Jip the Jumper
"The Dog That Barks"
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 2011
ACOURAGEOUS AND NOBLE breed of animal is the bulldog. Its huge jaw and
designate it a worthy subject of mechanical banks, aptly able to guard
or consume large amounts of coinage.
Several mechanicals produced during the latter portion of the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries serve as well-chosen representatives of
this square-jawed canine. In addition to "Jip the Jumper", seen in
Figure 1 and subject of this article, several other examples include
"Bulldog Coin On Nose", "Bulldog Savings Bank", "Boy and Bulldog",
"Spring Jawed Bulldog", "John Bull's Money Box", "English Bulldog
For a period of time "Jip the Jumper" Bank had been inaccurately
referred to as "Barking Dog Bank". Its correct title, manufacturer or
designer were unknown. The mechanical was first discovered in 1961; only
two additional examples emerged within the following twenty years.
Unfortunately, accurate identification pertinent to its heritage was
limited to a few remnants of a manufacturer's label affixed to the
bank's underside. Recently, however, a fourth example surfaced, this in
almost mint condition. Its label (Figure 2) was fairly complete,
providing collectors and historians with relevant information.
The aforementioned label revealed the following wordage: "JIP The
JUMPER. The Dog
That Barks. DIRECTIONS. Dog should be pushed way back as far as he will
go. Then lift the little wire lever in front or push coin through the
small slot in top and the dog will jump forward and bark. NATIONAL
COMPANY, 167 Olive Street — Boston, Mass., U.S.A. Maker of Ragtime
Rastus, the Famous Darkey Doll that dances to the music of phonographs."
Although not indicated on the label, the National Company manufactured
another mechanical bank, this composed almost entirely of wood. Entitled
"Watch Dog Savings Bank" (Figure 3), it employed two distinctly
different wooden bulldogs. One of these was similar to
our featured subject.
It appears that the National Company was interested and involved in the
utilization of sound vibration as a functioning, activating component of
its creations. The following three examples serve to illustrate the
firm's objective: "Jip the Jumper" emits a barking sound achieved by a
series of vibrating springs and pulleys that, when activated, causes the
fiberboard end panel (as seen in Figure 4) to act as a sounding board.
Also, the top, bottom and sides of the base are composed of wood and
serve as a sound chamber for the emitted bark. The "Watch Dog Savings
Bank", seen in Figure 3, utilizes a magnet and sound activated leaf
spring. When energized by a loud noise or, as indicated in the
directions, the "loud clapping of one's hands" causes the coin to be
deposited and the dog to spring out of its doghouse. In addition.
National Company's "Ragtime Rastus Toy" (Figure 5) utilizes a battery to
enable operation of a vibrating diaphragm located underneath the
platform of the base. Rastus stands immobile upon the platform until an
attached microphone is placed adjacent to an operating phonograph. The
resulting musical sounds cause the diaphragm upon which Rastus stands to
vibrate. Our entertainer then appears to hop to the beat of the melody.
Action of "Jip the Jumper" is novel and surprising. Initially, Jip is
pulled backwards. The • small wire lever in the front tin panel of the
bank is then lifted towards the right side (Figure 6), and then downward
into a vertical position (Figure 7). Subsequently, a coin is placed into
the slot in front of Jip. When the wire lever is once again lifted
towards the right side, the bulldog lunges forward and the coin is
deposited into the bank. These deposits are recovered by undoing the
small nails which secure a flat, round tin cover underneath the base of
Despite its composition and construction, "Jip the Jumper" is an
extremely desirable and rare mechanical bank. Only a handful is known to
exist. Its action and impressive size, i.e. Length: 9-112 inches, Width:
5 inches. Height: 5 inches, contribute greatly to its appeal as a "folk
art type", albeit production, mechanical bank.
The addition of "Jip the Jumper" to a collection could prove a challenge
for even the most resourceful of collectors. However, its acquisition
may be considered well worth the effort expended in the search.
Acknowledgment: The superb, all original, and fully operational fifth
example of "Jip the Jumper" Bank (seen in Figure 1) was recently
acquired by Peter Wysocki. It is a "fresh find", not a previously known