Auction $ 
Sy - Index
Grif - Index
A - Z Index
Slide Show 
 YouTube \


What's New 
Web Notes 
A-Z Index  
Date Index 
European Tin 


The World’s Banker
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1969

69-02.JPG (11412 bytes)An exceptionally interesting and until recently unknown tin mechanical bank is our choice as No. 171 in the numerical classification. So it is with pleasure that we pass along information on The World’s Banker, one of several recent new discoveries in the growing list of known mechanical banks.

The World’s Banker is a very attractive fine action bank and has the added interest of the satirical or anti theme. That is to say, like the Bismark Bank (anti-Bismark), Bread Winners (anti-Monopoly), Chinaman In Boat (anti-Chinese), and a few other mechanicals, The World’s Banker depicts John Bull as moving or controlling the world through banking or money control. The action then carries this theme through — money put into the world revolves and falls on into John Bull’s stomach. Certainly something when we consider that the bank was made as a child’s savings device. Mechanicals with the satirical or anti overtones are of considerable interest, limited in number, and it is exceptional to add one to this unusual group.

The World’s Banker was made in Germany, circa 1910 to 1930. We hope with possible future research to be able to pin this down to a more definite date or time period. The globe of the world as used on the bank is surprisingly detailed. Study of this globe has been helpful in ascertaining the presently established time period of the bank. The word "Germany" appears in the South Pacific Ocean area, identifying the bank as having been made in that country. This is discernible in the photo — "Germany" appearing just over the word "South" by the coin slot. So there is no question as to the bank being a German product. However, there are no other markings of any kind and we do not know, and possibly will never know, what concern made the bank.

The bank pictured turned up in Canada a short time ago and is a recent addition to the extensive collection of Edwin H. Mosler, Jr. of New York City. It is in fine all original condition with colors as follows: The rectangular splay sided base is tan, the flag with the black lettering "The World’s Banker" thereon is red, white and blue. Tapered side supports holding the flag and globe are black, and the tray just under the globe is green. The globe of the world is an all over blue with continents, countries, islands, and so on in red, yellow, green and dark blue. All lettering on the globe is black. The figure of John Bull wears a black hat with red band. Hands and face are flesh color with red lips, white teeth, black eyes and eyebrows. His hair with long sideburns is also black. Light gray appears along the color line of his white shirt front with black tie. He wears a fine red vest with yellow buttons, and his coat is dark blue with outlining of lapels and so on in black. Completing his apparel are light gray trousers tucked into black boots with yellow cuffs. All this coloring adds up to a bright, very attractive bank.

To operate the bank a coin is placed in the slot in the globe. This slot can be seen in the photo. The coin when inserted in the slot is not visible as it drops well into the globe. The top of John Bull’s hat is then pressed down and this causes the world to turn toward the figure. In so doing, the coin rolls on its edge from the coin slot in the world onto a slanted tray and on into a coin slot in the figure’s stomach and chest. Coins are retained inside John Bull and are removed by means of a flap type coin trap in the back of his coat.

The World’s Banker is a very clever, unusual mechanical toy savings device and is a unique bank to have in a collection. In addition to the one pictured, as of this writing two others are now known to exist in private collections. One is in Europe and the other is in the writer’s possession.

Since it will be approximately the middle of January 1969 when this will appear, the writer would like to point out something that he considers of considerable interest. This is the fact that the first authentic and then patented mechanical banks, that we are certain of, will be 100 years old. These are the Bureau Bank Type 1 (Serrill Patent Applied For), HOBBIES, November 1967, and then later in January the Bureau Bank Type 2 (Serrill Patent), HOBBIES, May 1967.

Later in the year, December 1969, will mark the 100 year old point for the first cast iron mechanical bank, Halls Excelsior. So we are reaching the "true antique" level for some of the mechanical banks.


Next month or the following month details on another very attractive new find—The Clown And Dog!


 [ Top] [ Back ] Up ] 69-03-Griffith ]