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Still Banks: Desirable Additions
to a Mechanical Bank Collection

by Sy Schreckinger ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine May, 2012

     DURING 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 originally designed as a mechanical bank by Mr. John Hall of Watertown, Massachusetts, and 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 importance.
     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, Ravenna, Ohio.
     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 Bob Weiss.
     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.

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