1 Uncle Tom—Type I, and in Figure 2 Horse Race—Type II.

The Uncle Tom shown has no screw in the back to hold it together. A lug in back of each ear bent to conform does an efficient job of holding the two halves together. There is no base plate in the bank. Front half and back half are cast to form their own base into which a coin trap fits very nicely. There is a spring inside assisting the mechanism which conforms to the patent papers covering the bank. The contour of the hair is unlike Type II and "Pat Apl For" is inscribed across the back, unlike Type I which shows the date. Finally, there is no star on the shirt front. Information with respect to Uncle Tom—Type II and Uncle Tom (No Lapels) appeared in HOBBIES, February, 1966.

The Horse Race Bank—Type II shown is in unusually pristine condition, even to having the original paper label in the provided section on top. Note the flanged base. This base, Unlike Type I, has a screw lock sliding coin trap for easier removal of coins. The two arches have a cast edging on the peaks as well as down the sides. In overall height, the bank is taller than Type I. The round indentations in the peak of each arch are larger and the casting of the extensions holding the arches in place are different than Type I. In addition, the writer has never seen Type I painted with striping around the top circular edge. Information on the Type I Horse Race appeared in the March, 1959, issue of HOBBIES.

To conclude, many varieties of foreign banks have turned up, but so far none that could be classed as a "type" bank. With respect to semi-mechanicals, the Key (Combination) is the only one of this group known to date to exist in two types. The casting of the handles and the clever mechanism for removal of coins is considerably different and Type II has the terminology "Pat" inscribed thereon.


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