Still Banks: Desirable Additions
to a Mechanical Bank Collection
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 2012
THE LATTER portion of the nineteenth century, several foundries
primarily involved in the manufacture of cast iron mechanical banks also
produced various still banks. These banks closely resembled their
mechanical counterparts in both design and appearance.
The following examples, and ones that are considered by mechanical bank
devotees to be worthy of display adjacent to their mechanical
equivalents, include: "Hall's Lilliput Bank" still bank (seen in Figure
1), and the "Home Bank" still bank (Figure 2). "Hall's Lilliput Bank"
still bank was manufactured
by the J. and E.
Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. It was
as a mechanical
bank by Mr. John
Hall of Watertown,
patented on April 24, 1877.
The "Home Bank" still bank (Figure 2)
was also a product of the J. and E. Stevens
Foundry. Its creator was Mr. Doras A. Stiles of Middletown, Connecticut.
Figure .5 It, too, was originally designed and patented as a mechanical
bank. Its patent date was July 16, 1872.
The still bank examples, (Figures 1 and 2) present an attractive
appearance when viewed alongside their mechanical look-alikes. Such a
display can only serve to enhance a collection's visual and historical
Other still banks which mimic the design and configuration of a
mechanical bank include such notables as "1876 Bank" (Figure 3), "Home
Bank" Dog on turntable Building (Figure 4), and "Snap-it Bank" (Figure
5), all manufactured by the Judd
Manufacturing Company of Wallingford, Connecticut. The J. and E. Stevens
Company of Cromwell, Connecticut manufactured "New Bank"
(Figure 6) and "Novelty Bank" (Figure 7). "Presto Bank", seen in Figure
8, was the product of Kenton Hardware, Kenton Ohio and A.C. Williams,
To conclude, collectors are quite resourceful and creative when
exhibiting their passion. Many a mechanical bank display is greatly
enhanced by the employment of reflective still bank examples, advertising trade cards, patent models and other
items of historical significance.
Acknowledgments: The fine examples "Hall's Lilliput" still bank (Figure
1) and "Home Bank" still bank (Figure 2) are housed in the collection of
Special thanks to fellow bank collectors and historians, Bob and Shirley
Peirce, and the Still Bank Collectors Club of America for providing the
still bank photos utilized in Figures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.