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Sentry Bank and Try Your Weight Scale Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1973

73-05.JPG (21084 bytes)

The writer every now and then checks through his past files, past articles, and so on primarily for the purpose of any possibilities of a slip-up. Well, in so doing recently, he found he had never written a regular classification article on the Sentry Bank. So to rectify the situation and properly take care of this important bank, we now list it as No. 221 in the numerical classification. When the first known example of the Sentry turned up the writer, at the time, announced its discovery in a rather brief summary — see HOBBIES, August 1964, article titled "Two New Discoveries."

In any case, the Sentry is an exceptionally well made, attractive tin bank of German manufacture, circa late 1920’s, early 1930’s. The practically mint condition example shown, Figure 1, is now in the Tudor collection. It was one of Wally’s prize additions to his great collection during 1972.

The bank is lithographed in bright colors as follows: The booth-like structure is simulated wood grain in brown (two other examples, including the writer’s, are plain red-brown, no graining). The background of the figure is pale blue around his hat and face and dark blue-black from the shoulders down. The figure has a black hat with red plume and yellow and black chin strap. Hands and face are natural color, pink cheeks, blue eyes, brown moustache, red lips, black eyebrows and eyelashes. His jacket is red with black collar. Buttons, shoulder and pack straps, belt, and other trim are gray. His sleeve cuffs are black and shaded blue-white. Trousers are blue with red stripes and shoes are black. His gun has a brown stock with other parts including the bayonet in shaded blue-white. The knob on top is black, and that’s it for a most colorful bank.

To operate, the top knob is depressed causing the sentry to move his gun to center position as his left arm pivots from the shoulder moving his left hand to center position on the gun stock. His eyes look right and the coin slot is opened from the inside so that a coin may be deposited therein. The horizontal slot is located in the center of his hat, and the bank must be operated in order to insert a coin. Releasing the knob returns all parts automatically to their respective positions as shown in the photo. This includes the blocking of the coin slot from the inside.

That takes care of the Sentry, a quite nice bank to have in a collection.


Another oversight, practically the same circumstances as the Sentry, applies to the Try Your Weight Scale Bank. The announcement of its discovery with details of the bank appeared in HOBBIES, October 1968, but it was not numerically classified. So at this point it is No. 222 in the numerical classification. For complete description, operation, colors, and so on, please see the October 1968 article titled "Some Recent ‘Finds.’ "

Here again, Figure 2, we have another practically mint condition bank from the extensive Tudor collection. And this too was one of Wally’s fine additions to his collection in 1972. The Try Your Weight is a most interesting, well designed tin mechanical of German manufacture. The period of the bank is established by a Butler Bros. Catalog 1907. It is pictured and described in this catalog, and believe it or not it was advertised for sale for only $1.95 per dozen! What a difference today — try to find one at any price.

As pointed out in the 1968 article, the Try Your Weight is an exceptionally colorful bank and has the very desirable feature of operating by the weight of a coin — penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half-dollar — each coin by its weight indicated on the dial. Pressing the lever releases the coin from the mechanism and the dial indicator returns to the position as shown in the photo.

The bank is unique in its operation and appearance and makes a most attractive item to have in a collection.


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