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The Target Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1981

81-02.JPG (11527 bytes)

Mechanical banks utilizing a cannon in their operation form a very interesting unique group of the mechanicals. Other than the U.S. & Spain and the Tank & Cannon, the group consists of a type where a cannon shoots at a fort. The really tough bank to get is the Target Bank, a cannon and fort, pictured herewith.

The bank shown is a rare item since it is the only known example that is in pristine all original condition. Three others are known to exist. One pictured in the article for November 1957 has complete target parts missing. One of the other two is complete as to parts, but has very poor paint. The fourth one has the target section missing and it also is in very poor paint condition.

To complete the cannon series of the mechanicals is extremely difficult because of two stumbling blocks – the Target Bank and the Artillery Bank, Type II (helmeted figure). The others in the group are Hold The Fort, Type I and Type II; Artillery Bank, Type I; Octagonal Fort; and the above mentioned U.S. & Spain and Tank & Cannon. All are of American manufacture, except the Tank & Cannon, which is a World War I English made item.

The Target Bank shown was initially in a collection that was under wraps for many years. It is really in fine original paint condition and most attractive in this fashion. It is one of the rare early mechanicals and was patented by Louis C. Hoffmeister of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 20, 1877.

To the best of the writer’s knowledge, this is the first time that a completely original Target has appeared in any publication. Unusual features of the bank are the firing rod, which knocks coins into the bank; and the fact that it has two coin slots in the target. Smaller coins lie flat in the center horizontal slot of the target, while larger coins rest against the front of the target just in front of a large coin slot. Colors are gray, white, green, red, gold and black. A most appropriately colored mechanical.

The bank shown is the latest addition to the writer’s collection.

 

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