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Mechanical Bank Ramblings
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - July, 1968

68-07.JPG (16596 bytes)We’ll start our "Ramblings" this time with something that’s always a pleasure to write about, and that’s the detailed news of a new "find" in a mechanical bank. Reference was made to the bank in Mechanical Bank Ramblings for March, 1968, but no picture, which we now have, was available at the time. The bank is Jolly Joe and the fortunate collector to discover it was Edwin Mosler, Jr. This he accomplished on a recent trip to Europe and the attractive bank (clowns are a favorite subject matter with many collectors, including the writer) turned up in Paris.

Jolly Joe shows all evidence of being made by the same German concern that manufactured the Minstrel and the Scotchman. All three banks are constructed of tin in the same fashion with the same mechanical action — depressing the lever causing the tongue to protrude to receive the coin. As yet it has not been determined just who made these three banks. We only know they were made in Germany.

Note in the picture the Jolly Joe has long thin arms with gloved hands. The right hand glove of the clown has "Made In Germany" in circular lettering thereon. This lettering is around a double entwined large S, which marking may be helpful at some future date in ascertaining the manufacturer. The left glove of the clown has DRGM thereon, which was the German equivalent to our patent.

The Jolly Joe pictured is in bright lithographed colors, fine original condition, and will be classified and further detailed at a future date. Mr. Mosler is to be congratulated on his acquisition of this attractive new find in a mechanical bank.

* * *

Mr. Mosler has recently accomplished another coup in the mechanical bank collecting field in acquiring a fine original Presto Savings Bank (HOBBIES, March, 1960). This is not the case of a bank going from one collection to another, but is in fact the third specimen of this bank to turn up — two only were known to exist prior to the one now in the Mosler collection. The veteran collector, John D. Meyer, was fortunate in being the first to acquire one of these rare banks in the late 1930’s. Then the second turned up in the early 1960’s. And now the third in 1968. So this rare desirable bank has maintained a high level of rarity over the years and this is most likely to remain the case due to the bank itself. It is a rather early item as mechanical banks go and being constructed in the main of wood and paper with the cloth covered mouse, it was not a particularly durable bank and would not stand any degree of rough usage.

Further news in the area of recent rare finds is the Red Riding Hood Bank, No. 22 in the numerical classification (HOBBIES, July, 1953). An extra nice, completely original example of this very desirable bank turned up recently. This too is an addition to the known existing examples of this rare bank, and it did not come from one of the established or larger collections.

* * *

Now to "type" mechanical banks and some additions to the special article concerning them which appeared in HOBBIES, April, 1968. First, to keep this new "type" situation clarified for now and in the future, there are four banks that have always been listed separately as completely different banks that should be changed. These are two of the Organ Banks and two of the Owl Banks. They will be properly identified now as follows: Organ Bank, Type I (Cat And Dog), Organ Bank, Type II (Boy And Girl); Owl, Type I (Slot In Book), Owl, Type II (Slot In Head).

The Pelican Banks, since the figures that appear are completely different, will now, rather than a variety, be as follows: Pelican Bank, Type I (Man Thumbing Nose), Pelican Bank, Type II (Mammy). For years there has been said to exist a Pelican Bank with a Rabbit, and if any reader has seen or knows about this bank the writer would appreciate the individual getting in touch with him. Write c/o HOBBIES or to his address as shown in various ads.

Finally, for present additions to the "type" banks, the Calumet Bank (HOBBIES, November, 1966) has now turned up in a different type. This new find has a larger size "can" made of cardboard with tin ends. The face of the boy and the lettering "Thank You" are somewhat different than the bank as pictured in the November, 1966, article. Other differences are in the color of the paper can coverings and the printing thereon. So we now have Calumet Bank (Tin), Type I (Metal Can), and Calumet Bank (Tin), Type II (Cardboard and Metal Can).

With the correction of the two Organ Banks and two Owl Banks and addition of the Pelican and Calumet, the "type" bank situation is now up to date and permanent as of this writing. Since, however, there is nothing so permanent as change, it is possible at some future date to have additions to the "type" banks. If and when this should occur readers will be so advised.


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