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"Time" Registering Bank
by Sy Schreckinger ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine February, 2014

DURING THE LATTER portion of the nineteenth century the first patented cast iron mechanical penny bank was introduced to the marketplace. Entitled "Hall's Excelsior", it was intended to inspire children, via their playthings, to be thrifty and save their pennies.
     Booming sales resulted in an innovative and profitable business venture. The period spanning 1869 through 1935 saw the birth of more than five hundred different mechanical banks portraying a plethora of subjects, including utilitarian items. Examples of such commonly utilized items included a country store cash register, a pocket watch, a train station platform scale, various ticket and drink dispensers, a sewing machine, the common skeleton key, a mantel or shelf clock, etc...
     Our subject, this article, "Time" Registering Bank (Figure 1), represents one of the aforementioned items, namely a stylized column and splat shelf clock, as seen in Figure 2. The invention of "Time" Registering is attributed to Edward R. Ives and Charles A. Hotchkiss of Bridgeport, Connecticut. They were assigned Patent Number 445,754 on February 3, 1891 (Figure 3).
     Although "Time" Registering Bank, simply by its title, may be referred to as a registering bank it can also be classified as a mechanical bank. Despite the accomplishment of coin deposit manually via a movable elevated coin chute, reclamation of coins is achieved by a mechanically-activated coin retrieval door located on the facade of the bank.
     Operation of "Time" Registering Bank is quite simplistic, albeit appropriate to its subject. A "how to operate" tutorial paper label was originally affixed to the back of each example sold. It read: "Time Lock Registering Bank For Dimes. The Bank cannot be locked unless both hands point to 0.
     To lock the bank place the door in position and press it firmly. Place a dime in the chute and pull the chute quickly right, then to the left and the clime will then be deposited. The door locked, and the amount registered on the Dial.
     When 100 dimes Figure 2 ($10.00) are deposited, the bank will unlock and the door drops out. The long hand registers cents, the short hand registers dollars. When one hundred dimes are deposited and both hands point to 0 the bank unlocks. Patent Applied For L.B & W. Co."
     "Time" Registering Bank was produced by Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The company was one of the foremost toy manufacturers in the United States. They specialized in cast iron, clockworks toy train sets. There were, however, several mechanical banks that have been attributed to the firm. They include the clockwork "Bull Dog Savings Bank", "Uncle Sam Bust Bank" and "Registering Dime Savings Bank". The latter, as seen in Figure 4, is similar in design, concept and action to our subject.
     "Time" Registering Bank is extremely rare, with little more than, perhaps, a handful of operational and complete examples.
     I am currently aware of one variation of "Time" Registering Bank, and that pertains specifically to its finish. It may also be decorated in a Brown Japanning with gold painted trim. I am not, however, aware of any "Time" Registering Bank reproductions.
     The following dimensions are provided solely to inform the collector of size and scale. Height: 7-1/4 inches. Width: 4-13/16 inches. Depth: 1-3/4 inches.
     Acknowledgment: The fine example of "Time" Registering Bank, seen in Figure 1, is within the collection of Bob Weiss.

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