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Vending Banks, Part 2
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - March, 1976

76-03.JPG (17363 bytes)

Continuing on with our vending banks (Part 1, February, 1976, HOBBIES), we have pretty well covered the background of the toy vending type tin savings devices with their meaning, operation, purpose, and so on. We will now continue with specific banks, respective photo of each, colors, and description where necessary.

The Stollwerck Bros. Bank, Figure 1, is No. 259 in the numerical classification. It’s a very nice little bank and enjoyed wide popularity in its time in a number of different Countries. The example pictured is probably the one familiar to most collectors. It has the hand shadows lithographed on the front, sides and top. Various decorations were used on the bank for other countries. As example, one made for the French market has postage stamps lithographed in colors. The respective language for each country was used on the bank, such as French, German, English, and so on. The variations of this bank would seem to be almost endless. Ed Mosler probably has at least 30 varieties of the Stollwerck in his collection! So it is pretty safe to say that this bank exists in more variations than any other known mechanical. The one pictured has colors in red, pink, greenish-blue, tan, white, and gold. It has a glass back, others have a solid tin back. In either case, it is key locked into position and slides up for removal of coins and replacement of chocolates. Operation — deposit a coin in the chute, pull the front wire handle and a chocolate comes out. It bears mention that in some of the vending banks the coin itself pushes the chocolate bar forward as the handle or drawer is pulled out, the coin then drops to the base container through a slot located towards the front.

No. 260 in the numerical classification is pictured in Figure 2, Stollwerck’s Victoria Savings Bank. This is the German version in German and shows and tells the story of Hansel & Grethel on the sides and back. It really is a great job of lithography in brilliant colors and most attractive. The size of the Victoria is an imposing 10 inches high. On the underside of the base stamped in the tin appears ‘Stollwerck Cologne Germany.’

The bank shown is in mint condition in all respects. There are so many colors and shadings it would be difficult to describe accurately the lithography. In any case, basic colors are dark and light blue, red, brown, tan, white gold, gray, green, pink, and maroon. As one can note in the photo, there are two chutes and two sections for candies, affording a choice of bars to the depositor. The Victoria is a very attractive vending bank and a particularly fine item to have in a collection of mechanical banks.

As No. 261 in the numerical classification, we have selected the Sweet Thrift Bank, an American made vending bank, shown in Figure 3. The writer has an old catalog or two showing the bank and these bear out its 1920’s to early 30’s time period. This time period is further indicated by the figures of children and their clothing which appear on the sides and back. Girls are blowing bubbles on each of the sides, and two boys with a scooter appear on the back. Each boy wears a middy with extra wide collar and scarf tie indicative of the times. The underbase of the bank has ‘Pat Appld For’ stamped thereon. The bank is an overall bright yellow. Other colors of children’s clothing, decorations, and wording are red, blue, white, green, pink, light yellow, brown, rose, black and gold. As shown in the picture, coins are deposited in the front of this bank and the key locked left side opens for removal of coins and replenishing of candy bars.

Fortunately, the writer has several original wrapped chocolate bars that came with his fine mint condition example of this bank. While the bank itself tells us nothing as to manufacturer, and so on, the bars do. On top of each bar printed in red appears ‘Nestle’s Milk Chocolate. Packaged specially for Thrift Banks.’ On the front and back of each bar is the word ‘THRIFT.’ On the bottom of each bar is the following: ‘Packaged Specially for SWEET THRIFT BANKS, Beverly Novelty Corporation, 303 Fifth Avenue, New York City.’ To operate, deposit penny, nickel or dime, open drawer, and there’s your chocolate candy bar.


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