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Treasure Chest Music Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - June, 1970

70-06.JPG (16553 bytes)

Musical banks, that is mechanical banks that actually play music rather than just ring bells, form a particularly desirable group of mechanicals. We have covered a number of the banks comprising this group in past articles, and those include the Woodpecker Bank (Tin), Little Jocko Musical Bank (Tin), The Regina Musical Savings Bank, Musical Saving Bank (Wood Easel), Musical Saving Bank (Tin), and the Musical Savings Bank (Wood House). The Woodpecker and Little Jocko operated by means of a hand crank and when this is turned the music plays, as well as other mechanical action. The others mentioned play music only, however, they have windup mechanisms and operate only upon insertion of a coin. As we reach No. 182 in the numerical classification we have chosen a bank that operates on this principle – the music plays when a coin is inserted in the slot. This bank is the Treasure Chest Music Bank and it plays not one, but two tunes when a coin is deposited.

The Treasure Chest was designed and patented by Oscar H. Brasier of Tacoma, Washington, January 7, 1930. The Patent consists of two pages of drawings and two pages of text. The two pages of text outline the working mechanism with accuracy and the fact that the insertion of a coin is necessary to operate the mechanism for a predetermined period of time. The other pages consist of eight diagrams of the bank with particular detail of the working parts. These drawings do not resemble the bank as actually produced, this with respect to its appearance. However, on March 31, 1930, Mr. Brasier applied for a design patent and the four drawings covering the design are exactly like the bank as produced. The design patent was issued to Mr. Brasier on September 30, 1930. It is not too often we encounter a bank with both regular and design patents. This rather unusual circumstance was undoubtedly due to the fact that in his original patent Mr. Brasier did not cover the outward appearance of the bank and then at a later date decided on the Treasure Chest form and subsequently to protect this configuration.

The bank was manufactured by the Faith Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois.

The Treasure Chest Music Bank shown is in exceptionally fine original condition and has been in the writer’s possession for years. It is an all over gold color and the straps and hinges are a slightly different darker color gold. Except for the locking coin trap, the entire bottom is covered with green felt which is original, and all these banks were produced in this fashion. A sturdy Yale Junior lock was utilized in the rectangular shape coin trap. The trap has the patent number 1,742,984 along the top and just underneath appears ‘O. H. Brasier Tacoma, Wash.’ all in raised letters. On the front and back of the inside of the bank also in raised letters appears ‘Faith Mfg. Co. Chicago, ILL.’ It bears mention that the bank is quite heavy for its size and made of a white type of metal in apparent die casting form. It is a firm, well constructed bank.

To operate the bank the spring operated mechanism is first wound by means of a winding lever in the back. A coin is then dropped into the slot in the top of the chest. This trips the mechanical works and the music starts to play. In a short period the coin can be heard dropping, by means of the mechanism, on inside the bank. Two different pieces are played by the cylinder type music box and then the works stop automatically. The bank is now ready for another coin and more music.

The musical group of the mechanicals adds an interesting dimension in sound to the normal action and sight effect of the regular type mechanical banks. In closing it bears to mention that another Regina Musical Savings Bank turned up recently. It is in very fine condition and one of the difficult ones to obtain in the musical group.


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