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Presto Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1981

81-05.JPG (26355 bytes)Another of the disappearing coin-in-the drawer type mechanicals is our choice as No. 292 in the numerical classification at this time. The bank is the Presto Bank, a very attractive small building type of strong construction and good design. Some others in the group having the same action are the two Serrill Patent Bureaus, Freedmans Bureau, Give Me A Penny, the two Trick Savings Banks, and the Chandlers Bank. These all share a false bottom drawer that drops down when in the closed position. There are other mechanicals, such as the Columbian Magic Savings Bank, that are similar in action, but they do not, strictly speaking, have a false bottom drawer.

The Presto was pictured for sale in the fine Marshall Field & Company catalog for the season of 1892-1893. The text under the picture in the catalog is quoted as follows:

No. 485. Presto Trick Bank, with lock and key opening; size 4 inches high, 4 inches wide, 2 inches deep. This bank contains the novel feature of a trick drawer. Press down the button over the front door, and the drawer will fly open. Put the coin in and close it. When the button is again pressed the drawer will fly open, but the coin will have mysteriously disappeared. The money can be removed from the bottom of the bank by means of a lock and key. Handsomely decorated, and packed one half dozen in a box . . . per dozen $2.25.

The bank pictured is in very fine original condition; it is from one of the top collections, that of Wally Tudor, of Chicago, Illinois.

As mentioned the bank is well constructed with very good detail as to brickwork, windows, and front and back door. The entire roof, including the dome, as well as the front and back doors, are bright red. The dome top ball, name Presto Bank, and other decorations are in gold. The windows and around the doors are silver. The brickwork section, which is the rest of the building, is in a japanned finish. Over the back door appears ‘PAT APD’ in raised cast letters painted gold. The bottom key locking coin trap has the number ‘485’ cast thereon.

The bank is pictured with the drawer in the open position, ready to receive the coin. Needless to say, the bank also fits in the building group of the mechanicals.

 

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