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ANTIQUES, December 1966

Toy Banks That Made Politicians Wince
By RALPH and TERRY KOVEL


PAYOFF Iron, mechanical bank of the 1800's shows a
Tammany Hall politician reaching out for some money.

       Toys for the children of the Victorian era were meant to amuse as well as instruct. The popular mechanical banks were interesting to watch and also inspired thrift.
     A hidden political meaning crept into the design of some toys. The Teddy bear bank pictured Theodore Roosevelt on a bear hunting expedition. One bank had Uncle Sam putting your money in his suitcase.
     The most scathing satire was the Tammany Hall bank. A fat politician sat in his chair and took your penny and put it in his pocket. The politician was made to resemble Boss Tweed, the boss of New York. The bank was first made in 1873 and was made for several years after that.

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