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The Dog on Turntable Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1987

     Inanimate objects are not likely to be credited by most persons with possession of that human, intangible characteristic known as personality. The exception may be the collector of mechanical banks when describing specific mechanicals in his or her collection. The subject of this article is not exempt from those attributes normally associated with certain individuals, since this writer tends to describe the Dog on Turntable as "unpretentious," "dependable," "friendly," and, perhaps, "humble."
     I had not, in the past, experienced intense yearning to acquire this particular bank; however, when one found its way into my collection, close inspection revealed a subtle elegance which had not been apparent upon first glance. Although I have beheld rarer and more impressive me­chanicals, this one certainly has managed to assume an important place within my collection.
     Unfortunately, there is little information pertaining to the designer and actual date of manufacture of the Dog on Turntable, since the Judd Manufacturing Company of New Britain, Conn., its producer, had never applied for patents for this, or any other of their banks. However, there are several clues as to the period of time this bank was offered to the public, and these are based upon infor­mation from old toy catalogs. An illustrated advertisement (Figure I) from an early Marshall Fields jobbers cat­alog documents sales of the Dog on Turntable to the year 1893. The ad reads "Copper bronze finish—$6.70 a dozen; maroon finish also $6.70 a dozen; and the ebony and gold finish—$6.55 a dozen." Other finishes which Judd utilized for this particular mechanical included: a "fancy" light brown japan with tiny, gold flecks (Figure R); a light green and medium blue combination; ebony, high­lighted with a green wipe; beige; and a very colorful rendi­tion with blue and white sides and a red roof. The use of additional colors should not be discounted as the Judd Company incorporated many others into their line.
     The action of the Dog on Turntable in incomplex. A coin is placed upon the tray in the dog's mouth. As the crank is turned clockwise, the dog enters the right archway of the building, depositing the coin. It exits the left archway sans money. The coins are removed from the bank by way of a small sheet steel retainer underneath the base.
    There are several casting variations involving both the coin trap and the circular gear train. These differences are revealed when the bank is viewed from its underside. The earlier production banks utilized a small rectangular sheet steel sliding coin trap, while the later version used a riveted, pivoting sheet steel coin trap. The early models also incorporated a lip cast into the base, which concealed the turntable's circular gear train while, in the later version, these gears were exposed.
     It is interesting to note the Dog on Turntable's internal construction. A small, rectangular piece of sheet steel is utilized to fell the coins from the dog's tray as it rotates through the bank. It prevents the money from falling into, and jamming, the rotating gear mechanism. One of the reasons so many of these banks are found with jammed or broken gears is because this small, internal sheet steel piece was either lost or misaligned. In addition, the use of too large a coin resulted in the breakage of the left side of the dog's exit archway. The collector who possesses an example of a bank with this side intact should consider himself, or herself, quite fortunate indeed.
     Recently, several reproductions had been imported into this country from Taiwan. In view of the crude workmanship, it is not difficult to discern between these and a fine, old, original bank. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure 111) of an original; any reproduc­tion would appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller in width than indicated.

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