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Confessions of a Mechanical Bank Collector
The Edwin Mosler Mechanical Bank Sale

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1982 

     When I was first approached to write an article on the dubious distinction of being first in line for the June 2nd sale of the Edwin H. Mosley collection of mechanical banks at the Statler Hilton, my first thoughts were to deny the entire experience. However, after some contemplation, I couldn't resist relating the tale of a man obsessed in his desire to own a bank belonging to one of the most prestigious collectors of all time — the late Edwin Mosler.
     The fact that Ed had taken great pleasure in the ownership of one of my favorite mechanicals gave impetus to my desire to acquire it. The purchase of this treasure involved the planning of how far in advance of the sale must one begin standing in line. A month? Two weeks? A day? After all, the ad announcing the bank sale did state "choice of banks would be handled on a first come-first served basis."
     I began wondering if anyone else was already standing in line. The sale was, after all, only six weeks away. I immediately took a discreet stroll up to the sixth floor of the Statler Hilton. Whew! No one standing in front of Suite 600A, the office housing the Mosley collection. I still had time to station a human body in front of the Mosler suite to insure my number one position in line. I found this desperate soul on an unemployment line in Brooklyn, and coincidentally he was in the number one position there. This individual was perfect — a recent graduate from college in need of a job and possessing unquestioning patience. After introductions and discussion of mechanical banks, I was convinced that my search need not continue. I had found "Ira."
     On Friday, May 28, at noon. both Ira and I met in front of Suite 600A. What luck. Only five days before the sale and still no one had arrived. Ira didn't know what to make of the situation, but he didn't object since I had given him his first payment in advance; however, I did catch him eyeing me suspiciously for the next few days.
     I proceeded to rent a room on the sixth floor, not more than twenty feet from the infamous Suite 600A, where I slept the next five nights as Ira stood vigil — a beer in one hand and a book in the other.
     Saturday approaches: I'm still number one, and Ira is second. We discuss the uneasy feeling that, perhaps, we are wasting our time and have arrived too far in advance. As doubt creeps in, Ira glibly reassures me that" the early bird catches the worm," and asks for his next day's pay.
     Secure in the knowledge that my new found friend will hold the numbers one and two spots in line. I remain free to spend my nights dreaming of that "one great bank" — the reason I am willing to "vacation" at the Statler. The alarm rings; seven hours have passed, and it is time for me to take over for Ira. He informs me that overnight, he had made friends with all of the security guards. In fact, he has convinced them, as well as the hotel guests of the sixth floor, that he is, indeed, one of the security guards!
     As day four approaches. I notice that my protégé is getting caught up in the passions of bank collecting. He actually begins to think he's there to add banks to his collection. Ira rambles on about owning the Mikado, the Bread Winners, the Shoot the Chute. Too bad the Freedmans has already been sold off. With some trepidation, I must burst his bubble. Ira is informed of the prices of the banks of his fantasy. A momentary depression follows, but he immediately bounces back when I tell that we're having his favorite for dinner this evening — Chinese food.
     Day five: another standee shows up. Sent by a Mr. S.S. from Chicago, this person stakes out the number three spot in line. Soon afterwards, Mr. I.A.M., another Chicagoan appears on the scene. He is a bit disappointed at the realization that others are ahead of him, but graciously accepts the number four position on the line. It is somewhat reassuring to see other people waiting, proving that there are other obsessed persons in this world of bank collecting.
     Before long, who should appear but the famous toy dealer, Mr. F.W. from Baltimore, Maryland. A look of frustration and dissatisfaction appears upon his face as he sees that there are four people ahead of him. It is difficult for someone as determined as F.W. to realize that others are possessed with equal determination.
     As additional people began arriving, I realized that my first bank choice was also the first choice of 90% of the other collectors. Within three hours, the hallway in front of 600A becomes crowded with people. Suddenly, security guards and the manager of the Statler are upon us. We are told to disperse or "be removed bodily." In an attempt to retain our positions in line, the standees already there form a numbered list as more people show up for the sale, they are assigned a place on that list. Mr. I.A.M. from Chicago graciously allows his room to serve as the registration center and Ira is called upon to register the new arrivals.
     The day of the sale approaches; there is electricity in the warm, stuffy hotel air. People are frantically offering both Ira and myself large sums of money for our places in line. I stand firm, but will Ira submit? No way! Ira can't wait to enter that forbidden room housing 600 of Edwin Mosler’s mechanical banks. He will actually see and touch many of those elusive objects we so passionately pursue.
     The moment we have all been waiting for arrives — 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 2nd. Lines are formed once again outside of Suite 600A according to the numbers on our unofficial list. At that time we are offered official numbered tags that are to be used as admission places for the sale, which will begin at 1 p.m. sharp. As I am handed the small yellow tag with the number "ONE" written on it, I may now be assured of that one prized bank which I've been waiting in line for all of these days. Ira is handed the number two tag, Mr. S.S. the number three, Mr. I.A.M. number four. Mr. F.W. number five, and so on, and so on....
     At last, 1 p.m. — "Sale Time." The doors of 600A are flung open and the line of people enter in an orderly fashion (after having been advised if they should become disorderly, they'll be ejected on their butts). As I enter Ed's office —the same room in which I've spent so many memorable hours engaged in friendly bank conversation with Ed — a sadness passes over me. Ed's banks, which had meant so much to him, are in evidence, but Ed is no longer here to enjoy them. The outward appearance of the office remains unchanged, but it now lacks the warmth and friendliness imparted by its former occupant. It is with difficulty that I glance at his chair as I pass the large walnut desk. Reluctantly I proceeded to remove my number one bank from its place on the shelf, as well as thirty-seven others for various collector friends.
     After payment is made, my friend Ira bids me farewell. I am thanked for this unbelievable experience and for the new world which has been opened to him.
     As I leave Suite 600A for the last time, carrying many of the great Mosler rarities, I notice another collector friend has been eyeing me enviously. Not being able to resist the impulse. I stop and ask him whether he thought it was a crazy idea to endure the tedium of waiting just for that number one tag. The collector looks at me, shakes his head, and replies, "Yeah, crazy like a fox."

The Girl Skipping Rope Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1982 

     This article will deal with "The Girl Skipping Rope." which I believe to be possibly one of the most esthetically pleasing mechanical penny banks ever manufactured. Other mechanical banks may have as their subject matter unsavory depictions of ethnic and racial groups, clowns, animals and bizarre creatures represented oftentimes in peculiar situations, beings having their heads battered, whacked and cracked, and grotesque greedy gargoyles gobbling coins. However, in the Girl Skipping Rope, we see a young beauty who possesses the most delicate of facial and bodily proportions — a bank that truly reflects the innocence and naivety of childhood.
     Wind up this mechanical bank, deposit a penny and the little girl will skip rope just for your entertainment. Her head gracefully turns from left to right and. as her legs swing back and forth the braided golden rope she holds in her hands passes over her head and under her feet.
     Patent papers (figure 2) attest to the fact that the bank was patented on May 20. 1890 by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and assigned U.S. Pat, No. 428,450. (An interesting observation was the fact that the patent papers depict a Negro girl rather than a Caucasian.) The Girl Skipping Rope was manufactured by the Stevens Company, an iron foundry, located in Cromwell, Connecticut. Incidentally, an early Stevens' catalog identified this mechanical as "The Jumping Rope Bank."
     It can be said that much of the rarity of this bank is attributed to the difficulty the Stevens Company had in casting the delicate open floral designs of the external casing that houses the bank's gears, spring and fly wheel. Because of the complexity of the casting process, few banks were successfully produced unflawed, and this was reflected in its high price to consumers (approximately four times that of other mechanical banks produced and sold in those years).
     As to the colors which the bank was painted, variations were limited to the girl's dress. On some, the colors are combinations of red, blue, white and beige; others are found painted in pale yellow, cream, white and light blue, while still others dress the little girl in pastel green, cream, white and pale yellow. Her cap may be either red or light blue, with both variations sporting a gold star design. Her tights are always beige-colored, and the high button shoes are light brown and black. The girl's delicate face and hands are always a natural pink flesh color and her hair is blond.
     At the end of the cap there appears an eyelet. Originally, this supported a multi-colored thread tassel. The example of this bank pictured in Figure I shows a tiny antique bell attached to the eyelet. This was apparently a replacement for the tassel by the original owner. Because of the historical charm which I feel it lends to the bank. I chose to leave the bell intact.
     The cage for the fly wheel, which is to the left side of the girl, is red and yellow with blue trim, while the major housing has sides that are red and green. A gray squirrel huddles just under the winder key. The base of the bank is green with gold trim and the support bar that holds the girl is blue.
     Last, but by no means least, the braided jump rope is gold. It is interesting to note that the rope was made from iron in some examples of the bank and of brass in others. Cast iron is brittle and resulted in numerous breakages. Thus, in order to alleviate the problem, the less fragile metal, brass, was incorporated into its design.
     The Girl Skipping Rope came with a detachable nickel plated crank-like winding key. To find a bank with the original key is a rare feat in itself.
     This particular mechanical bank, to my knowledge, has never been reproduced. However, if some unscrupulous person should take it upon himself to bless us with several of his private castings. I have included a base diagram identifying the bank's size and proportions (Figure 3). Unless cast from an original pattern, the dimensions of the Girl Skipping Rope will be approximately 1/8 inch smaller than the original bank. This is due to the shrinkage of the molten cast iron after it cools.
     The value of a good, all-original Girl Skipping Rope bank has increased over 300% in the past few years — quite an investment when one considers today's economy.
     In conclusion, I caution purchasers of any antique mechanical banks to be wary of reproductions and recasts, as they persistently haunt many unsuspecting dealers and collectors. 

The Acrobats Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1983 

     The Acrobats Bank, in my opinion, is unrivaled in capturing the excitement, thrills, and wonderment of the Big Top. Examples of other mechanical banks which represent circus gymnastic performers and balancing acts are the Clown on Globe, Boy on Trapeze, and the Tin on Bar. But these only portray solitary Figures and do not even approach the precision of movement and action of the Acrobats bank.
     In order to operate the bank, first place a coin in the slot to the right of the clown figure standing on the raised platform. Then press the lever behind the acrobat's heels, and this agile gymnast will execute a perfect hand stand on the bar above his head. Simultaneously, the tips of his toes will sharply kick a spur on the clown's chest, provoking a somersault that causes the clown's head to strike a lever which is responsible for the deposition of the coin. Quite a complex action!
     The Acrobats bank was patented on April 3, 1883, by Edward L. Morris of Boston, Massachusetts, and assigned U.S. Patent Number 275,068. It was interesting to note that the patent designates the coin slot be located between the clown's legs. However, the bank was manufactured with the coin slot on the outside, adjacent to his right leg (fig. 1).
     The Acrobats bank is fastened together entirely with rivets and riveted tabs; no screws are used. Thus, it is quite easy to tell whether any repairs have been made or a part has been replaced. One part, in particular, which usually shows up broken, is the hands of the gymnast. It is an extremely delicate casting and, because of the bank's strong spring, usually fails when placed tinder great stress and shock.
     The Acrobats was produced in two color schemes. However, variations in color are limited to parts of the bank other than the figures themselves. On all banks, the clown has pink skin, black eyes and eyebrows, and red mouth. His shirt is blue with a yellow collar. He sports red knickers, white stockings and shiny black shoes. Perched upon his head is a bright red and orange hat. The acrobat wears a white leotard top and tights, and these are outlined in dark blue. His trunks and boots are red and he has a wide, black belt. His face and hands are pink, while his hair, eyebrows, eyes and suave, handlebar moustache are black. The color variations are: one type has a dark blue base, tan support posts and a blue top with yellow stripes. The raised platform is red with a tan sawtooth design at the lower half.
     The banks also vary mechanically. Some have a small raised stop just behind the left heel of the clown. The purpose was to prevent the heel of the figure from accidentally hitting the lever and depositing the coin prematurely.
     The Acrobats bank has been reproduced and, because of this fact, I have included a base diagram indicating its exact size (fig. 2). A reproduction will measure approximately 1/8 inch smaller along the base than the original bank. This is due to the shrinkage of the molten iron after it cools.
     The Acrobats is extremely difficult to locate in all-original, unbroken condition, and is to be considered quite rare when found with superb paint.
     In conclusion, I once again caution purchasers of antique mechanical banks to be wary of reproductions. Knowledge and awareness of their existence are probably the collector’s greatest assets in avoiding frustrating and costly purchasing errors.

The Zig Zag Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1983 

     Countless collectors have spent numerous hours speculating about it: few have actually known about it; five have seen it: only one owns it. And now — presented to the mechanical bank collecting public — we have the legendary Zig Zag mechanical bank.
     Here we see a bank of such fragile construction and delicacy of casting that it is truly a wonder one, has survived the ravages of time, let alone children. To my knowledge, this is the only example of the Zig Zag in existence.
     The bank is operated by placing a coin in a slot atop of St. Nicholas' hat (Fig 1). The coin then rolls, by its own volition, first to the left, and then to the right, down a zig zag track behind the decorative front plate. This action takes place in full view of the depositor. As soon as the coin drops past the last zig, or zag, as the case may be, it hits a lever which releases a lid, and up pops a Jack in the box (Fig 2). Quite a pleasant reward from Father Christmas to little children who exhibit the admirable quality of thrift.
     The Zig Zag bank was patented October 22, 1889, by Moses Newman and George Henry Bennett of New York, and assigned Patent Number 413,204. An interesting note about the patent papers (Fig. 3) is that the face of St. Nicholas does not appear to be a part of the original design. It was, perhaps, an afterthought of the manufacturer — a seasonal improvement to possibly enhance sales as an item for Christmas.
     The colors of the Zig Zag bank are as follows: St Nicholas, as the classic jolly Christmas spirit of the 1800s, sports a gray cap with a blue brim and a red tassel. His face is a pink flesh color with red cheeks and a rosy, bulbous nose. His hair, eyebrows, moustache and heard are white. The internal zig zag track and stars, that can be seen through the front plate, are white, orange and light blue.
     The front plate and the container that houses the Jack in the box, as well as the back and bottom of the bank, are all painted a glossy, royal blue enamel. The words "Zig Zag Bank" are stenciled in gold letters on the front of the box. The words "Pat'd Oct, 22nd 1889" appear, in raised gold letters, on the cast iron front of the bank just above the lid of the box. Jack has a cloth cap and body with red, blue, yellow and white floral designs. His face is gesso-covered, finely molded papier-mâché and is painted white with black eyes, rosy red cheeks, red lips, and white teeth outlined in red. There is a jingle bell inside Jack's body so that, whenever he is activated, his jump is joined with the sounds of jingling. This, coupled with the face of St. Nicholas, adds much to the magic and ambiance of Christmas.
     The entire bank is fastened together with bent pins and a type of flat head rivet. These unique details, coupled with the Zig Zag's finely detailed casting and glossy, blue enamel paint, lead me to believe that the bank might have been manufactured by the Keyser and Rex Company of Philadelphia.
     The dimensions of the bank are 12-1/4 inches high by 4 inches wide.
     The Zig Zag bank now resides in the fine collection of the prominent mechanical bank collector, Mr. Al Davidson of Long Island. I am most pleased to have been instrumental in its acquisition, which came about two weeks prior to this Christmas of 1982.
     Yes, Al, there really is a Santa Claus!

The Two Frogs Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1983 

     Frogs, and toads, have been the subjects of many mechanical banks and are, therefore, no strangers to the world of the mechanical bank collector. Among the many fine representations of this subject matter are "Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat," "Chief Big Moon, "Frog on Rock," "Toad on Stump," "Frog on Round Base," "Snake and Frog in Pond," "Frog on Arched Track, " "Goat, Frog and Old Man," and "Initiating First Degree."
     The topic for this month's article will be the "Two Frogs" bank, which, in my opinion, is not just one of a family of mechanical banks, but the most artistic and unique of the group. This mechanical not only displays more than one frog but also possesses an almost bronze-like, nature study quality in both design and decoration.
     Unfortunately, the feeding habits of frogs are not accurately depicted, as evidenced by the operation of the bank. Place a coin on the front legs of the small frog, and press the lever behind the large frog: the baby frogs flipper then kicks the coin into "mama's" gaping mouth. Because of a poorly designed casting, this flipper has not fared too well under constant and harsh usage, and has become the bank's "weak spot." Most often, the "Two Frogs" bank is found sans flipper or with one that has been repaired.
     James H. Bowen was the inventor of the bank, and was granted Patent Number 262,361 on August 8. 1882 (Fig. 1). In researching the history of the "Two Frogs", I discovered two interesting facts regarding the aforementioned patent papers. The first is that the specific patent number represents and protects four totally different mechanical banks designed by James Bowen, three of which are completely unrelated to the subject of frogs. Those three are "Reclining Chinaman," "Paddy and the Pig", and "Elephant and Three Clowns."
     The second fact is that the drawings show an internal gear-activated device that, as Bowen stated, "is supposed to produce sounds or tones in imitation of the croaking of frogs." Unfortunately, this device was never actually incorporated into the mechanism, although it certainly would have been a most charming addition to this fine bank.
     The "Two Frogs" has a design variation which pertains to a coin baffle in the large frog's throat. The purpose of the baffle was to prevent deposited coins from being shaken out of the bank through the mouth. Some banks incorporate this baffle device while others do not.
     The "Two Frogs" paint scheme is extremely attractive and quite realistic. The large frog is a light yellow-green, overpainted with a transparent brown japanned glaze. She has a red mouth and brown glass eyes with black pupils. The baby frog is dark green with a red mouth and black glass eyes rimmed in yellow. Both mom and baby have a lemon-yellow underbelly, and both recline on a light colored aqua blue base with dark aqua blue pond grass designs.  
     The base plate is embossed with the words, "Eng Pat July 28. 1882, U.S. Pat Aug. 8. 1882", and is made to accept the round Stephens type of coin trap.
     In view of the fact that the "Two Frogs" bank has been reproduced, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 2) indicating the size of an original bank. A reproduction will measure approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller along the base than the original.
     The "Two Frogs" is extremely difficult to acquire in all-original, unbroken condition because of the aforementioned fragile flipper. Thus, a word of caution: be wary of "Two Frogs" banks bearing false flippers.

The Reclining Chinaman Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1983

     Historically, minority groups in this country have borne the brunt of hostility and ridicule. During the mid-to-late-1800s, the United States underwent a dramatic growth change due to immigration. A new racial element entered the American scene with the arrival of persons of Oriental background. Their presence posed serious problems for 19th century America. Although economic factors were important considerations, the major problems were difficulty in assimilation and the attitudes which prevail towards minorities. This article will deal with a creation of those times, the "Reclining Chinaman", a mechanical bank which is representative of the prejudice and stereotyping that was directed specifically against the Chinese people.
     The bank portrays the Chinese as having a "sardonic" smile, a penchant for gambling, shrewdness in money matters, using logs instead of chairs or beds, and living with, and using rodents for sustenance. Unlike banks such as the" Girl Skipping Rope" which offers esthetic value in its grace and beauty, the" Reclining Chinaman's" value lies in its historical and anti-racial theme.
     The smiling" Chinaman" holds his concealed poker cards in his right hand, while left hand is extended. His gestures tempt one to see his bet in order to be shown the cards. A penny is placed in the pocket of his tunic, and the lever at the far end of the log is pressed. At that moment his left hand moves towards his mouth as if to cover a victorious snicker. The "Chinaman" then displays his hand of four aces. Simultaneously, the money is deposited into the bank. At this point, I must offer a word of caution. The arms and hands are the "weak spots" due to their delicate casting, sharp action and precarious position. When a "Reclining Chinaman" bank is found, the chances are great that either one or both of the arms and/or hands will be broken.
     The "Reclining Chinaman" bank was invented by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia and was granted Patent number 262,361 on August 8, 1882. While researching this particular patent, an interesting fact emerged. The same patent papers that protect the "Reclining Chinaman" also apply to the "Two Frogs", "Paddy and the Pig", and the "Elephant and Three Clowns" mechanical banks. However, the patent papers make no reference to any figure other than the "Two Frogs" shown in its drawings (Fig. 1).
     The "Reclining Chinaman" was produced with two color variations but these pertain mainly to the clothing of the "Chinaman" and the drape upon which he leans. All other parts of the bank are painted in a standardized color scheme. The base and log area reddish brown; the two ends of the log are pale orange. The rodent under the subject's leg is gray with black eyes. The "Chinaman's" face, hands and arms are a natural pink flesh color. He has black hair, queue and eyebrows. His eyes are painted white with black pupils, and his lips are red. The cards in his right hand have reddish brown backs, while the other side has a white ground with a red heart painted on one card, a black club on the second, a black spade on the third, and a red diamond on the fourth card.
     The color variations previously mentioned are as follows: on some banks the drape which the "Chinaman" rests upon is dark purple with a yellow fringe; on others, it's painted light blue with a yellow fringe. On the banks with the purple drape, the "Chinaman's" tunic is dark blue with yellow piping, collar and buttons. He has pale yellow pants, white socks and black shoes with white soles. On the banks which have the light blue drape, the "Chinaman" dons a dark purple tunic with yellow piping, collar and buttons. He wears light blue pants, white socks and black shoes with white soles.
     The base of the bank accepts the round Stephens coin trap, indicating it was manufactured by the Stephens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut. The words "ENG. PAT. JULY 1882. U.S. PAT. AUG 8, 1882" are embossed into the base plate.
     To the best of my knowledge, the" Reclining Chinaman" bank has never been reproduced commercially. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 2) to better acquaint you with its size and scale.
     On a final note — the "Reclining Chinaman" is a bank of extraordinarily fine casting and design. Combined with its odd subject matter and historical significance it has not only become one of my favorites, but one which most serious mechanical bank collectors take great pride in owning.

The Elephant and Three Clowns
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1983

     The Elephant and Three Clowns is a tiny gem of a bank encompassing all of the charm and excitement of the circus. Although it is one of the smallest of the mechanicals, its size does not detract from its desirability.
     The bank is one of a large family, portraying that most amusing and entertaining denizen of the Big Top: the beloved clown. Other mechanicals in this group are: Acrobats; Bill-E-Grin; Circus; Clown and Dog; Clown Bust; Clown on Bar; Clown on Globe; Hoopla; Humpty Dumpty; Jolly Joe; Clown and Harlequin; Professor Pug Frog; Punch and Judy; Trick Dog; and the Zig-Zag Bank.
     The Elephant and Three Clowns was patented on July 28, 1882, by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia PA, and was assigned U.S. Pat. 262,361. It was manufactured by the Stephens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut. Of interest is the fact that the same patent papers that protect the Two Frogs Bank, the reclining Chinaman, and Paddy and the Pig, also protect the Elephant and Three Clowns. And, further, these patent papers illustrate only the Two Frogs Bank and its internal mechanism (see Fig. 1). It is these patented levers, pivots, and springs which are responsible for the fascinating actions of both the Two Frogs Bank and the Elephant and Three Clowns.
     The operation of the Elephant and Three Clowns is most interesting and worthy of special mention. First, a coin is placed between the two gold rings under the elephant's head, and then the legs of the clown who is balancing the ball are pulled back. The top clown pivots at the waist; simultaneously, the elephant's trunk sways to the right, depositing the coin into the bank.
     The Elephant and Three Clowns bank is extremely delicate and quite intricate in design. It is for these reasons that, when one does show up, many times parts are either broken or missing. One cannot truly appreciate the full charm or beauty of this bank until it is seen with most, or all, of its original paint. Thus, when one is found in perfect condition with superb paint, it commands a premium price.
     The Elephant and Three Clowns does not have any design variations that I am aware of, but it was decorated in several COLOR variations. These variations pertain only to the tub on which the elephant stands and the blanket; the remainder of the bank, including its figures, remain constant in its color scheme.
     The elephant is gray; he has a red mouth, white tusks, white eyes with black pupils and the tip of his trunk is red. The clown riding on his back has a red, yellow, and blue cap, red shorts a red shirt which displays a blue star, and he sports black shoes. His face is pink with brown decorative markings and he has black eyes with a red mouth.
     The figure holding the gold rings has a blue tunic with a red sash. He has black hair, eyes, and moustache. The figure balancing the gold ball also has a blue tunic with a red belt; his eyes and hair are black and he has a red mouth.
     The tub was painted either in tan with gold trim and a red top, or, blue with gold trim and a red top. The elephant's blanket is painted either red, or blue, with yellow fringe.
     The base plate is embossed with the words: "U.S. Pat, Aug. 8,1882, Eng. Pat July 28, 1882", and is made to accept the round Stephens' type coin trap.
     I have not seen or heard of any reproductions of the Elephant and Three Clowns bank; nevertheless, since the possibility may exist I am including a base diagram (Fig. 2).
     Just a final word about paint variations: sometimes a bank that is authentic and all original will show up deviating from its traditional color scheme. This might reflect either the foundry artist's mood, expressions of individuality, or a special presentations bank (i.e., specific banks designed and hand-painted by the great mechanical bank designer, Charles A. Bailey). One can distinguish authentic old paint either by age crazing, patina, or general appearance. If there is any doubt as to paint or authenticity, an authority should be consulted before making a costly error.

The Peg Leg Beggar Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1983

     When it was advertised in the Summer edition of Ehrichs Fashion Quarterly of 1880, it sold for only fifty cents apiece, and was called "The Beggar Bank." Today, mechanical bank collectors refer to it as the "Peg Leg Beggar," and a fine specimen may sell for more than twenty-five hundred times the original price.
     The Peg Leg Beggar is one of those banks which, due to its simple casting and vague background has made it susceptible to an over-abundance of unauthorized reproductions.
     Some forty-odd years ago, two brothers who were living in the Philadelphia, PA, area took it upon themselves to honor the collecting community with several recasts of the Peg Leg Beggar bank and its related counterpart, the Circus Ticket Collector bank (subject of a subsequent article). These reproductive castings were not of exceptional quality, by most standards; however, many a defrauded collector will testify to the fact that, for the past forty years, these banks did, and still do, elude detection. I do caution the collector to be wary when purchasing either of these banks. An understanding of the casting process and a feeling for paint quality are mandatory in discerning the originals from the recasts.
     A few things to look for when determining the Peg Leg Beggar's authenticity include: 1. the smooth quality of the cast iron, both inside and out; 2. how well the two sections of the castings fit (there should be no wide gaps between halves); 3. the front coat buttons should be well-defined (Fig. 1) (in the reproductions, these buttons are practically non-existent); 4. the head should be a two-piece casting, not solid; and 5. the paint should have a smooth patina.
     The original Peg Leg Beggar bank was painted in two color variations. The face and hands maybe either black or a pale pink color. Both variations have white eyes with black pupils, black hair, and a red mouth.
     The bodies also may be painted differently. One is painted an overall copper color with a white shirt and red V-shaped tie. His hat, shoe, peg leg, and buttons are black. The other color variation shows the body to be an overall brown, japanning-type finish with a white shirt and red V-shaped tie. His hat shoe, peg leg, and buttons are also black.
     The bank is operated by placing a coin into the slot in the hat. This tips a balance lever connected to the Beggar's head, which then nods in acknowledgement of your generous gift.
     For many years any background information in regard to the manufacturer of the Peg Leg Beggar had been sadly lacking. Then, several years ago, correspondence surfaced that exposed a legal confrontation between the Judd Manufacturing Company of Wallingford, Connecticut, and the Stephens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut The Stephens Company contended that the Peg Leg Beggar bank infringed upon their patent of the Tammany Bank (Fig. 2). The Judd Manufacturing Company acquiesced and ceased production of both their Beggar bank and the Circus Ticket Collector bank (the factor contributing to their rarity today).
     For some unknown reason, the Judd Manufacturing Company never patented any of their banks, and. if it had not been for the above-mentioned correspondence, the manufacturer of both the Beggar bank and the Circus Ticket Collector might still be unknown.
     Other banks manufactured by the Judd Company are: Circus Ticket Collector, Boy and Bulldog: Bucking Mule; Butting Goat; Bulldog; Standing; Bear with Paws Around Tree Stump; Dog on Turntable; Snap-It; Gem; Mosque; and the very rare Giant bank.
     Because of their simplicity, many of the Judd banks have fallen easy prey to recasting. And, as stated previously, one must exercise caution in the purchase of these mechanical banks.
I have included a base diagram (Fig. 3) to facilitate recognition of an original Peg Leg Beggar. The recast version is approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller, length and width.
     In conclusion, the odd subject matter of this bank, as well as its enigmatic background, contribute to the Peg Leg Beggar's charisma.

The Circus Ticket Collector Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1983

     For the first sixty years of its existence, the Circus Ticket Collector bank was referred to as the "Money Barrel Bank." It was advertised as such in the 1870's edition of Ehrichs Fashion Quarterly (a New York City-based mail order firm). However, the name "Money Barrel Bank" became obsolete; why and when this happened still remains a mystery. The first recorded usage of the name "Circus Ticket Collector" appeared in Ina Hayward Bellows' book, Old Mechanical Banks published in 1940.
     Both Ina Bellows, and twelve years later, in 1952, pioneer collector John D. Meyers, in his book Mechanical Penny Banks, make reference to a variation specifically pertaining to the face of the Circus Ticket Collector. The variation was that the man was bearded. Other than these references, I have never seen nor heard of a bearded variety. (If readers of this article have seen a bank so described. I would appreciate your advising me of it.) My contention is that quite possibly the white paint flaking off the cheeks, chin, and upper lip of the face exposed the black underpaint, thus giving the illusion of the beard.
     The fragility of the facial paint was due to the fact that, instead of a primer, a hard glossy black paint was used as an undercoat, causing an adhesion problem with the white paint that was applied over it This problem resulted in extensive flaking of the face (Fig. 1). There are other mechanical banks which share in the same faulty use of glossy black underpaint. They are: "Hold the Fort," (Eight Sided Building), and "John Bull's Moneybox," (of English manufacture). These banks, including the Circus Ticket Collector, are extremely difficult to locate in fine paint condition, and, if found, do command a premium price.
     The Circus Ticket Collector was produced in two color variations that applied only to the body of the man and his money barrel. His face is consistent in its color scheme, in that the hair, eyebrows, and eyes are black; the face is an off-white, and the mouth is red (all painted over the glossy black undercoat).
     The color variations are: on one, the man's body and the barrel are painted a copper-bronze color. He sports a white shirt with a red V-shaped necktie. His coat buttons and shoes, as well as the barrel hoops, are black. The second variation has the man's body and the barrel painted with a brown japanning. He wears a yellow-ochre shirt with a white collar. His coat buttons and shoes are black. The barrel hoops on this variation are red.
     The bank is operated by placing a coin into the slot atop the barrel. This tips a balance lever connected to the Ticket Collector's head, which then nods in acknowledgement of your contribution.
     For many years, background information regarding the manufacture of the Circus Ticket Collector had been sadly lacking. Then, several years ago, correspondence surfaced that exposed a legal confrontation between the Judd Manufacturing Company of Wallingford, Connecticut, and the Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut. The Stevens Foundry contended that the Peg Leg Beggar Bank along with the Money Barrel Bank, infringed upon the patent of their Tammany Bank (Fig. 2). The Judd Company acquiesced and ceased production of both their Beggar Bank and the Money Barrel Bank (the factor contributing to their rarity today).
     Unfortunately, the Circus Ticket Collectors simple design led to the creation of numerous unauthorized reproductions, This fact is all the more understandable when considering that the bank originally sold for fifty cents apiece, and today, a fine, original specimen may be purchased for a price that reflects over a three thousand percent increase.
     As I have cautioned in previous articles, one should be wary when purchasing any mechanical bank. A thorough understanding of the iron casting process, and a sensitive feeling for paint quality and patina are mandatory in discerning an original from a recast.
     A few things to look for when determining the authenticity of an original Circus Ticket Collector Bank include: (1) the smooth quality of the cast iron, both inside and out: (2) how well the two sections of the castings fit (there should be no wide gaps between halves); (3) the front coat buttons must be well-defined (Fig. 3); (4) the man's head should be a two-piece casting; and (5) the paint should have a smooth patina.
     Because of the numerous recasts in circulation today, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 4) to facilitate identification of an original Circus Ticket Collector. A recast will be approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller in length than the original.
     I must conclude with the paradoxical statement that the Circus Ticket Collectors charisma lies in its lack of historical significance, lack of intriguing subject matter, lack of color, its small size, and finally, its unimposing presence.

Little Jocko Musical Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1983

     The colorful figure of the organ grinder accompanied by his monkey was commonplace on the streets of New York City during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Providing entertainment to the people was his objective — and so he did — particularly to the youngsters. His lilting ethnic melodies, so reminiscent of his native land, beckoned to the children to gather pennies from their mothers to feed the tiny paw of Jocko, the organ grinder's greedy monkey.
     The popularity of this comical duo became, not by mere coincidence alone, the subject matter of many a toy savings bank. During the 1880's, the Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, produced various organ banks. Some portrayed monkeys; others, cats and dogs; and still others, children.
     In 1882, the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania, also manufactured an organ bank, but this one featured an organ grinder and dancing bear.
     In the early 1900's, the Hubley Mfg. Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, produced still another organ grinder and monkey bank.
     And then some time around the year 1912, the Strauss Company of New York City produced the "Little Jocko Musical Bank" a mechanical bank that is regarded by many collectors to be the most desirable organ bank ever manufactured (and the subject of this article).
     This bank and the "Thrifty Tom" were the only two mechanical banks known to be produced by the Strauss Mfg. Company. Unfortunately, to this date, no patent papers have been located for the Little Jocko, thus depriving the collector of valuable background information regarding this fine mechanical.
     The Strauss Company not only manufactured mechanical and tin registering banks, but many sheet metal toys of the period, as well as various other metal products.
     Much of the charm of the Jocko Musical lies not only in its subject matter, colorful appearance, and fascinating action, but also in the primitive plink plank, plunk of its musical mechanism.
     Printed on each side of the bank is the ditty:
          "Drop a penny in the cup
          Then turn the crank around
          You will see the monkey dance
          And hear the music sound."
which fully describes the Little Jocko's action.
     First a coin is inserted into the coin slot within the monkey's cup (Fig. 1). The crank is then turned, causing the monkey to rotate clockwise, as a nondescript plink plank, plunk tune emanates from within the bank Only one tune is played for a single coin. Otherwise, the crank rotates freely, causing no further action or music to take place.
     The Little Jocko is considered quite a rare bank and, upon close examination, one will gain insight into just why this is so. The crank is extremely delicate and prone to breakage, as is the small tin cup atop the bank The little monkey, made from soft lead, is removable and easily lost or dropped and broken.
     Also, a key is required to open the bank for removal of its coins. If the key was lost, one can just imagine a child feverishly applying a screwdriver or sharp object trying to break open the lock in order to gain access to the pennies stored within.
     Lastly, Jocko's one-dollar price tag (Fig. 2), quite high for those years, might have proven quite prohibitive and may have limited sales to a fortunate few. All of these factors contribute to the bank's scarcity today.
     The colors and design of the Little Jocko are most attractive. The organ is red-orange. The name, "Little Jocko Musical Bank," is gold, as is the frame around the scene of Venice on the front of the bank. The two harp designs and the scrollwork decorations on the front, top, sides, and back of the bank are also gold.
     The scene of Venice is executed in delicate pastel shades of white, blue, pink and brown. The tin cup is gold with a white stripe circumscribing its base.
     The monkey's face, hands, feet and tail are cocoa brown. His cap and pants are painted bright transparent blue, and he sports a bright transparent red shirt.
     I am not alone in my feelings that much of the charm of this bank lies in the graphics depicted on its backside (Fig. 3). Here we see a caricature of a pipe organ, with the pipes depicting comical human faces. Their colors are bright yellow with red tones. All of the facial features are drawn in dark blue. The entire organ is outlined in gold.
     Because of the Jocko Musical's complicated mechanism and the fact that it is manufactured largely from lithographed tin, the chances of its being reproduced are extremely remote. But that does not preclude the possibility of a recast lead monkey or a recreated tin cup or crank. Therefore, these parts should be closely scrutinized before contemplating purchase of this bank. Fig. 4 is a base diagram to better help you determine the bank's size and scale.
     In conclusion, the rarity of the "Little Jocko Musical Bank" not only lies in the scarcity of its examples, but in the fact that most of those that do exist have either replaced monkeys, cups, or inoperable musical mechanisms. And, finding a fine one, complete and in perfect working condition, offers a monumental challenge to the collector.
     CORRECTION: (from October, 1984) In the August, 1983 issue of Antique Toy World, the "Little Jocko Musical Bank" article erroneously stated that: "the Ives Blakeslee and Williams Company manufactured the Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog and the Organ Bank with Monkey, Boy and Girl."
     The manufacturer should have correctly been listed as the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania. My sincerest apologies to both Louis and Alfred C.

The Chimpanzee Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1983

     Monkeys have been the subject of many a mechanical bank. However, only one mechanical represents a member of the family of Great Apes– that bank being the "Chimpanzee" (Other members of this family, but never depicted in a mechanical bank, include the Gorilla and the Orangutan, with the Gibbon sometimes included in the group.)
     On September 21, 1880, Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were granted Patent Number 232,511 for their design of the Chimpanzee Bank. As evident by the patent drawings (Fig. 1), the bank, as it was eventually manufactured, follows those drawings quite faithfully. Of importance and interest is the fact that not only did Kyser and Rex design and patent the Chimpanzee bank, but they also manufactured it.
     The action of this mechanical is both amusing and quite realistic. The Chimpanzee, representing an accountant with his ledger, sits behind a desk pen poised and ready to enter the deposited coin into his record book. In order to make a deposit, the slide in front of the ledger is pushed back exposing the coin slot, thus allowing a coin to be placed into the bank. Simultaneously, the Chimpanzees head tilts forward, his left arm lowers, and the pen touches the ledger as if to record the deposit; a bell chimes once from within the bank.
     The deposited coins are removed by way of a small square locking coin trap underneath the bank.
     Close examination of the Chimpanzee bank will reveal that great care and attention has been given to fine detail. This was the case with most banks manufactured by Kyser and Rex. Examples of other mechanical banks manufactured by these gentlemen are: Bowling Alley, Butting Buffalo, Confectionery, Dog Tray, Hindu. Lion and Two Monkeys, Mammy and Baby, Mikado, Motor Bank, Organ and Monkey, Organ and Monkey with Boy and Girl, Organ and Monkey with Cat and Dog, Organ Grinder and Dancing Bear, Tiny Organ and Monkey, Uncle Tom, and possibly, the Zig Zag Bank (see A. T. W., January, 1983).
     The Chimpanzee is not considered a rare bank; however, it is quite difficult to acquire one that is complete and in fine condition. When a Chimpanzee bank is found, it is very likely that either the roof will be cracked, the finial missing, the head and/or the arm of the Chimpanzee broken or missing, the base plate missing, and, most often, the paint will be in extremely poor condition. Find one complete, working, and in fine paint condition, and you have a true rarity . . . a mechanical well worth the premium price you most likely will have to pay for it.
     An interesting fact pertaining to the construction of this bank is that no screws were used as fasteners. The entire bank is secured with either rivets or bent-over iron lugs.
     The Chimpanzee bank does come painted in several color variations. The colors of the bank pictured in this article are: a red building, light green finial, base, window frames and archway over the chimpanzee. The chimpanzee's head and paws are brown; his mouth is red; his jacket is red with yellow piping; his eyes, shirt and ledger book are white. The edges of the ledger book, as well as the word "Chimpanzee," the tin window inserts, and various other decorations are finished in gold. The desk is bright blue and the inside of his cupola is lilac.
     Other paint variations of this bank reverse the red and green color combinations, and the Chimpanzee's jacket may be either red, green, blue, or yellow. Also, still another basic color variation of this bank utilizes predominantly red and blue, rather than red and green.
     Because of Kyser and Rex's penchant for unusual color schemes, I would caution against the hasty declaration that a Chimpanzee bank may be a misrepresentation if it fails to conform to any of the aforementioned color schemes. The possibility of still another color combination cannot be ruled out. As I have emphasized in other articles, if you are uncertain as to the authenticity of a bank, an expert in this field should be consulted.
     The Chimpanzee bank has been reproduced, and, therefore, I am including a base diagram showing its exact dimensions. A reproduced bank will be approximately one-eighth inch smaller than indicated (Fig. 2).
     The Chimpanzee has several design variations of which I am aware, but these do not add or detract from its value. Two relate to the tin inserts behind the lower arched windows: in one, the tin covers the windows fully, and in the other, the tin provides only partial concealment, with the arches exposed. Also, in one variation, the Chimpanzee's shoulders are quite wide and give the appearance of a triangular shape, while the other portrays the Chimpanzee with narrow shoulders.
     In closing, I feel the "Chimpanzee" is an extremely well-designed bank and makes an attractive addition to the Monkey and Great Ape group. Also, the collector who possesses a fine example of one should consider himself quite fortunate.

The Billy Goat Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1983

     This article will be devoted to a mechanical bank which is considered to be quite rare, although underrated and undervalued. The "Billy Goat" bank is small in size, monochromatic, and lacks exciting action - factors which have contributed to its underestimation. However, I am of the opinion that this tiny bank is one to be appreciated, and especially for its simplicity and graceful design.
     The Billy Goat's simple, graceful proportions and delicate floral designs pay tribute to the most prestigious of all mechanical bank designers - Charles A. Bailey. This innovative gentleman, who, as assignor to Charles B. Frisbie (both of Cromwell, Connecticut), patented the Billy Goat bank on July 26. 1910. tinder U.S. Patent number 965,842.
     As evidence by the patent papers, the Billy Goat bank appears to have faithfully followed the patent drawing (Fig. 1). The bank was manufactured by the J. and E. Stephens Foundry of Cromwell. Connecticut.
     Charles A. Bailey started his practice as a portrait bust designer and sculptor during the late 19th century. He them embarked upon pattern and toy design. His first patented mechanical bank was the" Baby Elephant Opens at X O'Clock," which was produced in a lead alloy material. This was one of Bailey's favorite media since it allowed for the casting of minute and delicate detail into his toys and mechanical banks. Several of his earlier banks were executed in this same lead alloy. However, the material proved too fragile for mass production, and subsequently, all of his later banks were manufactured out of the more durable metal - cast iron.
     Charles A. Bailey produced over thirty mechanical banks during his lifetime, thus giving him the unique distinction of being the most prolific mechanical bank designer of all time.
     Besides the Billy Goat, some of the other mechanical banks which incorporate the Bailey trademark of gracefully executed floral designs include: The Darkey and Watermelon; Milking Cow: Lion Hunter; Boy Scout Camp; Perfection Registering; Bad Accident; Hen and Chick; Boy Robbing Bird's Nest; and Chute the 'Chute.
     The operation of the Billy Goat bank is simple but effective. A coin is placed into the slot (Fig. 2) and the wire lever (Fig.3) is pulled toward the depositor. The goat then pivots up and over, striking the coin with his forehead, simultaneously depositing the coin into the bank The coins are removed by way of a round Stephens-type coin trap in the underside of the base.
     Simplicity also dominates the coloration of the Billy Goat bank: the base is painted silver with a raised red flower on each side. The goat is black with a large white marking on each of his sides: his eyes are white with black pupils.
     There are two casting variations of which I am aware: neither of these add to nor detract from the bank's value. In one, the name "BILLY GOAT BANK" is incised into one of its sides. In the other variation, no incised name is in evidence.
     In reference to the variation with the incised name, it is interesting to note that the letter "N" which appears in the word "bank" is reversed (Fig. 4), and one is reminded of the mistake a child is likely to make when first learning to print the alphabet. It has not been determined why this "error" had never been corrected at the foundry.
     As previously stated, the Billy Goat bank is quite rare, and I can only venture a guess as to the reasons for this. Coupled with its small, lackluster appearance, and the decline of mechanical bank popularity that occurred during a period of economic instability, few were purchased. And, most probably, of those that were purchased, many may have been broken, owing to the bank's delicate casting, and ultimately discarded.
     The scarcity in number and the rarity of the Billy Goat becomes evident when one discovers that many of the banks residing on collectors' shelves appear to be reproductions. The reasons for reproducing the Billy Goat are, as mentioned previously, the simplicity of casting and the great monetary value placed upon an original specimen. It is unfortunate that, several years ago, an unscrupulous individual reproduced a number of Billy Goat banks and sold them to unsuspecting collectors. These banks are still in circulation today.
     Some of the things one should be aware of in order to distinguish between an authentic Billy Goat and a recast are: the overall paint quality should be smooth and have that unmistakable aged patina. The entire bank should be underpainted with a creamy tan color that will show through under any worn spots, including the underside base plate. The quality of the iron should be very smooth, both inside and out: the designs, detail, and lettering should be sharp and clear.
     All parts of the bank including the pull wire, are made of iron and these should respond to it magnet. And. finally, both halves of the bank are riveted together. No screws or other fasteners were used in the manufacture of the Billy Goat bank.
     I am including it base diagram to further help determine the size and authenticity of a Billy Goat bank (Fig. 5). The recast will appear approximately 1/16" shorter from end to end.
     In conclusion, it becomes apparent that one should be especially wary and exercise extreme caution when contemplating purchase of this particular bank.

The Confectionery Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1983 

     The subject of this month's article is quite a unique mechanical bank Not only does it have the distinction of being American-made, and constructed from cast iron, but, upon the deposition of a coin, vends an actual object – a small flat round confectionery: hence, the name "Confectionery Bank"
     On June 14, 1981, Rudolph M. Hunter of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was granted Patent number 243,048 for his design and invention of the Confectionery bank (Figure A). The bank, as it was eventually manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company of Philadelphia, follows those drawings quite faithfully.
     The operation of this mechanical is not only interesting, but very rewarding to the depositor. A stack of small, flat round candies is inserted into a compartment at the back of the bank (see Figures 3 and 4 of the patent drawings). A coin is placed into the slot on the counter top. The plunger on the front of the bank is then pressed. Simultaneously, the girl holding the tray pivots left a small door marked "LOZENGE" opens, a bell rings, and the confectionery is deposited into her tray. The girl returns to her original position (Figure B) with her sweet reward.
     The deposited coins are removed by way of a locking coin trap underneath the base of the bank.
     The detail and coloration of the Confectionery bank are extremely attractive, as is the case with most mechanical banks manufactured by Kyser and Rex (i.e.. the Bowling Alley; Butting Buffalo; Lion and Monkeys: Mammy and Baby; Mikado; Organ Grinder and Dancing Bear; and others).
     I am not aware of any design variations in the Confectionery bank, but there are several color variations. One has the curved front panel painted in shades of dark and light green. trimmed in gold. The molding at the base and the counter top rim is red. The counter top itself is yellow with brown wood graining. The back panel is gray with gold lettering, and the top finial is red with the words, "Confectionery Bank" in gold. The little girl has a yellow dress with a red bow and red buttons. Her face is pink with blue eyes, a red mouth, brown eyebrows, and brown hair. The tray she is holding is painted gold.
     Another color variation has the curved front panel painted red and blue with gold trim. The flat back section is yellow with red lettering. The little girl has a red dress with a yellow bow and buttons. Her face also is pink with a red mouth, blue eyes, brown eyebrows and brown hair. And her tray is also painted gold.
     There have been several theories expressed as to what types of candies were originally intended for use in the Confectionery bank. One of the earliest speculations was that the goods were either gum or foil-wrapped chocolates. However, I feel certain that these would have proven too messy or sticky for usage in such an intricate mechanical bank Another suggestion was that perhaps candy wafers were utilized. Mr. Bill Norman, a most knowledgeable and advanced bank collector, did some research into this matter and uncovered some very interesting information. It is quite possible, according to Mr. Norman, that NECCO candy wafers were originally intended for use in the Confectionery bank. Not only do these small, flat, round candy wafers fit perfectly into the compartment in the back of the bank but they also fit the small round tray carried by the little girl.
     "NECCO" (New England Confectionery Company) was a candy manufacturer that operated during the same period of time that the Confectionery bank was produced. And both companies existed in the same general northeast part of the country. In addition, early (1880) literature bears out the fact that NECCO candies were referred to as "LOZENGES," the very word which appears upon the Confectionery bank's small door that dispenses the candies into the little girl's tray.
     The price of the Confectionery bank in the 1880's was a modest seventy-five cents apiece, or eight dollars fifty-five cents per dozen. Included in this article is a reprint of an advertisement that ran in the 1886 edition of the Montgomery Ward Catalog (Figure C).
     Some of the "weak spots" or fragile areas to be wary of when contemplating the purchase of the Confectionery bank are: the figure of the girl, the small door marked "LOZENGE" where the candies are ejected into the tray, and the tray are either missing or replaced. The locking coin trap in the base or the square door in the back of the bank that conceals the candies (see Figure 4 of the patent drawings) is missing. And, finally, the small flower on top of the finial might be broken off Quite possibly, these fragilities, as well as other factors, have led to the rarity of the Confectionery bank.
It is interesting to note that on the curved front section of this mechanical is a raised circle circumscribing the words "PAT JUNE 1881." This date facilitated locating the patent papers shown in this article.
     I am not aware if any reproductions of the Confectionery bank exist Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram to show an original's configuration and scale (Figure D).
     To conclude, the Confectionery is highly prized and a favorite amongst most collectors. This is easily understood especially when one has had the opportunity to view, hold, and perhaps operate this delightful mechanical. 
     Correction: (from September, 1985) In the article entitled "The Confectionary Bank," which appeared in the November 1983 issue of Antique Toy World, it was erroneously stated: "the Kyser and Rex Company of Philadelphia"; it should have read; "the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford."

The Jolly Nigger Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1983 

     The year 1619 is infamous as the (date of the arrival of the first slave ships in Jamestown, Virginia. Accompanying the shame and degradation of human bondage was the introduction to American society of anti-black art literature, music, and various objects, including children's playthings.
     The world of mechanical penny banks was not to be left unaffected by these hostile and irrational racist attitudes. Examples may be cited of banks which portray black persons hitting their heads, falling, having their teeth yanked, mouths slammed, eating, kicking, and stealing watermelons and chickens, as well as involvement in a plethora of other humiliating situations.
     — Which leads us to the subject of this article: a mechanical penny bank with its humiliating stamp boldly emblazoned on its back – "THE JOLLY NIGGER BANK"
     On March 14, 1882, both Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr., of Buffalo, New York were granted Patent Number 255,090 for their invention of the Jolly Nigger bank. This bank was eventually manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York and later, when the Shepard Company ceased production, by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell. Connecticut. As evidenced by the patent drawings, the final production bank follows the patent papers faithfully (Figure 1).
     The operation of the Jolly Nigger bank is quite simple. A coin is placed in the right hand; the lever in his back is pressed down. Simultaneously, his eyes roll up, his tongue recedes, and his right arm raises the coin, whereby it is flipped into his gaping mouth and deposited within the bank.
     The bank which was produced by the Shepard Company allows for coin removal by unscrewing the entire base plate. In the Stevens variation, the coins are removed by opening the small round Stevens-type coin trap in the base. Both Shepard's and Stevens' castings of the head, arm, and body are identical. The only major casting differences are in the base plates.
     With the exceptions of some color variations which will be discussed later in this article, both Shepard and Stevens painted their Jolly Nigger banks exactly the same colors: the man's face, hair, and hand are black; his lips, nostrils, jacket, tongue, and spaces between his teeth are red. He has a black tie and buttons. His eyes are white with brown irises outlined in black and the pupils are black. The base plate of the Shepard bank is japanned with a brown lacquer and has the words, "MADE BY SHEPARD HARDWARE CO. BUFFALO N.Y. Pat'd in Canada Mar. 22, 1883." The Stevens' base plate is painted with a creamy whitewash and has the following words printed in raised lettering "Manufactured by the J and E Stevens Co. Cromwell Conn. U.S.A."
     The paint variations that show up occasionally, particularly in the Shepard Jolly Nigger, have, in some, the coat painted a bright ultra-marine blue, and in others, the face and hand painted in cocoa brown rather than black. Many collectors (myself included) feel both of these variations are extremely attractive.
     The Jolly Nigger bank gained great popularity during the period of its manufacture This possibly was due in part to its reasonable price of sixty cents apiece (see Figure 2, Montgomery Ward and Co. ad. circa 1889), the bank's sturdy construction, and, perhaps, because of its racist subject matter. This mechanical's anti-black theme has transcended the boundaries of our own country, and Jolly Nigger-type banks have been manufactured in England, France, Germany, Spain, South America, the Near East, and Canada. Some other names they are known by are: Jolly Nigger High Hat, Little Hi-Hat, Little Moe Little Joe, Sambo, Greedy Nigger Boy, Darky Bust, African Native – and the list goes on.
     I would venture to say this particular design was the most popular and imitated of any mechanical bank ever produced. I am not aware if any reproductions of the Jolly Nigger bank exist; nevertheless, Figure 3, a base diagram, shows its scale.
     Many collectors, including myself, find little, if any, charm or endearing qualities in the Jolly Nigger bank other than its historical significance. Rather, it reflects a period in our history of which I am certain this country is not particularly proud.

The Mamma Katzenjammer Bank
(a unique paint variation)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1984 

    Mama, the Captain, Hans, Fritz, and the Inspector were the cast of characters of a popular turn-of-the-century comic strip called "The Katzenjammer Kids." "Katzenjammer," a word in German slang meaning "hangover," was exactly what the mischievous Hans and Fritz gave to their doting mama.
     The Katzenjammer Kids cartoon strip was created by Rudolph Dirks* (Figure 2) and appeared under his pen and authorship from 1897 until 1912, in a newspaper entitled the New York Journal. Then, when Dirks tried to take a year's vacation during the time the strip was enjoying its heyday, the Journal terminated the artist's employment Dirks still retained the rights to draw his characters, which he did, under the title, "The Captain and the Kids," for another newspaper, the World. Meanwhile, the Journal retained the name, "Katzenjammer Kids" and commissioned another artist, Harold Knerr, to recreate Dirks' comic strip for them. These two comic strips ran simultaneously for more than thirty years.
     Mama, one of the strip's leading characters, was the inspiration for the creation of a mechanical banks which is the subject of this month's article. The Mama Katzenjammer bank depicts this perplexed character desperately trying to separate her bickering sons, Hans and Fritz (Figure 1) — and the action of the bank punctuates her frustration. A coin is deposited into a slot in her back. This causes her large eyes to roll upwards in despair. As the coin falls into the bank, her eyes return to their normal position. The coins are removed by way of a large round Stevens'-type coin trap.
     The Kenton Hardware Company of Kenton, Ohio, manufactured this nostalgic piece of whimsy some time between 1890 and 1920. Although it was the only mechanical bank that they ever produced, Kenton was one of the most prolific iron toy manufacturers of the period. They, and other toy companies, created several other toys and banks utilizing the Katzenjammer characters. There is a bell toy that depicts a spread-eagle Captain with Hans and Fritz riding upon his back. Another bell toy shows Hans and Fritz on a see-saw. And still another has Mama spanking both Hans and Fritz. Finally, there are two small roly-poly-type tin still banks of European manufacture, one of Mama, the other of the Captain.
     The Mama Katzenjammer mechanical bank is one of limited action, but its subject matter and colorful appearance more than make up for that deficiency.
     The bank pictured in this article is unique by not being painted in the conventional manner, and because of this, has the distinction of being considered a rarity. One should take note that antique cast iron mechanical banks were hand painted by workers, who, for the most part, maintained a high degree of creativity and artistry. This creativity occasionally resulted in banks which expressed individuality by deviating from the normal color scheme, and, thus, many have become coveted prizes for the collector.
     The coloration of a Mama Katzenjammer bank usually has Mama wearing a high necked ultramarine blue dress with black shoes. She has black hair. Her teeth are large and white. Fritz, the fellow on her right, has a yellow shirt with a white collar, red trousers, white socks, and black shoes. He has blonde hair. Hans, to Mama's left, sports a red shirt, with a white collar and a large black bow tie with white polka dots. He has yellow trousers, white socks, and black shoes. His hair is black. All three figures have pink skin, dark pink mouths, and blue eyes (portraying a strong family resemblance).
     The Mama Katzenjammer bank pictured in this article is painted in almost the same colors as the one previously described, except for the omission and change of several articles of clothing. Fritz is naked, except for his brown shoes; and Hans is not wearing pants. Mama's gown is low-cut and trimmed in white lace.
     The two halves of Mama are secured by a large single rivet passing through the front and back of her waist.
     An original Katzenjammer bank is quite rare, and its scarcity becomes even more evident when one discovers how few original examples exist. For fear of being redundant, I must once again caution the collector of mechanical banks, and especially this particular one, to be extremely wary when contemplating a purchase. One of the keys in discerning an original from a fake is paint quality and vividness. An original Mama Katzenjammer's colors are extremely bright and pure. The recasts were painted in dull hues, to have the banks appear old and dirty.
     I am also including a base diagram of an original bank (Figure 3). A recast will be approximately 3/32 of an inch smaller than the size indicated.
     Knowledge, awareness, and detection of reproductions are the collector's greatest assets in ultimately avoiding frustrating and costly errors.
*Figure 2 shows a caricature of the Captain, Mama, the Inspector, Hans, Fritz, and Rudolph Dirks, drawn by Dirks himself.
     Note: (from March, 1984) It has been brought to my attention that the article concerning the "Mamma Katzenjammer" mechanical bank (Jan. 1984 issue of Antique Toy World) incorrectly stated that the Kenton Hardware Company manufactured only this particular mechanical bank. The fact is that Kenton also produced the "Standing Bear" (slot in chest) mechanical bank.

Halls Excelsior
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1984

     December 21, 1869 may possibly be the most significant date in the history of the mechanical penny bank. It was on that date that John Hall, of Watertown, Massachusetts, was granted Patent number 98,055 for his invention of the "Halls Excelsior Bank" – the earliest patented, commercially manufactured, cast iron mechanical bank known.
     The patent papers (Fig. 1) bear evidence to the fact that the final production bank follows those drawings quite faithfully. The only deviations are: 1) the head of the mustached man became the head of a monkey, and, 2) the pull wire was attached to the monkey and cupola internally rather than externally.
     During his lifetime John Hall patented many mechanical penny banks, but only four are known to have been manufactured. They are: the Halls Excelsior Bank, the Race Course Bank, the Tammany Bank, and the Liliput Bank. These were all produced by the J. and E. Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     Each and every mechanical bank designed by John Hall has one unmistakable characteristic ... a series of weights and counterbalances that perform their action only upon the utilization and weight of a coin. In order to activate the Halls Excelsior Bank, the small glass knob on the front of the bank is pulled. This is connected to an internal wire which lifts the cupola, the wooden monkey, and the desk to the position shown in the photograph (Fig. 2). As the monkey is brought into position, his head swings left to right several times. A coin is then placed upon the desk, the weight of which causes the cupola to close and the coin, desk and monkey drop out of sight. To remove the coins, the bank must first be disassembled by unscrewing a long screw that connects the roof of the bank to its base.
     The Halls Excelsior Bank comes in several color combinations. The one portrayed in this article has white walls, green front steps, a green cupola, a red roof, red lettering, and a red brick base. The windows are outlined in blue, as is the spiral design on the sides. The two x's on each side of the word "HALLS" are also blue. The wooden monkey has a pink face with black hair, eyes, eyebrows and nose. He sports a dark blue jacket and a white shirt with tiny blue buttons. His wooden desk is red. There is a small paper label affixed behind his head that reads, "CASHIER."
     Some other color variations of the Halls Excelsior Bank include tan walls with a blue roof, yellow walls with a maroon roof, maroon walls with a tan roof, etc. The window trim and decorations also vary accordingly, and the monkey may, at times, be attired in a red jacket.
     As discussed in previous articles, patina and paint crazing should help the buyer of this or any antique mechanical bank discern an original from a repaint.
Aside from any paint color variations, there are only two casting variations of which I am aware. One has the patent date, Dec. 21, 1869, stenciled on the roof, and the other has this date actually cast into the roof.
     Some years ago, rumor had it that several original metal heads were found for the figure behind the desk, but these proved to be of modem manufacture. Until proven otherwise, the only authentic figures should be carved totally out of wood.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of the Halls Excelsior Bank: nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 3) to indicate size and scale.
     The Halls Excelsior Bank is not considered rare because so many were produced over such a long period of time. But when one discovers how few exist in superb paint condition, with a completely original monkey, desk and cashier's label – only then does this historical bank's true rarity and value become evident.

The Paddy and the Pig Bank
(The Shamrock Bank)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1984

     The old Irish saying, "As Irish as Paddy's Pig," could not be closer to the truth when describing this month's featured mechanical bank. First manufactured and sold in the 1880's by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, under the name, "Shamrock Bank," it was affectionately and more appropriately renamed "Paddy and the Pig" by mechanical bank devotees.
     James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, PA invented the Paddy and the Pig bank and was granted Patent number 262,361 on August 8, 1882. Attesting to this fact, and inscribed into the base plate, is the following information: "Eng. Pat. July 28,1882. U. S Pat. Aug. 8, 1882." Of particular interest is the fact that this same patent which protects the Paddy and Pig bank also protects the Two Frogs bank, the Reclining Chinaman bank, and the Elephant and Three Clowns bank. In addition, these patent drawings protect only the internal mechanism, and not the subject matter. (See Fig. 1)
     The Paddy and the Pig bank reflects a great deal of the same prejudicial attitudes shared by many toys and banks manufactured in the 19th century. The theme of this particular mechanical was centered upon the newly immigrated Irish people fleeing the famine and oppression of their homeland. The Paddy and the Pig bank portrays just about every conceivable stereotype ever concocted about the Irish: a man with the features and proportions of a leprechaun, who is adorned with shamrocks and a clay pipe. He sits with a jug of whiskey jutting from his pocket; his legs straddle a bespeckled pig who kicks pennies from its snout into Paddy's mouth.
     In order to operate the bank, a penny is placed upon the pig's flat nose. The lever in Paddy's back is depressed. Simultaneously, the pig's left leg kicks the coin towards Paddy's mouth, which then opens, extending a long pink tongue. Paddy's eyes roll upward in delight as the coin is deposited within the bank. These coins are removed by way of a round coin trap underneath the base.
     Because of the action the pig's left leg performs, as described above, this fine mechanical is often discovered in a condition where that leg is either broken or missing.
     I am not aware of any casting variations of the Paddy and Pig bank. However, there are three color variations which pertain solely to Paddy's coat. It could either be dark blue, dark brown, or dark green. All other parts of the bank are painted in a somewhat standardized color scheme: the base upon which Paddy sits is bright green; he has a light tan tote bag knotted around a brown shillelagh. A little brown jug juts from his back pocket. His jacket has a black collar and his sleeve buttons are gold. His tie is brown and yellow and the handkerchief in his lapel is tan with red polka dots. His knickers are yellow with black buttons and his knee socks are red. Paddy's shoes are black with gold buckles. His grey hat is adorned with a black band, a green shamrock and a white clay pipe. His face and hands are a pink flesh color, and his hair and eyebrows are black. His eyes are brown with black pupils. He has pink lips, a pink tongue, and his teeth are white. The pig is white with black spots. Its mouth is pink, as are the insides of his ears. Its hoof is tan and the tip of its nose is gold; the rope around its legs is tan.
     In view of the fact that the Paddy and Pig bank has been reproduced, I am including a base diagram (Fig 2) indicating the size of an original bank. A reproduction will measure approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base than an original.
     Paddy and the Pig is not considered rare, but its colorful, attractive appearance and complicated life-like action, coupled with its unusual subject matter, make it an extremely popular and highly sought-after mechanical bank.
     Finally, a cautionary note: because of the fragile nature and sharp action of the pig's leg, many Paddy banks are found with this part recast. You are correct in assuming that this greatly reduces its value to the serious collector.
     Note: It has been brought to my attention that the article concerning the "Mamma Katzenjammer" mechanical bank (Jan. 1984 issue of Antique Toy World) incorrectly stated that the Kenton Hardware Company manufactured only this particular mechanical bank. The fact is that Kenton also produced the "Standing Bear" (slot in chest) mechanical bank.

The Speaking Dog Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1984

     Imagine, if you will, a bank that doesn't humiliate the poor, doesn't ridicule the underprivileged, doesn't advocate violence, isn't anti-racial, and isn't political – a bank that does nothing more than evoke feelings of nostalgia and a sense of what it might have been like to be a child of "the good old days."
     Such is the subject of this month's article: the beautifully proportioned, delicately painted, "Speaking Dog" mechanical bank.
     On October 20, 1885, both Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr., of Buffalo, New York, were granted Patent number 328,723 for their design and invention of the Speaking Dog. As evidenced by the patent papers (Fig. 1), the final production bank follows these designs quite faithfully.
     The Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York started manufacturing the Speaking Dog bank around 1885. Then in 1892, when they discontinued their line of mechanical banks, the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, took over production.
     The workings of the Speaking Dog bank are quite complex and intricate, and because of this, a feeling of realism is achieved. A coin is placed upon the girl's round tray. As the lever next to her dog is depressed, the girl's right arm moves back and the tray tilts forward, depositing the coin into the bank. Simultaneously, the chute underneath the tray opens to accept the coin as the dog's jaw moves (hence, the name "Speaking Dog Bank") and its tail wags in contentment.
     The only difference between the bank produced by the Shepard Company and the bank produced by the J. and E. Stevens Company is the means by which the deposited coins are removed. The Shepard bank has a square key-locking coin trap in its base, while the Steven's bank utilizes a round coin trap that is opened without a key.
     Impressed into the base plates of both banks is the following: "Pat July 14, 1855 and Oct. 20, 1885." (This information aided in the location of the patent papers shown in Fig. 1.)
     Other than the coin traps, there are no casting variations of the Speaking Dog bank; however, there is a major color variation. More commonly, the little girl wears a red dress, but occasionally a bank is located that has the dress painted ultramarine blue. Although this is an attractive variant, it does not add to the ultimate rarity or value of the bank.
     The bank pictured in this article (Fig. 2) was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company and the following is its color scheme: the base is reddish-brown with yellow striping. The words, "Speaking Dog Bank," as well as a fancy flourish on the back of the bank, the dog's collar, the fringe on the girl's dress, and the buttons on her shoes, are gold. The top of the bank is light gray. The little girl's face and hands are a natural pink flesh color; her lips are red, and her eyes are blue with black pupils and eyebrows. She has long, wavy blond hair, and sports a red dress with a large white collar and a purple sash around its waist. The bow around her collar is light blue as is the ribbon on her yellow hat. Her stockings are also light blue. The round tray is black, as is the operating lever and the little girl's high button shoes. The dog is mocha brown with white ears and paws. Its eyes are brown with black pupils and it has a red mouth with white teeth.
     Due to its colorful appearance, charming subject matter and intriguing action, the Speaking Dog bank gained great popularity during the period of its manufacture.
     An advertisement that appeared in the 1889 edition of the Montgomery Ward and Co. catalog listed the price of the Speaking Dog bank as a mere 80 cents apiece (Fig. 3) – quite a bargain by today's standards.
     I have not seen nor heard of any reproductions of this bank; nevertheless, since the possibility may exist, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 4) which will indicate an original's size and scale.
     In conclusion, the Speaking Dog is a bank which seems to have endured the ravages of time. For even today, just as when it was first manufactured over one hundred years ago, it still charms, beguiles and entertains young children. Only today, the children are those who lie within all of us.

The Tammany Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1984

     This month's topic of discussion is a mechanical bank that represents a most controversial and colorful episode in American history. Tammany Hall, the popular name of the Democratic Party's executive committee of New York County, was infamous during the nineteenth century for its widespread corruption.
     As early as 1807, Tammany officials were involved in scandals which resulted in their removal from office. Government mismanagement was rampant, especially when "Boss" William M. Tweed, in 1868, completely dominated the Hall. Tweed's corrupt behavior, which single-handedly cost New York City more than $200,000,000, landed him in prison, where he eventually died. His legacy was to link the words, "Tweed" and "Tammany" with graft and corruption.
     On December 23, 1873, John Hall, of Watertown, Massachusetts, was granted Patent number 145,734 for his design and invention of the "Little Fat Man Bank" (Fig. 1), which he later renamed the "Tammany Bank." The bank, as eventually manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Foundry, of Cromwell, Connecticut, bore little resemblance to John Hall's original patent drawings, other than the fact that the subject was a portly man seated in a chair.
     On June 8, 1875, Russel Frisbie, of Cromwell, Connecticut, assignor to the J. and E. Stevens Co. was granted patent number 164,083 for his invention and redesign of Hall's "Little Fat Man" bank (Fig. 2). Frisbie utilized springs and levers in his bank to perform the action, unlike the weights and counterbalances used by John Hall. (Incidentally, a most interesting fact about the Tammany bank, as well as all mechanical banks invented by John Hall, is that they only perform their action upon the utilization and weight of a single coin.)
     The Frisbie mechanical bank was never produced. Yet, it did bear an uncanny resemblance to Hall's already manufactured Tammany bank.
     On October 9,1877, John Hall was granted a RE-ISSUE for his patent, under number 7,904. These drawings most closely resemble the actual Tammany production bank (Fig. 3). Moreover, it is within these patent papers that Hall, for the first time, actually makes reference to the name, "The Tammany Bank." As to the reason why he did this, I can only offer speculation. Perhaps Boss Tweed's unsavory reputation would have provided an added spark of interest in his "Little Fat Man Bank."
     The Tammany bank has undergone several casting variations that seem to follow the same evolutionary pattern as the previously described sets of patent papers. One variation has only a "half scallop shell" design cast into the sides of the chair, while another has the "half scallop shell" design and the words, "Hall's Pat'd." And yet a third has the "half scallop shell" design and the words, "Tammany Bank" cast into it. There are also three distinctly different cast base plates. One utilizes the round Stevens'-type coin trap for its coin removal; the second utilizes a sliding coin trap; and the third has a rectangular perforated coin trap.
     Besides the above casting variations, there are several color differences. The Tammany Bank pictured in this article has pink, flesh-colored face and hands, black hair, eyebrows and moustache, a white shirt with a blue bow tie, a yellow vest with black buttons, and gray pants with black shoes. He also sports a brown jacket. His chair is light green with red trim. Cast into the back rim of the chair are the words, "Pat'd Dec. 28, 1873."
     In other color variations, the little man's jacket could be painted black and his pants, brown. The chair could be either white or tan with orange trim. Please take note that finding a Tammany bank in still another color combination should not preclude its authenticity.
     As to the action of the bank under discussion, an early J. and E. Stevens Co. advertising flyer (Fig. 4) described it quite succinctly: "Put a coin in his hand and see how promptly he pockets it and how politely he bows his thanks."
     Several years ago, a fellow bank collector offered an interesting interpretation of the "Tammany bank's action: 'Assuming the bank was, in fact, an effigy of the infamous Boss Tweed, the coin placed into his hand might be likened to a bribe and the polite nod of his head, a confirmation of a corrupt deed granted.' "
     The Tammany bank gained great popularity during the period of its manufacture, thus providing the impetus for almost unlimited production. The overabundance of supply in the marketplace resulted in it becoming one of the most common mechanicals. Nevertheless, this has not had any affect on its popularity or desirability with today's bank collectors.
     Because the Tammany bank has been reproduced, I am including a base diagram showing its exact dimensions (Fig. 5). A reproduction will be approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller than indicated.

The Sportsman Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1984

     Avid collectors, as well as the aspiring novice, are acquainted with a category of mechanical banks known as the "shooting banks." This is a group that consists of such familiar names as "Teddy and the Bear," "Lion Hunter," and "Indian Shooting the Bear." Each one portrays a hunter shooting pennies into, or at, the figure of an animal, but never killing it. This month's article, appropriately named the "Sportsman Bank" is totally unique to this fine group of mechanical banks in that it vividly portrays the actual downing of the target.
     On June 14, 1892, Edwin I. Pyle of Bridgeport, Connecticut, was granted Patent number 476,895 for his invention of a toy which depicts a hunter shooting a bird from the air. As evidenced by the patent drawings (Fig. 1), the bank, as it was eventually manufactured, follows these designs quite faithfully, with the exception that it was designed to be a toy and not a mechanical bank. In fact, nowhere in these patent papers are the words "bank" or "toy savings device" mentioned. It appears likely that Edwin Pyle presented his patented toy to the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, who felt it would be more saleable as a mechanical bank. Bearing that speculation out is the fact that it was manufactured and sold as a bank under the name, the "Sportsman Bank."
     The action of the Sportsman Bank is extremely realistic: a coin is placed into the slot on top of the base; the catapult spring is then pushed down and set. The pigeon, with its string attached to the bank, is cradled into the catapult (Fig. 2). The gun's hammer is cocked and a paper cup is inserted into the chamber. The lever next to the hunter's right foot is then pressed. Simultaneously, the pigeon springs into the air and hunter turns, as if aiming his rifle. The hammer falls, firing the cap; the bird, reaching the end of its string, is pulled back, and plummets to the ground. The illusion, of course, is that it has been hit by the Sportsman's bullet. The penny is automatically deposited within the bank. These coins are removed by way of a round Stevens' coin trap underneath the base.
     Although I, personally, find the action, as described, and subject matter fascinating, it does seem, in my opinion, an unusual and perhaps inappropriate toy for a young child.
     The casting of the Sportsman Bank deserves special mention; the figure of the hunter is completely devoid of any of the finely cast details for which Stevens' banks are so well known. Under close examination one will find no seams, collars, cuffs, lapels, or buttons cast into the jacket. Instead, they are painted on. This seems to lend a naive simplicity and primitive feeling to the bank.
     The Sportsman Bank has no casting variation, but there are several color variations. These pertain to the hunter, the base, and the pigeon.
     The bank pictured in this article has a yellow base with a red border and a red flourish on one side. The top is green and the lever is red. The catapult is yellow with red trim. The fowler wears a black-brimmed tan hat, which has a red band along its bottom. His jacket is also tan with red trim around the bottom and front. The sleeves, collar, and pockets are also trimmed in red. His pants are red and his shoes are black. His face and hands are a pink flesh color and he has black hair, eyes, and eyebrows. The pigeon is blue.
     Other color schemes include a gold pigeon; the Sportsman's jacket could be red with yellow trim, and his pants could be tan. The base can also be painted red with a yellow border and flourish.
     Inscribed into the top of the catapult are the words, "Pat'd. June 14, 1892" – information which facilitated location of the patent drawings shown in this article.
     The Sportsman Bank is quite rare and this is further substantiated by the fact that few completely original specimens exist in collections. Most often, when one of these banks is found, either the man has been broken off, his gun barrel is missing, or, most often, the pigeon is recast or missing altogether. I would venture a guess that the Sportsman Bank's extreme fragility, combined with its unsuitable subject matter for children, might account for its scarcity. (The bank pictured in this article boasts having two original pigeons; the one in the catapult is painted blue and the other gold.)
     Several years ago, bank collectors began referring to the Sportsman Bank as the "Fowler Bank." This is the name by which it is referred to at present, and one which is certainly more descriptive for this fine mechanical.
     The Sportsman has never been reproduced. However, I am including a base diagram to show an original's configuration and scale (Fig. 3).
     Correction: (from August, 1984) Re: June 1984 issue of Antique Toy World, "The Sportsman Mechanical Bank." Figure 3, illustrating the base diagram, was placed upside down. It should read "9 inches" and not 6 inches.

The Humpty Dumpty Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1984

     On January 29, 1884, Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr., of Buffalo, New York, walked into the Patent Office and filed an application for a "new and original design for a toy savings bank." On June 17, 1884 they were issued patent number 15,085 – and thus was born what many believe to be the most attractive of bust banks: The "Humpty Dumpty Bank."
     This patent number protected only the external design of the Humpty Dumpty Bank and not the internal mechanism. Those internal parts are covered by patent number 255,090, also issued to Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr. nearly two years earlier, on March 14, 1882 (Fig. 1). These patent papers do not illustrate the configuration of the "Humpty Dumpty Bank," but rather the "Jolly Nigger Bank." (Both the "Humpty Dumpty Bank" and the "Jolly Nigger Bank" were manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Co. of Buffalo, New York.)
     Perhaps the following explanation will shed light upon the reason why a bank in the form of a clown was named after the egg-shaped character of Mother Goose fame. On March 10, 1868, George L. Fox, a pantomime artist, produced the "Humpty Dumpty Circus" – a pantomime show which played to New York City audiences. Fox, the director and star of the "Humpty Dumpty Circus," was the only performer with enough box-office power to keep the art of pantomime alive, especially with the growing popularity of the fresher and more appealing burlesque. He was acclaimed as one of the most gifted performers of the 19th century. The show brought Fox the supreme success of his career – outdrawing and outplaying anything ever presented, shattering all previous box office records.
     The "Humpty Dumpty Circus" ran in New York until approximately 1873, when Fox was suddenly institutionalized and died some months after that.
     After comparing features and decorations in the lithographs of G.L. Fox (Fig. 2) with those of the "Humpty Dumpty Mechanical Bank" (Fig. 3), one should have little doubt that the bank is a representation of this most talented and obscure pantomimist of the 19th century.
     The operation of the "Humpty Dumpty Bank" is quite simple. A coin is placed in its right hand, and the lever in the back is pressed down. Simultaneously, his eyes roll up, his tongue recedes, and his right arm raises the coin, whereby it is flipped into his awaiting mouth and deposited within the bank. Coin removal is achieved by unscrewing the base plate.
     Cast into the back of the bank in raised letters are the words, "THE HUMPTY DUMPTY BANK." The base plate also contains the information: "BUFFALO N.Y. – U.S.A. PAT'D IN U.S. MCH. 14.'82 AND JUNE 17.'84 PAT'D IN CANADA MCH. 27. '83 RD IN ENGLAND NO. 8827."
     The following is its color scheme: The clown's face is white; his hat is red, as are the decorations on his face; his lips are brown, and his tongue is red. The collar is brown, white, yellow and blue. The jacket is red, yellow, white, and blue, and the buttons are brown with white centers. His hand is flesh colored (yellowish-pink) and the base plate is a brown Japan finish.
     There are no color or casting variations.
     As with all banks manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Co., the paint proved quite fragile. This was caused by the omission of a primer before the paint was applied to the cast iron. When one does see a "Humpty Dumpty Bank," more often than not, it is in extremely poor condition. A fine one commands a premium price.
     The "Humpty Dumpty Bank" has been reproduced; therefore, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 4) to show its exact size. A reproduction will be approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller along the base.
     Figure 5 shows an attractive trade card for this fine mechanical, describing the bank as "highly finished in brilliant colors presenting an unusually attractive appearance." It is this sentiment which has made the "Humpty Dumpty Bank" one of the most enduring and endearing mechanical banks to collectors.

The Mason Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1984

     Historically, toys savings banks served as devices which enabled young children to learn the lessons of thrift. With the advent of the mechanical toy savings bank, a most entertaining and unique method of achieving that goal was provided.
     Some mechanical banks were designed to teach the virtues of thrift through analogy. An example of one of these, and the subject of this month's article, is the "Mason Bank." A mason and his hod-carrying helper build a brick wall one brick at a time, just as the child depositor builds his savings one penny at a time. This dramatization of the mason and hod-carrier is executed quite realistically.
     The "Mason Bank" is unique in that it is the only mechanical savings bank which has, as its central theme, workmen engaged in a construction trade.
     On February 8, 1887, Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, of Buffalo, New York, were granted Patent number 17,103 for their "design" of the "Mason Bank." This patent protects only the design of the bank and not the internal mechanism. As evidenced by the drawing and patent descriptions, the final production bank follows these quite faithfully (Fig. 1).
     The Shepard Hardware Company, of Buffalo, New York, ultimately produced the "Mason Bank," including it in their "Excelsior Series." Other members of this distinguished "Excelsior" group of Shepard mechanicals include: the "Picture Gallery Bank" and the "Trick Dog Bank."
     As with most Shepard Hardware banks, the paint is usually in extremely poor condition. This is due to the fact that Shepard never used an undercoat primer before they painted their banks. Thus, with any degree of mishandling or adverse atmospheric conditions, the paint would simply flake off the bank. When one of the Shepard banks is found in unusually good paint condition, it is often accompanied by a premium price tag.
     There are no color or casting variations of the "Mason Bank," and the colors of the bank pictured in this article (Fig. 2) are: the mason and the hod-carrier both have pink flesh-colored faces and arms; they have black eyebrows, white eyes with black pupils, and red mouths. The mason has a tan hat with a khaki band, black hair and moustache, a white shirt and a dark blue jacket. His trowel is orange, with light gray cement. The hod-carrier wears a gray hat with a green band and his hair is brown. He wears a red shirt, blue pants with green suspenders and black shoes. His hod has an orange handle and a dark gray scoop filled with light gray cement. The bucket on the ground is tan with black bands. The top of the bank's base is gray with the words, "MASON BANK" in gold. The sides of the base are maroon with a black and gold stripe around the bottom. The brick wall is red with white mortar lines and its base is dark gray with black mortar lines. The back of the bank is maroon with the words, "MASON BANK" in gold.
     The combination of fine details, intricate action, multi-coloration, and unique subject matter make the "Mason Bank" a most highly prized and sought-after mechanical. Much of its scarcity can be attributed to its extreme fragility. Thus, when the collector contemplates purchase of a "Mason Bank," caution should be exercised. Many times, this bank is found with the following defects: the hod may be broken off or replaced; the figure of the hod-carrier might be broken off, or repaired at his feet; one or both of the mason's arms might be missing or replaced; and, because of the frailty of the paint, as discussed earlier, this bank is quite often found either touched up or totally repainted.
     Once again, I must caution the purchaser of antique mechanical banks to consult with an expert if he or she is unsure of its authenticity.
     The "Mason Bank" has been reproduced; therefore, I am including a base diagram to illustrate its exact size (Fig. 3). A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the width, due to iron shrinkage during the casting process.
     Correction: Re: June 1984 issue of Antique Toy World, "The Sportsman Mechanical Bank." Figure 3, illustrating the base diagram, was placed upside down. It should read "9 inches" and not 6 inches.
     For the past two years, eight persons involved in the field of mechanical bank collecting, including myself, have been working with Bill Norman on a Mechanical Bank Encyclopedia. This book contains large, full color photos of almost every known mechanical bank with related information. There is also a section of mechanical bank trade cards which are illustrated in full color.
     Appropriately named, The Bank Book by Bill Norman, it is an important addition to the libraries of both the casual and serious bank collector.
     The August issue of Antique Toy World Magazine will contain an order form, for the book; or, you may write to me: Sy Schreckinger, clo Young & Rubicam, Inc., 285 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10017, for additional information.
     Omissions:  (from November, 1996) (1) Operating instructions for the "Mason Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, August 1984) were erroneously omitted: A coin is placed into the hod and the lever is then pressed. Simultaneously, the hod tilts forward, the money falls through an opened trap door section behind the brick wall, and the mason raised his trowel and brick. Deposits are retrieved by removing the rectangular, key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.

The Humpty Dumpty Bank
(PART II)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1984

     Additional information which has come to my attention has prompted this addendum to my article (refer to July 1984 issue of Antique Toy World), "The Humpty Dumpty Bank." In it, I discussed how both Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr., of Buffalo, New York, were granted Patent number 255,090 for their invention of the "Jolly Nigger" bank, and how they utilized that patent to also protect the inner mechanism of their "Humpty Dumpty" mechanical bank.
     Because those original patent drawings showed only the design of the "Jolly Nigger" bank, both Shepard and Adams applied further for an additional design patent in order to protect the configuration and subject matter of their" Humpty Dumpty" bank. They were subsequently granted Patent number 15,085 on June 17, 1884. This is the design patent (Figure 1) show in this article.
     The final production bank (Figure 2) was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Co., of Buffalo, New York, and follows the drawing quite faithfully.

The Elephant and 3 Clowns Bank
(PART II)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1984

     In the May 1983 issue of Antique Toy World, the Elephant and Three Clowns Bank article discussed how James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, was granted Patent 262,361 for his invention of the "Two Frogs" mechanical bank. Bowen utilized that patent to also protect the inner mechanism of his invention of the "Elephant and Three Clowns" mechanical bank. Because those original patent drawings illustrated only the design of the "Two Frogs" bank, James Bowen applied further for an additional patent in order to protect the design and subject matter of his "Elephant and Three Clowns" bank. He was granted Patent number 14,238 on August 28, 1883. This is the design patent (Figure 1) shown in this article.
     The final production bank (Figure 2) was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut, and follows the drawing and description quite faithfully.

The Organ Bank with Monkey,
Cat and Dog

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1984

     If the question was posed as to which 19th-century mechanical bank manufacturer incorporated the figure of a monkey into more of their banks than any other manufacturer of the period, the answer would undoubtedly be the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania. Their line included such banks as the "Organ Bank with Monkey;" "Tiny Organ Bank with Monkey;" "Organ Bank with Monkey, Boy and Girl;" "Lion and Two Monkeys;" the "Chimpanzee Bank;" the "Zoo Bank" (which is only speculated to be a Kyser and Rex bank); and the "Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog" – the subject of this article. Aside from being a most popular and endearing creature with young children, the reason Kyser and Rex may have incorporated the monkey into so many of their banks may have been due to the universal appeal of the commonplace street-strolling organ grinder and his pet monkey.
     On June 13, 1882, Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received Patent number 259,403 for their design and invention of the Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog. (The information," Pat. June 13, 1882" is cast into the back of the bank and facilitated location of the patent papers shown in Figure 1 of this article.) The bank, as it was eventually manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company, follows these patent drawings quite faithfully.
     The action of the Organ Bank is both charming and entertaining. A coin is placed upon the round tray the monkey holds in his outstretched hand. The crank is then turned, causing both the figures of the cat and dog to revolve. Simultaneously, bells start to clang, and the monkey lowers his tray and deposits the coin within the bank, tipping his hat in a polite "thank you" gesture. The deposited coins are removed by way of a square lock coin trap in the underside of the bank. The action is most aptly described in an advertisement which appeared in the 1889 Montgomery Ward and Company Catalog (Fig. 2), which shows the Organ Bank priced at a modest 85 cents apiece.
     There are several casting and design variations of the Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog. One pertains to the number of bells used to perform the loud chiming sound as the crank is turned. Some banks have two bells, as shown in the patent papers (Fig. 1); others utilize three bells. Another casting variation concerns itself with the position of the crank: the patent drawings show it on the left side of the bank; I have also seen it extending from the right side.
     The disproportionate sizes of the monkey, cat and dog give the bank somewhat of a primitive appearance. This unique aspect, combined with its entertaining action, colorful appearance, and noisy sound, have made this a most popular mechanical bank with yesterday's purchaser and today's collector.
     There are several color variations of the Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog. The one pictured in Figure 3 has the organ finished in brown japan and the organ pipes painted gold. The sheet music on the front of the bank is white with black markings. The dog is white with black splotches, and the cat is white with reddish-brown splotches. Both have black eyes, eyebrows and noses, and they both have red mouths. The monkey sits upon a square blue base; his head, hands and feet are brown. He has white eyes with black pupils and a red, smiling mouth. His hat is red and yellow, and he has a red jacket with large yellow buttons, and white collar and white cuffs. His trousers are yellow, and the round coin tray he holds is painted gold.
     Other color variations may find the monkey with either a blue, yellow, or green jacket; blue, red, or green pants; and, possibly, a blue and red or a blue and yellow hat. Because of the many color variations, I would caution against the hasty declaration that a bank has been repainted if it fails to comply with the aforementioned color schemes. The possibility of still another color combination cannot be ruled out.
     As with all Kyser and Rex banks, great care has been given to fine details, both in the area of casting and in the painted decorations. Close examination of this fine bank will serve as testimony to the designer's and manufacturer's meticulous and impeccable care for their product.
     The Organ Bank is considered quite common, but locating one in perfect condition with superb paint can prove a real challenge to the collector. More often than not, the bank is found badly in need of repair. The monkey might be missing either one or both arms, while the organ itself, because of its delicate casting, might be cracked or missing the crank.
     The Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog has been reproduced. Therefore, I am including a base diagram (Fig. 4) to illustrate an original's size. A recast bank will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller, due to shrinking of the cast iron.
     CORRECTION:   In the August 1983 issue of Antique Toy World, the "Little Jocko Musical Bank" article erroneously stated that: "the Ives Blakeslee and Williams Company manufactured the Organ Bank with Monkey, Cat and Dog and the Organ Bank with Monkey, Boy and Girl."
     The manufacturer should have correctly been listed as the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania. My sincerest apologies to both Louis and Alfred C.

 The Bulldog Savings Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1984 

     On the banks of the River Styx, guarding the forbidden gates, stood Cerberus, the Watchdog of Hell. An enormous beast, gigantic in proportion, bristling with rage.
     Hercules cautiously advanced towards the hellish dog, with hand outstretched. And Cerberus, being mad with hunger, sprang forward, greedily accepting his offerings of honey and drugged corn. And the great dog's body became quieted and he fell back to his reclining posture.
              
– Virgil's The Aeneid, Greek mythology, 70 to 19 B.C.
 
     On August 13, 1878, Enoch R. Morrison was granted Patent number 206,893 for his design and invention of the Bulldog Savings Bank (Figure 1). The bank, as it was eventually manufactured by the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Connecticut (Figure 2), closely follows these drawings – with the exception of the addition of a man in coattails, with outstretched hands, holding a forklike object with which to feed coins to the bulldog.
     I am almost certain neither Mr. Morrison (inventor) nor the Mechanical Novelty Works (manufacturer) had Cerberus in mind when they conceived of and manufactured the Bulldog Savings Bank, but one must admit there is an uncanny likeness between Virgil's Greek Myth and Morrison's mechanical bank.
     For several years it had been assumed that the Bulldog Savings Bank was manufactured by the Ives, Blakeslee Company, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. While researching the bank, I noticed a great many similarities between the Bulldog Savings Bank and all of the mechanical banks produced by the Mechanical Novelty Works. These similarities have led me to believe they were all manufactured by the same company.
     The Mechanical Novelty Works was a toy manufacturer owned and operated by Andrew Turnbull, James A. Swanston, and George W. Eddy. Mr. Eddy was the patentee of the Initiating First Degree and the Goat, Frog, and Old Man mechanical banks. Both of these banks, plus the Squirrel and Tree Stump bank, comprise the only mechanicals that are documented to have been manufactured by the Mechanical Novelty Works.
     When a comparison is made between the Bulldog Savings Bank and the Goat, Frog, and Old Man, one can readily see the great similarities between: (1) their base designs and configurations; (2) the use of a dark japan varnish and a muted color scheme; (3) the casting detail; and, most importantly, (4) the pivotal lever action – a feature shared by every mechanical bank manufactured by the Mechanical Novelty Works.
     Nevertheless, the possibility does exist that the Mechanical Novelty Works jobbed out the Bulldog Savings Bank's clockwork mechanism to the Ives, Blakeslee Company, since they were the leading 19th century American toy manufacturer of spring-driven toys and trains.
The coloration of the Bulldog Savings Bank, or rather the lack, adds much to the drama of this intriguing mechanical. The base and figures of both the man and the bulldog are painted in a dark brown, japan finish. The bottom edge of the bank, the raised designs on both sides of the base, and words "BULLDOG SAVINGS BANK PAT. AUG. 13, 1878" (atop the base) are painted gold.
     The first step in operating the Bulldog Savings Bank is to wind the spring mechanism with a key. A coin is then inserted into the fork which the man holds. The lever underneath the man's coattails is then depressed. Simultaneously, the bulldog springs forward, mouth agape. Biting down upon the monetary offering, it swallows the coin and retreats to a reclining position (Figure 2). The coin falls through the dog's body and is deposited into the base of the bank. These coins are removed by way of a square coin trap, which is secured to the bottom of the bank with a single screw.
     (Note: The operating lever, as described above, should be made from a piece of tapered sheet steel – and not from cast iron, as is the rest of the bank.)
     There are no color variations of the Bulldog Savings Bank, but there are two design variations. One, not readily evident, concerns itself with the internal clockwork mechanism. The other variation occurs with the type of fork held by our undaunted coin bearer. This fork could either be of a thick variety, as illustrated in Figure 2, or of a thinner spring steel type. Neither adds to, nor detracts from, the value of the bank.
     The Bulldog Savings Bank is one of an elite group of clockwork mechanical banks which includes such classics as: Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat, the Girl Skipping Rope, Organ Grinder and Performing Bear, the Motor Bank, several Weeden's banks, and a number of musical and music box savings banks.
     The Bulldog Savings Bank is quite difficult to add to a collection, especially in fine condition. This may be attributed to possibly three factors:
(1) Price. At a time when mechanical banks were selling for 50 cents to 95 cents apiece, the Bulldog Savings Bank was advertised in the 1882 edition of Ehrichs' Fashion Quarterly for the sum of one dollar and forty-five cents. It may be assumed that few parents were able to afford to purchase one for their child.
(2) Fragility. Even though the bank gives a sturdy appearance, the clockwork mechanism is quite fragile, as are the bulldog, the figure of the man, and the fork. Most banks purchased were ultimately broken and discarded.
(3) Popularity. Selection of a penny bank suitable for a small child may have been directed toward the charming and colorful Professor Pug Frog Bank, or a Magician Bank, or, perhaps, a Speaking Dog Bank. It was unlikely that a parent's choice would center upon the frightening design of the Bulldog Savings Bank – explaining why sales and production of this bank might have been sparse.
     Taking into consideration price, fragility, and popularity, we can readily see why the Bulldog Savings Bank is a rarity today.
     Contrary to the lack of popularity it suffered during its time of manufacture, it has become one of the most popular banks for most collectors.
     The Bulldog Savings Bank has not been reproduced. Nonetheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure 3) to indicate size and scale.

The Bird on Roof Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1984

     Although mechanical penny banks achieved some degree of sophistication during the time of their manufacture, there were those produced that reflected a naive and primitive quality. Examples of the latter include: "The Springing Cat" bank, with its subject expressed in oversimplified detail and painted in the classic primitive style; "The Sportsman" bank, displaying a simplistically-styled uniform; "Jonah and the Whale," with a larger-than life Jonah emerging from the whale's mouth; "Organ, Cat, and Dog" and "Organ, Boy, and Girl" banks, each with a disproportionately large hat-tipping monkey; and "The Bird On Roof"  bank, the subject of this article.
     A comparison of the patent drawing (Fig. 1), the final production bank (Fig. 2), and the patent description of the "Bird On Roof" bank lead one to speculate as to why the patentee would represent what, in the patent papers, is obviously a Gothic church, as a cottage. Possibly, it may have been thought that a religious connotation would limit the sales potential of his bank.
     The design of the "Bird On Roof" bank was patented on March 5, 1878, by Elisha Stevens and assigned number 10,509. The words, "PAT MAR 5 '78" are cast into the underside of the bank.
     The "Bird On Roof" bank possesses a simplicity and arresting tranquility; it reflects an era that was concerned with quality and appreciation for natural beauty. The delicate casting details and subtle coloration simply add to its attractiveness.
     The "Bird On Roof"  bank was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. The initials "J" and "E" were the initials of John Stevens and Elisha Stevens; Elisha was the designer and patentee of the bank.
     The Stevens' foundry began its business as a manufacturer of cast iron hardware during the early 1800s. It was not until the late 1860s that the foundry began to produce cast iron penny banks. The height of Stevens' prosperity was simultaneous with the heyday of the mechanical bank (1880s). It was at that point that the foundry became the world's leading manufacturer of cast iron penny banks.
     The action of the "Bird On Roof" is extremely simplistic. A coin is placed into a groove atop the bird's head. The wire lever (Fig. 3) is then pressed inward, causing the bird to tilt downward. The coin rolls into a slot in the chimney, thus being deposited into the bank. Removal of the coins requires removal of the base of the bank. This is accomplished by undoing two small screws underneath the base. The bird is reset automatically when it is straightened into the upright position, as shown in Figure 2.
     The "Bird On Roof" is a difficult bank to acquire, particularly for the collector who seeks one that is all-original and unbroken. The complexity of coin removal might account for its rarity. It is easy to imagine a young child attempting to remove the two base plate screws in order to gain access to the bank's contents and having the bank slip from his hands and crash to the floor. Or, perhaps, he may have smashed the entire bank in order to get to its entrapped treasures.
     There are two casting variations and several color combinations for the "Bird On Roof" bank. The mechanical pictured in Figure 2 has a purple japanned roof; the bird has a gold beak, a gold stripe down its back, and gold wings and tail which are over-painted with purple japanning. It also has a black crest on its head. The sides of the house are decorated in gold, silver, and purple japan; the circular design on the chimney is painted gold. I have seen this bank also painted in an overall brown japan finish with gold highlighting on the roof; a bird with gold wings, beak, and tail; and the sides of the house decorated in gold and silver.
     The casting variations are primarily concerned with the pedestal on which the bird is perched. One pedestal is made of thick sheet steel, while the other, besides being made of a thinner material, boasts of a more delicate design. Neither adds to nor detracts from the bank's value.
     An exceptionally fine "Bird On Roof" mechanical bank possessing an attractive color scheme will generally command a premium price.
     Because of the extreme fragility of this bank, the prospective buyer should be wary of repaired, replaced, or re-cast parts. When this bank is finally located, all too frequently it is discovered that the bird, as well as the delicate fretwork in the arched windows, has been repaired or replaced.
     The "Bird On Roof" bank has been reproduced. The base diagram (Fig. 4) may be helpful to the reader in discerning an original from a recast. The recast version will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter in length.
     As a final note, it is difficult for this writer to resist the temptation to express his personal views: the exceptional casting, graceful lines, and quiet but eloquent coloration truly make the "Bird On Roof" bank a mechanical for the discriminating collector.

The Darktown Battery Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1985 

     The subject of this month's article represents the blend of two incongruous ideas – those of racial prejudice and baseball. The former was the sentiment expressed by slavery, first introduced into Jamestown, Virginia, in 1691; the latter was the brainchild of Abner Doubleday – who, in the summer of 1839, in Cooperstown, N.Y., allegedly conducted the first game of baseball ever played.
     On January 17, 1888, James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, incorporated anti-black sentiment and baseball into the "Darktown Battery" mechanical bank, for which he was granted patent number 376,628 on that date. Production of the Darktown Battery bank was handled by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. As evidenced by the photograph in Figure 1, it may be said that Bowen's patent drawings (Figure 2) were adhered to stringently.
     The action, coloration, and design of the Darktown Battery have rarely, if ever, been equaled in the world of mechanical banks. The basic color scheme is standardized, except for particular instances where the ball players' uniforms have some slight color variations.
     There is only one casting variation of which I am aware, and that pertains to a thicker baseball bat than the one pictured in this article. Neither the paint variation, nor the casting variation has any bearing on the bank's ultimate value.
     The color scheme of the Darktown Battery in Figure 1 is as follows: the pitcher has a red shirt, blue pants, red socks, and tan and khaki shoes. He wears a bright yellow scarf with black polka dots; his hat is red and white and has a yellow peak. The batter wears a blue and white striped shirt with the word, "POSSUMS" in red. His pants are yellow with a black belt, and his socks are blue with white stripes. He also has tan and khaki shoes, and his hat is black and white with a yellow peak. His bat is yellow with a red tip. The catcher has a red shirt, blue pants, tan and khaki shoes, and his hat is red and white with a yellow peak. All three ball players have black faces, arms, and hands; red lips; and white eyes with black pupils. The batter sports a pearly white smile. The ground is green, olive, khaki, and brown. The front and back of the bank's base is brown with a dusty pink background, and the words, "DARKTOWN BATTERY" are painted red. The baseballs are gold, the bats are white with red tips, and the bottom edge of the bank is painted black.
     The action of the Darktown Battery is an outstanding combination of realism, imagination, and coordination. A coin is placed between the spring-tensioned thumb and palm of the pitcher's right hand. His arm is then pulled back and cocked into position. The lever (Figure 3) is then pushed down; simultaneously, the pitcher releases the coin as his head snaps back; the batter lifts his bat as his head turns towards the catcher; the catcher's head moves forward as his hand moves aside to allow the penny to be deposited into an opened trap door in his chest. The deposited coins fall through the catcher's body into the base of the bank. These coins are removed by way of a round Stevens' coin trap underneath the base.
     Figure 4 is a copy of a page from the manufacturer's catalog which describes the Darktown Battery bank, and prices it at a modest $1.00 apiece. This proved to be quite an investment when one considers that, recently, a Darktown Battery was auctioned off at a price that exceeds the original J. and E. Stevens catalog price by more than 1,500 percent.
     The Darktown Battery bank was quite prone to breakage, and locating one in superb, all-original, unbroken condition can prove to be quite a challenge to the collector. The pitcher's arm, the batter's arms and bat, the catcher's hand, and the open decorations on both sides and the bottom of the bank are often cracked or broken.
     Close examination of this bank provokes wonderment at how something with such delicate castings could have as many survivors as it does.
     Unfortunately, the great appeal and popularity of the Darktown Battery have inspired many a reproduction and recast. Thus, caution should be exercised when contemplating a purchase. Aside from rough casting and crude paint, a recast can be detected by comparing it to the base diagram (Figure 5) which is included in this article. A recast will appear approximately 1/8 inch shorter in length.
     Several years ago there were authorized reproductions made of the Darktown Battery bank, but these are easy to detect. The name, "Darktown Battery" on the front of the bank was changed to "Hometown Battery," and the ball players are depicted as Caucasians, rather than as blacks. These banks were made by the Book of Knowledge and are so incised underneath the base plate.

The Magician Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1985 

     The wonderment of magic has existed throughout all ages of history. Ancient times produced its demons and sorcerers which called forth the magical powers of man to protect himself against evil influences. Modern society is provided with its palmists, Tarot readers, crystal gazers, and stage magicians to entertain as they open the door to the world of magic and the supernatural.
      And so it was on January 22, 1901, that homage was paid to these magicians with the creation of the "Magician Mechanical Bank." On that date William C. Bull, of Philadelphia, PA, received Patent number 666,612 for his invention (Figure 1). Subsequently, on September 17, 1901, Charles A. Bailey, of Cromwell, CT, was granted Patent number 35,119 for his design of the Magician Mechanical Bank (Figure 2). Both Mr. Bull and Mr. Bailey assigned their patents to Abraham L. Kesner. Besides this "coincidence," other similarities include the same two witnesses and the same patent attorney.
     It is possible, if I may speculate, that William Bull approached the Stevens' Foundry to manufacture his Magician Bank. They, in turn, purchased the rights to his design and Charles A. Bailey (chief designer of the foundry) planned and executed a simpler and more "esthetically" pleasing bank. Bailey then patented his "improved" design. The final production Magician Bank was manufactured by the Stevens' Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     The William C. Bull design (Figure 1) displays a somewhat more complex action than the Charles A. Bailey design (Figure 2). The former has both arms moving independently, while the latter has both arms attached to the hat and moving as a single unit. Both patents utilized a similar trap door and chute design within the table top, for the disappearing coin illusion.
     The action of the Magician Bank is uncomplicated and impressive. A coin is placed within the circular design on the center of the table. The lever (Figure 3) is then pressed. Simultaneously, as the Magician lowers his hat to cover the coin, the small hinged trap door opens and the coin drops through the chute under the table into the base of the bank. As the lever is released, the Magician raises his hat, and, voila! the coin has mysteriously disappeared. These coins are retrieved by way of a round Stevens-type coin trap underneath the base of the bank.
     To the best of my knowledge, there are no casting variations of the Magician Bank, but there are several color variations. These include the magician's hands and face – which maybe painted either white or a pink flesh color – the steps leading up to the platform – which may be painted with a textured flock paint in either chartreuse, fuchsia, or blue. (A word of caution: A Magician bank with steps that are not coated with the flocked paint most likely has been repainted.) The magician's hair, mustache, beard, eyes, and eyebrows are always painted black, as are his bow tie, hat, coat, trousers, and shoes. The wand in his right hand is painted gold. The table is red with gold-trimmed legs. The front and back of the base of the bank are painted turquoise-blue with black letters. The lever is yellow, as is the saw-tooth design on the top edges of the base.
     The Magician Mechanical Bank is extremely attractive and entertaining, which may help to explain why it is highly sought after by today's collector. Unfortunately, these attributes have contributed to the poor condition in which this bank is generally found, since it was handled and played with a great deal by those children for whom it had originally been purchased and who discovered it to be an intriguing plaything. A superb specimen will command a premium price. At a recent auction, a fine Magician Bank sold for more than a three thousand percent increase above its original selling price (95c in 1913), as shown in a copy of an advertisement by the Fair Company of Chicago, Illinois (Figure 4).
     There are several reproductions of the Magician Bank. Figure 5 indicates a base diagram of the original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter in length than the original.

Boys Stealing Watermelons Bank
(The Watermelon Bank)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1985

     As stated in previous articles, many mechanical penny banks served as a platform for anti-black and racist sentiments. The stereotypic viewpoint that the black man would go to great lengths to appease his insatiable appetite for watermelon was the subject of many toys for children, including mechanical banks, and appeared in all forms of media (Figure 1).
     The Boys Stealing Watermelons Bank, or, more accurately, the Watermelon Bank (Figures 2, 3) portrays two black children raiding the proverbial "waddermelon" patch, as the farmer's vigilant watchdog tries in vain to protect his master's property.
     To date, I have not been successful in determining the inventor, the manufacturer, or when this bank was patented. The actual years it was offered for public sale recently came to light with the discovery of a catalog page dated 1894-1895 (Figure 2), which shows the New Watermelon Bank priced at a modest $4.00 per dozen!
     There has been much conjecture over the past years that the Boys Stealing Watermelons Bank might have been manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was due to many similarities between it and several others produced by the company. These include similar casting details, paint type, coloration, and the common use of square lock coin traps. However, to date there has been no concrete evidence which links this bank to Kyser and Rex.
     There are two other mechanical banks which share many of the same design similarities as the Boys Stealing Watermelons Bank. And, in addition, they also have in common a lack of knowledge of the inventor, manufacturer, and date of patent. They are the Uncle Remus Bank and the Zoo Bank. If one was to examine all three banks, it would be discovered that they share many of the same colorations and paint application technique. All three have one of the following numbers either molded or incised into their backs: 133, 134, 136, leading to the speculation that each may possibly be part of a series. And, they all share as a part of their design, buildings that utilize foreshortened perspective, to give the illusion of greater depth than the banks actually achieve.
     The action of the Boys Stealing Watermelons is simple, effective, and very charming. A coin is placed within the slot in the roof of the dog house. The lever (Figure 3) is then pressed. Simultaneously, the dog emerges from his house, the prone little boy lowers his right arm (as if to shoo the dog away), and the coin is deposited within the bank. These coins are removed by way of a square lock coin trap in the back of the bank.
     There are no casting variations but there are a few color differences, which pertain solely to the colors of the clothing worn by the two boys. They could be any combination of the following description: both boys have black faces, hands, and feet. The one climbing through the fence has white eyes and a red mouth. He wears red pants, a blue shirt and a yellow hat. The boy who is in a prone position wears a red shirt, yellow pants and sports a blue cap. The fence is white. The dog house is yellow ochre with a red roof. The dog is black with silver highlighting, and he has a red mouth. The watermelons are green with white strips and the ground is painted a reddish brown. The wall that makes tip the base of the bank is white with a black stippled effect. The tree above the dog house is bright green, mottled with red and yellow highlights. The lever (Figure 3) is painted gold and the entire back of the bank is painted black.
     Its size, intricate design, colorful appearance, and subject matter make the Boys Stealing Watermelons an attractive addition to a collection.
     This bank has been reproduced; thus, I am including a base diagram (Figure 4). A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter in length than an original.

 The Uncle Sam Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1985

     The question of whether there was actually an "Uncle Sam" can be answered by the name, "Samuel Wilson." He was born in Menotomy, Massachusetts, in 1766; when he was 14 years old, he ran away from home to join the Revolutionary Army. After the war, at the age of 23, Mr. Wilson started a meat packing business in Troy, New York. It wasn't long before he became known within the community for hard work, honesty, and a common-sense approach to life.
     It was these qualities that earned Sam Wilson appointment to the post of Inspector of Provisions for the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. The "U.S." stamp he placed upon each barrel of inspected meat inspired the following legend: when asked by a young woman what the "U.S." on each barrel signified, a worker for Samuel Wilson jokingly replied, "Why, those are the initials of "Uncle Sam" Wilson. And so was born our National Symbol. By the end of the War of 1812, the name "Uncle Sam" had become famous for honesty, reliability, and dedicated patriotism.
     Samuel Wilson died on July 3l,1854. It was not until 1961 that Congress adopted a resolution recognizing "Uncle Sam" Wilson of Troy, New York, as "the progenitor of America's national symbol."
     Literally thousands of toys depicting the likeness of Uncle Sam have been manufactured throughout the years. And, the Uncle Sam Mechanical Bank, the subject of this article, is undoubtedly one of the finest.
     On June 8,1886, Design Patent Number 16,728 (Figure 1) was granted to Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, of Buffalo, New York This patent protected only the external "design" of the Uncle Sam Bank. Oddly, although the drawing shown is clearly that of Uncle Sam, this name is never mentioned within the patent papers.
     Subsequently, on November 16, 1886, both Shepard and Adams were granted patent number 352,786 (Figure 2) for their invention of the Stump Speaker Mechanical Bank. This time, the patent protected only the internal mechanism. This mechanism is precisely the one which governs and actuates the Uncle Sam Mechanical Bank.
     Operation of the Uncle Sam Bank is effected by placing a coin into his right hand. The lever behind his left foot is then depressed. Simultaneously, the satchel opens and the hand holding the coin lowers, depositing it into the bank. Uncle Sam's goateed chin then wiggles in a gesture of gratitude. These coins are reclaimed by way of a square lock coin trap in the back side of the base.
     The Uncle Sam Bank was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York - a company that was extremely prolific in the production of mechanical banks during the late nineteenth century. It should be noted that all of their banks (including Uncle Sam) exhibited fine, meticulous, and delicate paint detail. However, because Shepard Hardware neglected to prime the cast iron before they painted their banks, over the years heat, cold, and moisture have caused deterioration and flaking. For this reason, it is rare to find a Shepard bank in fine paint condition.
     I am not aware of any casting or paint variations of the Uncle Sam Bank. The colors of the bank pictured in this article (Figure 3) are as follows: the bottom edge and four corners of the base are green with yellow striping. The Eagle on the front plate is bronze, and the ribbon in his beak is blue with gold letters. All four sides have red backgrounds; the word, "bank" which appears on two sides, is painted gold. The floor of the base is grey with white lines. Uncle Sam's satchel is tan with dark brown highlights and rimmed with black and yellow. He wears black shoes, red and white striped pants, and a grey vest with silver stars and gold buttons. He has a white bow tie outlined in red, a white collar, and a dark blue jacket with red trim. His face and hands are pink flesh colored; he has brown eyebrows, tan eyes with black pupils, red lips, white teeth, white hair, and a white goatee with faint tan lines. He sports a grey top hat with a dark blue band decorated with silver stars. Finally, his umbrella is green with a yellow handle.
     The Uncle Sam Bank is not considered rare, but, because of its historical appeal, highly attractive paint scheme, fragile nature, and imposing appearance, is one of the most sought after of all mechanicals. This popularity has resulted in an overabundance of reproductions. Therefore, I am including a base diagram (Figure 4) to aid in the detection of an original from a recast. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the width than an original.

The Stump Speaker Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1985

    The Civil War had ended and there were a few educated slaves who had achieved some degree of self-independence. Many of these men, dressed in their finest and touting a carpet bag with their worldly belongings, set out for Washington to champion the black cause. They traveled the back roads and country sides, collecting money and preaching political reform for their newly-freed brothers. Many times, their orations were delivered to the townsfolk by standing on a box, stool, or a flattened tree stump; hence the name, "Stump Speaker." These traveling politicians served as inspiration for a mechanical bank, which is the subject of this article. On November 16, 1886, Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, of Buffalo, New York, were granted Patent number 352,786 for their invention of the Stump Speaker Mechanical Bank (Figure 2). Unfortunately, this bank, as it was ultimately produced (Figure 1), ridiculed rather than glorified these brave proclaimers of civil rights.
It portrayed them as comical, dwarf-like caricatures, reflecting the racial prejudice of that era.
     Comparison of the patent drawings (Figure 2) and the final production bank (Figure 1) show several design changes. One example is that the figure of the man was changed from Caucasian to Negro. A cocked top hat was incorporated into the final design, and the umbrella at his feet in the patent drawings was deleted.
     It is interesting to note that Design Patent number 16,728, granted June 8, 1886 to Shepard and Adams for their Uncle Sam Mechanical Bank (Figure 3), also covers the Stump Speaker Mechanical Bank. That date ("Pat'd. June 8, 1886") is so incised into its base plate. It is not coincidental that both banks have great similarities between their designs and internal mechanisms.
     To operate the Stump Speaker Bank, a coin is first placed into the subject's right hand. The lever behind his left foot is then depressed, whereupon the carpet bag opens; the Stump Speaker's right hand lowers, dropping the coin into the open bag; and his jaw wiggles in a gesture of gratitude. The deposited bounty is removed by way of a square locking coin trap built into the backside of the base.
     The Stump Speaker was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York, one of the most prolific 19th-century mechanical bank designers and producers. All Shepard banks exhibited extremely fine and meticulous paint detail. Unfortunately, because they neglected to undercoat the banks prior to painting, age, heat cold, and moisture have caused severe paint deterioration and flaking in all of the banks Shepard manufactured (Stump Speaker included). For this reason, it is almost Figure 2 impossible to find a Shepard bank in fine condition. When one does, it is usually accompanied by an appropriately high price tag.
     There are no casting variations of the Stump Speaker Bank, but there are two color variations. These pertain solely to the face, hands, and lips of the man. The bank pictured in this article has chocolate brown hands and a brown face with pink lips. The other variant has black hands and a black face with red lips. All other colors are constant and remain basically the same. They are as follows: his hat is light gray with a black band. He has black hair and black eyebrows. The cornea of each eye is white with brown iris and black pupil; he has white teeth, each separated by a thin red line. Our hero sports a bright green suit, trimmed in red with a red collar. His vest is yellow with black buttons, and he wears a white shirt with a black bow tie, highlighted in gold. His shoes are black. The carpet bag at his side is brown and tan with a black clasp and handle. The platform upon which he stands is dark gray, with thin white lines delineating each board. The four sides of the base are painted red with gold lettering. Each corner and the bottom edge of the bank are painted black with a yellow stripe.
     The popularity of this bank may be attributed to several factors: an attractive and bright color scheme, imposing size, and subject matter that makes this bank appreciated not only by mechanical bank collectors but also collectors of political and black memorabilia. This popularity has led the Stump Speaker Bank to be reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 4), to assist in determining an original from a recast. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller along the base than an original.

 The Zig Zag Bank (Part II)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1985

     Additional patent information which had come to my attention prompted this addendum to the "Zig Zag Bank" article which appeared in the February 1983 issue of Antique Toy World. In it, I discussed how Moses Newman and George H. Bennett, of New York, received patent number 413,204 on October 22, 1889, for their invention of the Zig Zag Bank.
     The patent drawing did not illustrate the external design of the bank (Figure 1), but only described and protected the internal mechanism. On January 7, 1890, a Design Patent number 19,569 (Figure 2) was also issued to Messrs. Newman and Bennett. This patent protected and depicted the bank as it was ultimately manufactured.
     Unfortunately, that manufacturer remains unknown, although the construction and colors of the Zig Zag Bank lead me to speculate that it might have been produced by the Kyser and Rex Company of Philadelphia, PA.

The Bank Book by Bill Norman
(A BOOK REVIEW)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1985

      The book we've been waiting patiently for is here, at last! And I would like to state that it has been well-worth waiting for. To date, this is the most complete, concise, informative, and attractive book to be written on Mechanical Banks. Each page displays one or more large, clear, full color photograph(s) of a mechanical bank, accompanied by a brief description and numerical price-rarity grading system. The history and manufacturer(s) are discussed in great detail. In addition, there is a special full-color illustrated section which deals with Mechanical Bank Trade Cards.
     The Bank Book should serve as an invaluable aid, not only to the toy and mechanical bank collector, but to anyone interested in antiques. It truly brings to focus how significant these wonderful toys are as a reflection of our history.
     If you would like to order a copy of THE BANK BOOK by Bill Norman, send a check or money order for $45.00 for the regular edition, or $125.00 for the genuine leather bound, limited edition, made out to "THE BANK BOOK", with your name and address and send it to: Sy Schreckinger, c/o Young and Rubicam, Inc., 285 Madison Avenue 7th Floor; New York, N.Y. 10017.

The Lion Hunter Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1985

      Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, was a decorated war hero, an explorer, and one of the most renowned big game hunters of his time. It was the concept of "Teddy, the Hunter" that was incorporated into one, and possibly two, mechanical banks designed by Charles A. Bailey.
     The "Teddy and the Bear" bank, patented on February 19, 1907 (Figure 1), was, undoubtedly, an effigy of Theodore Roosevelt, having been designed, patented, manufactured. and named after him during his terms of office in the White House. The reason for hesitation in proclaiming Teddy the subject of the "Lion Hunter" bank is the lack of documentation or mention of Roosevelt in the patent papers shown in Figures 1 and 2. Nor does his name appear on the manufactured bank as it does on the "Teddy and the Bear" bank.
     Perhaps the following conjecture may clarify this issue: Roosevelt's term of office, after re-election in 1904, ended in 1909, whereupon he, his son, Kermit; and a group of scientists set sail for Africa to hunt big game. The expedition was to claim 296 specimens, including nine lions. Riding on the success of his "Teddy and the Bear" bank, perhaps Charles Bailey seized upon the opportunity to make the most of Roosevelt's safari and decision to run, once again, for the presidency in the election of 1912, by designing the "Lion Hunter" bank. Bailey was granted Patent number 41,696 on August 22, 1911 (Figure 2) for this mechanical.
     "Teddy and the Bear" and the "Lion Hunter" were both manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     The supposition that Bailey had Roosevelt in mind when he designed the "Lion Hunter" bank is supported by the fact that it was conceived and patented at the time of Roosevelt's African game hunt In addition, the face of the hunter bears an uncanny resemblance to the handle-bar mustached Teddy Roosevelt, The omission of Teddy's name, either by Bailey, or J. and E. Stevens, from the manufactured bank may, perhaps, be explained by the fact that Roosevelt lost his bid for the presidency in the 1912 election. Unfortunately, it was his controversial platform that led to a split party vote – resulting in the emergence of a victorious Woodrow Wilson.
     It may be noted that the patent drawing (Figure 2) indicates a blank area where the words, "Lion Hunter" appear on the final production bank. Perhaps Bailey anticipated the outcome of the election before naming the bank.
     The design patent (Figure 2) protects only the external "ornamentation" of the "Lion Hunter' bank. It is the patent for the "Teddy and the Bear" bank (Figure 1) which protects the inner mechanism and workings of the "Lion Hunter" bank.
     The action of the" Lion Hunter" is extremely animated: first, the coin slide atop the rifle's barrel is pulled back, cocking the gun. The hunter's head moves forward as if taking aim. A penny is then placed in front of the slide. (A toy paper gunpowder cap may be inserted in front of the gun's hammer.) The lever is then pressed (Figure 3). Simultaneously, the cap fires and the hunter's head moves back as if from the recoil. The lion rears up, and the penny is propelled forward, being deposited beneath the lion, into the bank.
     (The lion can be made to rear up without cocking the rifle by merely depressing the lever. This "double" action is a unique feature of both the "Lion Hunter" and the "Teddy and the Bear" banks - and is so described in the patent papers. In the "Teddy and the Bear" bank the bear pops up out of the treetop when the lever is pressed.)
     There are no casting or color variations of the "Lion Hunter" bank. The color scheme is also constant, and the one pictured in Figure  is as follows: the hunter's face and hands area pink flesh color; he has a red mouth with white teeth; the corneas of his eyes are white; and the pupils are black, as are his eyebrows and his handle-bar moustache.  He has a red mouth. His uniform is tan with a gold bullet belt. The boots are green with gold buttons and his pith helmet is light beige. The rifle is silver with a reddish brown stock. The lion is brown. The base is dark green with a metallic gold tinge. The floral design, as well as the name. "LION HUNTER," are painted copper. There are flecks of mica applied randomly over the base to give the effect of rock.
     The "Lion Hunter" bank possesses all of the qualities which make it highly desirable: a degree of rarity. good action and color, imposing size and design, and the distinction of having been designed by the most prominent mechanical bank designer of the 19th century, Charles A. Bailey.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of the "Lion Hunter" bank. Nevertheless, included is a base diagram (Figure 4) to indicate size and scale.
     Correction: (from September, 1985) In the article entitled, "The Lion Hunter Bank," Antique Toy World, July 1985, it was erroneously stated that the Hunter has a red mouth with white teeth. That should have been descriptive of the Lion.

The Football Bank — A Calamity
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1985

      The subject of this article depicts a sport which originated in ancient and medieval Britain. The game we recognize as "football" developed from the disorganized, confused, and, often, violent "melees" which attempted to punch, carry, or kick an oval object, usually the inflated bladder of an animal, toward some goal. It was not until the early 19th century that football became more orderly, with the U.S. colleges and universities and the great English public schools adapting variations of the game of kicking or booting a round, inflated ball. The development of modern football, as we know it, was effected between 1906 and 1912.
     With "footballmania" sweeping the United States, it wasn't surprising that a toy mechanical bank reflecting the football theme would be designed (Figure 1) and offered for sale to a receptive public. On August 29, 1905, James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was granted Patent number 798,491 for his design and invention of the "Calamity" mechanical bank. This patent protects both the design and internal mechanism of the bank (Figure 2).
     Production of the Calamity bank was executed by the J. and E. Stevens Co., of Cromwell, Connecticut, and is pictured in their catalog (Figure 3) at $1.00 each, packed in its own wooden box. As evidenced by the photograph in Figure 1, it may be said that Bowen's patent drawings were stringently adhered to.
     There are no casting variations of which I am aware. The basic color scheme is also standardized, except for some instances where the colors of the players' uniforms have been reversed.
     The colors of the Calamity bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: all three players have tan helmets, vests, and knickers; they have olive green shoulder pads and brown shoes, belts, and hair. Their hands and faces are pink flesh-colored, with red mouths and eyes that have white corneas with black pupils. The ball carrier's knee-socks, shirt sleeves, and collar are painted blue-gray. His two opponents' knee-socks, shirt sleeves, and collars are maroon. The football is olive green. The base of the bank is painted red with gold trim, as are its two hind legs. The top of the base is bright green with gold, highlighting the raised floral design as well as the words, "A Calamity."
     The action of the Calamity bank is exciting, surprising, and extremely amusing. To set the bank for its action, both side football players are pulled back, automatically locking into position behind the ball carrier. A coin is placed into the slot on top of the base; the lever is then pressed. Simultaneously, the ball carrier lunges forward; his two opponents swing around in front of him, and all three meet with a sharp crack of their foreheads. The coin then falls into the base. the lack of paint remaining on the faces of almost all Calamity banks gives credence to the harsh treatment these figures experienced.
     It is of further interest to note that the designer of this obviously bold and aggressive bank, James H. Bowen, also designed the delicate "Girl Skipping Rope" bank, an example of grace, serenity, and tranquility.
     The Calamity's violent action, coupled with its delicately designed castings, have resulted in breakage of many of these banks – a factor which accounts for much of its rarity today. This scarcity, as may be expected, has spawned an abundance of recasts. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 4) to aid in determining an original Calamity bank from a reproduction. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller in length than indicated in the diagram.

 The Organ Bank (Miniature)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1985

     Unassuming, diminutive in size, and a relatively colorless appearance may best describe the mechanical bank about to be discussed. However, lest we underestimate the unpretentious Organ Bank (Miniature), may I add that, despite the foregoing description, it has attained a special place in the world of bank collecting.
     The Organ Bank (Miniature) is one of a series of four monkey and organ mechanical banks, designed and manufactured by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex, of Frankford, Pennsylvania. It has the distinction of being the smallest (Figure 1, actual size) and rarest of the four. The others in this series include: the "Organ with Monkey, Boy and Girl," the "Organ with Monkey, Cat and Dog," and a medium-sized organ bank with a single figure of a monkey holding a tambourine.
     The Organ Bank (Miniature) is protected by two separate patents, each of which covers various aspects of the other three in the series. These patents (Figures 2 & 3) were issued to Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex on May 31, 1881 and June 13, 1882, respectively; these dates are cast in raised letters underneath the base of the Organ Bank (Miniature). Patent number 242,139 ( Figure 2) protects the concept and design of a single monkey, with articulated, movable arms. sitting atop an organ bank. According to this patent, the musical sound heard while the monkey is performing is produced by a series of pins plucking a musical comb (similar to a music box). This particular method of producing sound was never used in any of the Kyser and Rex organ banks. Rather, patent number 259,403 (Figure 3) covered the sound mechanism actually employed: a crank-activated ratchet which caused a small hammer to strike a bell or series of bells. Patent 259,403 also protected the concept of using a worm gear to rotate the one or more figures on all but the Organ Bank (Medium).
     Aside from its size, the Organ Bank (Miniature) differs from the other three in the respect that its monkey does not have movable arms, and rotates while the crank is turned, while the others portray a stationary monkey.
     The action of the Organ Bank( Miniature) is quite simple: a coin is placed into the recessed slot in front of the monkey; the crank is then turned clockwise Simultaneously, the monkey turns counterclockwise; bells begin to chime, and our little pet sweeps the coin into the bank.
     As with all of Messrs. Kyser and Rex banks, extreme care had been given to casting and painted details. Close examination will bear testimony to the impeccable workmanship of their product.
     I am not aware of any casting variations of the Organ Bank (Miniature), but there are several color modifications. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: the organ is painted a brown, japanned finish. The words, "Organ Bank"; the crank handle; the lattice work on both sides; and the frame around the floral design on the front are painted gold. The floral design and the star burst are painted silver. The monkey's face, hands, and lower torso are brown; his eyes are white with black pupils; and he has a red mouth. He sports a red hat with a yellow plume and a blue jacket trimmed in yellow. The tambourine in his right paw is painted gold. I've seen Organ Bank (Miniature) mechanicals that had monkeys wearing a red jacket with yellow trim or a yellow jacket with red trim, and a blue hat with a yellow plume. One should not rule out still other color schemes when attempting to authenticate this bank.
    Of interest is Figure 4, which shows an 1892 Marshall Fields and Company catalog advertisement for the Organ Bank (Miniature). The price – $2.00 per dozen – is certainly a far cry from what one would sell for today.
     As previously mentioned, the Organ Bank (Miniature) is the scarcest of the four Kyser and Rex organ banks. I can only offer conjecture as to the reasons for this: Perhaps, being the smallest and least colorful of the other three it was overlooked by the parent choosing a gift for his/her youngster. Fewer of these banks being sold resulted in fewer being manufactured – hence, a reason for rarity. Another reason might have been a function of its design. In order to remove the deposited coins, the entire bank had to be disassembled. This was accomplished by turning a twist pin which not only freed the top, bottom, and four sides of the bank, but caused them to collapse inward, creating a nighmarish dilemma when attempting to reassemble them. One can imagine the many broken and, ultimately, discarded banks due to the frustration encountered during the reassembly process. This also resulted in great difficulty for the collector finding one in unbroken condition, and, when such a bank is located, it is usually accompanied by an appropriate price tag.
     The Organ Bank (Miniature) has never been reproduced; nevertheless, I am including abase diagram Figure5 which indicates its size and scale.
     Correction: In the article entitled "The Confectionary Bank," which appeared in the November 1983 issue of Antique Toy World, it was erroneously stated: "the Kyser and Rex Company of Philadelphia"; it should have read; "the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford."
     Correction: In the article entitled, "The Lion Hunter Bank," Antique Toy World, July 1985, it was erroneously stated that the Hunter has a red mouth with white teeth. That should have been descriptive of the Lion.
     Correction: (from November, 1985) Referring to the September 1985 issue of Antique Toy World magazine, the photograph of the Organ Tiny bank was erroneously represented as actual size. The actual bank is smaller than the photograph. Please refer to the base diagram pictured in that article for the correct dimension.
     Correction: (from February, 1986) In the article entitled, "Organ Bank (Miniature)," which appeared in the September 1985 issue of Antique Toy World, it was erroneously stated: "a medium-sized organ bank, with a single figure of a monkey holding a tambourine. " It should have read: "a medium-sized organ bank, with a single figure of a monkey holding a round tray."

The Indian and Bear Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1985

     Many a young man has been fascinated by the intrigue of hunting – if not in reality, then in stories which portray the hero as a fearless wild game hunter. It is not surprising, therefore, that several mechanical banks were designed with just such a theme in mind. One example, the "Indian and Bear" bank, is the subject of this article.
     A most eloquent and illustrative mechanical, as shown in Figure 1, this bank depicts an Indian brave, outfitted in buckskins and eagle feathers, brandishing a rifle at a rearing bear. Unlike many of the mechanical banks which represented minority groups in a degrading manner. The "Indian and Bear" portrays these first Americans with great dignity – in the form of a brave and graceful hunter.
     To date, no patent papers have been discovered. However, underneath the base of the bank, in raised letters, are the words: "PAT PEND'G." And, in the same location, I have seen an "Indian and Bear" bank with the words: "PATD JAN 17 1883." These present the possibility that this bank may be protected by another bank's patent.
     There is evidence which does indicate that the "Indian and Bear" was designed by Charles A. Bailey and manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut Figure 2 shows an early 20th-century catalog page from the J. and E. Stevens Company offering the "Bear Hunt" bank at $1.00 apiece, retail.
     The action of the "Indian and Bear" is typical of most "shooting banks," and is most aptly described in the catalog page (Figure 2). Pull the slide atop the rifle all the way back, then "place the coin in proper position on the barrel of the rifle. Press the lever and the rifle shoots the coin into the bear. It is so arranged that a paper cap may be fired at the same time." The deposited coins are removed by way of a round trap underneath the base.
     Aside from being an extremely well designed and graceful bank, the "Indian and Bear" is one of the more colorfully painted mechanicals. There are no casting variations of this bank, but there are two color variation. These pertain solely to the bear. It may be painted either brown or white, the latter being the rarer of the two (Figure 1). In both versions, the rest of the bank remains constant in color scheme.
     The colors are as follows: the Indian's hands and face are light tan with black eyes and eyebrows. His lips are pink, and he has dark brown hair. His shirt is red with yellow fringe on the left sleeve, and the bear tooth necklace around his neck is white. His pants are tan with yellow fringe, and his moccasins are dark brown. The tomahawk tucked into his brown belt has a brown handle with a gold blade. The rifle is black with a dark brown sling. His headdress has tan feathers, highlighted in yellow, orange, and blue. The bear is white with yellow eyes and black pupils. It has brown claws, a red mouth with white teeth, and there is a green vine weaving up its right side. The tree stump is brown with a light tan top. Finally, the base is painted dark green with orange splotches, and the lever is gold.
     Because of the extreme delicacy of the feathers and rifle sling, these parts are usually broken or missing when this bank is found. Thus, even though the "Indian and Bear" is considered a common bank, a fine, all-original example could fetch a not so-common price. Conversely, as with any mechanical bank, a break, recasting, or repainting will lower its monetary value drastically.
     The subject matter, in combination with a colorful and graceful appearance, has made this bank quite popular amongst both the advanced bank collector and the novice. It is precisely this popularity that has inspired many a reproduction. I am, therefore, including a base diagram of an original "Indian and Bear" bank (Figure 3). The reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter in the length.

The William Tell Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1985

      The legend of William Tell symbolizes man's quest for individual and political freedom. Tell supposedly existed between the latter part of the 13th century and the early part of the 14th century. As the legend relates, he and his son traveled to the city of Albdorf, Switzerland, which was then occupied by the Austrians under Governor Gessler.
     Gessler, a cruel and power-hungry man, demanded acknowledgment of his sovereignty by proclaiming that each passerby curtsy to his hat, which had been placed upon a stake in the Main Square. William Tell refused to pay homage and was subsequently punished. He was ordered to test his marksmanship by using a crossbow to shoot an apple from his son's head. To Gessler's amazement, Tell succeeded, whereupon he commented that his "next arrow was destined for Gessler's heart," Gessler's response was to have Tell imprisoned. However, William Tell was to escape and eventually, to carry out his threat by slaying Gessler in an ambush. Tell's heroic deeds reached their culmination in Switzerland's liberation from Austria on New Year's Day in 1308.
     Approximately 583 years hence, on June23, 1896, Russle Frisbie, of Cromwell, Connecticut, honored William Tell by designing a mechanical bank in this legendary hero's image. On that date, Frisbie was granted design patent number 25,662 (Figure 1). He assigned the rights to the patent to J. and. E. Stevens, also of Cromwell, Connecticut, who eventually manufactured and marketed the bank. The final production bank (Figure2) follows this patent quite faithfully. Yet it only protects the external configuration and subject matter, and not the internal mechanism. Most likely, the mechanism was covered under a previous bank, possibly one either similar to, or the same as, the Creedmoor Bank. The Creedmoor was patented by James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, on November 6, 1877 (Figure 3), and was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company.
     The design of the William Tell bank is true to the popular legend except for one distinct difference: Tell brandishes a rifle rather than a crossbow. The action of the bank is aptly described in a 1906 J. and E. Stevens Company catalog (Figure 4): "Place the coin in proper position on the barrel of the rifle Press the right foot and the rifle shoots the apple from the boy's head. As the coin enters the castle, it strikes a gong bell. It is so arranged that a paper cap may be fired at the same time." (Figure 2 shows the bank with the apple shot off the head of Tell's son. The apple is reset by lowering the boy's right arm.)
     There are no major casting or color variations of the William Tell mechanical, other than some banks having the patent date cast underneath the base or some minor color changes pertaining to the boy's costume or the apple.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 2 are as follows: William Tell's hands and face area pink flesh color; the corneas of his eyes are white with black pupils, and he has black hair and eyebrows; his lips are red. Tell's hat is gray with a red plume, and his jacket is black with red trim and a red belt. His sleeves have yellow puffs at the shoulders. The cape is black with a brown collar and red lining. His pantaloons are yellow, and his stockings area pink flesh color. He wears brown boots. The rifle is black with a gold coin pusher. Tell's son has pink flesh-colored arms, legs, and face He has black hair, eyes, and eyebrows. His shirt is red and his kilt and boots are orange. The apple atop his head is yellow. The castle is tan with gold decorations, and the entire base is painted light green, splotched with gold. The underside of the bank is, as are all Stevens' banks, painted with a creamy white protective coat, which was probably used as a rust preventative (another example of the pride and care these early toy manufacturers incorporated into their product).
     There is a rare version of a William Tell bank which was made in Australia and has Tell sporting a crossbow. It is considerably larger than the Stevens' William Tell bank.
     Also, unlike the cast iron bank designed by Frisbie, the Australian version is made of aluminum and pressed steel.
     The William Tell bank pictured in Figure2 is not considered rare. However, its extremely attractive coloration, combined with its glamorous subject matter, has made it quite popular with today's collector.
     This mechanical has been reproduced from the Book of Knowledge collection. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 5) to aid the collector in determining an original from the recast. The reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller in length than an original.
     Correction: Referring to the September 1985 issue of Antique Toy World magazine, the photograph of the Organ Tiny bank was erroneously represented as actual size. The actual bank is smaller than the photograph. Please refer to the base diagram pictured in that article for the correct dimension.

 I Always Did 'Spise a Mule
(Jockey Over)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1985

      Once again, the subject of this month's article portrays man's insensitivity and penchant for racial prejudice towards his fellow man. The "I Always Did 'Spise A Mule" bank embodies 19th-century stereotypic viewpoints directed against the black man. Instead of a stately jockey, attired in fine racing silks, perched upon his sleek Arabian steed, the " 'Spise A Mule" bank reveals a comically-proportioned, shoeless, black jockey, dressed in tattered clothes, atop a balky mule.
     It is difficult to conceive that the same gentleman who designed the sensitive, etheral "Girl Skipping Rope" bank — James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – also designed the " 'Spise A Mule," for which he was granted Patent number 214,615 (Figure 1) on April 22, 1879. That date is impressed into the base plate underneath the bank. Oddly enough, this patent designated a mechanical toy and not a mechanical bank. It is quite possible that the idea of converting the toy into a bank was the suggestion of the J. and E. Stevens Co., of Cromwell, Connecticut, manufacturers of both the " 'Spise A Mule" toy and the " 'Spise A Mule" bank. The bank and toy were marketed and displayed in Stevens' Catalog of Iron Toys (Figure 2).
     The patent drawings in Figure 1 indicate a small dog at the hind legs of the mule being flipped heels-over-head as the mule kicks up its legs. Even though this figure of the dog was never incorporated in the" 'Spise A Mule" bank, it might have inspired the action of a second bank, also designed and patented by Bowen and manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company: the "I Always Did 'Spise a Mule" bank with Jockey on Bench (Figure 3). Here we see the jockey being throw, heels-over-head, as the mule spins around and kicks up its hind legs.
     The " 'Spise A Mule" bank, as evidenced by the photo in Figure4, follows the patent design for the " 'Spise A Mule" toy quite closely with three exceptions: (1) the raised base, (2) the hat on the man's head, and (3) the small dog.
     The action of both the toy and the bank are unexpected and quite exciting. To operate the bank, a coin is placed in the mouth of the jockey (the toy will not accommodate money). The lever (Figure 4) in front of the mule's hind legs is pressed on both the bank and the toy. Simultaneously, the mule kicks upward and flips the jockey, heels-over-head, whereupon his forehead strikes the log positioned at the front end of the bank. The coin is thus deposited in the appropriate slot within the base. These coins are retrieved by way of a round Stevens' type coin trap, underneath the base of the bank. (It is worthy of mention that the visor of the jockey's cap is spring-cushioned, which absorbs much of the shock caused by the violent blow to his head.)
     There are no casting variations of the " 'Spise A Mule, but there are several color variations. The colors of the bank shown in Figure 4 are as follows: the mule is dark brown, but it may also be tan-colored. The mane, tail, hooves, and harness straps are black. The mule wears a light blue blanket and a red hitch with yellow dots. The corneas of his eyes are painted white with black pupils. The base has dark brown sides, but it may also be painted either red or yellow, and has red and yellow striping along the top and bottom edges, respectively. The top of the base is painted green, splotched with red and yellow, and the log is dark brown with tan edges. The name of the bank is painted white and the lever is red. The jockey sports a red shirt with a white kerchief, which has a black crescent moon. He has blue trousers, and his cap is blue, white, and red. His hands, face, and feet are black and his lips are red. The reins in his hands are tan.
     Although the "I Always Did 'SpiseA Mule" bank may be easily located, an extremely fine example is quite difficult to find. This is due to the fragile nature of the castings and the extreme shock the bank receives during its operation.
     The exciting action, subject matter, coloration, and design of the " 'Spise A Mule" has inspired many a reproduction. Figure 5 is a base diagram of an original bank, which is intended to help the collector discern between it and a recast. The reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller along the base than an original.

The Punch and Judy Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1986

     A little over one-hundred and fifty years ago, those characters we recognize as Punch and Judy were immortalized by the London artist, George Cruikshank. His inspiration was a puppet show created by Piccini, a 19th-century puppeteer.
     The Punch and Judy theme can be traced to early Greek theatre wherein the zany antics of Punch and Judy were acted out on stage, by live actors. Its puppet theatre origin was with the Italian puppeteer, Pulcinello. He is credited with bringing these two characters to seventeenth-century England. From the onset, the enthusiasm with which Punch and Judy were received by the children of England made it apparent that they were here to stay.
     Seizing upon the opportunity to create a toy bank with such appealing subject matter as to guarantee almost instant success, both Peter Adams, Jr. and Charles G. Shepard, of Buffalo, New York, designed and patented the "Punch and Judy" mechanical bank. On July 15, 1884, they were granted Patent number 302,039 (Figure 1). A subsequent Patent, number 15,155, was granted to Adams and Shepard on July 22, 1884, which changed and protected only the external design of the bank (the way it was finally manufactured), Figure 2. The drawings contained in this patent accurately follow the traditional English Punch and Judy puppet theatre.
     The base plate underneath the bank designates its two American patent dates and an English registry number. Stated, in raised letters, is the following: "BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S.A. PAID IN U.S. JULY 15, '84 AND JULY 22, '84 RD IN ENGLAND NO. 10423." When one considers the popularity of Punch and Judy in 19th century England, it is understood why Shepard might have wanted to protect the bank both here and abroad.
     The final production bank shown in Figure 3 was manufactured and sold by the Shepard Hardware Co. of Buffalo, New York.
     All of the banks produced by the Shepard Co., including Punch and Judy, reveal great care and attention to find casting and meticulous paint decoration. Unfortunately, this fine paint was eventually to deteriorate and flake from its surface. The reason was that this most conscientious of manufacturers neglected to use a primer undercoat prior to final painting.
     There are no color variations of the Punch and Judy bank, but there are three casting variations. These pertain solely to the letters which form the words "PUNCH AND JUDY BANK" at the peak of each bank. The bank pictured in Figure 3 is referred to as the" Large Letters" variation. The other two have the name "PUNCH AND JUDY BANK" across a raised arched ribbon in "small" and "medium" block letters. These differences neither add to, nor detract from, the bank's ultimate value.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 3 are extremely attractive and are consistent in all three variants. The frame around the entire front of the bank is bright red. The background of the marquee and the square section under the stage is yellow. The curtain rod is blue, as are the drapes on each side of the stage. The curtain rings and ties are orange. The decorative cross design in the center of the base is maroon, blue and red, as are the sunflower decorations in each of the corners of the lower panel. Punch and Judy are both wearing red and yellow hats. Judy's face is natural pink in color, and each eye has a white cornea with a brown iris and black pupil. She has black hair and eyebrows, and red lips. Her dress is blue with yellow buttons and has a white collar with blue stripes. Her coin tray is black. Punch has a tan, flesh-colored face. The color of his hair, eyes, eyebrows and lips are identical to Judy's. The club he so menacingly holds in his left hand is light brown. The backdrop behind Punch and Judy is tan. The draperies are dark blue with light blue highlights, and the tassels are red and yellow. The base plate underneath the bank is coated with a brown, japan varnish, and the entire back of the bank is painted red.
     The action of the Punch and Judy bank is amusing and quite effective. The long, rounded lever on the right side of the bank is pulled out, causing Judy to turn with her tray and face the front of the bank. Simultaneously, Punch turns away from Judy and raises his club in a threatening manner. A coin is then placed into Judy's tray. The small lever under the long, round lever is pressed. Punch then snaps forward, bringing down his club, as if to strike Judy. She quickly turns toward Punch, depositing the coin from her tray into the bank. These coins are removed by unscrewing the base plate from the bank.
     One can only really appreciate the splendor of this bank when viewed with most of its original paint intact. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find such a fine specimen. When one is located, it is accompanied by an equally fine price tag!
     The Punch and Judy bank has been reproduced; therefore, I am including a base diagram to help the collector determine an original from a reproduction (Figure 4). The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller in width than the original.

The Organ Bank
(With Monkey, Boy and Girl)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1986

     If ever a bank was designed with the thought of entertaining a child, it would certainly be the "Organ Bank With Monkey, Boy and Girl." One of a series of Kyser and Rex mechanicals whose subject is a monkey atop an organ, this one also captures the charm of the nineteenth-century street organ grinders. What parent of that era could resist the adorable antics of the monkey with his outstretched paw, pleading for pennies – insignificant payment for the smiles he brought to the faces of their children. No other toy manufacturer was to equal Kyser and Rex for the array of organ and monkey toy banks which they produced.
     On June 13, 1882, both Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received Patent number 259,403 for their design and invention of the "Organ Bank With Monkey, Cat and Dog" (Figure 1). These patent papers differ from the "Organ Bank With Monkey, Boy and Girl" in that they display a large monkey with a small dog to its right, and small cat to its left, instead of the boy and girl figures, as shown in the photograph of the bank in Figure 2. The information, "Pat. June 13, 1882," is cast into the rear side of the bank.
     Animation of the "Organ, Monkey, Boy and Girl Bank" is achieved by placing a coin upon the round tray which is held by the monkey's outstretched paw. The crank is then turned; simultaneously, both boy and girl revolve; bells begin to chime, and the monkey lowers his tray to deposit the coin within the bank, tipping his hat in a gesture of courtesy. The coins are removed by way of a square key lock coin trap in the underside of the bank. The action of the "Organ, Monkey, Boy and Girl Bank" is aptly described in an advertisement which appeared in an 1892 Marshall Field and Co. wholesaler's catalog (Figure 3). "It has a very sweet chime of bells, which sound when the handle is turned, and the monkey deposits all coins in the bank, and politely raises his cap, while the figures at his side revolve, producing a pleasing effect. Packed one in a wooden box." Incidentally, in 1892, this particular mechanical bank sold for the price of $8.00 per dozen!
     The "Organ Bank With Monkey, Boy and Girl" has several casting and design variations. One pertains to the number of internal bells used to perform the ringing and chiming sounds. Some banks utilize two bells, while others have three. Another modification involves the crank handle whereby it is located either to the left or right side of the bank. Another, more subtle, difference concerns itself with the small figure of the girl. She may or may not have an open space between her knees. These variations neither add to nor detract from the bank's monetary value.
     There are also several color differences. The bank pictured in Figure 2 has the organ finished in dark brown japan varnish. Painted gold are the organ pipes, the square rectangles above and below the pipes, the lattice work on the left and right sides of the bank, and the round tray the monkey holds in his right paw. The sheet music on the front of the bank is white with black markings. The boy has pink flesh-colored hands and a pink face with black eyes and a red mouth. His hat is blue, as is the round pedestal he stands upon. He sports a yellow shirt and red pants. The bar he's holding above his head is painted gold. The girl has a pink flesh-colored face, hands and legs. Her hair and eyes are black and her mouth is red. She holds a gold tambourine above her head, and she wears a yellow blouse with a red skirt. The pedestal upon which she stands is blue. The monkey sits upon a square red base. His head, paws and feet are painted chocolate brown. The corneas of his eyes are white with black pupils, and his mouth is painted red. His cap is red and yellow, and he sports a blue jacket with yellow buttons, a white collar and white cuffs, and his trousers are painted yellow.
     Other color variations may find the three figures painted in combinations of red, yellow, and blue. Once again, it is the overall condition and rarity of a bank which determines its value and not any one particular paint variation.
     The disproportionate sizes of the monkey, boy, and girl give the bank a primitive appearance, a feature which many collectors, including myself, find quite interesting and appealing. As with all Kyser and Rex banks, meticulous care had been given to both casting detail and paint decoration.
     The "Organ, Monkey, Boy and Girl" is not considered rare, but locating one in "perfect" condition, with superb paint, may prove quite a challenge to the collector. Most often, when this bank is found, it is sadly in need of repair, with parts of figures either missing or broken. The Organ bank has been reproduced; therefore, I am including a base diagram (Figure 4) to illustrate the dimension of an original. A recast bank will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller in size due to shrinkage of the cast iron during the cooling process.
     Correction: In the article entitled, "Organ Bank (Miniature)," which appeared in the September 1985 issue of Antique Toy World, it was erroneously stated: "a medium-sized organ bank, with a single figure of a monkey holding a tambourine. " It should have read: "a medium-sized organ bank, with a single figure of a monkey holding a round tray."

The Boy Scout Camp
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1986

      The largest boys' organization in the world, the Scouts, owes its beginnings to Lieutenant General Sir Robert S. S. Baden-Powell, an English officer serving in South Africa during the Boer War. Finding his troops ill-trained, he wrote a manual to help them overcome some of the problems they might encounter in the field. This manual explained tracking, scouting, survival, and mapmaking.
     After the war, when Baden-Powell returned to England, he rewrote his guide to adapt to the needs of boys interested in acquiring outdoor skills. In 1907, he organized a scouting camp for twenty boys, thus starting the first Boy Scout movement. In 1908, Baden-Powell published the first Boy Scout manual. The organization spread to the United States due to a good deed performed for American businessman, William D. Boyce. A British Boy Scout helped Boyce find his way through a London fog without accepting remuneration. This so impressed Boyce that, when he returned to the United States, he, Ernest Thompson Seton, Daniel Carter Beard, and Sir Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scout movement in America. It officially became the "Boy Scouts of America" in 1910.
     To honor this esteemed organization, the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, manufactured and sold the "Boy Scout Camp" bank, the subject of this article. The bank first appeared for sale in the 1917 J. and E. Stevens Company catalog.
     Unfortunately, patent information is sadly lacking. Although the words, "PAT APLD FOR" is impressed into the back side of the bank, to date, no patent papers have been located.
     Perhaps the internal mechanism which governs the action of the "Boy Scout Camp" bank was identical, or similar, to another bank under patent protection by the J. and E. Stevens Company. The similarity between the action of the "Boy Scout Camp" and the action of the patented "Lion Hunter" bank (push the lever down and an object is raised; release the lever and the object is lowered) is apparent.
     Despite the lack of patent and design information, it isn't difficult to speculate that the designer of the "Boy Scout Camp" bank was Charles A. Bailey. Aside from the fact that, in 1890, Bailey joined the Stevens Company as chief designer, his personal touch of graceful floral and leaf patterns abound upon the bank's base. He, the most prolific of all mechanical bank designers, left this thematic element on no less than thirty-one creations. Banks such as the "Indian and the Bear", the "Darkey With Watermelon", "Milking Cow", "Bad Accident", "Perfection Registering", "Chief Big Moon", "Hen and Chick", "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest", "Lion Hunter", and others, all utilize this motif of graceful leaf and flori-forms.
     There are several actual and alleged casting variations of the" Boy Scout Camp." One pertains to the words, "PAT APLD FOR" which may, or may not, be cast into the lower back side of the base. Another concerns itself with the boy scout standing within the tent. In the photo (Figure 1) we see him well inside the entrance way. In a variation, he is almost fully emerged, with the tips of his shoes somewhat touching the edge of the base. There is also an alleged variation, which portrays an Indian squaw emerging from the tent. There is great controversy as to the authenticity of this variant and, to date, there has been no concrete evidence to support the supposition that it was ever actually manufactured by the Stevens Foundry.
     The action of the "Boy Scout Camp" is not particularly exciting, although it certainly is quite appropriate. A coin is placed into the slot provided in the tree top. The lever directly beneath the owl is then pressed downward. Simultaneously, the coin drops into the bank and the boy scout raises his flag in tribute to the generous contribution. The coins are removed by way of a round Stevens' coin trap located underneath the base.
     There are no color variations of the "Boy Scout Camp". The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: the three scouts wear brown uniforms; their knee socks are orange and they have black shoes. Their hands and faces are pink, flesh-color with black eyes, eyebrows, and hair. All three have red mouths. The tree has a light brown trunk with dark green leaves. The entire base is dark green, with gray rocks and bronze-highlighted foliage. The cauldron holder is brown and the cauldron is black with a silver handle. The coffee pot is also painted silver. The flag is white with gold letters and it has a gold mast. The pennant leaning against the teepee is red, and also has a gold mast. The owl is painted white with gold highlighting. The teepee is white and the lever is gold. Finally, the entire underside of the bank is painted with a creamy white protective undercoat – typical of all banks manufactured by Stevens.
     The "Boy Scout Camp" is not a rare bank, but it is quite difficult to acquire one in truly fine condition. This may be due to the fact that it is an extremely fragile bank and many of its parts were subject to breakage and loss.
     This fine mechanical was manufactured for a relatively short period of time, after the "golden" age of mechanical banks, when their popularity as savings devices was drastically waning. This factor, combined with its historical significance, charming subject matter, colorful appearance, and imposing size, all add up to a mechanical bank with great charisma and a challenge for both the new and seasoned collector who has yet to attain one for his shelf. Figure 2 shows an ad from the 1914 Butler Bros. catalog offering the " Boy Scout Camp" at a modest $8.00 per dozen, each in its own box – quite a bargain when one considers the purchase price one brought at a recent auction.
     The "Boy Scout Camp" has been reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 3) to show the size of an original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter in length.

The Perfection Registering Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1986

     Toy savings banks are categorized as either still, mechanical, or registering. The subject of this article is a bank which fulfills the requirements of two of these categories. The Perfection Registering bank (Figure 1) is not only capable, through coin deposition, of activating the figures of the girl and her dog to perform a specific action, but also registers the total amount of the money which is deposited. These attributes qualify the bank to be classified as "mechanical-registering."
     On January 10, 1893, Charles A. Bailey, of Cromwell, Connecticut, assignor to the J. and E. Stevens Co., was granted Patent number 489,860 (Figure 2) for his design and invention of the Perfection Registering bank. On the underside of the base are the words, "PAT APLD FOR." Charles A. Bailey was probably the most prolific mechanical bank designer of all time. The Perfection Registering, as with most of his creations, bears his unmistakable touch – designs incorporating graceful floral and leaf motifs. It appears as though Bailey was obsessed with the task of translating the flow of nature into the flow of molten metal.
     The action of the Perfection is extremely subtle. In order for the bank to operate, only dimes can be utilized. The dime is inserted into the slot atop the wall the little girl faces. The lever is then pressed downward. Simultaneously, the girl and her dog move backward one-sixteenth of an inch. her pointer registering the total amount of money inserted within the bank. When fifty dimes have been deposited, the girl and her dog reach the end of the bank. The dog then sits up, as if to beg. By pressing him down, a trap door at one end of the bank is released.
     There are neither casting nor color variations of the Perfection Registering bank. The colors of the one pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: the entire bank is painted a cream-tan color; the floral designs, the newspaper boy on the front, the soldier on the top, and the lion's head on the side are painted gold. The little girl has strawberry-blonde hair, black eyes, a white jacket, and an orange waist band. Her dog is white with black eyes and black spots. The platform is painted a dusty rose, and there is an orange flourish on the side wall which the girl faces. The paper label on the back wall is bluish-black with gold printing.
     There has been much speculation regarding the subject matter of the Perfection Registering bank. One hypothesis is that the popular children's classic by Frank Lyman Baum, The Wizard of Oz, was its inspiration. The reasoning behind this view revolves about the symbols which appear upon the bank. On the center of the front panel is the figure of a newspaper boy. During Baum's early years, he worked as an editor for a Midwestern newspaper. The figures of the little girl and her dog could possibly represent Dorothy and Toto of The Wizard of Oz, who, it may be conjectured, stand upon a section of the bank which has a pattern of rectangles cast into it — the yellow brick road??? And, finally, the face of a lion is cast into the right end of the bank, which may possibly be none other than that of the lion in search of courage from the book of Oz. However, the bank was manufactured seven years before The Wizard of Oz was first published, so it seems quite unlikely that it was based upon Baum's story. As stated earlier, the comparisons are merely speculative - and, perhaps, add a bit of intrigue as the collector attempts to discover the source of inspiration.
     The Perfection Registering bank is considered to be quite rare. This may possibly be attributed to fewer banks having been purchased due to the relatively exorbitant amount of money necessary to operate it (ten cents per deposit might have been more than many could afford at a time when earnings amounted to merely ten cents per day.) Another possible explanation for the bank's rarity today might be its fragile design. Not only were there many vulnerable parts that could easily be damaged, but if one desired to remove the coins before the proper number of dimes were deposited, the bank had to be pried open by breaking off the end door, causing irreparable damage.
     The Perfection Registering's charming and attractive appearance, coupled with its rarity, have encouraged its reproduction. Some were recast from actual factory patterns, making detection difficult. To add insult to injury, several years ago an unscrupulous dealer also counterfeited the paper labels. When these bogus labels were affixed to the recast bank, detection became that much more difficult. A true test of this bank's authenticity (as well as any other bank) lies in the quality of its paint. The texture, crazing, and patina of an antique bank are virtually impossible to duplicate.
     I am including a base diagram of the Perfection Registering bank for size and scale only (Figure 3). Please be advised that, because many of these banks were recast from original patterns, they will correspond precisely with the size indicated on the base diagram. Those reproductions which were cast from original production banks will appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter in length than indicated on the diagram. This is due to the shrinkage of the cast iron as it cools in the mold.
     CORRECTION: (from June, 1986) In the article entitled, "The Perfection Registering Bank, " Antique Toy World April, 1986, it was erroneously stated that the photo of the bank in Figure 1 was "actual size. " The actual bank, in fact, is smaller than indicated by the photo. Please refer to the base diagram for the correct size. The editor of this publication apologizes for the error.

 I Always Did 'Spise A Mule
(Jockey On Bench)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1986

     During the 19th century, a popular outlet for anti-Negro expression was children's toys. Mechanical penny banks manufactured during that period were not excluded from these prejudicial sentiments. The subject of this article, "I Always Did 'Spise A Mule," exemplifies the mood of the era.
     In order to best describe this bank, it is necessary to mention events which took place 18 years prior to the granting of Patent number 581,533 (on April 27, 1897) to James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for his design and invention of the "I Always Did 'Spise A Mule" bank (Figure 1) and the subject of this article. On April 22, 1879, Bowen patented a toy bearing that same name — which was translated into a mechanical bank by the J. and E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Connecticut. This particular bank is referred to as the  *" 'Spise A Mule" (Jockey Over), while the mechanical bank whose photograph appears in this article, is referred to as " 'Spise A Mule" (Jockey On Bench).
     The patent pictured in Figure 2 makes reference to a little dog being knocked over by the hind legs of the mule. Although the dog was not to be incorporated into either the earlier or later versions of the banks or toy, the concept was utilized, as evidenced by the action of the " 'Spise A Mule" (Jockey on Bench) bank. This action is graphically demonstrated within the patent paper in Figure 1. A coin is placed into a space underneath the bench upon which the jockey is seated. The lever in front of the mule's rear legs is depressed.
     Simultaneously, the mule spins round, pivoting on its front legs. It kicks upward and out, knocking the jockey heels over-head off the bench, and the coin falls through a slot within the base of the bank. These coins are removed by way of a round Stevens-type coin trap underneath the base.
     The action described is only an illusion. The jockey isn't knocked over by a kick in his head from the mule – but, rather, that impression is conveyed through a series of perfectly-timed levers and springs.
     There are no casting variations of this bank, but there are several color variations. These color differences are helpful in determining the approximate date of manufacture. The banks with yellow bases and white mules, for example, are estimated to have been manufactured in the late 1920s.
     The base of the bank shown in Figure 3 is painted red with a yellow stripe around the top and a yellow and black stripe along the bottom. The grass is green, highlighted with red and yellow. The words, "I Always Did 'Spise a Mule," are painted white. The mule is light brown with a red and yellow blanket. Its mane, tail, hooves, and harness are black. Its eyes are white with black pupils. The jockey's shoes, hands, and face are black; he has white eyes with black pupils, and a red mouth. He holds a black crop highlighted in gold. His hat and trousers are blue and his shirt is orange, but they could also be any combinations of red and yellow.
     No particular color scheme influences the ultimate value of this bank. That determination should be governed by a bank's rarity and overall condition.
     The "I Always Did 'SpiseA Mule" (Jockey on Bench) was quite popular in its day and may boast of sales which spanned over twenty years. Because of the relatively large number of banks manufactured and sold, "'Spise A Mule" is relegated to the "fairly common" category.
     Figure 4 is a page from an early J. and E. Steven's Co. toy catalog, pricing the bank at a modest $1.00 each.
     Figure 5 is a page from an 1894 Selchow and Richter catalog, which advertised the bank for sale at a price of $8.50 per dozen! The price of a mint" 'Spise A Mule" bank purchased today would have paid for one-thousand two hundred of these banks back in 1894!
     Since there have been reproductions over the years, I am including a base diagram (Figure 6) which will indicate the size of an original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base, due to shrinkage of the molten iron as it cools in the mold.
     *Refer to the December, 1985 issue of Antique Toy World.

The Bad Accident Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1986

     One of my earliest recollections concerning the subject matter of this article centers around a conversation between two gentlemen at a toy show twenty years ago. Although the eavesdropping was unintentional, my ears perked up, and my curiosity became aroused when one of these persons (an avid collector — unbeknownst to me at that time) remarked that he "was desperately seeking a bad accident and felt confident that this was to be his lucky day. That collector was successful in obtaining his Bad Accident — and this collector received his Bad Accident shortly thereafter from a prominent New York City dealer, the late Chic Darrow.
     Despite unappealing racist connotations — so popular with 19th century toy manufacturers — the Bad Accident mechanical bank is, in my humble opinion, one of the most ingenious and intriguing of all mechanicals.
     Unfortunately, to date, no patent information has been located. Therefore, there is no documentation, merely speculation, as to who designed this bank. The Bad Accident bears that unmistakable trademark of one of the great bank designers of all time — Charles A. Bailey. Its base abounds with graceful floral and leaf patterns. This, coupled with the fact that the Bad Accident was advertised for sale in the 1891 toy catalog of the J. and E. Stevens Company (Figure 1), which employed Bailey as their chief mechanical bank designer, leads me to believe that he did, in fact, design the Bad Accident.
     It is also of interest to note that, in this catalog, a Donkey Wheel toy is pictured (Figure 2) which, with one exception, has the same casting as the donkey in the Bad Accident bank. That exception: a small wheel placed between the donkey's front legs.
     The action of the Bad Accident is illustrated and described in Figure 3, a copy of an ad which appeared in the 1890 Marshall Field toy catalog. It graphically depicts the tale from which the bank derives its name: "Place a coin under the feet of the driver, and press the lever. The boy jumps into the road, frightening the donkey, and as he rears, the cart and driver are thrown backward, when the coin falls into the body of the cart and disappears. Price per doz., net, $8.50."
     The coins were removed by way of a round Stevens'-type coin trap underneath the cart.
     There are no color variations of the Bad Accident, but, as shown in Figures 4 and 5, there are two casting variations. The differences pertain solely to the words, "BAD ACCIDENT" cast into the base of each bank. One variation, the more common of the two, is that the letters read upside down (Figure 4). The rarer version, with the letters right side up, is seen in Figure 5.
     To determine the monetary value of the rare variation, twenty percent may be added to the value of the common variety, when the condition of both are equivalent. Thus, it may be said that condition is a most important factor in determining the desirability of this, as well as any mechanical bank.
     The colors of the banks shown in Figures 4 and 5 are as follows: the driver's face, hands and shoes are black. His eyes are white with black pupils and he has pink lips with white teeth. His hat is tan with a blue band. He sports a light blue jacket with a dark blue collar. His shirt is white with a yellow and red bow tie and he is wearing red pants with tan spats. The watermelon wedge he so intently munches is green, white and pink with black pits. The little boy's face is black, as are his hands and feet. His eyes are white with black pupils and he has a red mouth. He sports a red shirt and his pants are light blue. The donkey is light brown with white eyes and a red mouth. Its hooves and harness are black and its collar is red. The cart is yellow with red striping and the seat and top of the cart are dark blue with tan boards. The wheels are red with black decorations. The base depicts a tan dirt road, bordered on both sides by green leaves, with yellow and white flowers. The words, "BAD ACCIDENT" are highlighted in gold. Finally, the underside of the base is coated with a creamy white protective varnish, as are all banks manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company.
     The Bad Accident is not considered rare. Nevertheless, its desirability is enhanced by several factors: black subject matter, multi-figural, exciting action, and an extremely colorful appearance. Because of the bank's design, it has proven extremely fragile. Few have survived, completely intact, the ravages of time and children. When a fine specimen is for sale, it generally commands quite a high price.
     In view of the fact that the Bad Accident has been reproduced, I am including a base diagram (Figure 6) to aid in the determination of an original versus a recast. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base.
     CORRECTION: In the article entitled, "The Perfection Registering Bank, " Antique Toy World April, 1986, it was erroneously stated that the photo of the bank in Figure 1 was "actual size. " The actual bank, in fact, is smaller than indicated by the photo. Please refer to the base diagram for the correct size. The editor of this publication apologizes for the error.

Jonah And The Whale
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1986

     "In the days of Jeroboam the Second, there was a prophet named Jonah. And God bade him to go to Nineveh, and tell its inhabitants that He was going to destroy it for their great wickedness. But Jonah was not willing to go. And, thinking he could escape God's notice, he hastened to Joppa and took a ship for Tarshish.
     God was displeased with Jonah for all this, and caused so violent a storm to arise that the ship was in danger of being wrecked. Then the seamen drew lots to find out for whose wickedness this storm had come upon them, And the lot fell upon Jonah. So he told them all: And said they must take him and throw him into the sea. The sailors were unwilling to do this. So they rowed hard, in hopes of getting to land. But it was of no use, so they hart to throw Jonah over; and immediately the storm ceased.
     But Jonah was not drowned. God had prepared a great fish, that swallowed him up, And at the end of three days and three nights, swam to shore, And vomited him up unhurt.
     Then he went at once, and warned the Ninevites who repented of their sins, so that God spared their city.

             — The Old Testament

     On July 15, 1890, Peter Adams of Buffalo, New York, assignor to Charles G. Shepard and Walter J. Shepard, also of Buffalo, was granted Patent number 20,007 (Figure 1) for a mechanical bank based upon the biblical tale of Jonah the Prophet. The "Jonah and the Whale" bank (Figure 2) was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York and is a fine example of the artistic skills they exhibited in their designs and painted decorations. The intricate and delicate quality of Shepard's work remains unchallenged to this day.
     The bank shown in Figure 2 represents the beginning of Jonah's ordeal with God. Here we see a robed and bearded sailor casting Jonah into the cavernous mouth of a "large fish," portrayed as a whale. (How, or when, that interpretation of the fish was made remains a mystery.) The latter portion of Jonah's epic is depicted in another mechanical bank, entitled "Jonah on Pedestal" (Figure 3) which was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Co. This bank represents Jonah's ill-fated journey which took place in the belly of the whale. Upon activation of this mechanical, Jonah is expelled from the whale's mouth onto a beach strewn with clams, turtles, and various sea life. Operation of the "Jonah and the Whale" bank in Figure 2, begins with placement of a coin upon the tray atop Jonah's head. The lever at the stern of the boat is then pressed down. Simultaneously, the bearded sailor holding Jonah pivots towards the whale, tilting Jonah downward, thus depositing the coin into its gaping mouth. The whale's lower jaw continues to bob open and closed, in a chewing motion. These coins are removed by way of a square key lock coin trap underneath the base.
     There are no casting or color variations of the "Jonah and the Whale," and the colors of the bank pictured in Figure 2 are as follows: the four sides of the base are painted maroon with gold lettering. They are outlined with yellow and black borders. The ocean is a light sea-green color; the waves are capped in white. The inside of the boat is yellow-ochre, and the outside is painted tan, red, gold, and blue, with black ornamentation. The whale is dark green. It has a red mouth and white teeth, which are delineated with thin red lines. Its eyes have white corneas, brown irises, and black pupils. The sailor is wearing a red robe with a yellow tassel, while Jonah wears a blue robe with a yellow tassel. Both figures have pink flesh-colored hands and faces, white hair and beards, and finely detailed black eyes and eyebrows; both have red mouths.
     Mention should be made of the fact that Shepard paid a great deal of attention to even the minutest details involved in the painting of their banks. The hair and beard of both Jonah and the sailor are streaked with such extremely fine gray lines that most collectors will need a magnifying glass to detect them. Unfortunately, because these banks were not undercoated prior to decorating, much paint was lost due to age, moisture, and excessive handling. Thus, it is understandable why a superb example of any Shepard bank will command a high price in today's market.
     The action, subject matter, and attractive color scheme have made the "Jonah and the Whale" an extremely popular bank with novices and collectors alike – inviting the creation of many a reproduction. Figure 4 is a base diagram showing the size of an original. A copy of a "Jonah and the Whale" bank cast from an original will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the length, due to shrinkage of the cast iron as it cools in the mold.


The Organ Grinder And
Performing Bear

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1986

     Of the several mechanical bank manufacturers existent in 19th-century America, few honored the street-strolling organ grinder as often as the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania. Over a period of less than ten years, this now-extinct street entertainer was the subject for five of their banks. Of the five, four incorporated the figure of a monkey – the more common companion of the organ grinder, while the fifth bank represented an uncommon sight – the organ grinder accompanied by a performing bear. This bank, aptly named, the "Organ Grinder and Performing Bear" is shown in Figure 1.
     The entertainment and action which took place during one of the organ grinder's performances is captured by this most intriguing mechanical. In order to activate the Organ and Bear, the clockwork mechanism must first be wound. This is accomplished by turning the key on the right side of the building. A coin is then placed into the appropriate slot atop the organ. As the small lever in front of the organ grinder is moved to one side, the action commences. The organ grinder's arm starts to crank the organ; the sounds of clacking and ringing bells begin to emanate from within the building. These sounds represent the music of the organ and the growling of the bear. The bear then slowly revolves on its pedestal as the coin drops through the organ, into the bank. These coins are retrieved by way of the square key-lock coin trap underneath the base. Also beneath the base are the debossed letters "PAT JUNE 13 82." This date facilitated location of pertinent patent papers (Figure 2). These papers bear little resemblance to the actual production bank (Figure 1), and, if it were not for the similarities between the small internal worm gear mechanism, the connection between the patent papers and the Organ and Bear bank might have gone unrecognized.
     A brief paragraph within this patent demonstrates the generalities used by Kyser and Rex in an attempt to protect their idea for subsequent use in other mechanical banks: " . .. To combine with said moving figures two or more bells or their idea for subsequent use in other mechanical banks "... To combine with said moving figures two or more bells or their equivalent, which are rung by means of the same mechanism which activates the figures." In addition, and more noticeably, Patent number 259,403 protects three other Monkey and Organ banks: the Organ Bank (Miniature); the Organ, Monkey, Cat and Dog bank; and, the Organ, Monkey, Boy and Girl bank. All were manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company.
     Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex are well-known for the impeccable care and attention they gave to casting, assembly and paint decoration, and the Organ and Bear bank is no exception.
     To my knowledge, there are no casting or color deviations of this bank, although there has been mentioned the possibility of the existence of a variant where the left arm of the organ grinder is also mobile.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: the base is painted dark green with red and yellow highlights. The bear is brown japan, highlighted with copper; the bar which he holds upon his shoulders is gold. His eyes are black and he has a red mouth. The organ grinder has pink flesh-colored hands and face with black eyes, eyebrows and goatee. His mouth is red. He sports a yellow cap, red shirt and gray pants. The organ is a brown japan finish, outlined in gold. The fence is white and the two figures peering over it have pink flesh-colored hands and faces with black eyes and red mouths. The figure on the left has a blue hat and jacket, and the boy on the right is wearing a blue cap with a yellow shirt. The building is tan with a red roof, and has a red door trimmed in gold. The trim on all windows is also gold.
     The Organ Grinder and Performing Bear bank is extremely fragile. When one is acquired, generally either the fence, the bear, and/or the arm of the organ grinder is damaged or missing. In addition, there may be possible damage to any one of the delicate components comprising the internal clockwork mechanism. The combination of rarity, bright coloration, exciting clockwork action, and multi-sounds have stimulated a great deal of collector interest, resulting in very high purchase prices at two recent antique toy auctions. In contrast, as shown in Figure 3, an advertisement from an 1895 Selchow and Righter toy catalog offers the Organ and Bear bank at $8.50 per dozen!!!
     Although a popular bank, the difficulty in casting and duplicating its clockwork has impeded attempts to reproduce the Organ Grinder and Performing Bear. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure 4) to indicate size and scale.
     In addition to this bank, other mechanicals which are activated by a clockwork are: the Freedmans bank (manufactured by Secor); Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat (J. and E. Stevens); the Girl Skipping Rope (J. and E. Stevens); and the Motor Trolley bank (Kyser and Rex). Few collectors can boast of having all of these in their collection, but I, for one, will never cease to dream.

The Afghanistan Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1986

     Small, modestly decorated with monochromatic colors, lacking in animation, and commemorating a struggle between England and Russia over an obscure country, appropriately describes the Afghanistan bank. The concept of such a mechanical to be designed for children of the late 19th century appears incongruous, since it would seem highly unlikely that the subject matter would appeal to an eight-year-old.
     "Herat," the name emblazoned across the face of this unpretentious bank, is the city in Afghanistan (Figure 1) which was considered by Great Britain to be the "Key to India." Its great walls guarded their chief trade route south to India and the Arabian Sea. England realized that if Herat fell to the expansionist Russians, eventually English-dominated India would fall under the paw of the "Great Bear." Thus, we can see the significance of the two animal figures positioned upon the Afghanistan mechanical bank, for they represent the mighty English Lion and the great Russian Bear, poised before the massive Gates of Herat.
     Unfortunately, to date, no patent information for this bank has been located, and I, therefore, only offer speculation as to its manufacturer. Various structural and visual similarities exist between it, the " Squirrel and Tree Stump," the "Initiating First Degree," and the "Initiating Second Degree" banks, indicating the possibility that the Afghanistan may have been manufactured by the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Connecticut. An illustration of the Afghanistan bank does appear in the toy section of a December 1885 sales catalog, which would approximate its date of manufacture.
     There are no casting or color variations. The bank pictured in Figure 2 is painted in the following color scheme: the entire building is a dark black-brown japan finish. The corner stones, archway, lettering on the front door lock, and hinges are painted copper and gold. The figures of the lion and bear are also japanned in dark black-brown. They both have red eyes and a red mouth, and the base is painted bright green, highlighted in gold and copper.
     Operation of the bank is relatively simple, as is the action. A coin is placed into the slot atop the curved section of the roof. There it remains until the lever between the bear and lion is pushed inward, whereupon, simultaneously, the coin drops into the bank and the lion and bear pivot inward, towards the front of the building. These coins are removed by disassembling the bank, which is accomplished by removing a single screw beneath the base.
     The Afghanistan bank can prove quite difficult for the collector to obtain, and I once again offer only speculation as to the reasons for its rarity. Being a lackluster, visually uninteresting bank, it may have suffered poor sales; thus, few were produced. It is also one which requires disassemblement whenever coins were removed. This amount of handling, or mishandling, subjected the bank to possible abuse, resulting in breakage. Most often, when an Afghanistan bank is located, the building may be cracked, and the lever, and/or lion and/or bear may be broken or missing.
     It is surprising that, although the Afghanistan bank is simple in structure, it has never been reproduced. However, with the dramatic increase in auction prices recently for this particular bank, it would seem only a matter of time until duplication is attempted. Figure 3 is a base diagram, indicating the precise size of an original. A bank which exhibits even one-sixteenth of an inch reduction in size should be suspect of being a reproduction.

The Dentist Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1986

     A popular bank representing a most unpopular profession is the paradoxical description befitting the subject of this month's article. The "Dentist" mechanical bank not only portrays its namesake as a buffoon but uses his helpless patient to incorporate 19th-century anti-black sentiments.
     Unfortunately, no pertinent information relating to the bank's manufacturer has been located. However, evidence attesting to the approximate date of marketing, the late 19th century, was based upon an ad from an old Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company jobber's catalog.
     There is supposition that the Dentist bank was produced by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. This is based upon similarities observed between the Dentist bank and several other mechanical banks manufactured by them. Specifically, the "Bad Accident" bank has, as its subject, a black farmer riding atop a donkey cart. This figure is quite similar in casting and attitude to the black patient occupying the dentist's chair. Moreover, in the Stevens"' Milking Cow" bank, the boy sitting beside the cow also bears close resemblance to the casting, attitude, and action of the dentist's patient. Finally, the "Milking Cow" bank stands upon four small legs, as does the Dentist bank.
     Interestingly, the production of the Dentist bank coincided with the 19th-century renaissance of dentistry. Great advances were being made, especially in the area of tooth extraction. An improved forceps allowed for the more careful and scientific removal of teeth, while the advent of general anesthesia provided painless dental treatment for the first time. Unfortunately, this intriguing mechanical bank neglected to recognize these medical developments, but chose, instead, to entertain at the expense of a stereotyped underdog.
     It is of interest to note the large hump-shaped object behind the dentist in Figure 1, since it illustrates the method by which nineteenth century dentists administered anesthesia to their patients. A large animal hide bag was inflated with nitrous oxide; by exerting a slight amount of foot pressure to this gas bag, the dentist was able to control the flow of anesthetic to a mask over his patient's face.
     Animation of this mechanical is achieved through the following: a coin is placed into the dentist's left jacket pocket. The small lever in front of the patient's foot is then pressed downward. Simultaneously, the dentist falls backwards, bloody tooth protruding from the forceps in his hand. The coin from his pocket then falls into the raised slot atop the gas bag. The black patient also tips backwards, heels over head, striking his cranium on the floor of the bank. This violent action accounts for the difficulty most collectors experience in finding a totally intact Dentist bank. The deposited coins are recovered by removal of a single screw which secures the gas bag to the base of the bank.
    The Dentist bank has both minor casting and color variations. For example, the dentist's pocket may either be cast into, or riveted onto his jacket. Also, the floor of the bank may be painted either light grey or medium blue.
     The colors of the bank in Figure 1 are as follows: the dentist's face and hands are a creamy white, and he has a red mouth. His eyes, eyebrows, hair, and mustache are black, as are his coat and shoes. He wears a yellow shirt and light grey pants. His toothless patient has a black face and hands, white corneas with black pupils, and red lips with white teeth. His jacket is yellow and he wears grey pants with black shoes. The tooth in the dentist's forceps is white, tipped with red. The chair is painted maroon and is trimmed in gold. Its arm rests and seat cushions are reddish-orange. The gas bag is chocolate-brown with the raised coin slot painted gold. Finally, the base of the bank is light grey with gold legs.
     Over the years, the Dentist bank has proven to be one of the most popular of mechanicals with collectors, and is the reason for the relatively large number of reproductions on the market. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 2) which will indicate the exact length of an original (antique) bank. Any deviation in size, no matter how slight, should alert the prospective buyer to be wary.
     Note: The entire contents of these articles, both past and present, are the sole property of the author and cannot be reproduced without his written consent.  

The Initiating Bank Second Degree
(The Goat, Frog and Old Man  —  The Greedy Frog Bank)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1986

     Antique mechanical banks portray an extensive range of themes, varying from politics, to biblical stories, fairy tales, nature, hunting, everyday occurrences, etc., etc.. There are also those banks which depict images that appear to be created with no particular message intended. The Goat, Frog and Old Man (Figure 1) is representative of just such a bank. Perhaps the inventor's inspiration originated from an old folk tale or from some symbolic or mystical concoction. Or, was it merely the whimsy and imagination of its creator?
     On September 28, 1880, George W. Eddy, of Plainville, Connecticut, assignor to Andrew Turnbull and James A. Swanston, of New Britain, Connecticut, was granted Patent number 232,699 (Figure 2) for the Initiating Bank, First Degree (Goat, Frog and Darkey bank). This patent also protected the Initiating Bank, Second Degree (Goat, Frog and Old Man bank). These patent papers make reference to the fact that various animals, figures and forms may be utilized in the design and action of the bank. Therefore, we see that the mule depicted in the patent drawings in Figure 2 has evolved into a billy goat in the final production bank (Figure 1).
      The Goat, Frog and Old Man bank is referred to by various names, and the following will attempt to serve as an explanation. The bank was first advertised in a 19th-century wholesale toy catalog as the "Initiating Bank Second Degree." Figure 3 portrays an ad from the 1882 edition of Ehrichs' Fashion Quarterly which introduces the mechanical as "The Greedy Frog Bank, 85 cents each, by mail 60 cents extra." Because of the confusion in distinguishing the Initiating Bank, First Degree (Goat Butts Black Man's Butt) from the Initiating Bank, Second Degree, the latter was ultimately referred to as the "Goat, Frog and Old Man."
     Both banks were manufactured by the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Connecticut, which was owned and operated by Messrs. Eddy, Turnbull and Swanston. Among other mechanical banks which are believed to have been manufactured by this firm are: "Squirrel and Tree Stump," "Afghanistan," and "Bull Dog Savings Bank." The clockworks of the latter were possibly manufactured by the Ives, Blakeslee Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
     The action of the Goat, Frog and Old Man is relatively uncomplicated. The goat with the old man astride, is pushed back, enabling it to rest on its haunches. A coin is placed upon the old man's tray. Either the lever in front of the goat can be pressed, or the tail of the goat can be gently nudged upward, causing the goat and its rider to spring forward. Simultaneously, the frog, with its mouth agape, rises upward to catch the coin from the old man's tray. In order to retrieve the deposited coins, the bank must be disassembled. This is accomplished by removing the large screw beneath the base.
     The color scheme of the Goat, Frog and Old Man is quite simple and attractive. The entire surface is coated with a brown, japan-type varnish. The old man is painted a bronze-copper color. The frog has a green head, gold eyes, red mouth, and its underbelly is painted white and yellow. The ribbed design bordering the top, and the bottom edge of the base are painted gold.
     When contemplating purchase of this particular bank, be aware that all four legs of the goat are extremely fragile and these should be examined carefully for breaks or repairs. In addition, abundant reproductions of the Goat, Frog and Old Man bank exist, with many dating as far back as the 1930s. Because of their age, these early recasts can prove difficult for the novice collector to detect. My recommendation is to be guided by the size of the base diagram in Figure 4. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than the original.

The Teddy and the Bear Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1986

     Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, was a multifaceted individual with interests that ranged beyond the world of politics. He was an ardent sportsman with a love for outdoor living. Amongst the tales told of his sporting ventures was the one in which he spared the life of the great bear he had set his sights upon. The year was 1902 and the event was a big-game hunt. Roosevelt, positioned with rifle on shoulder, taking careful aim at his prey, noticed the animal was trapped and shackled. And, as the story is related, the hunter spared the bear's life.
     Word of this display of sportsmanship spread worldwide, resulting in the production of various "Teddy" hunting memorabilia. Items such as safari-style wearing apparel for children and adults and the newly-conceived stuffed toy "Teddy Bear" catered to the public's insatiable demand for Teddy items. The "Teddy and the Bear" mechanical bank (Figure 1) was a product of that era.
     On February 19, 1907, Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Connecticut, was granted Patent number 844,910 for his invention and design of the Teddy and the Bear bank (Figure 2). Final production was executed by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     Figure 3 represents a full-page advertisement from a 1914 J. and E. Stevens toy catalog in which the Teddy and Bear bank was offered for sale at $1.00 each, retail. This advertisement aided in ascertaining the date of manufacture and sale of the bank. Figure 4 is an advertisement from a 1914 Butler Bros. wholesale catalog, pricing the "Teddy" at $8.00/dozen. The price at which a Teddy and the Bear was sold at a recent toy auction would have purchased 2,428 of these banks wholesale in 1914!
     The action of the Teddy and Bear is quite surprising. The slide atop the rifle is pressed back and cocked, causing Teddy's head to move forward, as if taking aim. A coin is then placed in front of the slide. A toy paper cap may be inserted in front of the hammer if so desired. The lever between Teddy's legs is then pressed. Simultaneously, the coin is shot into the trunk and a bear pops up out of the tree top. Teddy's head snaps backward, as if reacting to the rifle's recoil. The money is removed by way of a round coin trap underneath the base.
     The bear can be made to pop up without actually cocking the rifle and, likewise, the rifle can be fired without pressing the bear down into the tree stump. This double, and independent, action is a unique feature of the bank and is so described within the patent papers.
     There are several color and casting variations of the Teddy and the Bear. The casting differences pertain solely to Teddy's hat. In the common version, a bowler hat is worn, while in the rare version (only two known to exist) Teddy wears a flattop hat. Why, or when, the flattop variety was created remains a mystery.
     The color variations apply to only one portion of the bank – the tree trunk. It may be painted either dark brown or gray. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: Teddy's hands and face are a pink-flesh color. He has dark brown hair and moustache. His eyes are black and his mouth is red. Teddy's glasses have gold frames with a white lens. He is outfitted with a tan hat, a tan jacket, and tan pants. His shirt is bluish-gray, and his puttees are dark green with gold buttons. His shoes are black. The rifle is painted silver with a light brown stock. The tree trunk is gray, and the sections where the bark has been stripped away are yellow ochre. The tree lid is green with its underside painted silver. The bear is dark brown. It has white eyes with black pupils, red nostrils, and a red mouth with white teeth. The base is dark green, highlighted with splashes of copper. The rock is gray, and the words, "TEDDY AND THE BEAR," are painted silver. The entire underside of the bank is coated with a creamy white protective undercoat.
     Historical significance, attractive coloration and exciting action have made the Teddy and the Bear an extremely popular bank with collectors and novices alike. Even though the demand for this bank is great, it is still possible to acquire a good example. This is due to the fact that it was manufactured during the early 20th century, at the height of the Roosevelt craze, whereupon thousands were produced and sold over several years.
     The Teddy and the Bear bank has been reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 5) to facilitate discernment of an original antique bank from a recast. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the length.
     I would like to give credit to my wife, Linda, who has helped me to write and edit all of these articles.

The Mammy and Baby Bank
(Baby Mine)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1987

     The parent-offspring relationship is a popular theme depicted in several mechanical banks. These include: "Lion and Monkeys," wherein we see a baby monkey holding tightly onto its mother for dear life, as she wards off the advances of a fierce lion. In the more sedate "Hen and Chick" bank, mama hen blankets and protects her new-born nestling; the "Eagle and Eagletts" portrays a mother eagle feeding her fledglings. In the "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest," two parent birds frantically attempt to dissuade a would-be nest-robbing boy from accomplishing his arduous task. The "Mama Katzenjammer" bank has mama eternally attempting to separate her squabbling siblings, Hans and Fritz. The "Old Woman in the Shoe" illustrates a mother with switch in hand, ominously warning her mischievous children. Last, but certainly not least, is the subject of this month's article and the one example which I feel best extols the virtues of motherhood, the "Mammy and Baby" bank (Figure 1). This particular mechanical portrays a "mammy" cradling her baby girl, as she feeds pennies to the child.
     The "Mammy and Baby" was invented by Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for which he was granted Patent number 306,775, on October 21, 1884. The bank was subsequently manufactured by Alfred C. Rex and Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania, previously known as the Kyser and Rex Company. (The name change occurred after 1884, when Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex dissolved their partnership.)
     The final production bank follows the patent papers (Figure 2) quite closely, with the exception of the following: Mammy's feeding arm, the position of the baby, the pocket in mammy's apron, and the operating lever are all in reverse positions from the patent drawings. Another interesting feature is that there are two separate mechanically-operated coin slots. The first, and most obvious, is the baby's mouth. The second is mammy's apron pocket. Alfred C. Rex offered an explanation in his patent as to the logic behind the utilization of both coin slots. The mouth, the smaller of the slots, was designed to accept five-cent pieces. The larger opening, the apron pocket, was made to accommodate the larger 25-cent piece.
     The Mammy and Baby bank was originally advertised in toy catalogs and magazines as the "Baby Mine." Its present name, given to it by today's bank collectors, is assumed to be a more illustrative description of this bank.
     Aside from a" Patent Pending" reference cast into the backs of some of the Mammy and Baby banks, there are no known casting variations. However, there are several color combinations. Mammy's bandana, dress, and chair and baby's dress and bonnet could be painted any combination of red, yellow, tan, dark blue, green, olive, and purple. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: Mammy's face and hands are brown; she has a red mouth with white teeth and white eyes with black pupils. Her bandana and neckerchief are dark blue with white dots. She is wearing a tan dress that has red cuffs with yellow polka dots. Her apron is white and she has black shoes. Baby's hands, feet and face are lighter shade of brown. She has a red mouth and white eyes with black pupils. Her bonnet is red, as is her dress, which has a white lace hem. Baby rests upon a yellow pillow with red polka dots. Mammy's chair is bright green. Finally, the spoon and operating lever are painted gold.
     The action of the Mammy and Baby is quite amusing. A coin is placed upon the spoon in mammy's right hand. The lever is then depressed. Simultaneously, mammy tilts her head and hand downward; the spoon pivots to drop the coin into baby's mouth, whereupon baby kicks her legs with glee. If a coin was also placed into mammy's apron pocket, an internal baffle would have opened during the operation, allowing this coin to also be deposited within the bank Accumulated coins are removed by way of square key lock underneath the base.
     It is important for the collector to note that the spoon is not produced from cast iron, but rather from sheet metal. Since this is a more fragile material, it was subject to bending and breaking. Many times, when a Mammy and Baby bank is located, the spoon is either missing or replaced with a reproduction. It is my contention that, although an original spoon is important, a fine example of this bank should not be passed up for lack of one.
     Taking into consideration the popularity of Mammy and Baby with collectors, and the high price one would expect to pay for a good example, it is surprising that there are no reproductions of this bank. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure 3) which should give the reader an idea of the size and scale of this intriguing mechanical.

The Novelty Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1987

     Insipid, unimaginative, mundane may very well be the adjectives which come to mind when describing a bank building as a subject for a mechanical bank. Surprisingly, this single category may possibly comprise the largest number of both mechanical and still banks. It is interesting to note that the very first commercially-produced cast iron mechanical bank, "Hall's Excelsior," reflected just such a subject.
     It seems likely to have been an unenviable task on the part of the inventor to create a building bank design that improved upon its predecessors. To produce a mechanical bank that was attractive, exciting, and yet distinctly different must have proved to be a great challenge. Obviously, Charles C. Johnson, the inventor of the "Novelty Bank" (Figure 1), met that demand with great success. This may be concluded through the fact that there are a large number of surviving examples of his invention, indicating a public that was quite receptive.
     On October 28, 1873, Mr. Johnson was granted Patent number 144,106 for his design and invention (Figure 2). The dates "PATD JUNE 23, 1872" and "OCT 28, 1873" are cast into the back of the bank and facilitated location of these patent papers. The "Novelty Bank" was ultimately manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, and offered for sale in their toy catalog (Figure 3). As evidenced by the photograph in Figure 1, it may be assumed that Johnson's patent drawings (Figure 2) were adhered to quite stringently.
     It is amusing to note that Johnson obtained a patent on April 29,1879 for another, similar, building bank. This may have been attributed to either dwindling sales, or perhaps, Johnson became enamored with his own design for the "Novelty Bank." This particular bank, shown in Figure 4, accommodates two buildings and two cashiers. Could Johnson have believed that this bank would be twice as successful as his "Novelty Bank"? Unfortunately, no example of this "double your money, double your fun" mechanical has ever come to light, leaving the question unanswered.
     There are several color variants of the "Novelty Bank," but the only casting variation pertains specifically to the earlier production banks. These have square-top dormer windows, the word "JOHNSON" cast in raised letters onto the bottom of the door, and no door knob. Within the color variations we may find the roof, door, and corner trim painted either brown, blue, or red. The sides of the bank could be either tan, white, gray, or yellow. The interior could be any combination of green, yellow, white, or brown. The cashier may have either a tan, brown, dark blue, teal blue, or gray suit, and his tray can be either pink, yellow, tan, white, green, or light blue.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 1 are as follows: the roof, corner trim and door trim are dark brown; the sides of the building and chimneys are painted tan; and the windows are outlined in green. The name "NOVELTY BANK" on the door is white over a green background, and the doorknob is black. The border around the bottom is green. The interior room has a red floor, yellow walls, and a red coin shelf. The cashier's face and hands are pink flesh-colored, with black eyes, eyebrows, mustache, goatee, and hair. His suit is light blue with black lapels and cuffs, and he wears black shoes. Finally, he has a pink coin tray.
     The operation of the "Novelty Bank" is both quick and effective. The door is opened widely enough until it is able to remain open on its own accord. A coin is then placed upon the cashier's tray. A slight nudge to the door causes it to slam shut, whereupon the cashier and coin both disappear within the bank. When the door is once again opened, there stands the cashier sans coin. The money is removed from the bank by unscrewing the single screw which fastens the coin trap underneath the base.
     Figure 5 is an advertisement from the Winter edition of Erich's Fashion Quarterly (1880s) which offered the "NOVELTY CASHIER BANK" for the price of 95 cents each, plus 60 cents postage. The price at which a "Novelty Bank" sold at a recent bank auction would have bought one thousand "Novelty Banks" in 1885!!
     Several crude reproductions of the "Novelty Bank" exist. Although they may easily be detected, I am including a base diagram (Figure 6). A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller along the base than the original.

The Lion and Monkeys Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1987

     Few mechanical banks have, as their subject matter, animals engaged in a life-and-death struggle. Three which readily come to mind are "Snake and Frog in Pond," "Springing Cat," and the subject of this article – "The Lion and Monkeys." Of the aforementioned, it is the Lion and Monkeys which portrays this dire situation in a most lighthearted and whimsical manner. The lively coloration and cartoon-like grin on the adult monkey's face lead us to believe, much to our relief, that these teasing, taunting simians appear to be in complete control of their circumstances.
     The Lion and Monkeys bank was designed by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex, for which they were granted Patent number 281,177 (*see note below, corrected to 281,377) on July 17, 1883 (Figure 1). The bank was ultimately manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company, located in Frankford, Pennsylvania. As evidenced by the photograph in Figure 2, the patent drawings were closely adhered to.
     The amusing action of the Lion and the Monkeys bank was graphically described in an ad which appeared in an 1880s Winter edition of Ehrichs' Fashion Quarterly (Figure 3) ". . . Place a coin in the monkey's hand, and touch the spring at the root of the tree. The monkey throws the coin at the lion, who opens his mouth, and dexterously catches it, while the young monkey jumps on his mother's shoulders to see the fun." The deposited coins are removed from the bank by way of a key-locking coin trap underneath the base.
     There are two casting variations of the Lion and Monkeys, neither of which detracts from, nor adds to, its value. These variations pertain to a small design on the side of the tree trunk, which represents a scar caused by a severed branch. Some banks portray this scar as a small oval design, while others depict it to be more elongated and peanut-shaped. Also, the tree trunk which bears the peanut-shaped design is taller than its counterpart.
     There are no color variations of the Lion and Monkeys. The bank denoted in Figure 2 is painted in the following manner: the lion is tan, with a mane highlighted in dark brown. His eyes, which are composed of glass, are reddish-brown with black pupils. His nostrils are red, as is his mouth, and he has white teeth. His eyebrows, whiskers, and claws are painted black. The monkeys are brown with pink faces; they both have white eyes with black pupils. Their mouths are red, and mama monkey has white teeth. The tree is blackish-brown, its bark highlighted in light green. The small oval or peanut-shaped design is painted tan. The base is bright green splotched with red and yellow, and the rim around the entire base is painted red.
     It is important to note that, with the exception of the baby monkey's arms, the Lion and Monkeys bank is made of cast iron. The baby's arms are always cast in brass, since it facilitated attachment to its shoulders during the manufacturing process. This is in view of the fact that brass, being an extremely soft metal, could easily be soldered and pressed closed. Unfortunately, its ease of attachment also accounted for its ease of detachment. Most often, when a Lion and Monkeys bank is found, the baby monkey is either missing or replaced with a recast. Since a missing or recast baby monkey most certainly lessens the value of the bank, the prospective purchaser should be well aware of this inherent weakness.
     The Lion and Monkeys is not considered rare, but finding an all-original example, in superb condition, can prove extremely challenging.
     This bank has been reproduced over the years. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 4) to assist the collector in determination of an original from a recast. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than the size indicated in the diagram.
     Note: (from May, 1987) In the March 1987 issue of Antique Toy World, article entitled, "Lion and Monkeys Bank, " Patent number 281,177 was a typo error and should have read, "Patent number 281,377."

The Horse Race Bank
(The Race Course Bank)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1987

     On August 15, 1871, John Hall of Watertown, Massachusetts, commemorated the illustrious "Sport of Kings" with his creation of an outstanding mechanical bank. On that date he was granted Patent number 118,011 (Figure 1) for his "Race Course Toy Bank" (Figure 2).
     Horse racing had its humble beginnings in England circa 1174 A.D. The first mention of a formal horse race which involved money occurred during the reign of Richard I (1189-1199) when, at Whitsuntide, a purse of forty pounds in "ready gold" was run over a three-mile course. In 1665, Richard Nicolls, the British Governor of New York, introduced horse racing to the Colonies. It was received with great enthusiasm and enjoyed immediate success. By the late nineteenth century horse racing had firmly entrenched itself as a major pastime in the States.
     It was precisely that sense of chance and excitement indicative of horse racing which John Hall so aptly captured in his "Race Course" mechanical bank. He had created a toy, a game of chance, but most importantly, a savings device. Although one was unable to predict the outcome of a race, no money could be lost!
     The operation of the Horse Race bank was elucidated by printed instructions on a label which was glued to the top of each purchased bank, and positioned in front of the coin slot. The label read: "Pull the cord to set the spring. Place the horses' heads opposite the star; deposit the coin in the opening and the race will begin." A unique feature of all mechanicals invented by John Hall was that a coin was necessary to initiate the action. These include the "Hall's Excelsior," "Hall's Liliput," and "Tammany" banks.
     The Horse Race Bank was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. Figure 3 is a copy of a page from one of their wholesale toy catalogs. It is interesting to note that the bank illustrated on that page depicts two jockeys riding sulkies. To date, no example of the Horse Race Bank has surfaced incorporating such figures.
     There are two distinct variations of the Horse Race Bank. One is commonly referred to as the "straight base" version, and the other, as the "flanged base." The Patent drawings in Figure 1 illustrate the straight base, while the photo in Figure 2 portrays the flanged base. (The designation "straight" and "flanged" refer to the circular base plate at the bottom of the bank.) Other dissimilarities between the two are the archways and triangular peaks, with each variant utilizing differently-designed castings. In addition, the flanged base bank incorporates a screw-secured, sliding coin trap, while the straight base has no coin trap at all.
     Aside from these casting variations, there are several color combinations. The bases and tops of the banks could be any combination of red, blue, yellow, white, or green. The Negro figure is always painted black with white eyes and a red mouth. The jockeys are always Caucasian and their mounts are reddish-brown and white, respectively.
     The Horse Race Bank is constructed, with the exception of the jockeys and their horses, of cast iron, the aforementioned being composed of painted tin-plate.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 2 are as follows: the round filigree  top plate is painted white with red decorations. The star and words, "PATENTED AUG 15, 1871," are also painted red. The figure standing beside the coin slot is black and has white eyes and a red mouth. His shorts are white with red decorations. The coin slot is green with white and red designs. The archways are white, red, and green. The top side wall of the bank is painted red and green with a thin, curved white stripe. The base is white with red door trim, and the word "BANK" is green. The bottom flange is green and red. One horse is reddish-brown, and other is white. They both have black bridles, manes, tails, hoofs, and eyes. One jockey wears a tan cap and trousers with a green shirt, while the other sports a red shirt with yellow-ochre cap and trousers.
     The Horse Race Bank is quite scarce, especially in superb all-original, unbroken condition. Its fragile castings, delicate tin figures, and intricate construction all pay tribute to its rarity. It is a bank which requires extremely careful examination when contemplating purchase.
     This bank has been crudely reproduced and, therefore, presents no real challenge to detection. Nevertheless, I am including two base diagrams "straight base" (Figure 4), and "flanged base" (Figure 5) to help determine size and scale.

Hall’s Lilliput Bank (Type III)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1987

     Upon first glance, one might describe the Hall's Lilliput bank as dull and inoffensive. Closer examination, however, reveals a mechanical possessing jewel-like elegance and simple dignity. The delicately cast, vividly chromatic building, guarded by a most tastefully attired gentleman, all pay tribute to this tiny bank's significance.
     On May 4, 1875, John Hall of Watertown, MA, was granted Patent number 162,747 for his Lilliput bank (Figure 1). Close adherence to these patent drawings obviously wasn't mandatory, as evidenced by the final production bank which was manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, CT (Figure 2). Subsequently, on July 27, 1875, design Patent number 8,498 was issued to John Hall (Figure 3). These patent papers are of considerable interest since they incorporate an actual photograph of the Lilliput bank, rather than the customary drawing, implying the bank's design waspatented after it was manufactured.
     The words, "PATENTED MAY, 1875;" "Jan 1876;" "PAT DESIGN, JULY 27, 1875" are cast into the sides and back of the bank, which facilitated the location of the patent papers reproduced in this article.
     A unique feature, indicative of all mechanical banks designed by John Hall, was the use of a coin's weight to initiate action. Yet, on April 24, 1877, Hall was granted a patent for an "improvement" on his Lilliput bank (Figure 4). It utilized a lever which, when pressed, resulted in the commencement of action, with or without a coin. To the best of my knowledge, this lever design "improvement" was never incorporated into any manufactured Lilliput bank.
     The action of the Hall's Lilliput is quite simplistic and is described in an 1883 issue of the J. and E. Stevens Company Toy Catalog (Figure 5): "Pretty, tasteful, and simple in construction. Cannot get out of order. The coin laid upon the plate is carried around by the Cashier and placed in the Bank. The figure then returns to its place, ready for another deposit." The coins are removed from the bank by way of a small, round Stevens-type coin trap underneath the base.
     There are several casting variations of the Hall's Lilliput bank. They are designated as types I, II, and III. The building contained within Type I (the earliest in terms of manufacture) is more narrowly designed than types II and III and utilized pressure lugs rather than rivets in order to hold the bank's parts together. Also, there is no tray in the Cashier's hands. The type II Lilliput bank differs from type III (Figure 2) only to the extent that it utilized a cashier similar to the type I bank, with no tray and longer forearms. It is my contention that the incorporation of a tray in the type III Lilliput bank made it more efficient and less likely for the coins to slip off the cashier’s arms prior to deposit.
     The types I, II, and III Lilliput banks were painted in various color schemes. They may be any combination of red, yellow, blue, light green, dark brown, white, or tan. The cashier could have either a blue or black jacket and gray or tan pants. The colors of the bank in Figure 2 are as follows: the four sides of the bank are basically bright yellow and are highlighted with red, blue, and white. The roof is red with a white dome and ribs. The oval depression behind the cashier is painted light green, and the steps are dark brown. The four vertical corners of the bank are painted blue, and the foundation is red. The face and hands of the cashier are a pink flesh color. His hair, eyes, eyebrows, mustache, goatee, and shoes are black. His jacket is dark blue and he sports a red vest, white shirt, and tan pants.
     The Hall's Lilliput bank type III is not considered rare, but finding one in superb paint condition can prove a challenge to the collector – commanding an appropriate price.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of this bank. However, the base diagram (Figure 6) should help determine size and scale.
     Note: In the March 1987 issue of Antique Toy World, article entitled, "Lion and Monkeys Bank, " Patent number 281,177 was a typo error and should have read, "Patent number 281,377."

The Mule Entering Barn
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1987

     The subject of this article is a mechanical bank featuring an obstinate mule, whose actions of refusal to enter a barn evoke doubts as to the appropriateness of its name. Surely, the "Mule Entering Barn" is a misnomer, since the objects which finally gain entry are coins and not mules. Figure I is an advertisement from Ehrichs' Fashion Quar­terly, a nineteenth-century mail-order catalog. In it, this bank is referred to as the "Malicious Don­key Bank," perhaps a more suit­able title. However, to add to the confusion of identifying the bank by its correct name, Figure II represents a page from a catalog of its manufacturer, the J. and E. Stevens Company, who advertised the bank by yet another name — the "Donkey Bank." The origin of the name "Mule Entering Barn" remains a mystery.
     The "Donkey Bank," or the "Malicious Donkey Bank," or the "Mule Entering Barn," was invented by Edward L. Morris, of Boston, Massachusetts, who was granted Patent numbers 223,293 on January 6, 1880, and 230,713 on August 3, 1880 (Figures III and IV). The logic in having two separate patents becomes evident upon close examination of Figures III and IV. The earliest of the patents (indicated in Figure III) utilizes a mule which pivots at the front shoulder. This allows its body to flip hooves over head in order to deposit the coins into the bank. An improvement, as shown in Figure IV, incorporates a one-piece mule, which pivots at the point where its front hooves meet the base of the bank. This amendment to the earlier patent probably allowed for simplicity and greater efficiency in the manufacturing process and was the design reflected in the final production bank pictured in Figure V. The words, "PATD AUG 3D 1880" are incised underneath the base, which assisted in locating the patent papers illustrated in this article.
     It is interesting to note that neither of the patents made reference to the small dog which exits the barn during the height of the bank's action. Perhaps, if one may speculate, its addition was an attempt on the part of the J. and E. Stevens Company to increase the attractiveness and/or appeal of their product. In addition, note Figures I and II. The dog is shown exiting at the opposite side of the barn than the side from which it departs in the final production bank (Figure V).
     The action of the Mule Entering Barn is extremely rapid and quite jarring, and is so described in Figure II: (Place a coin between the donkey's hind legs.) "Touch the knob at the feet of the donkey, and the coin is thrown through the window in the gable of the barn; at the same time the dog springs from his kennel." The deposited coins are removed by way of the round Stevens coin trap underneath the base.
    Edward L. Morris patented two other mechanical banks, both of which incorporate a similar "spring up and over" action. They are the "Darkey Cabin Bank" and the "Acrobats" Bank." These also were manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     There are no casting variations of the Mule Entering Barn, but there are two color variations. These pertain solely to the barn itself, which can be painted with light gray sides and a dark gray roof, or light green sides with a brown roof. The bank pictured in Figure V is painted the following color scheme: the mule is dark brown with a black mouth, mane, tail, and hooves. Its eyes are white with black pupils. The sides of the barn are painted light gray, and the roof is dark gray. All of the windows and archways are outlined in bright red. The peak and edges of the roof, as well as the top perimeter of the base are striped with thin red lines. The interior of the barn has yellow-ochre walls and a green grass floor. The base is reddish-brown, and the little dog is white with tiny black spots.
     The Mule Entering Barn is extremely difficult to locate in unbroken condition. Most often, the mule's tail is either missing or has been replaced.
     This bank has been reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram showing the exact dimensions of an original (Figure VI). A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter in length than indicated.

The Toad on Stump Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1987

     If one were to poll mechanical bank collectors to determine their "favorite" or "prize" banks, sadly the Toad on Stump would most likely be omitted from all lists. Its unglamorous subject matter, small size, its fairly common status, lack of exciting action, subdued coloration, and lackluster appearance contribute to its non-impressive image. The Toad on Stump may very well be regarded as "the little bank nobody loves." However, a closer look at this innocuous bank is suggested lest some very desirable characteristics are overlooked. A superb, all-original example of Toad on Stump will reveal the delicate quality of its castings, abounding with graceful flora and fauna, and the chromatic, but tasteful, color scheme with the toad on one variation painted chartreuse, affording it an air of luminescence.
     Through the years, the inventor of this bank has remained a mystery, although similarities do exist between it and a bank patented by Russell Frisbie on August 20, 1872 (Figure 1). These patent papers, combined with an advertisement from an early J. and E. Stevens Company catalog page (Figure 2), support the popular contention that Toad on Stump was designed by Frisbie while employed at the Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut.
     The action of Toad on Stump is precisely as described in Frisbie's patent papers for the "Frog on Round Base Bank" (Figure 1), with the exception that a small lever at the rear of the toad's leg is pressed to initiate it, rather than the frog's front foot. The patent goes on to read: ". . . an artificial frog, whose mouth is opened for the reception of a coin by pressing one of its feet, and which drops the coin in the box on releasing it" Unlike the Frog on Round Base, the money deposited into the Toad on Stump is removed from the bank via a round coin trap underneath its base.
     There are no casting variations of the Toad on Stump, but there are two color variations. These pertain solely to the toad, who may be painted either dark green or chartreuse. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure 3 are as follows: the toad is chartreuse with metallic gold highlights. Its mouth is red and it has black eyes with vermillion eyebrows. The operating lever is also painted vermillion. The tree stump and the underside of the bank are painted with a dark brown japan varnish. The floral designs which em­bellish the base are gold with black highlights, and the turtle is reddish-brown with white spots. Finally, there are several representations of severed branches emerging from the stump. These branches are painted yellow ochre.
     I offer apologies for reiterating the qualities of Toad on Stump: its delicate castings, eloquent design, attractive coloration, a minute degree of rarity, and possibly being manufactured by a company widely known for producing toys of impeccable quality. But the question still remains as to why this bank is not more highly esteemed. Perhaps the answer focuses wholly upon its subject matter – a lowly, wart-ridden toad, resting lazily upon a decaying tree Stump.
     Admittedly, the Toad on Stump may lack the charisma of a Professor Pug Frog or Harlequin bank, but it is to be appreciated for the subtle qualities it does possess. Indeed, a foundry based in Taiwan did see merit in the Toad on Stump, for they have taken their time and resources to reproduce it. The casting of this bank is quite crude and easily detectable. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram of an original Toad on Stump (Figure 4) to discern the bank's size and scale. The reproduction will appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller across the base.

The Milking Cow Bank
(The Kicking Cow Bank)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1987

     Humiliating situations involving specific ethnic and racial groups provided a fertile area for nine­teenth-century mechanical bank designers. The Milking Cow bank (Figure I) would seem to deviate from this, since the subject of ridicule is a Caucasian farm boy. However, closer inspection of a bank which appears de­void of any racist intent reveals an uncanny resemblance between the farm boy's face and attitude and those of both Negro men portrayed in the J. and E. Stevens' "Dentist" and "Bad Accident" banks.
     To date, patent information relating to the production and design of the Milking Cow bank is sadly lacking. If, however, the Stevens Company was the manufacturer (as indicated by the research of others over the years), it is curious that a company which was engaged in producing many mechanical banks reflecting racist themes would paint a figure white when it was, in all likelihood, designed to be black.
     To further support the belief that J. and E. Stevens may have manufactured this mechanical, specific elements such as an abundance of leaf and floral designs in­tegrated within the Milking Cow's base reflect the unmistakable trademark of the well-known mechanical bank designer, Charles Bailey. The Stevens Company employed Bailey during the same period of time in which the Milking Cow bank was marketed.
     All early advertisements of the Milking Cow bank refer to it as the "Kicking Cow" bank. Figures II and III illustrate this in advertisements from wholesale toy catalogs circa 1880. Figure II represents a catalog page from Ives, Blakeslee and Company, which offered the "Kicking Cow" for $9.00 per dozen, while its competitor, Selchow and Richter, priced the bank at $8.50 per dozen!! It is uncertain when and why collectors began referring to the "Kicking Cow" as the "Milking Cow" bank.
     "Animated" and "slapstick" are descriptions befitting the action of the "Milking Cow." After placing a coin into a slot in the cow's back, the red, flower-shaped lever beneath its neck is pressed downward. Simultaneously, the coin drops into its body; the tail stands out perpendicular to its rump; and the hind leg kicks upward, hurling the boy off his stool, with the milk pail striking his face.
     Coin removal is no simple matter. The cow is first unbolted from the base, and the screw holding both halves of its body together must then be removed. Completion of these steps would allow the retriever access to the deposited coins.
     Figures II and III include illustrations of the Kicking Cow bank with the cow secured to the fence post by a string. At the time the bank shown in Figure I was purchased, the seller related that it had been in his family for many years. It had been given to his grandfather when the latter was a young boy and did, in fact, include that very string now affixed to the bank (concurring with the illustration in Figures II and III).
     There are several casting variations of the Milking Cow. These pertain solely to the length and thickness of the base. Because of an abnormal amount of breakage during production, the base was ultimately thickened in an attempt to rectify the problem. This "thick base" variation differs in length from the "thinner base" versions (refer to Figures IV and V).
     There is only one color variation, and that concerns the cow. It may be painted either a chocolate-brown or terra cotta. The colors of the bank in Figure I are as follows: the cow is terra cotta; it has white eyes outlined in black with black pupils. The mouth is red and the horns are tipped with gold balls. The udder is yellow with red teats and the hooves are black. The boy's face and hands are a pink-flesh color. His hair, eyes, eyebrows, and shoes are black, and he has red lips. He sports a red shirt with white suspenders and blue trousers. His milk pail is gold and the straw hat lying by his side is tan. The base is bluish-green, with the legs at each corner painted gold. The mound of daisies under the cow's head has white petals with yellow centers. Finally, the flower-shaped operating lever is red, and the fence is painted white.
     Prudence should be exercised when purchasing the Milking Cow bank due to its fragility. Generally, when one is located, it is either broken or missing parts. Those parts which have proven to be most vulnerable are the cow's tail, the tips of her horns, the fence, and each of the four legs hold­ing up the fence.
     Because of the various legitimate base lengths, it could become difficult to discern an original Milking Cow bank from a recast by merely comparing it to a base diagram. In this particular instance, the quality and sharpness of the castings, combined with the patina of the painted surface, should provide sufficient clues to judge an original from a reproduction. Nevertheless, I am including two base diagrams to further aid in the determination of size and scale.
     Figure IV shows the size of the "thin base" variation, and Figure V indicates the size of the "thick base" alteration.

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.

The Spring Jaw Alligator
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1987

     An interesting and relatively undiscovered group of European antique banks is the "spring jaw" me­chanicals. Figure I represents the "Spring Jaw Alligator," one of a series of seven known "spring jaw" banks. Each of the seven differs in subject matter — i.e., the aforementioned alligator, Bonzo the dog, a mule, a parrot, a gray kitten, a bulldog, and a chimpanzee. Although the Alligator is one of the most common of the series, few collectors can boast of owning one.
     Rather than utilize the alligator as merely a motif, as does the "Baby Elephant Opens At Ten O' Clock," the "Spring Jaw Alligator" is unique since it is the only bank known to incorporate the figure of this reptile into its action. I wish to express my thanks to the renowned collector and expert on European coin-savings devices, Gerhard Riegraf of West Germany, for his response to my inquiry regarding the "spring jaw" series. The following are excerpts from his recent letter:
     "Having gone through all of the toy patents registered in Germany since 1871, I am sorry to report that none were ever issued for a bank incorporating a "spring jaw" mechanism. My patent attorney advised me that this type of device could never have been patented under German law, but would most likely have been issued a "Reichsgebrachsmuster," which translates to "a small patent" or registered design. Unfortunately, the papers for this type of patent are usually destroyed after 15 years, which explains why no patent papers for any of the "spring jaw" series exist today.
     "Both my attorney and myself are also of the opinion that these banks must have been manufactured at the turn of the century (1890-1930) since they were made of a zinc-alloy. This was a popular material utilized in most German still banks manufactured during that period. To further strengthen this date contention, we discovered that all of the "spring jaw" banks employ the same small brass, heart-shaped trick lock to secure the deposited coins, as several zinc-alloy still banks which are documented to date exactly within the 1917-18 period."
     Operation of the "Spring Jaw Alligator" is incomplex and amusing: coin insertion into the alligator's mouth (or slot) activates a thin internal leaf spring attached to its lower jaw. This results in the jaw "wiggling," giving the illusion that the deposited coins are being chewed. The "digested" coins are retrieved by unfastening the "trick lock" and opening the alligator's hinged head.
     The "Spring Jaw Alligator" has neither casting nor color variations. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the alligator is painted olive green with reddish-brown highlights. Its nose, cheeks, stomach, and paws are splotched with white, and the inside of its mouth and nostrils are pink. Its teeth are white, and its eyes are yellow with black pupils. Attractive coloration, com­bined with finely cast details, are indicative of the entire series of "spring jaw" banks.
     Care should be exercised when handling this, as well as any zinc-alloy bank, since they are extremely fragile and damage quite easily. This inherent weakness probably accounts for the rarity of the entire series.
     To my knowledge, none of the "spring jaw" banks has ever been reproduced. However, Figure II is an outline drawing of the "Spring Jaw Alligator" to aid in the determination of its size and scale.
     Any information which would shed fur­ther light upon this particular mechanical, and/or other "spring jaw" subjects, would be greatly appreciated, and passed along to readers in future articles.

The Clown on Globe Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1987

     Who amongst us has not marveled at the grand spectacle of the Circus? Death-defying and thrilling daredevil acts are performed by acrobats and animal tamers, while the jugglers amaze and delight the audiences. And, in contrast, there are the clowns who weave through these performances, bringing comic relief and laughter through zany and whimsical routines. There are several mechanical banks which attempt to capture the spirit of these stumbling, bumbling buffoons. Included are such favorites as: "Humpty Dumpty"; "Circus"; "Tin Clown and Dog"; "Clown Bust"; "Clown on Bar"; "Hoop-la"; "Jolly Joe"; "Clown and Harlequin"; "Punch and Judy"; "Trick Dog"; "Elephant and Three Clowns"; "Acrobats"; " Bill-E -Grin"; "Zig Zag Bank"; and, the subject of this article, "Clown on Globe."
     The Clown on Globe was patented on May 20, 1890, by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was assigned U.S. Patent Number 428,450 (Figure I), which is the identical patent acquired by Bowen for his "Girl Skipping Rope" bank. The words "PATD 428450 & PENDG," are embossed underneath the base plate of the Clown on Globe and facilitated location of the patent papers represented in this article. Examination of these patent drawings will reveal that they protect only the internal mechanism of the Clown on Globe, and not its external design or subject matter.
     Incidentally, James Bowen had the distinction of hav­ing seventeen of his mechanical bank designs commercially produced. He was second only to Charles A. Bailey, who is credited with production of twenty-four designs. The J. and E. Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Connecticut, manufactured all of the banks designed by Bowen and most of those designed by Bailey. Bailey, in fact, produced most of his own earlier lead-zinc alloy banks.
     Operation of the Clown on Globe is quite unique since it employs two separate and independent actions. First, the elongated operating lever on top of the base is lifted. (This closes the coin slot and sets the ratchet stop for the spring winder.) The globe is then turned one revolution upon the base. A coin is then placed within the slot where it remains undeposited. Upon pressing the lever, the globe, with the clown astride, spins and the coin falls into the base. When the spinning ceases, the small button beneath the clown's backside may then be pressed downward — whereupon the clown performs a hand stand for his audience!
     Coin removal comprises the only casting variation of Clown on Globe. On some banks the coins are removed by way of a round Stevens-type coin trap underneath the base. On others which do not have this coin opening, the base must be unscrewed entirely in order to retrieve the money. Thus far, this writer can offer no plausible explanation for this variation, since it does not provide a more practical or simplified alternative to coin extraction.
     The Clown on Globe had been painted several color combinations. However, these pertain solely to the clown's costume and the base of the bank. The clown's gloves and face are always white with red markings. His lips are painted red, and the color of his eyes are light blue with black pupils; his eyelashes and eyebrows are black. The globe is dark blue with either a wide gold or white band circumscribing its equator.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure II are as follows: the clown's hat is tan with a red brim. He has a violet shirt with yellow buttons and a light blue collar. His knickers are orange, and he has white knee socks with black shoes. The support piece between his hands is red with light blue highlights. Finally, the base, its feet, and lever are painted light yellow, highlighted in light blue.
     The clown's costume may vary from the aforemen­tioned colors to being painted entirely red with a yellow collar and tan shoes. This color combination usually accompanies a tan base with reddish-brown highlights.
     Although the Clown on Globe is a fairly sturdy bank, due to the excessive handling required for its operation it is most often found damaged and with much paint wear. Those parts of the bank which are most susceptible to breakage are the clown's wrists, the operating lever, and any or all of the small feet supporting the base. Unfortunately, one cannot truly appreciate the Clown on Globe's true splendor unless seen with most of its paint intact. Thus, when one is offered in superb condition, it is generally accompanied by a premium price tag.
     Figure III represents a page from an early J. and E. Stevens Company toy catalog, advertising the Clown on Globe as the "Funny Clown Bank." The reason for the present name designation was an attempt by twentieth-century mechanical bank collectors to more accurately describe this bank by its physical appearance rather than its subject matter.
     The Clown on Globe has been reproduced several times over the years. Figure IV is a base diagram of an original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller across the base than indicated.

The Jumbo Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1987

     Possibly the single greatest attraction the circus world had ever known was Jumbo the elephant (Fig­ure I). Its performances spanned 3-1/2 years and were viewed by literally millions of persons before meeting its untimely and tragic demise. On September 16, 1886, the following obituary appeared in a St. Thomas, Ontario, tabloid: "Last night death came to the giant elephant Jumbo. After the P. T. Barnum Circus had completed its evening performance at St. Thomas, Jumbo and the midget elephant, Tom Thumb, both walking along the railroad tracks, were struck and killed by an oncoming freight train." (Figure II is an early woodcut which attempted to interpret and report that fateful event.)
     During, and subsequent to its lifetime, Jumbo's name became synonymous with anything that was unusually large. Sometime prior to Jumbo's death, the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, attempted, as did many entrepreneurs of their day, to capitalize on this gigantic elephant's popularity by incorporating its name and likeness into their product. However, the Stevens' "Jumbo" mechanical bank (Figure III, shown actual size) sharply contrasts with the image of this pachyderm (Figure IV) since it was, and continues to be, one of the smallest mechanicals ever manufactured.
     In addition to "Jumbo," J. and E. Stevens produced two other similar elephant banks. These were "Light of Asia" and "Elephant With Tusks on Wheels." Although both are much scarcer than "Jumbo," the rarity of the latter should not be underestimated.
     To date, no patent papers for the "Jumbo" bank have been located. An explanation (offered only as conjecture by this writer) might be that, in order for the Stevens Company to utilize and protect the Jumbo name and like­ness for their bank, they not only were compelled to seek permission from P. T. Barnum, but also were required to apply for a design patent. Perhaps these would have prov­en too time consuming for such a highly competitive business, where the most important factor was the speed in which a product could be introduced and offered for sale, thus enabling the company to profit before others entered the market.
     Simplistic is the most accurate description of the "Jumbo" bank's action: Insertion of a coin into the slot atop the elephant's back causes its head to nod upward and down. Coin removal, on the other hand, was a bit more difficult. The bank had to be disassembled, which was accomplished by removing the large screw which secured both halves of the elephant's body together.
     As mentioned previously, "Jumbo" is a relatively scarce bank, and the reason is revealed upon examination of an example. Since it was also designed as a pull toy, more than likely it experienced some degree of rough handling. Unfortunately, its small and delicate castings were not intended to withstand this type of treatment and, combined with the complexity of coin removal, it is fortunate any intact example exists today.
     There are no casting variations of the "Jumbo" mechanical, but there are two color differences. These per­tain solely to the figure of the elephant, wherein one is painted gray and the other (Figure III) is painted chocolate-brown. Both have white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. Their blankets are red with gold trim, and the name, "Jumbo," is highlighted in gold. Finally, the platform and wheels they stand upon are bright green with gold accents.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of the "Jumbo" bank. Nevertheless, Figure V is a wheel diagram which should help determine its size and scale. A reproduction would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller than indicated.
     Correction: (from November, 1991) It was erroneously stated in the December 1987 Antique Toy World article, "The Jumbo Bank," that the J. and E. Stevens Co. also manufactured the "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" bank. Discovery of new evidence indicates the likelihood of Kyser and Rex Co. of Frankford, PA, as its manufacturer. Further elaboration will be contained within a future article in this magazine.

The Organ Bank (Medium Size)
Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1988

     The popularity and appeal of the long-tailed primate has been demonstrated by a variety of bank designs which utilize the monkey as their subject. Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex, both obviously fascinated with this whimsical creature's antics, produced such creations as "Organ Bank Cat and Dog," "Organ Bank Boy and Girl," "Organ Tiny," "Chimpanzee," "Lion and Monkeys," "Zoo" (which is only speculated to have been manufac­tured by Kyser and Rex), and the subject of this article, "Organ Medium Bank" (Figure I). Other turn-of-the-century toy and bank manufacturers also seized upon the opportunity to capitalize on the public's fondness for the comical monkey accompanied by an organ grinder.
     As previously stated, the Organ Medium was designed by Louis Kyser and Alfred Rex of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They were granted Patent number 242,139 on May 31, 1881, the date which is cast into the back of the bank and which helped facilitate the location of the accompanying patent papers (Figure II). It was ultimately manufactured by Kyser and Rex at their foundry in Frankford, Pennsylvania.
     It is interesting to note that the mechanism illustrated and described in the patent papers which was designed to create the bank's musical sound was never actually deployed into this or any other Kyser and Rex bank. The patent illustrates the music being produced by a series of internal pins plucking a musical comb (similar to a music box). The final production bank incorporated a sound mechanism which utilized an iron clapper striking a bell or, in some instances, a series of bells.
     The following description from a late nineteenth-century Montgomery and Ward catalog captures the charm, intent, and usage of Organ Medium (Figure III): "This bank is calculated to highly amuse children, as it is a musical toy as well as a savings bank. When the handle is turned, a chime of bells will ring continuously, while at the same time the monkey will deposit in the bank any coins which may be placed on his tambourine, expressing his thanks by lifting his cap. Highly decorated and packaged one in a box. $4.00 per dozen."
     Incidentally, the deposited coins are removed from the bank by way of a square key lock coin trap underneath the base.
     There are several color variations of the Organ Medium bank which pertain solely to the monkey's outfit and its perch. They may be painted any combination of red, yellow, blue, or green. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the organ is painted an overall red­dish-brown. The words, "ORGAN BANK," the pipes on the front of the bank, the open fretwork on both sides, the crank handle, and the monkey's tambourine are gold. The sheet music is indicated in white, with the inscribed notes painted black. The monkey's hands, feet, and head are light brown; it has white eyes with black pupils, and a red mouth. Its jacket is red with a white collar and cuffs, yellow buttons, and yellow piping down the front. Its pants are yellow, and the cap is blue with a yellow button and peak. The perch upon which the monkey sits is painted green.
     The casting variations relate to a process of manufac­turing. In some banks the two halves of the monkey are secured by a single rivet, while others utilize bent-over iron pins.
     Close examination of the Organ Medium will reveal the expertise that Kyser and Rex exercised in the fine art of iron casting and painted decoration. These alone explain why their toys and banks are so highly sought after by today's collectors.
     The extreme fragility of the Organ Medium bank dictates a limited amount of superb examples. Beware: this bank has been reproduced. Figure IV is a base diagram indicating the size of an original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller than indicated.

The Artillery Bank
Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1988

     War, with its raging conflicts and ensuing battles, has always fascinated most young boys. This is evi­denced by the popularity and production throughout history of war toys. It is, therefore, not surprising that many nineteenth-century mechanical bank manufacturers chose to design their product with this subject as the theme. Indeed, this category of banks boasts such examples as "Creedmoor," "Grenadier," Tank and Cannon," "Tommy," "Hold the Fort ... "U.S. and Spain," "The Fort Sumpter Bank," "King Aqua," and the "Artillery Bank," the subject of this article (Figure I).
     On May 31, 1892, Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, both principals of the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York, were granted Design Patent Number 21,594 for their invention of the Artillery Mechanical Bank (Figure II). This patent protected only its external design. Most likely, with the abundance of banks patented and manufactured by the Shepard Company, several, if not all, of the innards of the Artillery Bank had already acquired adequate patent protection.
     The Shepard Hardware Company produced the Artillery Bank for a relatively short period of time (Figure III). All patent rights, patterns, and pertinent production information were then sold to the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. The bank then realized tremendous popu­larity and success through thirty-nine years of continuous manufacture.
     Operation of the Artillery Bank is initiated by pulling back and cocking the large hammer at the rear of the cannon. This causes the artilleryman to raise his right arm in a "ready, aim" gesture. A coin is then inserted into the open muzzle, and the flat thumb piece behind the letter "K" is pressed. The soldier's arm drops, as if giving the order to fire, and the hammer snaps forward, firing the coin into the fort, or tower. A paper exploding cap may also be placed in front of the hammer to add a more realistic touch to the action.
     The accumulated coins are removed from the bank by release of a coin trap underneath the base. Design of both the Shepard and Stevens Artillery Banks differs only in the coin closures and the various finishes employed by each company. In the Shepard version of the trap, the opening is secured by a square key lock, while the Ste­vens bank uses a patented, round closure.
     As to finishes, Stevens generally relied upon attractively painted decorations, although they did manufacture and sell both bronze and nickel-plated varieties (See Figure IV, an early J. and E. Stevens flyer). Shepard used only the newly developed copper electroplating technique. However, several years ago, a Shepard, silver-painted bank with gold-painted highlights was discovered at a Sotheby's auction sale.
     There are two paint variations of the J. and E. Stevens Artillery Bank. They pertain solely to the artilleryman's uniform, which may be painted in either Civil War Confederate, or Union colors (depending upon the marketing area). In both cases the base, mortar, and fort are painted identically.
     The colors of the bank shown in Figure I (the Union Army version) are as follows: the base is painted light green, highlighted with red and yellow. The fort, or tower, is an overall dark-brown, japan finish. The square top finial, the words "ARTILLERY BANK," and the mortar are painted gold. The cradle within which the mortar sits is reddish brown. The artilleryman's face and hands are pink flesh colored. His eyes, hair, moustache, shoes, and the peak of his cap (kepi) are painted black. His kepi is red with a yellow band. He wears a dark blue jacket with a red collar, yellow belt, and yellow shoulder strap. His pants are of the same red as his cap. The colors of the Confederate soldier's uniform are: red jacket with dark blue collar, and gray pants and kepi.
     Artistic license was taken at the Stevens' factory, sacrificing authenticity during the time these banks were deco­rated. This is especially evident in the colors of the Union artilleryman's uniform, wherein his pants and cap should have been painted dark blue.
     There are two extremely rare and uniquely distinct casting variations of the Artillery Bank. One pertains solely to the name printed on its side. This variant has the words, "THE MORTAR BANK" in place of the "ARTILLERY BANK." The other concerns only the hat of the artilleryman. Here we see him wearing a European-style spiked helmet, rather than the traditional Civil War kepi.
     Historical significance, combined with its many casting variations and color finishes, make the Artillery Bank a desirable addition to a collection. This becomes quite apparent when the fortunate collector is able to display all of the different Stevens and Shepard Artillery Banks simultaneously.
     The Artillery Bank has been reproduced. Figure V is a base diagram of an original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch smaller across the base than indicated.

 The J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn.
(Part 1)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1988

     Information pertaining to antique cast iron mechanical banks would be incomplete if it did not include possibly the most prominent of all toy foundries—the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, CT. In view of the major role it played in the history of American toy manufacture, this and subsequent articles will concern themselves with that foundry.
     Inspiration for these articles was attained through several discussions with noted mechanical bank historian, Mark Haber, former resident of Wethersfield, CT., and the discovery of a hitherto unknown photograph of the Stevens Company, circa 1880. This photograph (figure 1) had originally been in the possession of Russell Frisbee, whose role in the Stevens Company will be discussed shortly. An inscription by a Frisbee descendent on the obverse of the photo attests to its authenticity.
     The foundry began its operations, humbly, in 1843 when John and Elisha Stevens, sons of a Bristol, CT, blacksmith, arrived that year in Cromwell, then known as Upper Middletown. Following the family tradition they established an iron works in a small clearing known as Frog Hollow. Here was the ideal location, between a local water supply which operated the necessary water wheel and the Connecticut Valley Railroad which furnished the needed raw materials for iron production. Soon after the foundry began operating, John and Elisha approached William Keighly, an experienced and talented iron mold maker, to become a partner in the concern.
     During these early years they manufactured principally household hardware, small tools, and some farm implements. The year 1866 is significant in Stevens history, for it was during that time that Russell Frisbee, designer, inventor, master pattern maker, and astute businessman, joined the firm as General Superintendent, assuming a twenty-five percent partnership. It may be said that Frisbee's business acuity and foresight led to the birth of the mechanical bank industry in the United States.
     Imagine Frisbee's excitement as he viewed the patent drawings of John Hall's new invention (Figure II). It was through Frisbee's encouragement and perseverance that these drawings were to evolve into the first patented cast iron mechanical bank, "The Hall's Excelsior." Who would have envisioned that this simplistic bank with its popup monkey would serve as the catalyst for a major industry that would span continents and continue even today!
     To be continued next month.

The J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn.
(Part 2)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1988

     J. and E. Stevens' introduction of the first patented cast iron mechanical bank, the Hall's Excelsior, resulted in immediate success. It wasn't long before the penny-hoarding public was clamoring for new and novel savings devices. With such incentive John Hall then designed his Race Course bank, followed by the Tammany and the Hall's Liliput. Of interest is the fact that Russell Frisbee, General Superintendent and partner in the J. and E. Stevens Company, autonomously designed the Frog on Round Base bank, utilizing the base design from Hall's Race Course bank. The unauthorized usage of this Hall design caused a major rift between the two men.
     During the period between 1866 and 1900, the "golden age" of mechanical banks, the Stevens foundry produced approximately seventy banks. Most were designed by inventors other than Hall or Frisbee. Classic examples include the Panorama bank designed by James Butler; the Fowler by Edwin Pyle; the Bank Teller and the Preacher in the Pulpit by Arthur Gould; the Novelty bank by C. C. Johnson; Patronize the Blind Man by William Lotz; the Acrobats by Edward L. Morris; Eagle and Eaglets by Charles M. Henn; the Jolly Nigger, Speaking Dog, and Artillery by Peter Adams; Bill-E-Grin by John W. Schmitt; and the Creedmoor, 'Spise A Mule, Two Frogs, Elephant and Three Clowns, Paddy and His Pig, Reclining Chinaman, Darktown Battery, Girl Skipping Rope, Cat and Mouse, and Clown on Globe, all created by James H. Bowen. Charles A. Bailey designed Germania Exchange, Indian and Bear, Professor Pug Frog, Bread Winners bank, Darkey Watermelon, Dentist, Jonah on Pedestal, Milking Cow, Bad Accident, Boy Robbing Bird's Nest, Magician, Hen and Chick, etc. etc. This impressive list contributed to the establishment of J. and E. Stevens as the undisputed worldwide leader in the production of cast iron mechanical banks.
     Several years ago, noted mechanical bank historian, Mark Haber, acquired several volumes of Stevens Company ledgers, foundry records, time books, correspondence and related material. Through these rare documents Mr. Haber envisioned a visit to the Stevens Foundry, circa 1890. The following is his imaginative interpretation of a tour through the foundry.
     Our tour begins by walking along Nooks Hill Road, which affords us a view of the panorama that includes a group of Stevens buildings (Figure I). As we arrive at the plant we are greeted by Mr. E. S. Coe, a nephew of the Stevens brothers and Secretary and Treasurer of the company. As we enter Mr. Coe's office he points out the exhibit of the company's products neatly displayed in glass front cases opposite his desk. Settling into his large, overstuffed swivel chair he leans back and exclaims, "Inasmuch as we are going into production on the Jumping rope bank at this time, I think it may be of interest to you to learn something about its inventor and some of the production problems it presented here at the foundry. It might be well to mention the fact that Mr. Bowen, the bank's inventor, is a rather difficult man to get along with. He is easily irritated and many times misconstrues the intent of my correspondence. While it is true we lean heavily upon him for the introduction of new and novel designs for banks each year and we show him every consideration, we nevertheless must be firm with him, as we must maintain a degree of company policy. From the very beginning Mr. Bowen insisted his Skipping Rope bank be in finished production by holiday time this year. He had only supplied us with a preliminary model a few months earlier and I informed him that, due to its complicated design, final production could not be accomplished before the following year. He became quite irritated and threatened to bring his design to another company. I then assured him we would make every attempt to accommodate his wishes. Production of the Skipping Rope bank has proven quite problematic from start to finish. There was difficulty in casting, assembling, packing, breakage problems and finally, pricing, which unfortunately, proved quite prohibitive in the present toy bank market."
     Continuing with our tour of the plant, we leave the building which houses Mr. Coe's office and enter the pattern casting building. Here we find Mr. William G. Keighley in the process of pouring a mold with white metal for a master pattern. Mr. Coe then introduces us to Sigmund Weirsching and William Ward who perfect and polish these master patterns which are then cast in bronze. They will be finished and polished and, with gates* added, ready to be utilized in the manufacture of the actual production bank.
     Leaving the pattern casting shop we are escorted into the finishing and buffing shop. Here the gates and rough spots are ground off the final iron castings which are then placed in a large, waterwheel-driven tumbler where further smoothing and polishing is accomplished. We are then escorted to the carpentry shop, where we find George Ellis and Charles Zeisler building cases from precut boards in which the banks will be shipped. Across the road we are ushered into the paint shop, where we witness an array of banks in various stages of paint finish. They are placed along a large wooden table that runs the entire length of the room. These dull, gray iron objects seem to come to life at the hands of women such as Kate Ralph and Catherine Bond. At this moment, both women are busy decorating the Skipping Rope bank. Kate is doing the striping and fine details; she is considered the "old pro" and is usually the one consulted when a paint or color problem is encountered by any of her other associates, namely; Amelia David, Lena Goldthorpe, Mary Rempe, and Allena Ralph. All of the women working in the paint shop are paid on a piece-work basis. Their monthly salaries usually average about $20 to $30.
     Leaving the paint shop we are directed to the stock room. Here banks are packaged into individual boxes and then grouped into large wooden crates, ready to be shipped towards their appointed destinations. We are also shown the company grocery store where the employees can purchase foodstuffs and tobacco at Stevens' cost.
     We are now led by Mr. Coe into the foundry building. Here we see molders pounding the fine red sand into the molds with their fists and pouring cast iron into the hollows which will make up the various parts of the Skipping Rope bank. Mr. Coe points out one of his best molders, Ed Brown, also noting Ernest Twenty, Fred Twenty, Emil Swanson, Charles Ehrhardt, Axel Olson, Charles Gustafson, Edward Winkle, Tony Gillette, Nels Peterson, Thomas Shanley, John Rook, William Alquist, Erne Campanelly, Charles Nelson, Arthur Warner, John Gaffney, and Nels Nelson.
     The pig iron bars are then readied for the furnaces. The cupola furnaces had been previously fired up and the flames and heat are intense. As the pig iron is deposited into the cupola, a greyish-blue cloud of smoke belches upward and exits from the several large smoke stacks jutting towards the sky. The molders rush to scoop up the molten iron as it streams from the crucibles, each gathering his ration in a long-handled, clay-lined, iron ladle and depositing it into one of the vacant molds. The average rate of pay for a foundryman is $2.00 per hundred molds; their average capacity is about 75-100 molds per day. A good molder can earn $12-$14 weekly. A foundryman's day ends about 4:30 p.m., at which time we see men and women emerging from the exits knowing they've earned a good day's wages. Everyone well return to their job at 7:00 a.m. the following morning.
     As our tour comes to an end, Mr. Coe bids us a cordial farewell, offering each of us a newly manufactured Skipping Rope bank, gently cradled in its own wooden box.
     * Small, flat tabs which allow the molten iron to flow into all of the impressions made by the pattern as it was pressed onto the sand mold.
     To be concluded next month.

The J. & E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, Conn.
Part 3: Charles A. Bailey

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May/June, 1988

     A significant factor in the success of the J. and E. Stevens Company was, undoubtedly, the creative genius of designer, Charles A. Bailey. Employed by Stevens for a period of twenty-six years, Bailey is credited with the creation of no less than twenty-five mechanical banks. These include: "Bismark Pig"; "Indian and Bear"; "Bull and Bear"; "Professor Pug Frog"; "Bread Winners"; "Darkey Football"; "Dentist"; "Jonah On Pedestal" (Jonah emerges from the whale's mouth); "Kicking Cow"; "Bad Accident"; "World's Fair"; "Perfection Registering";   "U.S. and Spain"; "Chief Big Moon"; "Hen and Chick"; "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest"; "Magician"; "Shoot the Chute"; "Teddy and the Bear"; "Billy Goat"; "North Pole"; "Lion Hunter"; "Boy Scout Camp"; "Germania Exchange" (which is questionable since it has not been documented as a Bailey bank); and "Called Out" (which is believed to have never been offered for sale).
     Charles A. Bailey was born in Cobalt, Connecticut, in 1848. When a young man, he secured a position as apprentice in a pattern and die shop in Middletown, Connecticut. It was not long before his talent attracted notice and he achieved some measure of acclaim. Returning, to his birthplace, Bailey gained employment in a local coffin hardware design shop. It was here that he was introduced to the graceful floral designs that were to dominate all of his future creations.
     In 1878, Bailey ventured out on his own, working from a small shed in the rear of his Cobalt, Connecticut, home. He initially produced simple pot metal castings, eventually manufacturing a limited number of banks. The first of these was a still bank, marketed as "Bailey's Toy Bank Watch" which was patented on November 25, 1879 (Figure I). His earliest patented mechanical bank was "Baby Elephant Opens at Ten O'clock" (Figure II), followed by "Springing Cat ... "Chinaman in the Boat," and "Darkey Fisherman Bank." In addition to these, Bailey produced two mechanical bank patterns which never went beyond that stage: "Aunt Dinah and the Good Fairy" and the "Wishbone." All of the foregoing illustrate Bailey's unmistakable trademark — the usage of abundant floral motif embellishment.
     In 1889, following up on a lucrative offer from Russell Frisbee, an executive officer at the J. and E. Stevens Foundry, Bailey moved to Cromwell, Connecticut. For the salary of $25 per week and free reign of the foundry, he began the most prolific and celebrated mechanical bank design career in the history of toy manufacturing.
     Charles A. Bailey retired in 1915 at the age of sixty-seven. For his remaining years he devoted his time and energies to photographing flowers — those familiar and beloved objects upon which his toy designs were based. Bailey died on February 14, 1926. Six years later, in 1932, J. and E. Stevens ceased their production of mechanical banks. In the early 1950s the company closed their doors forever.

Penny Lane (a book review)
A History of Antique Mechanical Toy Banks by Al Davidson
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May/June, 1988

     Penny Lane, the book, takes us on a concise journey through the fascinating world of antique mechanical penny banks. It encompasses the full spectrum of old originals, fakes, and handmade (prototype) examples.
     Both the collector and toy historian will be provided with an invaluable reference source. Included are over six hundred full-color photographs, picturing 576 different banks, several of which have never been previously pictured. In addition, there are illustrations of 141 bank patent papers.
     An up-to-date section on grading according to rarity and condition, as well as a guide to determining authenticity, should aid in the prevention of costly mistakes. The chapter on cleaning and preserving painted cast iron may be of interest to collectors of all antique toys.
     Penny Lane is a must for the antique toy enthusiast, as well as anyone who appreciates a truly beautiful book. To order a copy, send a check or money order for $60 (regular edition) or $125 (deluxe, genuine leather-bound edition) made out to Sy Schreckinger, with your name and address to: Sy Schreckinger, Box 104, East Rockaway, New York 11518

The Red Riding Hood
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1988

 ". . . Little Red found the door to her grandma's cottage open.
        "She entered and called, 'Good morning, Grandma.
        ' There was no answer. Then she went
to the bed;
        there lay her grandmother with her cap pulled over
        her eyes, so that she looked very
odd.
      " 'Oh, Grandma, what big ears you have!'
"
     
" 'The better to hear you with, my dear!' "
        " 'Oh, Grandma, what big eyes you have!'
        " 'The better to see you with, my dear!'
        " 'Oh, Grandma, what big hands you have!'
        " 'The better to hold you with, my dear!'
        " 'But, Grandma, what big teeth you have!'
        " 'All the better to eat you with, my dear!' " 

     It is at this precise moment, according to the fable, that Little Red Riding Hood first senses imminent danger. And it is that very moment which is captured in the "Red Riding Hood" mechanical bank (Figure I). Insert a coin into the slot located behind the pillow and press the lever. Simultaneously, the coin drops into the bank and grandma's face mask tilts forward, exposing the face of the wicked wolf. Little Red Riding Hood's head jerks backward, as if startled. (The coins are removed via a key lock trap underneath the base.)
     Ludwig and Wilhelm Grimm, two German scholars and collectors of tutonic fables, published their anthology of children's fairy tales, the "Kinder—und Hansmdarchen," around the year 1813. It included the fable of Little Red Riding Hood. Approximately seventy-five years later, around the year 1888, this awesome fairy tale was brought to life through the creation of the "Red Riding Hood" me­chanical bank. Unfortunately, to date, patent and/or printed documentation pertinent to the designer and/or manufacturer has not been found. However, it had been speculated, but cannot be substantiated, that the designer of this mechanical may have been a William S. Reed of Leominster, Massachusetts. Possibly Reed was associated with the "Red Riding Hood" bank, since he had designed and received a patent for the "Old Woman in the Shoe" bank (Figure II), which had been based upon the popular nursery rhyme.
     Another belief is that the J. and E. Stevens Company may have designed and manufactured the bank. This is based upon observed casting detail similarities between “Red Riding Hood” and toys manufactured by Stevens.
     To complicate the matter further, this writer theorizes that, possibly, the Kyser and Rex Company, of Frankford, Pennsylvania, designed and manufactured this bank. Speculation is based upon two factors: (1) similarities between the simplistic style in which Little Red Riding Hood's features were painted, as compared to the faces of the organ grinder in the Kyser and Rex "Organ and Bear" bank and the policeman in their "Uncle Remus" bank; and, (2) J. and E. Stevens Company had never manufactured a mechanical bank with a key-lock coin trap, while almost all of the Kyser and Rex banks utilize such a trap. In addition, the unique shape of the "Little Red Riding Hood" coin trap is remarkably similar in configuration to the coin traps of two other Kyser and Rex banks, namely the "Confectionary" and the "Presto Building" (Figure M). The colors of the bank represented in Figure I are as follows: Little Red's face is a pink flesh color; she has blond hair and eyebrows, black eyes, and a red mouth. Her hat and dress are red and she wears a white sleeveless slipover blouse. The basket held in the crook of her right arm is tan. Grandma's face is a pink flesh color; she has black eyes and eyebrows, red nostrils, and a red mouth. She wears a white, ruffled bed cap on her head. The wolf's face and paw are painted a light brown. He has orange eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. The blanket draped over the bed is light green with gold and copper highlights. The pillow is white and the entire bed frame is japanned a dark brown with gold highlighting. Known paint variations pertain solely to the blanket, whereby it can be painted either dark blue or yellow. A variation in casting concerns itself with the way in which the wolfs paw is holding the mask. The words, "PAT APLD FOR" are impressed into the underside of all known "Red Riding Hood" banks.
     This mechanical is extremely rare. Since it has been reproduced, the base diagram (Figure IV) should help in determining originality, and possibly prevent one from mak
ing a costly mistake. A reproduction will appear approximately one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch shorter than the size indicated.

The Eagle and Eaglets Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1988

     Motherhood — that sacred and blessed state — has been infinitely glorified. Virtues of maternal affection and tenderness have even been expressed in the design of many a children's plaything. Several early toy manufacturers/designers, such a Kyser and Rex, the J. and E. Stevens Company, and Kenton Hardware, incorporated the maternal instinct into mechanical banks such as "Mammy and Baby," "Lion and Monkeys," "Two Frogs," "Mama Katzenjammer," "Hen and Chicks," and the subject of this article, "Eagle and Eag­lets." (Figure I)
     This novel bank portrays a mother eagle protectively perched above her nestlings. With wings outstretched, she feeds her young. The Eagle and Eaglets was produced and designed by Mr. Charles M. Henn of Chicago, Illinois. Henn was granted Patent number 271,200 (Figure II) on January 23, 1883. This date is indicated by the words, in raised lettering, "PAT JAN 23, 1883" positioned underneath the base. Shortly after receiving his patent, Henn approached the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, with his proposal that Stevens manufacture his bank. Upon acceptance of Henn's proposition, Stevens granted him a royalty of approximately four cents per bank over a period of fifteen years. The Stevens Company effected several internal and external modifications to Henn's designs. However, comparison of the bank pictured in Figure I to the patent drawings of Figure II reveals fairly close adherence to the original designs.
          Operation of Eagle and Eaglets is initiated by placing a coin into the spring‑tension beak of the large eagle. This is followed by pressing downward upon the "snake-shaped" lever under the eagle's tail. Simultaneously, she leans forward, spreads her wings and drops the coin into the nest. Both eaglets rise upward, beaks agape as if to receive mama’s offering. This action is accompanied by a chirping sound emitted from within the bank, which is accomplished by a small bellows-activated whistle (refer to "S" in patent drawings, Figure II). The coins are removed by releasing the round Stevens' coin retainer underneath the base.
     Of interest is the fact that an early J. and E. Stevens illustrated trade card advertised Eagle and Eaglets as the "American Eagle" bank (Figure III). However, there was never an attempt on the part of the company to decorate the adult eagle as an American Bald Eagle. Further, the coloration of the eagle actually portrayed in the final production bank (Figure I) is a conglomeration of various eagles, rather than any one specific type. In contrast, the gray color of the eaglets' youthful plumage is a more accurate depiction of nature.
     There are no known casting variations of the Eagle and Eaglets, but there are two color variants. These differences pertain solely to the base of the bank. It may be painted either an overall light green with yellow and red highlights or, as pictured in Figure I, light tannish brown with yellow, red and green highlights.
     The eagle in both variations is painted white, with black markings on her back and wings. Her beak is dark brown with yellow nostrils and she has yellow-ochre feet with black talons. Her eyes are of glass; the corneas are white, and the pupils are black. Both eaglets are painted medium gray with black beaks. The nest is dark brown, highlighted with tan, black, and yellow. The pig-like animal emerging from the side of the base is painted orange with black eyes and a red mouth. The "snake-shaped" lever is brown and the rim around the bottom of the base is painted black.
     The Eagle and Eaglets was extremely popular in its day. (An early J. and E. Stevens Company catalog page is shown in Figure IV.) Hence, many were produced over an extended period of time — a factor which would generally place it in the category of being relatively common. However, due to its fragility, a complete and perfect example of this bank will command a high premium. The fragile parts of this bank are the eagle's wings, her eyes, her tail, the bracket which attaches her legs to the base of the bank, both eaglets, the operating lever, and the internal bellows. When an example of this bank is located, generally any of the aforementioned parts will be either broken or missing. Broken, missing, or replaced parts should always be taken into consideration when negotiating a selling price for this, as well as any antique mechanical bank. However, in the case of the Eagle and Eaglets, a missing or defective bellows is an exception, and should have no bearing on the price.
     In view of the popularity and appeal of the Eagle and Eaglets bank, numerous reproductions are in existence. To protect the collector from making a costly mistake, I am including a base diagram of an original example (Figure V). A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     Inquiries may be addressed to: Sy Schreckinger, Box 104, East Rockaway, New York 11518.

The Butting Buffalo Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1988

     Bizarre, with racist undertones, would perhaps be an apt description of the subject of this month's article, the "Butting Buffalo" mechanical bank. However, prior to its discussion and certainly worthy of mention is its producer, the well-known and esteemed former toy manufacturer, Alfred C. Rex and Company of Frankfort, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1879 by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex but experienced a name change in 1884 to Alfred C. Rex and Company subsequent to the departure of Mr. Kyser. During its nineteen years of operation, Kyser and Rex/Alfred C. Rex and Company may be credited with the creation of several of the most beautifully designed, cast and decorated mechanical banks that had ever been produced. Examples of these which, in addition, portray anti-black sentiment are: "Mammy and Baby," "Uncle Tom," "Boy Stealing Watermelons," and "Uncle Remus." With banks such as the aforementioned, it is easily understood why this company takes its place alongside the J. and E. Stevens Co. and Shepard Hardware as the three most distinguished me­chanical bank manufacturers of all time.
     The "Butting Buffalo" was patented on March 2, 1888, by its inventor, Alfred C. Rex, and was granted Patent number 379,607. As evidenced by the Patent drawings in Figure 1, the final production bank (Figure 2) adhered quite closely to the original designs. The following description by Rex (Patent papers, Figure 1) exemplifies the Rube Goldberg-type* lengths to which a toy designer might reach in order to accomplish a racist statement: "In the bank illustrated in the drawings I have shown the casing in the form of a piece of ground and the stump of a tree, from the top of which is pivoted the representation of a raccoon, and to the side of the tree is pivoted the rep­resentation of a boy in the act of climbing up the tree after the raccoon. In the rear of the boy is a horned animal in the act of butting the boy and assisting him up the tree."
     Operation of the "Butting Buffalo" is initiated by placing a coin into the slot atop the tree stump. The lever at the end of the bank is then pushed downward. Simultaneously, the buffalo raises its head, nudging the boy upward; the raccoon withdraws into the top of the tree and the coin falls into the bank. The money is retrieved by removal of a square key-lock coin retainer under the base of the bank.
     There are two known color and casting variants of the "Butting Buffalo" bank. One is painted with an overall dark brown japan finish. This type of finish is always accompanied by the lack of bump cast into the base, just under the boy's legs. This "bump" is evident in the second variant illustrated in Figure 2, whose colors are as follows: the boy's arms, legs and face are painted black. He has white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. He sports a red shirt, yellow trousers and a blue hat. The buffalo is painted dark brown japan with mane and horns highlighted in silver. It also has white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. The raccoon is dark brown with white eyes and black pupils. The tree stump is an overall dark brown japan finish with green vines and bronze-colored flowers creeping up its sides. The top of the stump is yellow. Finally, the base is painted bright green, splotched with red and yellow, and the activating lever is gold. Cast into the underside of the base of both variants are the words, "PAT. APLD. FOR."
     The "Butting Buffalo" is quite scarce since it contained, as did most Kyser and Rex/Alfred C. Rex banks, several extremely fragile castings. The possessor of an unbroken, complete, and superb all-original example may consider himself/herself quite fortunate indeed.
     This bank has been reproduced. Thus, I am including a base diagram (Figure 3). A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter in length than an original.
     *Rube Goldberg — a world famous cartoonist who concocted fantastic and convoluted contraptions in order to perform an otherwise uncomplicated task (i.e., to turn on a light switch).

The Spring Jaw Bonzo Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1988

     Another in the series of a relatively rare and interesting group of antique German mechanicals referred to as the Spring Jaw banks is the "Bonzo" bank (Figure I). The series is comprised of seven different subjects which, in addition to Bonzo, include a mule, a parrot, a gray kitten, a bulldog, a chimpanzee, and an alligator. Of these, Bonzo is the only one which represents a known comic character.
     The character, Bonzo, was created in the early 1920s by an aspiring British cartoonist, George E. Studdy. Recognized as the most popular cartoonist in the United Kingdom from 1920 to 1930, Studdy's weekly comic strip depicted the antics of several characters which were in the form of dogs (Figure II). One particular character, a pudgy, white bull terrier named Bonzo, continually appeared in Studdy's strip and gained great popularity with its readers. Realizing he had created an appealing and potentially valuable property, Studdy began to merchandise him. It wasn't long before Bonzo appeared on postal cards, cigarette cards, in children's books, as a stuffed doll, on lamps, toys, ashtrays, souvenirs, articles of clothing, and eventually, in the cinema. It was through this medium that Bonzo became the star of the only successful series of animated cartoon films made in England during the silent film era.
     During the 1920s, Bonzo achieved the same degree of popularity in Britain as did Mickey Mouse here in the United States. However, for reasons unknown, Bonzo never did capture the hearts of the American people, and the character and its creator are almost totally forgotten in this country.
     The Bonzo bank discussed in this article is not the sole mechanical to feature a likeness of this comical pooch. Another early German bank had been constructed out of tinplate. However, unlike the Spring Jaw action, the tinplate Bonzo bank is activated by a lever on its side which causes Bonzo to thrust out his large tin tongue in order to accept the monetary offerings.
     To date, the only documentation of the bank's manufacture is the word "Germany," which is stamped onto the underside of the base. It may perhaps be concluded that the lack of information is the result, in part, of the practices of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century Ger­man patent system. Since these banks and their likes were thought of as relatively insignificant, they were assigned the designation "small patents" which mandated destruction of the patent papers within fifteen years of issuance. This, combined with the lack of advertisements or trade catalogs, make accurate dating quite difficult. It is known, however, that several zinc-alloy still banks, which are similar in design to the Spring Jaw banks, have been pictured in several early twentieth-century German trade catalogs, thus placing the Spring Jaws in an approximate time frame.
     The Bonzo bank, as well as the entire Spring Jaw series, are made of a lead-zinc alloy. They are manufactured by a process called slush-mold casting, which entails filling a multi-section hollow mold with a molten solution of lead and zinc. This hot solution remains within the mold just long enough for partial solidification and adherence to the outside surface of the inner cavity of the mold. The remainder of the molten alloy is then poured out, leaving a hollow replica of the mold's interior design. After the various sections of the mold are removed and detached from this final replica, the various parts of the bank are ready to be assembled and decorated.
     All the Spring Jaw banks have hinged heads which are secured to their bodies by a small, brass, heart-shaped "trick lock" (refer to Figure I).
     Operation of the Spring Jaw Bonzo is uncomplicated and amusing: insertion of a coin into its mouth causes a thin internal leaf spring to vibrate. This activates Bonzo's lower jaw, resulting in the appearance of the pup chewing the coins. In order to retrieve the digested currency, the trick lock must first be removed, allowing the hinged head to be opened.
     The Bonzo bank does not vary in casting or color, and the colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: its entire body is pure white with black markings. Its eyes are yellow with black pupils, and its nose is also black. Finally, it has a wide, pink mouth with a bright red tongue. An attribute of the Spring Jaw banks, as well as all German zinc-alloy banks, is the extremely close attention paid to both casting and painted details.
     To the best of my knowledge the Spring Jaw Bonzo has not been reproduced. However, Figure III is an outline drawing to aid the collector in determining its size and scale.
     Any information which would shed further light upon the Bonzo bank and/or other Spring Jaw subjects would be greatly appreciated and passed along to readers in future articles. Please send replies to Sy Schreckinger, P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, New York 11518.

The Trick Dog Bank
(Six Part Base)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1988

      Clowns, those marvelous and zany members of the Circus family, are well represented in a sizable number of mechanical banks. Classic examples include "Acrobats," "Bill E. Grin," "Circus," "Hoop-La," "Humpty Dumpty," "Jolly Joe," "Clown and Harlequin," "Professor Pug Frog," "Punch and Judy," "Elephant and Three Clowns," "Clown on Bar," "Clown Bust," and the colorful, attractive subject of this month's article, "The Trick Dog Bank."
     The "Trick Dog Bank" was in­vented by Mr. Daniel Cooke, of Camden, New Jersey. On July 31, 1888, he was granted U.S. "Design" Pat. No. 18,489 (Figure 1). (Note: By designating the invention as a "Design" patent, Mr. Cooke was offered protection on the external features and subject matter of his bank, but not for the internal mechanism.) The words, "PAT. JULY 31, 1888," which are impressed into the underside of the base, facilitated location of the patent drawings in this article. Interestingly, due to a cataloguing error within the Patent Library in Virginia, the patent papers shown in Figure 1 remained misplaced for several years. Historical literature and several recent books relating to mechanical banks state, with perplexity, "Even though the Trick Dog bank is marked with a patent date, no patent papers have ever been found." Thanks to the efforts of a patent searcher, those "lost" papers have been properly filed, enabling them to be published here for the first time.    
     The "Trick Dog" was initially manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York. Subsequently, two modified designs of this bank were produced by the Hubley Manufacturing Company, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and will be discussed later in this article.
     Operation of the "Trick Dog" is amusing and uncomplex, as described in an 1889 Montgomery Ward and Co. catalog advertisement (Figure 2): "The bank represents a clown dressed in full circus colors, holding a hoop; the coin is placed in the dog's mouth, and by touching the le­ver, the dog jumps through the hoop and deposits the coin in the barrel." The money is removed by way of a typical square Shepard lock underneath the base plate.
     There are no casting or color variations of the Shepard "Trick Dog" bank, and the colors of the bank shown in Figure 3 are as follows: the clown has a white face with red markings and a brown mouth. The irises of his eyes are dark blue, and the corneas are painted gray. His hands are a pink flesh color, and he holds a gold hoop. His jacket and tights are a complicated design composed of red, white, blue, yellow, and brown; he sports a yellow and blue hat with a red band, and he wears white boots. The dog is tan, highlighted in a darker tan and white. It has white paws, a red mouth and nostrils, and its eyes have white corneas with black irises. The barrel is composed of alternating vertical light and dark tan staves, ringed by six silver straps. The top of the base is light gray and the four sides are red, framed by yellow borders. The words, "TRICK DOG," are painted gold, and the border around the bottom of the base is black.
     Although all Shepard banks may boast of great care and attention afforded to painted decorations, the company unfortunately never primed their iron prior to painting. Because of this, time and moisture have taken its toll, for it is rare to locate a Shepard bank without much of the original paint flaked off. On occasion, when an exceptionally fine example is found, a premium price tag is its companion.
     At the turn of the century the Hubley Manufacturing Company took over the production of the "Trick Dog" bank. They manufactured a model (Figure 4) which differed from the Shepard version only in its color scheme and the way the six-part base was fastened together. Shepard utilized two threaded screws under the base, while Hubley employed two brass twist pins.
     Several years later (1920s-1930s), Hubley produced a "Trick Dog" bank with a solid nonsectional base (Figure 5), but continued to utilize the clown, dog and barrel of the earlier "six-part base" version. This was probably done to reduce the manufacture and assembly costs of the earlier, more complicated base. (The description "six-part base" in both the Shepard and Hubley versions indicates a base made up of six separate parts which include a top, bottom, two sides, and a front and rear panel.)
     The Shepard "Trick Dog" bank has been reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure 6) to indicate the size of an original. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.

Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1988

     Charity: "that disposition of heart which inclines men
     to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good."
           — Webster's Dictionary

     Defined by Webster and so aptly exemplified by William H. Lotz, of Chicago, Illinois, is the "Pat­ronize the Blind Man and His Dog" mechanical bank. Lotz, creator of the aforementioned, was granted patent number 200,402 for his design and invention on February 19, 1878. The philosophical attributes of charity and thrift were clearly stated in the patent papers (Figure 1) which read: "F, represents the image of a kneeling man stretching forth his hands as if begging charity."
     The assumption of instantaneous success for this representation of so humble and idealistic a subject was not unlikely. However, the relatively few surviving examples of the "Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog" bank appear to contradict the possibility of appealing to parents and children of that era. Perhaps, one may theorize, the depiction of a sightless beggar was too morbid a subject for a toy designed specifically for young children. Or, possibly, since the bank is extremely fragile, most examples may have been broken and discarded. Unfortunately, with the lack of information currently available, we may only speculate as to the reasons for the rarity of this most unusual mechanical.
     The bank was ultimately manufactured by the J. and E.
Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut. By comparing the patent drawing in Figure 1 to the final production bank of Figure 2, it is apparent that the Stevens Company deviated significantly from Lotz's original design. As an example, Lotz's design did not portray the beggar as blind. Several years ago I had the opportunity to examine the original patent model for this bank. Totally constructed from flat sheet brass, it bore little resemblance to the final three-dimensional production bank with which we are familiar.
     The "Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog" was first advertised in a late nineteenth-century J. and E. Stevens toy jobbers catalog as the "Faithful Dog Bank" (Figure 3).
     The action of the bank is ingenious and intriguing: a coin is placed between the beggar's hands; a radial-arm lever on the back of the bank, which is attached to the dog's body, is then pushed forward. The dog automatically opens his mouth in order to accept and grasp the coin. He then travels along the arched track, dropping the money into the circular doorway of the small peaked roof building. These deposited coins are retrieved by removal of a small, round patented Stevens coin retainer underneath the base.
     There are no casting variations of the "Patronize the Blind Man" bank, but there are two color variations. One has a yellow insert with red lettering on the front panel of the bank, and the other has a light blue insert with dark blue letters. The "yellow" variant displays a brown dog with a yellow collar. The peaked roof, arched rail and base are also painted brown. The beggar wears a brown jacket with a blue collar. His pants are blue and he has a brown cap with a yellow bandana covering his eyes.
     The other color version, as shown in Figure 2, has a powder blue insert with dark blue letters. The dog is painted black with a red collar, while the peaked roof, arched rail and base are a dark blue. The figure of the beggar wears a blue jacket with a brown collar and brown pants. His cap is blue, and he has a brown bandana over his eyes. In both variations the beggar has pink flesh-colored hands and face with a red mouth. His shoes are painted black. The facade (with the exception of the insert) and back of the bank are painted brick red, with the addition of white mortar lines appearing only on the front.
    
To my knowledge the bank has never been reproduced. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure 4) to aid the collector in determining size and scale. In the event a reproduction should surface, it would possibly appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated in the accompanying diagram.

The Bucking Mule Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1989

      Degradation of the Black Man for the sake of entertainment was not uncommon, and was utilized quite effectively as a theme for mechanical banks. The "Bucking Mule" certainly exemplifies racism in its depiction of a black rider thrown by his mule. However, unlike its contemporaries, the manufacturer of this bank (the Judd Manufacturing Company of Wallingford, Connecticut) did not produce a plethora of mechanicals which focused on bizarre, ridiculous antics of the Negro, or, for that matter, newly immigrated groups to this country. (Specific reference is made to J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, CT, Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, NY, and Kyser & Rex Company of Frankford, PA, who, collectively, left few minority groups unscathed. Ex­amples include: "Uncle Tom," "Mammy and Baby," "Butting Buffalo," "Uncle Remus," "Jolly Nigger," "Stump Speaker," "Darktown Battery," "Darky Watermelon," "Dentist," "Bad Accident," "Breadwinners," "Reclining Chinaman," "Cabin," and "Paddy and the Pig."
     Unfortunately, there is a lack of information pertinent to the inventor and date of manufacture of "Bucking Mule." The Judd Company never actually applied for, or patented, any of their banks. However, an approximation of the time period may be deduced by an ad for the sale of the bank which appeared in an 1893 issue of Marshall Field and Company's toy jobbers' catalog (Figure I). The advertisement itself read as follows: "Colors: Copper and Lacquer .. . $3.60 per dozen, Ebony and Gold ... $4.00 per dozen." Meticulously fine casting detail and simplicity are the attributes associated with banks manufactured by the Judd Company. To illustrate, one may observe the carefully delineated hairs on the animals in "Bear with Paws Around Tree" and "Bulldog Standing," while "Dog on Turntable" and "Mosque Bank" bear testimony to the attention paid to each detail of the bricks incised into the sides of the buildings. Simplicity of the banks refers specifically to their method of operation. A single lever, a nodding head, or a simple crank mechanism were all that Judd needed to bring joy to a small child as the coin was deposited into the slot.
     Operation of the "Bucking Mule" is initiated by pulling both the mule and his ill-fated rider back along the length of the base. A coin is then placed into the slot at the front end of the track. A slight lift to the mule's tail results in its jutting forward, causing the darky to fall, head first, over the front of the mule, with his forehead slamming the coin into the bank. These coins may be removed by unscrewing the entire base of the bank from its sides.
     Most of the mechanicals produced by Judd were painted primarily in metallic colors and various japan varnishes. Their palette included a shiny ebony finish, a purple lacquer, a "fancy" brown japan finish, gold and copper metallic, and an occasional touch of white for an eye or red for a mouth. Examples of Judd banks do exist which differ from the aforementioned by use of multi colors. Some might have been factory-painted but most were the whim of an early collector. Multicolored Judd banks should be closely scrutinized when contemplating a purchase.
     The "Bucking Mule" bank pictured in Figure II is painted entirely in a glossy, ebony finish. The man's shirt is red and his pants are yellow. This color scheme, with its "touch" of color, removes the bank from the "ordinary" category and designates it as a rare example.
     Unfortunately, and understandably, the simplicity of the casting and operating mechanism abetted the prac­tice of abundant reproduction. Thus, exceedingly scarce banks such as "Bucking Mule," "Boy and Bulldog," "Circus Ticket Collector," "Peg Leg Beggar," and "Bear and Tree Stump" are regarded as being quite common. In truth, few collections can boast of all-original, complete examples of these banks.
     Reproductions are easily detected since, unlike the original Judd banks, they are crude and pebbly in appearance and lack the fine, sharp detail indicative of the original.
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Bucking Mule." A reproduced version would not necessarily appear smaller than the base diagram, since the original patterns were often used to cast many of the "fakes." The most accurate method of detection is the texture of the surface and lack of definition and fine, sharp detail. Needless to say, the scarcity of original examples reflects accordingly on the price of the bank.
     To conclude, it may be of interest to grade the entire line of Judd banks according to their rarity. In descending order are: "Giant Standing," "Circus Ticket Collector," "Peg Leg Beggar," "Bucking Mule," "Boy and Bulldog," "Mosque," "Bear and Tree Stump," "Bulldog Standing," "Butting Goat," "Gem," "Snap-it," and "Dog on Turntable."

The World's Fair Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1989

      October 12th is the date on which the people of the United States traditionally celebrate Columbus's discovery of America. While historians agree that it was the explorer Amerigo Vespucci who first set foot upon the "New World," they do concede that this would not have been possible had Columbus not set sail from Spain in 1492. The first celebration, on a truly grand scale, took place in 1892 (Figure I) and culminated in the Columbian World's Fair Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois, in 1893. The Fair was attended by millions of persons. Manufacturers, recognizing the opportunity to profit, sought licensing from the World's Fair Committee to market their souvenirs. Among the items they produced for the public were clothing, food, pamphlets, toiletries, medals, coins, clocks, watches, china, crystal, silver, toys, and the subject of this article ... the World's Fair Bank (Figure II).
     On April 15, 1893, an application for patent was filed by Charles A. Bailey, of Cromwell, Connecticut, assignor to the J. and E. Stevens Company, also of Cromwell. On October 10th of that year, Patent Number 506,619 was granted to the aforementioned parties. Comparison of patent drawings (Figure III) to final product (Figure II) indi­cates close adherence to original design. Interestingly, no mention is ever made of Christopher Columbus or the World's Fair in the drawings or text of the patent papers.
     The words, "PAT APLD FOR," beneath the figure of Columbus (Figure II) clearly indicate the bank was offered for sale prior to the issuance of a patent. Although perhaps inapplicable to the World's Fair Bank, it appears to have been common practice among early toy manufacturers to first market their toy or bank; if the item became popular, and, therefore, profitable to produce, patent protection was then sought. Utilization of the words, "Pat Apld For" or "Pat Pending" was apparently effective in deterring other manufacturers from imitating designs.
     There are two known casting and color variations of the World's Fair Bank. The casting variant concerns itself only with the words, "WORLD'S FAIR BANK," which may or may not be inscribed in large, raised, block letters across the side of the bank. Those which bear this inscription were obviously sold during the time of the Columbus World's Fair Exposition. When the Fair ended, the J. and E. Stevens Company removed the words, "World's Fair Bank" and continued to market it as the "Columbus Bank" (Figure IV). (Incidentally, the name "Columbus" continued to be impressed into the base plate underneath the bank.) Neither variation influences the bank's actual monetary value for the collector.
     All production World's Fair Banks are painted gold, and highlighted in bronze, silver, and silver with a green tint. A few banks exist that are multicolored. These were hand painted by Charles A. Bailey himself and were given to close friends and relatives on special occasions. Understandably, they are able to command a significantly higher price than the more commonly painted gold version. Caution should be exercised when purchasing one of these unique banks, since several multi-colored forgeries do exist.
     Operation of the World's Fair Bank initiates with placement of a coin into the slot directly in front of Columbus. The lever on the left side of the bank is then pressed downward. Simultaneously, the coin drops into the bank, Columbus raises his right arm in a benevolent gesture, and the log snaps upward, revealing the figure of an Indian bearing a peace pipe. The money is retrieved by removing a round Stevens coin retainer under the base.
     Typical of each Bailey-designed bank was the meticulous attention paid to every facet of its surface. The "World's Fair" was no exception, as revealed by the plethora of floral and leaf patterns utilized throughout. In addition, both the gracefully executed figures of Columbus and the Indian, and the richly sculptured scenes of the buffalo hunt on one side of the bank and the Santa Maria on the other, all pay tribute to the talents of one of the most renowned mechanical bank designers in the history of toy manufacture.
     The World's Fair Bank is quite attractive when in su­perb, complete, and unbroken condition. Unfortunately, due to its fragility, this is not often the case, and, therefore, a fine, all-original example will command a high price. Since several rather crude reproductions do exist, I am including a base diagram (Figure V) to aid in differen­tiating between an original and a recast. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.

Frog on Round Base
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1989

      "Amusing" and "innocuous" aptly describe particular members of the class of vertebrate referred to as amphibians. Since nature has endowed them with wide-mouthed, voracious appetites, it is not surprising that these creatures had been regarded by mechanical bank manufacturers as worthy subjects to enliven their penny "gobblers." Our amphibious bank friends in­clude: "Frog on Rock," "Toad on Stump," "Frog on Arched Track," "Toad in Den," "Chief Big Moon," "Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat ... "Snake and Frog in Pond," "Goat Frog and Old Man," "Initiating Bank First Degree," "Flip the Frog," "Two Frogs," and the subject of this article, "Frog on round Base."
     This unassuming little bank was invented by Russel A. Frisbie, General Superintendent and partner of the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. Frisbie was granted Patent number 130,575 on August 20, 1872 (Figure I). An unfortunate set of circumstances surrounds the invention and patenting of "Frog on Round Base." During this same period of time, the J. and E. Stevens Company was producing banks designed by Mr. John Hall. These included such classics as "Tammany," "Liliput," "Race Course," and the first patented cast-iron mechanical bank ever manufactured, the "Hall's Excelsior." Then, for no apparent reason, Mr. Frisbie plagiarized the design from the base section of John Hall's "Race Course" bank (Figure II) and utilized it for the base of his "Frog on Round Base" bank. The similarities are most evident when examining the two mechanicals as they appear in an early J. and E. Stevens bank catalog (Figure II). This unauthorized usage of Hall's design resulted in an irreconcilable rift between Mr. Hall and Mr. Frisbie.
     The action of "Frog on Round Base" is simplistic, and is so described in the actual patent: "An artificial frog, whose mouth is opened for the reception of a coin, by pressing one of its feet, and which drops the coin in the box on releasing it .... also the eyes are caused to roll when the foot is pressed." These deposited coins are removed by unscrewing the entire base plate from the bank.
     Although I am not aware of casting variations, there are several color combinations. These pertain solely to the base, which may be any combination of red, green, white, yellow, brown and blue. In contrast, the coloration of the frog never varies. Its head and four legs are painted gold, and its back is green with gold highlighting. The top plate of the bank pictured in Figure III is painted red with a graceful white flourish between the frog's front paws. The round, latticed sides are yellow, with the doorway outlined in blue and the word "bank" painted red. The flanged base is red with a dark blue border circumscribing the entire lower rim. The words, "PAT D AUG 20, 1872" are inscribed across the top of the bank to the right of the frog, and facilitated location of its patent papers.
     I have seen several Taiwanese recasts of the "Frog on Round Base." However, since they are quite crude, it is not too difficult to discern these from an original smooth, sharp casting. Nevertheless, the base diagram in Figure IV should further aid the collector in the recognition of a reproduction. The recast will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller across the circumference than the dimension indicated.

The Owl Bank, Slot in Head
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1989

      In many parts of the world, and throughout history, the owl has evoked man's curiosity and fascination. This creature has been worshipped by some as a wise and lofty oracle, and feared by others as an evil sorcerer with its ominous screeching and hypnotic eyes. Likenesses have been discovered decorating the walls of caves inhabited by prehistoric man in France. Artists, sculptors, and storytellers have, over the centuries, contributed to the popularity of these nocturnal birds with mystifying and fascinating depictions.
     Within more recent times, the owl has occasionally been incorporated into the design of children's playthings. Such an example is the "Owl Bank" portrayed in Figure I. It is one of a series of four mechanicals designed by Ms. M. Elizabeth Cook, and subsequently manufactured by the Kilgore Manufacturing Company of Westerville, Ohio. Unfortunately, no patent information has been located. Design, production and sales presumably occurred sometime between 1920 and 1926 as determined by original Kilgore packaging, toy catalogs, and advertisements.
     The "Owl Bank" is one of a series of four which was referred to collectively as both "The Thrifty Four" and "The Toytown Workers Group of Animal Banks." The series included "Flop Ears" (the rabbit), "Jug-O-Rum" (the frog), "Pokey" (the turtle), and "Blinky" (the owl), Figure I. "Pokey" (the turtle) has the distinction of being not only the rarest of the series, but one of the rarest mechanicals in the entire category of mechanical banks.
     Two versions of "Blinky" (the owl) were manufactured. These differ only in the respect that one, the earlier version, has the coin slot atop its head (Figure I), while the other, or later and improved version, has the slot in the book under its right wing. Differences in the location of the coin slot resulted from a mechanical malfunction which occurred upon insertion of the coin into the earlier "Owl Slot in Head." This prompted an immediate redesign by Kilgore to the more efficient slot-in-book version. Because of its limited production period, the "Owl Slot in Head" enjoys the status of rarity and, generally, dependent upon mechanical and paint condition, will command a higher price than an "Owl Slot in Book" of equal condition.
     Movement, or action, of both "Owl" banks is initiated by pressing a coin into the slot. The eyes then roll downward, and up, as the coin drops into the bank. Deposits are removed via a small, nickel-plated, key-lock coin retainer underneath the base. (On occasion I have seen original, unplated examples of these locks.)
     The colors of the "Owl Slot in Head" are an overall light tan with dark brown highlights. Its beak is bright orange with a black mouth and nostrils. Its eyes are also orange with large black pupils. Thus, despite its small size and relatively simple design, this mechanical, as well as the other banks in the series, are quite attractively decorated.
     Although I am unaware of the existence of reproductions of "Owl Slot in Head," Figure II is a base diagram to aid the collector in determining size, scale, or originality. Reproductions would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller across the base than indicated.

The Uncle Sam Bust Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1989

     Skepticism and uncertainty have prevailed over the years among "experts" and hobbyists alike pertaining to the authenticity of this month's topic of discussion. Specifically, was the "Uncle Sam Bust" bank, shown in Figure I, a manufactured product offered for retail sale, or was it a "fake" which was created to dupe the unsuspecting and naive collector?
     Several years ago the late Charlie Duff, collector, dealer and esteemed member of the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, discovered an advertisement from a Butler Brothers toy jobbers catalog, circa 1900. Figure II is a representation of this ad which illustrates the "Uncle Sam" bank and offers it for sale at the price of $1.95 per dozen, proving beyond a doubt that this mechanical had been manufactured and commercially distributed. In addition, recently I had become aware of an early Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company toy manufacturers catalog which also depicts the "Uncle Sam Bust" bank and attributes its production to this well-known toy manufacturer.
     To date, no patent papers for the "Uncle Sam Bust" bank have been located; hence, its inventor remains a mystery. Unfortunately, due to the passage of time wherein there had been a lack of information relating to this bank and the fact that several recast copies were manufactured, despite the discoveries of the aforementioned advertisements, even original "Uncle Sam Bust" banks continue to bear the stigma of "fake." In fact, the number of recasts of the original probably outnumber the originals themselves. Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Uncle Sam Bust" bank. The reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter than indicated. Another method of detecting a recast is close examination. This will reveal a crude and pebbly casting lacking in fine detail (i.e., distinct lapels, buttons, hair) and halves that do not fit tightly together.
     The action of the "Uncle Sam Bust" is quite simplistic: upon insertion of a coin into the slot atop the hat, the depositor is rewarded with a wiggle of the goatee. Money is retrieved by undoing the long screw through the shoulders which secure the two halves of the bank. Its color scheme is equally simplistic: there is a red-and-blue band around the base of the high hat; the eyes and eyebrows are black; the mouth and nostrils are red, while the remainder of the entire bank is painted an aluminum color.
     Another and totally different commercially manufactured "Uncle Sam" bank is shown in Figure IV. Invented and patented by Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, this particular mechanical was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York. It is not quite as rare as "Uncle Sam Bust," but is more highly valued due to its intriguing action, attractive coloration and imposing image of nearly twelve inches tall.
     It would be interesting to discover which of these two "Uncle Sam" banks more accurately reflects its intended effigy. Would it be the more formal Shepard version, as described in the preceding paragraph (Figure IV), or the less eloquent, bulbous-nosed, friendlier version of "Uncle Sam" as seen in Figure I? Perhaps that question can be answered by the name, "Samuel Wilson." This gentleman was born in Menotomy, Massachusetts, in 1766. At the age of fourteen years he ran away from home to join the Revolutionary Army. After the war, and at the age of twenty-three years, he and his younger brother, Ebenezer, founded a meat packing business in Troy, New York. It wasn't long before community members recognized him as a hard-working, honest individual, with a common-sense approach to life. It was these qualities that earned Sam Wilson appointment to the post of Inspector of Provisions for the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. The "U.S." stamp of approval he placed upon each barrel of inspected meat inspired the following legend: when asked by a group of dignitaries what the initials "U.S." signified, a worker for Sam Wilson jokingly replied, "Why, those are the initials of 'Uncle Sam' Wilson." At War's end, the name "Uncle Sam" became synonymous with honesty, reliability, and dedicated patriotism. And so was born our national symbol.
     In conclusion, I feel it appropriate to reiterate that the bank collector should exercise caution when contemplating purchase of an "Uncle Sam Bust" bank, as the recasts outnumber the original by at least twenty to one!

The Boy on Trapeze Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1989

      The characteristics of grace, style and simplicity of form are applicable when describing the "Boy on Trapeze" mechanical bank (Figure I). Originally designated "French's Automatic Toy Bank" (possibly referring to the name of the inventor) when sold in the 1880s, this mechanical is recognized as one of the favorites among present-day collectors.
     Unfortunately, patent dates were not able to be located and other available information is limited in scope. However, the following advertising literature was useful in providing some information pertaining to this superb mechanical. Figure II is an advertising flyer which makes reference to the manufacturer: "The J. Barton Smith Co., Sole Manufacturers, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A."
     Another toy catalogue published by Carey Bros. and Grevemeyer from 1888-1889, advertised French's Bank for sale at the price of $12.75 per dozen. In addition to the discovery of the aforementioned flyer is an original wooden packing crate. Both these objects contain the following sentences which describe the operational process: "For one penny dropped in the head the boy revolves once. For a nickel twice. For a quarter dollar three times. For a half dollar six times." Inexplicably, the reverse of the original advertising card (Figure II) contradicts the aforementioned number of revolutions described in the flyer with reference to the insertion of a half dollar. To quote those instructions: "For a half dollar the boy will revolve four times."
     It is interesting to note that if attempts are made to operate the "Boy on Trapeze" with modern, alloy-clad coins, the proper number of revolutions, as described in the flyer, cannot be achieved without altering the shape of the balancing bar. It is advisable to refrain from attempt­ing to adjust the bank by bending this bar or any of its parts to gain the proper number of revolutions with new coins. I would recommend purchasing the appropriate old coinage from a numismatist. This would be less complex and relatively less expensive than the cost of repairing a mutilated, or possibly broken, bank.
     Deposited coins are removed by opening the trap door base plate underneath the bank. This is accomplished by turning the single screw one-quarter turn counterclockwise.
     There are no known casting variations of "Boy on Trapeze." However, the quality of its casting does deserve special mention. Few mechanicals, if any, posses the extremely graceful, finely pierced iron work, as evidenced by the base of this bank.
     There are two color variations of "Boy on Trapeze." These pertain solely to the figure of the boy, since all the bases are similarly decorated with a dark brown, japan finish. Some banks have the colors of the boys' shirt painted red with a ruffled blue collar, blue pants and red socks, as pictured in Figure I, while others have the boy's shirt painted blue with a ruffled red collar, red pants, and blue socks. In both variations his face and hands are painted an orange pink flesh color. The hat perched atop his head is bright red with a bold black stripe down the back. His hair, as well as the counterweight ball attached to his right foot, are a reddish brown. His shoes are painted black.
     It is important to note that all original "Boy on Trapeze" banks were never painted with facial details (i.e., eyes, eyebrows, mouth). Why these were omitted remains a mystery. In my humble opinion, the omission merely adds to the bank's attractiveness and charm.
     To date, there are no known reproductions of the "Boy on Trapeze." Nevertheless, a base diagram (Figure III) will aid the collector in determining the bank's size and scale. If a recast were discovered, its base dimensions would, most likely, be approximately one-eighth inch shorter than indicated.
     CORRECTION: (from May, 1990) In the June 1989 issue of Antique Toy World, "Boy on Trapeze" article, it was mistakenly stated that no reproductions of the bank exist. This bank was indeed reproduced several years ago by the Book of Knowledge Collection, and, more recently, a very crudely reproduced "Boy on Trapeze" had been imported to the United States from Taiwan. Please note that all reproductions are at least one-eighth of an inch smaller than the base diagram in the June 1989 article indicates.

The Boy and Bulldog Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1989

      Threatening and menacing would, perhaps, be apt descriptions of the subject of this month's article, "Boy and Bulldog" mechanical bank (Figure I). Only one other mechanical comes to mind which portrays "man's best friend" in a similarly adversarial position: the "Bulldog Savings Bank," Figure II, a product of the Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Refer to the November 1984 issue of Antique Toy World for further discussion of this bank.)
     Information relating to the design and patent date of "Boy and Bulldog" is sparse. This may be attributed to the fact that its producer, the Judd Manufacturing Company, of Wal­lingford, Connecticut, never applied for patents for any of its bank designs. However, an approximation of the time period in which it was marketed may be deduced from an advertisement for the sale of "Boy and Bulldog" which appeared in a 1887 issue of the C.F. Rice Company Toy Jobber's Catalog (Figure III). The ad reads as follows: "No. 3182 Length 4-1/2 in., maroon finish, per doz., $4.25. No. 3187 Length 4-1/2 in., ebony and gold, per doz., $4.50."
     Figure I pictures a bank decorated in the above-mentioned maroon finish. Close examination of this bank reveals attributes which are shared by the entire line of Judd mechanicals: namely, meticulously fine casting details in addition to simplicity of action and coloration. Observe the carefully delineated hair and ribs of the bulldog, the sharply defined collar, lapels and tiny buttons of the boy's rumpled jacket.
     The "Boy and Bulldog" was painted primarily with simple japan varnishes or metallic colors, as were most all mechanicals produced by Judd. Their palette included a shiny ebony finish, maroon lacquer, "fancy" gold-flecked brown japan varnish, gold and copper metallic and an occasional touch of white for an eye or red for a mouth. Examples of Judd banks do exist which differ from the aforementioned by use of multicolors. Some examples might have been factory-painted, but most were the whims of an early owner or bank collector. A word of caution: multicolored Judd banks should be closely scrutinized for paint and/or casting authenticity before contemplating purchase.
     Operation of "Boy and Bulldog" is non-complex. A coin is placed upon the slot between the boy and dog. A slight pull on the lever behind the boy causes him to tilt forward as if reaching for the coin; the bulldog rears backward, as if reacting to the lad's advance. Simultaneously, the coin drops into the base of the bank. These deposits are removed by unscrewing the entire base from its sides.
     Unfortunately, and understandably, the simplicity of the operating mechanism and castings encouraged the practice of abundant reproduction of many of the Judd banks. Thus, exceedingly scarce examples, such as "Bucking Mule," "Boy and Bulldog," "Circus Ticket Collector," "Peg Leg Beggar" and "Bear with Paws Around Tree Stump," are often inaccurately categorized as common. In truth, few collectors can boast of all-original, complete examples of these banks. Reproductions are easily detected since, unlike the original Judd banks, they are crude and pebbly in appearance and lack the fine, sharp details of an original.
     Several bronze examples of "Boy and Bulldog" and "Bucking Mule" do exist. It is my contention that, because of their extremely fine, detailed appearance, they most likely were original Judd foundry patterns which had been assembled by collectors into working banks. There is no known logical explanation as to why a company engaged in manufacturing a line of cast-iron mechanical banks would simultaneously produce the identical banks in bronze.
     Since it may be of interest to readers of this article, the following serves to enumerate and grade the entire repertoire of Judd mechanical banks according to their rarity. In descending order: "Giant," "Circus Ticket Collector," "Peg Leg Beggar," "Bucking Mule," "Boy and Bulldog," "Mosque," "Bear and Tree Stump," "Bulldog Standing," "Butting Goat," "Gem," "Snap-it" and "Dog on Turntable."
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Boy and Bulldog." A reproduced version would not necessarily appear smaller than the base diagram, since the original aforementioned patterns were often used to cast the "fakes." The most accurate method of determining a reproduction is the crude texture of the bank's surface and its lack of detail definition. Needless to say, the scarcity of original examples of "Boy and Bulldog" reflects accordingly on its price.

The Bull Dog Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1989

      Endowed by Nature with a cavernous mouth, the bulldog would appear to be a suitable subject for a mechanical bank. Indeed, manufacturers did regard this tenacious and bold breed of canine as a worthy representative for their animated products, as is evidenced by the "Bull Dog Bank" pictured in Figure I.
     An advertisement that appeared in the 1882 Winter edition of Ehrichs' Fashion Quarterly, a wholesale toy jobbers' catalog, is depicted in Figure II. The ad's copy most aptly captures a feeling the designer of this mechanical intended to convey when he chose the bulldog as subject for his design. I quote from the ad: "THE HUNGRY DOG BANK. Made of cast iron, and repre­senting a ferocious bull dog seated in an expectant attitude. Placing a coin upon the dog's nose and touching a spring, the dog immediately throws up the coin, opens his mouth, catches and swallows the coin, and recloses his jaws with a snap. Price 95 cents. (Cannot be sent by mail.)"
     The words "PATD APR 27 1880" inscribed underneath the baseplate facilitated the location of the patent papers (Figure III). They attest to the fact that the Bull Dog Bank was invented by James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on April 27, 1880, and assigned U.S. Patent Number 226,831. Further, a page from an early J. and E. Stevens Company catalog (Figure IV) identifies this company as the bank's manufacturer.
      Mr. Bowen was a most prolific and successful me­chanical bank designer of his day, working exclusively for the J. and E. Stevens Company. His accomplishments include "Creedmoor," "I Always Did 'Spice a Mule," "Owl Turns Head," "Two Frogs," "Elephant and Three Clowns," "Paddy and the Pig," "Reclining Chinaman," "Monkey and Coconut," "Darktown Battery," "Girl Skipping Rope," "Cat and Mouse, "Clown on Globe," "New Creedmoor," "Calamity" and "Clown and Harlequin."
     At first glance, operation and action of the Bull Dog Bank may appear simplistic; however, closer examination will reveal the action to be fairly complex. A coin is placed upon the flat, striated surface above the dog's nose. Its tail is then pulled downward. This activates the neck to recede into the body, the lower jaw to open and jut forward, and the rear section of the flat, striated surface over the dog's nose to rise up, causing the coin to slide forward and into its mouth. These depos­ited coins fall through the dog's body into the bank's square base, where they remain until retrieved. This is accomplished by removing the patented round Stevens-type coin retainer underneath the base-plate.
     I am not aware of casting variations, but there are two paint/color variations. One portrays the Bull Dog as black with white markings, sitting on a bright red blanket positioned on a black base. The other (Figure I) is painted "Brindle" colors, i.e., a mottled tan-and­brown color with white markings on its back, head, chest and paws. It has, as does the black variant, brown glass eyes with black pupils and a bright red tongue. It sits upon a blue blanket with an alternating blue-and-white border design. The dog's collar is black with spiked gold studs, and the base is dark brown with the words "THE BULL DOG BANK" painted bright red. Finally, there is a thin, white stripe highlighting the top edge of the lower platform of the base.
      It appears evident by the attractive appearance of the Bull Dog Bank, as well as all banks manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company, that a great deal of forethought and sensitivity were involved in coloration and artistry.
     Although the Bull Dog Bank is not, generally, considered to be "rare," few superb, unbroken examples exist. This may be due to its fairly complex mechanism which might have resulted in frequent malfunctioning. More than likely, a novice's crude attempts at repair may have caused breakage and irreparable damage. Thus, when a fine, complete example is offered for sale, it usually commands an appropriately high price.
     The Bull Dog Bank has been reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure V) to indicate its exact size. A recast will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base.

The Cat and Mouse Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1989

      The "GAME" of cat and mouse has, undoubtedly, amused and fascinated children of all ages. The oppositional relationship of these two creatures is, perhaps, best remembered by the animated cartoons which featured that madcap duo, Tom and Jerry (Figure I). Many of us are familiar with the antics of the tiny, yet ingenious, mouse as he eluded the seemingly formidable cat. Children squealed with anticipation as Tom, the buffoon, pursued the quick-witted Jerry. Despite a multitude of precarious situations, Jerry emerged unscathed while Tom was not only unsuccessful, but thoroughly humiliated.
     The "Cat and Mouse" bank (Figure II) may very well be considered the Tom and Jerry of the nineteenth century. Certainly, the similarity can only be attributed to its frolicsome and humorous aspects, with no serious threat intended. However, in sharp contrast with this is the fact that, during the final stages of pattern making at the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, the bank's manufacturer, a very different depiction of the bank was proposed. This information came to light many years ago after the closing and during the dismantling of the Stevens' Foundry, at which time several patterns were found. These patterns represented a cat holding a captured mouse in its jaws. Understandably, this gruesome situation was never utilized in the final production stages of the "Cat and Mouse" bank, but rather a cat dressed as a clown standing on its front paws and holding a mouse and ball between its hind paws. Fortuitously, these pattern parts fit quite easily into the tops of actual production "Cat and Mouse" banks (Figure III). Unfortunately, several of these combination pattern banks had been privately assembled and touted as rare original production banks. Nevertheless, these examples are quite valuable and offer historical interest to the mechanical bank historian and collector.
     The "Cat and Mouse" bank, illustrated in Figure II, was designed by James H. Bowen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was issued Patent number 450,833 on April 21, 1891. The words, "PAT APR 21 91," in raised letters beneath the bank's base plate facilitated location of the patent drawings shown in Figure IV. As evidenced by these patent drawings and the final production bank, the manufac­turer, J. and E. Stevens Company, adhered closely to Bowen's original design. Examination of these drawings does reveal two modifications. One addresses itself to a footed base plate. As shown in the photo of the bank in Figure II, this is omitted from the patent drawings altogether. The other modification is mechanical and relates to the mouse and ball situated between the cat's hind legs. The patent drawings indicate that the mouse and ball are movable, so as to rapidly rotate upon activation of the bank. As the bank appears in Figure II, that part was finally manufactured as a stationary component of the figure's casting.
     The action of the "Cat and Mouse" bank can be described as amusing and quite surprising. It is aptly explained in an 1891 Marshall Field and Company toy jobbers catalog advertisement, Figure V: "Cat and Mouse Bank. Place a coin in front of the mouse over the cat, press the lever, and as the coin disappears into the bank, the kitten, in fancy dress, appears, turning a somersault, holding the mouse and ball. Handsomely ornamented in fancy colors ... per doz. $8.50."
     The deposited coins are retrieved by way of a round Stevens-type coin trap underneath the base. The illustrated bank in Figure V and the photo, Figure II, both represent the "Cat and Mouse" subsequent to operation. In order to activate the bank, the figure of the "balancing cat" must first be pulled downward and snapped into place inside the back of the bank. This will reveal the figure of a mouse crouching upon a small rectangular platform. The coin is placed in front of this mouse prior to activating the bank.
     I am aware of no casting variations of the "Cat and Mouse" bank, but there are several color variants. These pertain to both the main body of the bank and the cat balancing atop it. The large cat's face on the front may be either white, highlighted around its edges in black, with blue eyes and black pupils, or several shades of bluish-grey with orange eyes. The colors of the front, sides and back of the bank can be reddish-brown with tan highlights, or yellow with reddish-brown highlights. The cat balancing atop the bank may also be clothed in a yellow costume having a red collar and red, ruffled cuffs at each paw, with red and blue buttons. This small cat's face should reflect the colors of the large cat's face on the front of the bank. Finally, the kitten may sport a red peaked cap.
     The bank pictured in Figure II presents a third color scheme: the main body is painted a light tan with the side ornamentation high­lighted in reddish-brown. This variant has the large face of the cat painted white surrounded by black. Its eyes are blue with black pupils and a bright red bow adorns its lower jaw. The cat balancing atop this bank is clothed in a red outfit adorned with a yellow collar and yellow ruffled cuffs at each paw, and tiny blue buttons. It sports a blue cap, and the colors of its face reflect the face of the large cat. In all three color variations, the operating lever, the decorative beading around the large cat's face, the floral design at the base and the rounded feet of the base plate are painted gold. The mouse is painted grey, and the ball suspended between the balancing cat's hind legs is white with red stripes.
     With its extremely colorful appearance, imposing size and in­triguing subject matter, it is not surprising that the "Cat and Mouse" bank is highly sought after by most bank collectors. A fine example might very well command a fine price.
     Reproductions of this bank do exist. Included, therefore, is a base diagram of an original (Figure VI) to aid the collector in the detection of a recast. Reproductions will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     As a further caution, more often than not, either one or more of the rounded base plate feet might be either repaired or replaced with recasts. In these instances, adjustment to the selling price would be appropriate.

The Rooster Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1989

     The role of leadership among peers would seem unlikely in the world of mechanical banks. However, particular mechanicals are in the enviable position of being favored by collectors. Pondering the characteristics of such "favorites," one might suppose intriguing subject matter, vivid coloration, size and design would be the determining factors. In opposition to this logic is the "Rooster" mechanical bank, pictured in Figure I.
     Despite its modest coloration, subtle action and a height of merely six inches, the "Rooster" has attained popularity with today's collector. Perhaps it is because of pleasant recollections of the "good life" on a farm or, to the city dweller, a fantasy of pleasantries of such a life.
     Unfortunately, very little documentation is available pertaining to either its inventor or manufacturer. It has, however, been the supposition of mechanical bank authorities and historians that the "Rooster" was manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company, of Frankford, Pennsylvania, one of the leading producers of cast-iron toys and mechanical banks during the period of time referred to as the "Golden Age of Banks" (i.e., late nineteenth century). The basis for this assumption is paint similarity in both color pigmentation and application techniques when compared with other authenticated Kyser and Rex banks, namely "Butting Buffalo," "Lion and Monkeys," "Organ Grinder" and "Performing Bear."
     The action of the "Rooster" bank may best be described as subtle. A coin is placed into the slot atop the tail. The lever at the end of the tail is then pressed downward. Simultaneously, the coin drops into the bank; the rooster's head and comb bob up and down, beak agape, replicating a crowing manner­ism. Retrieval of monies is achieved by unscrewing the two halves of the bank.
     Great care should be exercised when opening or disassembling this bank, since the internal parts are extremely thin and fragile, and easily damaged.
     There are neither casting nor color variations of the "Rooster." The colors of the mechanical (Figure I) are as follows: the body and tail feathers are a blackish-brown japanning, highlighted in silver and bronze. Its head and comb are painted bright red, accented with small, white spots under each eye. Its eyes are white with black pupils and a black eyebrow. Finally, the base is green, splotched with yellow and red.
     The "Rooster" mechanical bank is considered extremely common, and, in fact, numerous examples do exist. However, locating one in superb paint condition, completely original and working properly, can prove a frustrating task for even the most determined mechanical bank collector.
     To my knowledge, the "Rooster" has not been reproduced. Nonetheless, I am including a base dia­gram to aid the collector in determination of size and scale. If a reproduction were to surface, its base would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter than the diagram indicated in Figure II.

The Spring Jaw Kitten Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1989

      “Rare,” “colorful and "animated" so aptly describe the series of seven known Spring Jaw banks. Each of the seven represents a member of the animal kingdom, i.e., an English bulldog, a parrot, a mule, a chimpanzee, an alligator (refer to Antique Toy World, October 1987), Bonzo the dog (Antique Toy World, October 1988) and the subject of this article, a kitten.
     The "Spring Jaw Kitten" (seen in Figure I) is one of the most common in the series. However, to emphasize the rarity of these banks, only five or six examples of the kitten are known to exist. The scarcity of the series may, perhaps, be attributed to several factors. For example, the material from which it was composed, a zinc-alloy, is subject to deterioration under adverse conditions, and the result is oxidation with its white, powdery residue. Conversely, under proper conditions and care, these banks will always maintain their beauty and structural soundness. Secondly, castings were eggshell thin and easily broken with even the slightest mishandling. Finally, the difficulty in retrieving deposits due to the bank's small, heart-shaped, brass "trick lock" may have resulted in breakage. The depositor, unaware of the "secret" means to open the lock, had no alter­native but to destroy the bank by breaking the bead from its body.
     Unfortunately, there is no documentation relating to the manufacture of these banks. However, thanks to the imprinting of the name "GERMANY" under the base of each in the series, the country of origin is, at least, no mystery. Interestingly, this information answers the question of why no patent papers exist. Under German law (nineteenth and early twentieth centuries), small, unimportant objects such as these toys banks would have only been issued a Reichsgebrachsmuster, which loosely translates to an unimportant patent, or registered design. These documents, or papers, were filed for a period of fifteen years, after which time they were routinely destroyed.
     Operation of the "Spring Jaw Kitten" is uncomplex: coin insertion into the kitten's mouth (i.e., coin slot) activates an internal steel leaf spring attached to its lower jaw. This results in wiggling of the jaw, creating the illusion of "chewing." The masticated coins are retrieved by unfastening the "trick lock" and lifting the kitten's hinged head. (All of the banks in the spring jaw series have hinged heads secured by a small, brass, heart-shaped "trick lock.")
     The "Spring Jaw Kitten" does not vary in its casting or color. The colors of the bank, as pictured in Figure I, are as follows: both head and body are painted a light cool grey, with white and dark grey highlights. Its eyes are green with black pupils, and it has a tiny pink nose with black whiskers. Its mouth is painted pink, and two small white teeth may be seen protruding from its upper lips. The ribbon and bow around its neck are teal blue.
     The superb casting and painted details of the kitten, as well as the others in the series, are a tribute to the manufacturer. A personal opinion is that they may be likened to the same fine quality of a miniature polychromed Viennese bronze.
     To the best of my knowledge, none in the Spring Jaw series has been reproduced. However, Figure II is an outline drawing of the "Spring Jaw Kitten" to aid in the determination of its size and scale. Readers interested in learning the secret of undoing the "trick lock," lest the series suffer another casualty, should send inquiries with a description of their bank to: Sy Schreckinger, P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, New York.

Saalheimer and Strauss of Nuremberg, Germany
Two Salesmen’s Flyers

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1989

      The era of Mechanical bank production, known as the "Golden Age," was a period of time in which sev­eral major manufacturers flourished, both in the United States and abroad. During those years, which encompassed the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a wealth of cast-iron and tin gems emerged to delight children with their message of "penny saved, penny earned."
     Most major mechanical-bank-producing countries (i.e., United States, Canada and Great Britain) had retained their patent files, enabling dissemination of pertinent data relative to dates of production, inventors, manufacturers, etc. It is unfortunate, however, that patent laws governing mechanical banks invented in Germany during that period were responsible for the total lack of information available from that country. Those laws stipulated that patents which contributed little, or nothing, to industry or society be designated as Reichsgebrachsmuster, or, "small, insignificant patents." These were filed for a period of fifteen years and then routinely discarded, thus depriving those patented objects of a heritage.
     It is precisely because of this practice that the serious bank collector is pleased when factual information pertaining to these German banks surfaces. Establishment of time and place are important revelations when there is little or no known documentation.
     Recently, two rare, early salesmen's sample flyers from the Saalheimer and Strauss Toy Company*, of Nurnberg, Germany (Figures I and II), have been discovered. These have shed new light on several tin mechanical banks which previously were only presumed to have been produced by that manufacturer. They are: Tin Scotsman, Tin Bonzo, Jolly Joe the Clown, Harold Lloyd, British Lion, Saluting Sailor and Clever Dick. Because of similarity in design, configuration and mechanics to the banks illustrated, this writer feels the following may also be the products of Saalheimer and Strauss: Mickey Mouse, Tin Tiger, Tin English Bulldog, Tin Teddy Bear, African Na­tive and Clown and Dog and Monkey and Parrot. Several years ago, patent papers were located for the Tin Minstrel (See Figure I) and the Tin Sentry (Figure II), thereby offering indisputable proof that these banks were also products of Saalheimer and Strauss.
     It is interesting to note the importance many mechanical bank collectors are now placing on ephemera, such as Figures I and II, which relate to antique banks and their manufacturers. Previously considered valuable only to the historian, collectors have begun to pursue them with intensity. Many such pieces command a higher price than those objects they characterize!
     The Saalheimer and Strauss Company was engaged in the manufacture of tinplate toys and mechanical banks from 1928 to 1936, at which time production ceased and business was terminated.

The Owl Slot in Book Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1990

     Nocturnal habits and ominous hooting sounds are the trademarks of the owl. It is no wonder that, throughout time, this creature became associated with mysticism and the occult.
     Believed by ancient cultures to be a presager of events, the owl mistakenly became a symbol of intelligence, a misconception recently disproved by ornithologists. Its enormous eyes, capable of gathering light in dimly lit or darkened environments, and the attribute of wisdom are most vividly illustrated upon activation of the mechanical bank which is the subject of this article: "Owl Slot In Book" (Figure I). When a coin is inserted into the slot at the front edge of the book, the owl's saucer-like eyes lower, and then raise as the money is deposited.
     The "Owl Slot In Book" bank was one of four mechanicals designed by M. Elizabeth Cook, and subsequently manufactured by the Kilgore Manufacturing Company, of Westerville, Ohio. The four were collectively referred to, in Kilgore catalogs (circa 1920s‑1930s) and original packaging, as "The Thrifty Four" and "The Toytown Workers Group," and were named: "Blinky," the owl; "Flop Ears," the rabbit; "Jug-O-Rum," the frog; and "Pokey," the turtle. Of these, "Pokey" has the distinction of being not only the rarest of the four, but one of the rarest banks in the entire cate­gory of mechanicals.
     Two versions of "Blinky" were manufactured. These differ only in the respect that one, the earlier version, has the coin slot atop its head (Figure II). The other, or later "improved" version, has the slot in its book. The difference in the location of the coin slot resulted from a mechanical malfunction which occurred during its initial manufacture. Upon insertion of the coin into the slot atop the owl's head, jamming of the coin and mechanism were experienced. This prompted an immediate redesign by Kilgore to the more efficient Slot In Book version. It is because of the short duration of its production that the Owl Bank, Slot In Head, is considered the rarer of the two and will generally command a higher price.
     Both Owl banks react identically upon activation: the eyes roll downward and then upward as the coin drops into the bank. All banks in the "Thrifty Four" series utilize a small, oblong key-lock coin retainer underneath their bases. These may be either bright nickel plated or bare iron.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the entire bank is painted an overall light tan, highlighted with reddish-brown. The owl's eyes are bright orange with black pupils, and its beak is also orange with a black mouth and nostrils. There is a color variation which has the book under its right wing painted maroon. Despite their relatively small size and simplistic design, the series makes quite a charming and handsome display. To date, no known reproduction of "Owl Slot In Book" exists. Nevertheless, I am in­cluding a base diagram (Figure III), to aid the collector in determining size and scale.
     If, at a future date, the bank were to be recast from an original, it would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller across the base than indicated.

The Bulldog Standing Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1990

      Nature has proven herself, time and again, to be the indisputable inspiration for numerous subjects and ideas pertaining to the creation of toys and mechanical banks. An example is the square-jawed bulldog, possessor of the most sizable and seemingly voracious mouth of its species, the subject of the "Bulldog Standing" bank.
     Pictured in Figure I, this mechanical was manufactured by the Judd Manufacturing Company, of Wallingford, Connecticut. Unfortunately, very little information is available that relates to the patents and designs of any Judd bank. This may be attributed to the company's practice of abstaining from applying for and/or obtaining patents on their wares. Most often, when information does become available, it has been acquired from old catalogs and company correspondence. Figure II represents several pages from a rare 1885 Judd catalog which had recently been discovered by Mr. Mark Suozzi, an antique toy dealer from Ashfield, Massachusetts. Depicted is the "Bulldog Standing" bank, at the cost of $2.95 per dozen. In contrast, a single example, in superb condition, recently changed hands at the cost of $900.00!
     As evidenced by the bank portrayed in Figure I, and characteristic of all Judd banks, is the careful attention paid to the most minute details involved in their castings. Observe the definition of the hairs on the bulldog's body, as well as the collar around its neck. Securitization of other Judd banks, such as "Mosque," "Bear With Paws Around Tree Stump" and "Boy and Bulldog," will also attest to the casting skills of this renowned foundry.
     Other unique characteristics typifying Judd banks are simplicity of operation and painted decoration. A single lever, a nodding head or a simple crank was all that was needed to animate their creations.
     Operation of the "Bulldog Standing" mechanical is initiated by placement of a coin upon its extended tongue. The tail is raised, and the coin is simultaneously drawn into the bulldog's mouth and is thus deposited. Removal of the money is accomplished by undoing the large screw from the side of the dog's body and separating both halves.
     Most mechanicals produced by Judd were decorated with a single metallic or japan color. Their palette included a glossy, ebony finish; a dark purple varnish; a "fancy" brown japan varnish and gold and copper metallic paint. A touch of white or black for an eye and red for a mouth were occasionally utilized for enhancement. There are no casting variations of "Bulldog Standing." However, there are three color variants. The bank has been painted with ebony, brown japan or, as indicated by the bank pictured in Figure I, a copper color. (Note also the two small black dots for eyes.)
     Occasionally, one comes across a colorful example of an otherwise monochromatic Judd bank. Needless to say, close examination is advisable since, although factory-painted, authentic multicolored banks do exist, their rarity and premium price have spawned a plethora of contemporary, polychromatic forgeries. Unfortunately, fraudulence is not limited to the aforementioned. The simplicity of casting and operational parts of most Judd mechanicals have also encouraged the practice of abundant reproductions, thus giving the false impression that a greater amount of examples exist than is actually the case. It is fortunate, however, that these bogus recasts are easily detected. They are quite crude and pebbly in appearance and also lack the finely cast details associated with Judd banks.
     With the exception of "Dog on Turntable," "Gem" and "Snap-It," Judd banks can be classified as quite rare. It is not often that a collector is able to boast of "authentic" examples of "Giant," "Circus Ticket Collector," "Peg Leg Beggar," "Bucking Mule," "Boy and Bulldog," "Bear and Tree Stump," "Mosque," "Butting Goat" or "Bulldog Standing."
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Bulldog Standing" bank. A reproduction will appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Atlas Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1990

 Uranus, god of the Heavens, and Ge, goddess of Earth, bore six sons and six daughters. Referred to as the Titans, they were named Oceanus, Cocus, Cirus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Cronus, Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe and Tethys. The children intermarried and lived under the rule of Cronus and Rhea. When Cronus was deposed by his son, Zeus, the Titans joined in battle against Zeus, who had taken as his allies the gods of Olympus. Eventually, the Titans were overcome, and Atlas, son of Iapetus, was punished. Zeus condemned him to bear the Heavens upon his shoulders throughout eternity.

     It is the bearer of the Heavens, as depicted in the Greek myth, that was the inspiration for, and subject of, the "Atlas" bank. To date, no patent papers, advertisements or trade catalogs have surfaced which would shed light upon its designer and manufacturer. In addition, no significant physical or mechanical characteristics exist which might link it to its producer. Based solely upon the lack of advertising, it is questionable as to whether the bank was ever commercially produced. It might, perhaps, have been a "giveaway" by a financial institution such as a brokerage house or savings bank. The mechanical may have been manufactured prior to, or at, the turn of the century, since many of the countries depicted upon the globe were in existence during that period of time.
     The "Atlas" bank is quite unique in that its parts are a composite of a multitude of materials. The entire base is constructed of cast iron, the figure of Atlas is zinc-alloy, the globe is a solid wood sphere covered with paper and the operating lever is sheet steel.
     The words, "Money Moves the World," are written in raised letters across the top of the base. This proverb foretells the action which will ensue upon insertion of a coin. To activate the bank, the lever in front of Atlas is moved to the left. A coin is then placed into the exposed slot. As the lever is released, the coin falls into the bank and the globe spins atop the Titan's shoulders. These coins are removed by inserting a thin, bent, single-pronged key into the small hole beneath the base and pressing forward. This releases the entire front panel of the bank, allowing access to the deposits.
     There are no casting or color variations of the "Atlas" bank. The colors, as illustrated in Figure I, are as follows: the entire base is painted silver with all of the raised decorations and the name "ATLAS BANK" highlighted in gold. The top of the base and the figure of Atlas are also painted gold. The globe is covered with lithographed paper. The continents are tinted pink and yellow, and the oceans and seas are a light blue. Although sparse in color, the "Atlas" bank is considered by many to be extremely attractive and desirable. Lacking color, charm, humor and excitement, and stating the adage of economics, "Money Moves the World," it appears to be one of the few me­chanicals designed for adults rather than children.
     The "Atlas" bank is quite rare, especially when found in all-original and superb condition. When one considers the fragility of the various components, i.e., wood, paper and zinc-alloy, it is surprising that any examples have survived the ravages of time.
     To the best of my knowledge, there are no known reproductions. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram, Figure II, to aid the collector in determining the bank's size and scale.

The Monkey and Cocoanut Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1990

     During the “Golden Age” of mechanical banks (i.e., 1870-1920), the monkey had been utilized as the subject of more than a dozen different examples. Of' these, Monkey and Cocoanut (Figure I), emerges the leader in complexity and precision of coordinated action.
     The genius and ingenuity involved in the mechanics, timing and imaginative design of Monkey and Cocoanut could only be attributed to the accomplished nineteenth-century inventor and toy designer, James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On March 2, 1886, Bowen received Patent Number 337,125 (Figure II) for his Monkey and Cocoanut Bank. It was eventually manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, the sole foundry which produced all banks designed by Bowen. These include such notables as Girl Skipping Rope, I Always Did 'Spise A Mule (both versions), Bull Dog (Coin on Nose), Owl Turns Head, Two Frogs, Darktown Battery, Elephant and Three Clowns, Paddy and the Pig, Clown on Globe, Creedmore, A Calamity and Monkey and Cocoanut.
     It is known that several, if not all, of Bowen's bank designs were executed into casting patterns by John Page, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Page was a master pattern maker who worked primarily with hard wax and bronze. This contrasted with other pattern makers of' the day who worked with wood and soft lead-bearing alloys. There are casters who, even today, feel that wax modeling ultimately produces the sharpest pattern.
     Evidently, Bowen supplied the patterns produced by Page to the J. and E. Stevens Company who, in turn, utilized them for the mechanical bank production of his banks. This was a rare practice for Stevens, since the firm had one of the finest and most complete toy pattern-making facilities in the world, managed by the undisputed master bank designer, Charles A. Bailey.
     Correspondence exists between J. and E. Stevens and James Bowen, indicating assemblage difficulties encountered at the foundry pertaining to certain of Bowen's banks. This, undoubtedly, was due to Bowen's penchant towards complicated internal mechanisms and complex externally fitted parts. The collector who may perhaps doubt the quandary J. and E. Stevens experienced might attempt the reassembly of a Reclining Chinaman, Two Frogs, Paddy and the Pig or the Monkey and Cocoanut.
     There are no known casting or color variations of the Monkey and Cocoanut. The colors of the bank, as shown in Figure I, are as follows: the monkey and his cocoanut are a dark cocoa brown. The monkey's face and chest are tan, and gray highlights its eyes as well as the creases in its face. Its lower lip is painted bright red. Its eyes are white with reddish brown irises, and its pupils are black. The foliage upon which the monkey rests is bright green, and the lower square edge of the base is bright red. Finally, the interior of the cocoanut and the underside of the base are painted creamy white.
     Indicative of the meticulous attention James Bowen paid to every detail of his creations, even those hidden from view, is the base plate of Monkey and Cocoanut. Reminiscent of the base plate of his Darktown Battery bank, it is a configuration of' delicate swirls and graceful, pierced openwork designs.
     Operation of the bank is extremely amusing: a coin is inserted between the thumb and forefinger of the monkey's right paw. The lever at the rear of the base is then depressed. Simultaneously, its left forearm rotates to the left, opening the cocoanut, whereupon the coin drops from its right paw into it. The monkey appears to exhibit a smirk upon its face as it opens its mouth. Eyes roll downward, gleefully following the coin's descent through the opened cocoanut and into the base. Upon release of the lever, the cocoanut slams shut, and the bank returns to the position illustrated in Figure I. Deposits are regained by removal of the round Stevens-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     I am not aware of any reproduction of the Monkey and Cocoanut bank. Nevertheless, Figure III is a base diagram to aid the collector in determining size and scale. If a reproduction were to surface, its base would be approximately one-eighth inch shorter than indicated.

The Rabbit in Cabbage Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1990

      “Charming” and “petite” best describe the "Rabbit in Cabbage" mechanical bank. Portraying the classic image of a small rabbit with its nose nestled between the leaves of succulent cabbage, the bank as shown in Figure I, is quite reminiscent of the illustrious Beatrix Potter's Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies and Tales of Peter Rabbit, published in 1909.
     Although there has been no previous mention of the similarities between Ms. Potter's tales of the Flopsy Bunnies and the mischievous Peter Rabbit with his insatiable appetite for Mr. McGregor's cabbages and the "Rabbit in Cabbage" mechanical bank, mere coincidence appears unlikely. Perhaps it was Ms. Potter's delightful illustrations (Figure II) that captivated Ms. M. Elizabeth Cook, a highly acclaimed artist and sculptress in her own right, and prompted her to design "Rabbit in Cabbage."
     Unfortunately, to date, no patent information has been located; however, pertinent data relating to this mechanical, as well as three others designed by Ms. Cook, have been obtained through advertisements and catalogs and place the date of their manufacture sometime between 1920 and 1934.
     Ms. Cook's banks were produced by the Kilgore Manufacturing Company of Westerville, Ohio. The four were collectively referred to, in Kilgore ads and catalogs, as "The Thrifty Four". and "The Toytown Workers Group." They were christened "Blinky," the owl; "Jug-O-Rum," the frog; "Pokey," the turtle; and "Flop Ears," the rabbit. Not only is "Pokey" the rarest of the four, but it has the distinction of being one of the rarest in the entire mechanical bank category. This may be explained by the fact that, at the time of its manufacture, the Kilgore Company was experiencing a great deal of difficulty resolving an internal malfunction. This resulted in the removal of "Pokey" from production, and the few remaining working examples were distributed amongst the employees of Kilgore, free of charge.
     Unlike most mechanical banks of the period which were packaged in individual wooden boxes, each of "The Thrifty Four" were sold in individual cardboard boxes (Figure III). The container designated for "Flop Ears," the rabbit, Figure III, has the following poems inscribed upon its side:
   
          "Flop-Ears the Rabbit hops around
          Lifting his ears for every sound
          He sees Blinky the Owl, high in an Oak
          And hears the Frog, Jug-O-Rum croak,
          And wonders if Pokey, the Turtle, so slow,
          Can catch up with him, if he hops real slow."
               and
          "Flop-Ears the thoughtful Rabbit says,
          'Get the saving habit.' "
   
     Activation of "Flop Ears" is achieved by pressing a coin into the slot behind its ears. This accomplished, the ears will raise slightly and then drop as the coin falls into the bank. The deposited monies are removed by opening the small rectangular key-lock coin retainer underneath the base of the bank. Most often, these coin retainers are nickel plated, but original non-plated examples do exist.
     There are no casting variations of "Rabbit in Cabbage," but there are two color variations. The earlier-produced banks portrayed a light tan rabbit, much closer in coloration to Ms. Potter's Flopsy Rabbit characters. "Rabbit in Cabbage" banks manufactured at a later date had the rabbit painted a creamy white color. In both varieties, the rabbit has dark pink eyes with black pupils. The cabbage is white with an applied bright green texture that strongly defines the leaves. The base is painted a medium yellow-green with dark brown upright paint strokes around the entire perimeter of the base, representing grass or weeds. The jewel-like coloration of "Flop Ears," as well as the other members of "The Thrifty Four," make for an extremely appealing set of mechanicals.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of this series. Nevertheless, as is my custom, I am including a base diagram, Figure IV, to aid the collector in determining size and scale of the bank. If a reproduction were to surface, it most likely would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter in length than indicated.
     CORRECTION: In the June 1989 issue of Antique Toy World, "Boy on Trapeze" article, it was mistakenly stated that no reproductions of the bank exist. This bank was indeed reproduced several years ago by the Book of Knowledge Collection, and, more recently, a very crudely reproduced "Boy on Trapeze" had been imported to the United States from Taiwan. Please note that all reproductions are at least one-eighth of an inch smaller than the base diagram in the June 1989 article indicates.

The Spring-Jawed Bulldog
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1990

      The "Spring-Jawed Bulldog" (Figure I) is one of seven subjects which comprise a series of banks known as the "Spring-Jawed" mechanicals. Other members of this unique set include: Bonzo, the dog; an alligator; a mule; a chimpanzee; parrot; and a kitten. Although the entire Spring-Jawed group is scarce, the "Bulldog" is considered one of the rarest. Because only three or four examples are known to exist in collections, it also qualifies for inclusion into the "rare" category for all mechanical banks.
     The entire Spring-Jawed series is composed of a zinc-lead alloy. The low melting point of these metals made it an ideal medium for the slush-metal casting process. This method of production entailed filling a multi-sectioned, hollow mold with a molten solution of the alloy. As the liquefied metal cooled and solidified around the inside walls of the mold, the remaining hot solution was quickly expelled. Once fully cooled, the mold was separated, revealing a perfectly detailed, hollow positive image.
     Needless to say, extreme caution should be exercised when handling any zinc-lead alloy bank. The eggshell-thin casting and fragile nature of the metal makes it susceptible to breakage and may very well account for the rarity of the Spring-Jawed series.
     Operation of the "Spring-Jawed Bull­dog" is uncomplex. A coin is inserted through its mouth, activating a thin, internal steel leaf spring attached to the dog's lower jaw. This creates a wiggling action, giving the illusion of the pup chewing the ingested money. The deposits are removed by first undoing a small, heart-shaped "trick lock" beneath its jaw and then opening its hinged head.
     There are no casting of color variants of the "Spring-Jawed Bulldog." The colors of the bank (Figure I) are as follows: the dog is painted a milk-chocolate brown, with dark brown and gray highlights. It has white eyes with brown irises and black pupils. Its mouth is pink, and it has white teeth with a red tongue. The collar around its neck is tan, and the "trick lock" which is sus­pended from its neck is of unpainted brass. Unfortunately, very little is known about the manufacturer or dates of production of these scarce banks. Had it not been for the word, "GERMANY," printed upon their bases, the country of origin would also have been an enigma.
     It may be assumed, perhaps, that lack of pertinent data relating to the Spring-Jawed series was the result of a practice common to nineteenth-century German patent law. During this period non-essential or insignificant products were given the designation, "Reichsgebrachsmuster." It was, in effect, a registered design rather than a true patent. It was also the unfortunate practice to routinely destroy these registration documents after only fifteen years. This created a void for future mechanical bank collectors and researchers, with no information available other than their country of origin.
     To conclude, one should not underestimate the "Spring-Jawed Bulldog" because of its small size and simplistic action. The slush-metal molded process allows for ex­tremely well-detailed casting. Combined with highly imaginative and skillfully applied coloration, this rare gem is an attrac­tive addition to any mechanical bank collection.
     To the best of my knowledge, none of the Spring-Jawed banks have been reproduced. However, I am including a contour drawing of the "Bulldog," Figure II, to aid the collector in determining size and scale.
     Any further information which would shed light upon this, or other, banks in the Spring-Jawed series would be greatly appreciated and presented in future articles.

The Organ Grinder and Performing Bear
(Part II, An Update)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1990

      Additional information has come to my attention pertaining to the "Organ Grinder and Performing Bear" bank. In my article (refer to the August 1986 issue of Antique Toy World), I had discussed the bank's action and lack of any casting variations. Since its writing, I've become aware of an "Organ Grinder and Bear" bank in which the figure of the organ grinder differs significantly in both casting and animation and may be classified as a variant. The common figure, as described in the August 1986 article and pictured in Figure I, possesses a left hand that is motionless and lies flat atop the organ. Activation of the bank results in rotation of the right hand, as if cranking the instrument. In the newly discovered variation, the organ grinder's left hand is no longer stationary and a fixed part of the casting, but moves independently at the wrist joint. Activation of this mechanical appears to nudge the coin atop the organ into the slot (Figure II), while the action of the right hand remains identical to the aforementioned version.
     Both variations of the "Organ Grinder and Performing Bear" were manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company, of Frankford, Pennsylvania, in, or around, the year 1882.
     My thanks to Dr. Greg Zemenick for sharing this information, and in whose fine collection the variant resides.

The Perfection Registering Bank
(Part II, An Update)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1990

      A newly discovered color and casting variant of "Perfection Registering" bank has recently come to my attention. Prior to discussion of this "find," I make reference to my article in the April 1986 issue of Antique Toy World in which the "Perfection Registering" mechanical was described as having no known color variations and as follows: "The entire bank is an overall cream color. The floral designs, the newsboy in the front panel, the soldier standing guard and the lion's head embellishing the end panel are painted gold. The little girl has blond hair, black eyes, a white blouse and apron and a bright orange waistband. Her dog is white with black spots and tiny black eyes. The top of the platform she stands upon is colored a dusty rose, and there is a bright orange flourish on the wall facing the girl. The coin registering label is printed on bluish-black paper, with gold lettering. Underneath the base plate are cast the words, " 'PAT APLD FOR.' "
     In contrast, and worthy of mention in view of its extremely attractive appearance, is the aforementioned variant. This version is painted an overall lilac color, highlighted in gold. The top of the platform the little girl stands upon is bright yellow, and the back wall to which the registering label is affixed is painted indigo. The little girl and her dog, as well as the paper label, do not differ from the bank described in the 1986 article, except for a lilac hem at the bottom of her dress.
     Underneath the base plate, and cast into the iron, are the words, "PATD-JAN 10, 1893." With the addition of the patent date, one may conclude that this example of the "Perfection Registering" bank is of later production than the one inscribed "PAT APLD FOR" in the 1986 article.

The Uncle Tom Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1990

      The moral issues of bondage and enslavement divided the peoples of the United States and eventually led to the eruption of the violent and bloody Civil War. A major factor influencing the cause of the War, as many historians are apt to agree, was Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which appeared in book form in 1852. Known also as Life Among the Lowly, the story was originally featured in the National Era, an anti-slavery publication emanating from Washington, D.C. Uncle Tom, the leading character in the Stowe novel, was portrayed as a slave who maintained his dignity and respect despite horrendous acts of cruelty by his white slave masters. His name became associated with, and a synonym for those blacks who exhibit passive or servantile behavior towards white persons. Although the Civil War ended in 1860 and Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed the slave population, there was no end to the degradation perpetrated against blacks. A plethora of racist literature, music, objects and children's playthings continued to be produced. On January 24, 1882, Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex received Patent number 252,607 for their invention of the "Uncle Tom" mechanical bank (Figure I). Subsequent to receipt of the patent, their company, Kyser and Rex Foundry, of Frankford, Pennsylvania, manufactured the toy (Figure II). Other mechanical banks produced by Kyser and Rex which depicted black persons in demeaning situations were "Baby Mine," "Uncle Remus" and "Butting Buffalo."
     Operation of the "Uncle Tom" bank (Figure II) is quite simplistic. The lever located in its back is pressed inward. Held in this manner, the tongue is forced to protrude, and Tom's eyes roll upward. The coin is then placed upon the extended tongue, and the lever is released. The tongue then recedes, drawing the money into the bank, completing the deposit. Coins are removed via a key lock coin retainer underneath the base. (Of interest is the fact that all of the original coin retainers have the initials "U.T." cast into them.)
     There are several color, casting and mechanical variations of the "Uncle Tom" bank. The colors of the bank photographed in Figure II are as follows: Uncle Tom's face is painted chocolate brown, and his hair and eyebrows are glossy black. His eyes are white, outlined with thin, black lines and tiny, black pupils. The corners of each eye are marked with red, as are his nostrils, lips and tongue. Tom sports a blue jacket with a white collared shirt and yellow bow tie, decorated with blue polka dots. The words, "UNCLE TOM" on his lapels and the raised star on his chest are highlighted in gold.
     Other color variations indicative of this particular casting include a jacket that is painted either olive green, grayish-green, yellow or red. Bow ties may be either red or yellow, and the polka dots may be painted red or yellow or blue.
     Casting variations include an example similar to the bank represented in Figure II, except that there is no star on Tom's chest. Another, and more dramatic, variant of the "Uncle Tom" bank is a jacket without lapels. This variety differs also in its mechanics and action. A coin is first placed upon the tongue inside the mouth. Depressing the lever at the rear of the bank causes the eyes to roll downward and the tongue to recede, thus depositing the coin. These lapel-less "Uncle Tom" banks possess either blue or red jackets and polka-dotted red or yellow bow ties. Why Kyser and Rex chose to manufacture several casting and mechanical variations remains a mystery to both historian and bank collector alike.
     Variation, color or casting have no significant bearing on the bank's monetary value or selling price. Factors to consider when appraising this mechanical are overall paint condition and originality. A mechanical in "mint" condition is likely to command as much as five times the price of an average example.
     It is interesting to note an advertisement from the 1886 edition of a Montgomery Ward and Company catalog (Figure III) offering the "Uncle Tom" bank at forty-five cents each. Although not considered rare, a mint example recently changed hands at $2,500!
     I am not aware of any reproductions of the "Uncle Tom" bank. Nevertheless, the base diagram, represented in Figure IV, will aid the collector in determining size and scale. If the bank were reproduced, it would appear ap­proximately one-eighth inch smaller than indicated.
     To conclude, it is truly unfortunate that toys which represented racism were manufactured for the entertainment of children. Possibly, the "Uncle Tom" bank's only redeeming quality is its historical significance, for it reflects a period in our history of which few, if any, are proud.

The Leap-Frog Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1990

      There are those penny banks which reflect a period of time in which life was far less complex a time when children could be delighted and amused with simpler pleasures. One such mechanical, the "Leap-Frog" bank (Figure I) portrayed chil­dren at play. Interestingly, this mechanical is one of only three manufactured antique banks* that utilized this particular subject matter. Considering its appeal to the young, it appears odd that designers of that period did not employ that theme more frequently.
     The "Leap-Frog" bank was invented by Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, who were granted Design Patent Number 21,036 (Figure II) on September 15, 1891. Comparison of both the final production bank and the patent drawing with its description, Figures I and II, will reveal that its manufacturer, Shepard Hardware Company, of Buffalo, New York, adhered closely to the patent design. In addition, Shepard Hardware may be commended for craftsmanship and artistic skills, as exhibited in their designs and painted decorations. Examination of any of their banks through a magnifying glass indicates exquisitely executed facial details, enabling one to understand why, to date, Shepard remains unequalled in the art of mechanical bank decoration.
     Unfortunately, this fine paint work cannot always be appreciated. Unlike most other bank manufacturers of the time, Shepard omitted the process of undercoating prior to painting their banks. Inevitably, this resulted in a loss of much of the paint due to heat, moisture and excessive handling.
     The "Leap-Frog" bank has no casting or color variations. The colors of the bank, as pictured in Figure I, are as follows: both boys' hands and faces are a pink flesh color. The corneas of their eyes are white, with black irises, eyelashes and eyebrows. Their hair is also painted black. The figure which stoops over has a red cap, blue shirt with red trim, red pants, a yellow belt, blue socks and black shoes. The standing figure sports a blue cap, a bright yellow shirt with red trim, a red belt, blue trousers, red socks and black shoes. The rear wall of the bank, which suggests a fence, is painted yellow ochre, with white lines separating the boards. The entire base is bright green and the words, "LEAP-FROG BANK" are highlighted in gold. The tree stump is painted grey and dark brown. The areas representing newly-cut wood are yellow, with the age rings and grain finely delineated in brown. Finally, the entire back of the fence is painted red.
     Operation of the "Leap-Frog" bank is quite appropriate to the subject: a coin is placed into the slot atop the tree stump. The standing figure of the boy is first raised over the figure of the boy who stoops, and is then snapped into place behind him. The lever on the backside of the fence is released while, simultaneously, the standing figure leaps forward over his companion’s back. His right hand pushes a square lever that extends from the tree stump, and which, in turn, opens an internal baffle that allows the coin to fall into the bank. Deposits are removed via a square key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     The "Leap-Frog" bank is not considered rare. However, it is quite scarce, and particularly in superb paint condition. Such examples usually command a much higher price than those in average condition.
     To date, several reproductions of this fine bank have been manufactured. It is not difficult to discern the original from the recast, since reproductions are extremely crude and lack the Shepard square key-lock coin retainer.
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Leap‑Frog" bank. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth-inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     * Girl Skipping Rope — manufactured by J. & E. Stevens, Co., Cromwell, Connecticut; Roller-Skating Bank — manufactured by Kyser & Rex Co., Frankford, Pennsylvania.

The Chief Big Moon Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1990

      It may be stated, and appropriately so, that most mechanical banks are charming and quite entertaining. However, few possess the imaginative quality of the subject of this article, the "Chief Big Moon" bank (Figure I).
     It has never been established whether Charles A. Bailey, inventor of the bank, derived the idea for its subject matter from an old American Indian folk tale. Or was it, perhaps, the product of his own fertile imagination? The godlike representation of the frog most certainly imparts a mythical quality to this bank.
     Description of the bank's action might suggest an old Indian legend: a squaw sits at the entrance of her tepee, cooking a freshly caught fish over the glowing embers of a dying fire. Before her lies the serene water of Big Moon Lake. Insertion of a coin into the slot directly under the fish results in the sudden emergence of a large frog from the lake, whose intent is to devour the squaw's meal. She then pulls the fish from the bold amphibian's reach and, simultaneously, the coin drops into the base.
     "Chief Big Moon" has a small operating lever located at the left of the fire pit. This enables the aforementioned action to be initiated without utilization of a coin. Many collectors are of the belief that the bank is activated solely by this lever; however, as stated within the patent papers (Figure II), this was not the inventor's intent.
     In order to reset the bank, the hinged lake is lifted and the frog is returned to its hiding place within the base of the bank. Deposited coins are retrieved by removal of a round, Stevens-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     Invention of this mechanical is attributed to Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Connecticut. He was granted Patent Number 630,795 for its design on August 8, 1899 (Figure II). For the sum of $1200, he assigned all rights for its manufacture and even­tual marketing to his employer, the J. and E. Ste­vens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. As evi­denced by the patent drawings, Figure II, and the final production bank, Figure I, the Stevens Com­pany adhered closely to Bailey's design.
     Figure III represents a page from an early twentieth-century J. and E. Stevens catalog which offered the "Indian Camp" bank for $1.00, each packed in its own wooden box. Quite an investment when one considers the recent selling price of a fine example! To date, no documentation exists as to when collectors began referring to the bank as the "Chief Big Moon" rather than by the manufacturer's designation. Why they did is obvious, as the name "Chief Big Moon" is cast into both sides of the base.
     There are no major casting variations other than a slight wording difference pertaining to a registered patent designation located underneath the base plate. However, there are two color variations. These pertain only to the bases, whereas the colors of the upper platform and top section of the banks remain constant throughout both examples. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: sides of the oval base and the tepee are a deep gold. The Indian symbols, papoose, toma­hawks, the bust of the chief, the name "Chief Big Moon," the wide band along the lower edge of the base and the fish held over the fire by the squaw are painted silver. The entire top platform is yellow-green, highlighted with metallic copper. The lake is light blue. The two ducks are painted white, as is the water lily, with the addition of bright green leaves. The frog is painted dark green, with a yellow-ochre underside. It has yellow corneas with black pupils and a red mouth. The squaw's skin is brown. She has black hair, white corneas with black pupils, and a tan skirt. The glowing embers of the fire pit are painted metallic copper. To the left of the squaw is a blue flower with a white center.
     The colors of the variant are nearly identical to the bank described in the previous paragraph. The exception is the sides of the base, which are painted red and yellow rather than gold and silver. Many collectors place a premium on the red and yellow version. It is my opinion that color combinations are a matter of taste, and the true determination of a bank's value lies in its rarity, originality and paint condition.
     "Chief Big Moon" is scarce, especially with its original fish intact. The collector should be aware that, most often, this part is either missing or replaced with a recast piece.
     The "Chief Big Moon" mechanical bank has been reproduced several times over the years. I am, therefore, including a base diagram, Figure IV, to aid the collector in determining an original from a recast. The reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.

Girl in Victorian Chair
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1990

      The familiar and so oft used phrase, "Good things come in small packages," most appropriately describes the mechanical bank pictured in Figure I (actual size). Spanning a height of merely four inches, the "Girl in Victorian Chair" humbly resides on the shelves of a few fortunate collectors.
     Little is known of the heritage of this tiny gem. To date, no information has surfaced relating to its designer, manufacturer or its originally designated name. Early bank collectors began referring to this mechanical as "Girl in Victorian Chair" based solely upon its appearance and as a means to distinguish it from other, similar mechanicals.
     One might assume that, because of its small size and subject matter, the bank may have been designed to appeal specifically to young girls. It is not difficult to imagine "Girl in Victorian Chair" being placed into a little girl's doll house.
     Several theories have emerged over the years relating to the designer and manufacturer of this particular mechanical. These have been based primarily upon construc­tion, design and coloration. Some credit its design to Charles A. Bailey, in view of the similarities between it and two cast-iron bell toys (i.e., "Daisy" and "Christmas Morn") which Bailey designed for manufacture by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. In both toys the faces of the little children bear a striking resemblance to our little friend seated in her Victorian chair.
     Others attribute its production to the W. S. Reed Toy Company of Leominster, Massachusetts. This assumption is based upon the similar design and painted element of "Girl in Victorian Chair" and the "Little Red Riding Hood" bank. Both have fringes cast into the sides of their bases which are painted a dark brown, japan color, highlighted with gold. In addition, the slot design at the tops of the bed and chair of each bank also bear a striking resemblance to one another. To complicate matters further, it should be noted that there is no conclusive evidence that the "Red Riding Hood" bank was actually manufactured by the W. S. Reed Toy Company. The supposition is based upon similarities between it and the "Old Woman in the Shoe" bank, which has been positively identified as a product of the W. S. Reed Company.
     Operatin of "Girl in Victorian Chair" is quite simplistic. A coin is placed within the appropriate slot atop the chair. The small lever in the back is then moved towards the right side. Simultaneously, the small dog resting on the girl's lap moves forward and the coin falls into the bank. Retrieval of the deposited currency is achieved by disassemblement of the two halves, via a single screw through its back.
     There are no known casting variations. However, there are several color variants which all pertain to the little girl's dress and her dog. The dog could be either light or dark tan, and the child's dress may be blue or red or white. The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the face, arms and legs of the girl are a light pink, flesh color. She has blonde eyebrows and hair. Her eyes are dark blue, as is her dress, and her mouth is painted red. Her little dog is light tan. The chair is japanned an overall dark brown, highlighted in gold.
     The "Girl in Victorian Chair" is scarce, and few collectors can boast of an example in their collection. Rarity, coupled with simplicity of construction, were the factors contributing to replication of this fine mechanical. Figure II is a base diagram of an original "Girl in Victorian Chair" bank. A reproduction would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter along the base than the dimension indicated.

The Cross-Legged Minstrel Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1990

      Negro minstrelsy was a popular form of entertainment in England as well as the United States during the nineteenth century. Appearing in gaudy, swallow-tailed coats and striped trousers, faces blackened with burnt cork, minstrel performers delighted audiences with their music, songs and im­personations. The "Cross-Legged Minstrel" bank, shown in Figure I, is a fine example of such a performer and, if it were not for the overt racist verse printed upon its base, one might describe this bank as charming and amusing. I quote from the phrase printed at the base of the minstrel's feet: "Put in a coin, the lever press down tight/Then you will see a Nigger most polite."
     The "Cross-Legged Minstrel" bank was designed by the J. Levy Company, of White Cross Street, London, England, and granted United Kingdom Patent No. 543,231 on June 4, 1909. It is commonly assumed that the bank was manufactured in Germany. This belief is based upon the similarity of material, construction and lithography to several banks known to have been manufactured in Germany during this time. These include: "Royal Trick Elephant," "Monkey With Tray" and "Snake Frog in Pond." Most likely, Levy acted only as the designer and wholesale distributor, jobbing out actual production to foreign manufacturers.
     It is interesting to note that, while most mechanical banks manufactured in the United States during that era were produced from cast iron, almost all of those produced in Germany were fabricated from tin plate.
     The rarity of German tin banks, in contrast to most of the cast-iron banks produced in America, is easily explained. Prior to the First and Second World Wars, German command ordered the voracious and fanatical collection and reclamation of all metal objects for usage in war machinery. This, in addition to the fragility of these tin banks, leads one to wonder how any were able to survive.
     The "Cross-Legged Minstrel" is an extremely attractive mechanical. For the price of a single coin deposited into the minstrel's chest, the nattily attired entertainer tips his top hat in a most genteel manner. He acknowledges your generosity by exposing the words, "Thank You" on the top of his head. Deposits are removed via a small trapdoor-type key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     Examples of the "Cross-Legged Minstrel" which contain the previously mentioned racist phrase are extremely rare. Most of the banks located have had the verse deleted. The logical explanation for its removal may possibly be its exportation to countries which might have considered such racial sentiments quite distasteful.
     Examples of this tin mechanical, both with and without verse, account for the only variants known. The colors of the "Cross-Legged Minstrel" are as follows: the minstrel's face and hands are black; his corneas are white, with black pupils; and his lips are red. His jacket is bright red with a yellow flower in its lapel. The shirt is white, and the bow tie is green. The minstrel sports a yellow vest with gold buttons, and a gold watch fob and chain. His pants are blue and white-striped, his shoes are orange and his hat is yellow with a black band. He leans against a tan and green tree stump. Green vines with red flowers creep up at the rear. The base he stands upon simulates green grass with red flowers. A red band circumscribes the entire lower portion of the bank. The prejudicial verse is printed in black, as is the patent number on the reverse: "Rd No 543,231."
     The "Cross-Legged Minstrel" is quite scarce and extremely difficult to find in all-original, unbroken condition. A superb example recently sold for several thousand dollars. This is a sizable sum when we con­sider their cost, as indicated in a 1909 Butler Broth­ers Toy Wholesalers Catalog. The "Automatic Negro Bank," as it was originally designated, was priced at $1.85 per dozen!
     To date, there are no known reproductions of "Cross-Legged Minstrel." Nevertheless, the base dia­gram (Figure II) will aid the collector in determining size and scale.

The Home Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1991

      Comprising possibly the largest single category of mechanical banks is the group referred to as "building banks." These can be classified as mechanicals which either incorporate a building or dwelling into its design (i.e. "Dog on Turntable", Antique Toy World, September 1987) or utilize the building as the subject of the bank. An example of the latter, and the topic of this article, is the "Home Bank" (Figure I) which represents a savings bank building. Oddly, few mechanicals were designed with this particular theme. Both the "Home Bank" and "Hall's Excelsior" (refer to Antique Toy World, February 1984) incorporate printed "Cashier" labels into their designs for the purpose of identifying the figures accepting deposits as bank employees.
     On July 16, 1872, Doras A. Stiles of Middletown, Connecticut, was granted Patent Number 129,615 for the "Home Bank" (Figure II). The final production bank (Fig­ure I), manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, deviated from the patent designs only by its omission of dormer windows. Of considerable interest is the fact the dormer window design is one of several casting variations of the "Home Bank." For example, the figure of the gentleman in the doorway may be identified either with a flat paper "CASHIER" label, or with the word "CASHIER" in raised letters cast into the front of his desk. The figure of the man may also be cast from iron or a lead alloy. A page from an early J. and E. Stevens Company catalog (Figure III) indicates an additional variant of the "Home Bank," one which eliminates the man's figure entirely. I have never seen a factory-produced example of this particular variant, but rather those which have had the figure broken off or removed from the banks after they were purchased.
     Aside from the aforementioned casting variations, the "Home Bank" was offered in several color combinations. There are examples painted red, white and blue or red, yellow and blue. The colors of the bank portrayed in Figure I are as follows: the top of the roof is tan; the chimney has a green, scalloped edge with a thin, brown stripe separating the green from the tan. The lower half of the roof is brown, with a yellow line following the contour of its four edges. The walls of the bank are predominantly tan, and the windows, arches, sills and corner brick designs are painted bright green. The activating knob to the right of the doorway is black, and the entire base, as well as the words "HOME BANK" are brown. The cashier has a pink, flesh-colored face and hands; his hair, eyes, eyebrows, moustache and goatee are black, as is his jacket which has bright gold buttons. His desk is blue with a red and yellow frame enclosing the paper "Cashier" label. The outside door, which is exposed prior to activating the bank, is dark blue; its arches are painted bright yellow, bordered by a white, striped design. (The figure of the man may also be garbed in a red jacket.)
     Activation of the "Home Bank" is aptly described within the catalog page (Figure III): "Pull the knob until it catches; place the penny on its edge in front of the Cashier; push the knob to the right, and the deposit is made in the vault at the rear of the Bank." The deposited coins are removed by unscrewing the long bolt through the center of the chimney and disengaging the roof. This complicated method of coin extraction probably accounts for the many incomplete, poor and damaged examples presently in collections. A superb example will command a price in excess of ten fold that of a merely average "Home Bank."
     To date, I am not aware of the existence of any reproductions. Nevertheless, Figure IV is a base diagram to aid the collector in discerning size and scale. If a reproduction were manufactured, its base would be approximately one-eighth inch smaller in width than indicated.
     Addendum: For years it was erroneously believed that the inventor of the "HOME BANK," Doras A. Stiles, was a woman. This assumption was quite understandable since the name "Doras" might easily be mistaken for a modification of the spelling of the female name "Doris." Several years ago, noted mechanical bank historian, Mark Haber of Wethersfield, Connecticut, related to Bill Norman, author of the Mechanical Bank Book, it was his belief that Doas A. Stiles was, in fact, a man. This was based upon early letters from J. and E. Stevens to Stiles and conversations between Mr. Haber and employees of the J. and E. Stevens Foundry. I personally have not seen any documented proof pertaining to the gender of Doras A. Stiles, but did think the information might be of interest to you, the reader.

 The Spring-Jawed Mule
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1991

      The old adage, "as stubborn as a mule" most appropriately describes the sub­ject of this month's article. The "Spring-Jawed Mule" bank (Figure I) epitomizes the proverbial lazy mule who has flopped itself down on its haunches, appearing to defy anyone to attempt nudging it into movement.
     This stubborn animal is certainly not an uncommon subject for mechanical banks. Collectors are quite familiar with the Judd Manufacturing Company's "Bucking Mule" bank, as well as J. and E. Stevens' "I Always Did 'Spise a Mule" and their "Mule Entering Barn." However, unlike these cast-iron, American-manufactured mechanicals, the "Spring-Jawed Mule" is of European origin and composed of a lead-zinc alloy. Unfortunately, the bank's inventor and manufacturer are unknown, and had it not been for the word, "Germany" printed underneath its base, its country of origin would also have remained an enigma.
     The "Spring-Jawed Mule" is one of the rarest of an extremely scarce series of seven different spring-jawed animal banks. The set is comprised of a grey kitten, a chimpanzee, a parrot, an English bulldog, Bonzo, the dog, an alligator, and our mule. All members of the entire series are composed of the aforemen­tioned zinc-lead alloy. The low melting point of these metals enabled usage of the slush-mold casting process, an inexpensive and relatively easy method of duplication. The process entailed filling a multi-sectional, hollow mold with a molten solution of the alloy, which remained within the mold just long enough to partially cool and solidify to a thin exterior shell. The remainder of the liquid was poured out, leaving an exact hollow replica of the mold's interior design.
     Needless to say, extreme caution should be exercised when handling these banks as their eggshell-thin casting and the fragile nature of their composition render them susceptible to damage. This, undoubtedly, accounts for their extreme rarity today.
     It is assumed the lack of informative data pertaining to the "spring-jawed" series was the result of a practice common to the nineteenth-century German patent law. During this period, relatively insignificant products, including toys, were designated 'Reichsge­brachsmuster," or registered design, rather than true patent. These documents were routinely discarded after only fifteen years, leaving a void for future collectors who sought knowledge of the authors and manufacturers of these designs.
     Operation of the "Spring-Jawed Mule" is initiated by insertion of a coin through a slot in back of the mule's head. This activates a thin, internal leaf spring attached to the animal's lower jaw. Movement is created, in the form of a wiggling action, which gives the illusion of the beast either braying or chewing the coin. Deposits are retrieved by undoing the small, brass, heart-shaped "trick lock" beneath its jaw, and opening its hinged head.
     To my knowledge, there are no casting or color variations of the "Spring-Jawed Mule." The colors of the bank (Figure I) are as follows: the mule is light grey, highlighted with reddish-brown. Its eyes are orange with black pupils, and its nose and lips are light pink. The interior of its mouth and tongue are a dark shade of pink, and it has white teeth. Finally, it's hooves are black.
     The highly imaginative, artistic and skillfully applied coloration of this rare beauty, combined with its extremely well-detailed casting, make it a most attractive and desirable addition to any mechanical bank collection.
     To date, none of the banks in the "spring-jawed" series have been reproduced. However, I am including a contour drawing of the mule (Figure II) to aid the collector in determining size and scale.

First One Hundred Articles — An Index
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1991

      In view of the many requests received from readers, the following is an index of the one hundred articles I've written for Antique Toy World.
 
1.   August 1982-The Edwin H. Mosley Bank Sale
2.   December 1982-Girl Skipping Rope
3.   January 1983-Acrobats
4.   February 1983-Zig Zag
5.   March 1983-Two Frogs
6.   April 1983-Reclining Chinaman
7.   May 1983-Elephant and 3 Clowns
8.   June 1983-Peg Leg Beggar
9.   July 1983-Circus Ticket Collector
10.   August 1983-Little Jocko Musical
11.   September 1983-Chimpanzee
12.   October 1983-Billy Goat
13.   November 1983-Confectionery
14.   December 1983-Jolly Nigger
15.   January 1984-Mama Katzenjammer
16.   February 1984-Hall's Excelsior
17.   March 1984-Paddy and the Pig
18.   April 1984-Speaking Dog
19.   May 1984-Tammany
20.   June 1984-Fowler
21.   July 1984-Humpty Dumpty
22.   August 1984-Mason
23.   September 1984-Humpty Dumpty Part II
        -Elephant and 3 Clowns Part II
24.   October 1984-Organ Bank, Cat and Dog
25.   November 1984-Bulldog Savings
26.   December 1984-Bird on Roof
27.   January 1985-Darktown Battery
28.   February 1985-Magician
29.   March 1985-Boy Stealing Watermelons
30.   April 1985-Uncle Sam
31.   May 1985-Stump Speaker
32.   June 1985-Zig Zag Part II
         -Bill Norman's Bank Book, Review
33.   July 1985-Lion Hunter
34.   August 1985-Calamity
35.   September 1985-Organ Miniature
36.   October 1985-Indian and the Bear
37.   November 1985-William Tell
38.   December 1985-I Always Did 'Spise A Mule (Jockey)
39.   January 1986-Punch and Judy
40.   February 1986-Organ Bank, Boy and Girl
41.   March 1986-Boy Scout Camp
42.   April 1986-Perfection Registering
43.   May 1986-I Always Did 'Spise A Mule (Boy on Bench)
44.   June 1986-Bad Accident
45.   July 1986-Jonah and the Whale
46.   August 1986-Organ Grinder and Performing Bear
47.   September 1986-Afghanistan
48.   October 1986-Dentist
49.   November 1986-Goat, Frog and Old Man
50.   December 1986-Teddy and the Bear
51.   January 1987-Mammy and Baby
52.   February 1987-Novelty
53.   March 1987-Lion and Monkeys
54.   April 1987-Horse Race
55.   May 1987-Hall's Lilliput
56.   June 1987-Mule Entering Barn
57.   July 1987-Toad on Stump
58.   August 1987-Milking Cow
59.   September 1987-Dog on Turntable
60.   October 1987-Spring-Jawed Alligator
61.   November 1987-Clown on Globe
62.   December 1987-Jumbo Elephant
63.   January 1988-Organ Bank with Monkey
64.   February 1988-Artillery
65.   March 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part I
66.   April 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part 11
67.   May 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part III
         -Penny Lane Book Review
68.   June 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part III
          -Penny Lane Book Review
69.   July 1988-Red Riding Hood
70.   August 1988-Eagle and Eagletts
71.   September 1988-Butting Buffalo
72.   October 1988-Spring-Jawed Bonzo
73.   November 1988-Trick Dog, Six Part Base
74.   December 1988-Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog
75.   January 1989-Bucking Mule
76.   February 1989-World's Fair
77.   March 1989-Frog on Round Base
78.   April 1989-Owl, Slot in Head
79.   May 1989-Uncle Sam Bust
80.   June 1989-Boy on Trapeze
81.   July 1989-Boy and Bulldog
82.   August 1989-Bulldog on Square Base
83.   September 1989-Cat and Mouse
84.   October 1989-Rooster
85.   November 1989-Spring-Jawed Kitten
86.   December 1989-Saalheimer and Strauss Toy Catalog
87.   January 1990-Owl, Slot in Book
88.   February 1990-Bulldog Standing
89.   March 1990-Atlas
90.   April 1990-Monkey and Coconut
91.   May 1990-Rabbit in Cabbage
92.   June 1990-Spring-Jawed Bulldog
93.   July 1990-Organ Grinder and Performing Bear, Part 11
         -Perfection Registering, Part 11
94.   August 1990-Uncle Tom
95.   September 1990-Leap Frog
96.   October 1990-Chief Big Moon
97.   November 1990-Girl in Victorian Chair
98.   December 1990-Cross-Legged Minstral
99.   January 1991-The Home Bank
100.   February 1991-Spring-Jawed Mule

The Butting Goat Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1991

      Generally monochromic with uncomplicated mechanism and finely delineated details may best describe mechanical banks produced by the Judd Manufacturing Company of Wallingford, Connecticut. To date, Judd remains unexcelled among other foundries for its fine workmanship.
     The "Butting Goat" bank, as pictured in Figure I, epitomizes the aforementioned characterization of Judd's products. Utilizing a mere single moving part, it reflects the sim­plicity and preciseness of the entire line of mechanicals produced by this esteemed foundry. The "Butting Goat" is activated through the power of a single spring — an idea successfully incorporated into several other Judd banks (i.e. "Bucking Mule" — refer to Antique Toy World article of January 1989; "Gem" bank; and "Snap-It" bank.)
     Unfortunately, historic information relating to design and patent of the "Butting Goat" is sparse. This may be attributed to the fact that the Judd Manufacturing Company never applied for patent protection for any of their designs or mechanisms. However, an approximation of the time period of production and offering to the public may be gleaned from their 1885 toy jobber's catalog. Page 362 of the catalog contains an advertisement for the "Butting Goat" bank (Figure II) which reads as follows: "No. 3336, Finish — Black and Yellow. Three in a box. Per doz. $2.10." Quite a bargain, when compared to today's cost for a fine, single example, which recently changed hands at $1,500.
     Operation of the "Butting Goat" is, as stated previously, simple and effective. To quote, once again, from Judd's 1885 catalog: "Note — Draw the goat to the end of the bridge, then by raising the hind feet, the goat springs forward and butts the penny into the tree." Deposits are removed by twisting the turn pin through the sides of the tree stump and disassembling the bank.
     Most mechanicals produced by Judd were decorated with a single metallic or japan color. Their palette included a glossy black finish, dark purple varnish, a light brown with gold flecks "fancy finish," and a gold or copper metallic paint. Occasionally, a touch of white for an eye, or red, yellow or green (verdigris) was utilized as a subtle enhancement.
     There are no casting variations of the "Butting Goat" bank and only two color variants. They are the yellow stump and black goat described in the Judd catalog, and the copper, metallic-colored stump and black goat shown in Figure I.
     Unfortunately, and understandably, the simplicity of casting and operating mecha­nisms of Judd banks abetted the practice of abundant reproductions. Thus, scarce examples such as "Bucking Mule," "Boy and Bulldog," "Circus Ticket Collector," "Peg Leg Beggar," "Bear and Tree Stump," "Bulldog Standing," and "Butting Goat" are regarded as fairly common. In truth, few collections can boast of all-original, unbroken, complete examples of these banks. It is fortunate, however, that these bogus recasts are easily detected since, unlike the originals, they are fairly crude in appearance and lack the extremely fine, sharp, detailed casting indicative of the original.
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Butting Goat" bank. A reproduced version would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter in length than indicated. However, there are exceptions to this measurement and are the result of utilization of original factory patterns to cast the "fakes." In these instances, the most accurate method of detection is through close examination of its surface, namely the quality and texture of the painted or japanned finish.
     Needless to say, the scarcity of an original example of a Judd bank will be reflected accordingly in its selling price.

The Elephant Howdah Bank, Man Pops Out
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1991

      Despite the variety and quantity of mechanical banks produced within the nineteenth century, categorization of each is a simple matter. For example, there were those banks which ridiculed the minority or newly immigrated population, such as "Jolly Nigger" and "Reclining Chinaman," those which amused and delighted children, e.g. "Trick Dog," and "Punch and Judy," those banks which encouraged savings and thrift, e.g. "Home" and "Novelty" banks, and those mechanicals which were designed as teaching aids, whether they be the alphabet, e.g. "Picture Gallery," morality e.g. "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest," or the act of charity with the offering of pennies to the "Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog" bank, or even an introduction to the culture and customs of foreign lands, such as "Elephant Howdah" bank, Man Pops Out (Figure I). The strange mode of transportation, whereby one is carried atop a giant beast through the magical and mysterious lands of the Near East, was likely to fascinate and activate the fertile minds of children. The "Elephant Howdah" bank was produced by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, Pa. Figure II is a representation of several pages from an 1878 Enterprise Jobbers Catalog. These indicate the foundry was also involved in the manufacture of coffee, spice and drug mills, doorstops, food processing and slicing equipment and cast iron penny banks. In addition to the "Elephant Howdah" bank, Enterprise manufactured only one other mechanical, namely the "Memorial Money Bank." This was sold as a commemorative item during the 1876 Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia.
     The "Elephant Howdah" bank, Man Pops Out, is one of few mechanicals which are composed of several materials. The body, trunk and lever of the elephant are made of cast iron, while the figure of the mahout, or driver, is wood, and his tunic is fashioned from a piece of cloth.
     Unfortunately, to date, no patent information has been located, despite the words, "PAT APLD FOR" cast into the underside of the howdah's lid. Had it not been for the discovery of several catalogs and advertising materials, the manufacturer of this exciting bank would have remained an enigma.
     The action of "Elephant Howdah" is quite amusing and relevant to its subject. Successfully utilized is an action which most aptly might be described as a "Jack in the Box," or as the case may be, the Mahout in the Howdah. A coin is partially inserted into the mouth of the elephant. Then, either the trunk may be lifted manually until it snaps into place, or the driver can be depressed into the howdah until it snaps into place. (Note: Utilizing the trunk as the means to set the mechanism is advisable since the mahout's figure is made of wood and the possibility of breakage is enhanced if too much pressure is exerted upon it.) The lid to the howdah is then closed over the mahout and the small lever directly behind the howdah is pressed. Simultaneously, the trunk snaps downward, striking the coin into the bank, and the mahout pops up, opening the lid of the howdah (refer to Figure I). Coin deposits are removed by undoing the large screw which secures both halves of the elephant together.
     There are no casting variations of which I am aware but there are several color variants. These pertain mainly to the body of the elephant. The colors of the blanket and the howdah basically remain consistent. The elephant may be either dark brown japan, dark gray or as the one illustrated in Figure I, painted bronze-gold. The blanket on either side of the elephant is bright red and stenciled with an in­tricate gold and blue oriental design. The howdah is painted dark blue with a red lid, and the raised design at the base of the howdah is gold, as are the tassels at the bottom of the blanket. The mahout in this illustration has a blue hat; however, it may also be painted in red. His face is a pink, flesh color and his hair is black. His eyes, nose, eyebrows and moustache are executed in black lines. He has two large, white eyes and a red mouth. Finally, his tunic is fashioned from natural tan colored linen.
     Although I am not aware of any reproductions of "Elephant Howdah" bank, a base diagram (Figure III) is included which indicates an original's configuration and scale. To conclude, the "Elephant Howdah" bank, Man Pops Out, is not considered rare. However, realization of the scarcity of those in superb paint condition, with a completely original mahout and tunic, may give thought to reassessment of this charming bank's rarity and value.

Boy Robbing Bird’s Nest
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1991

      Morality as defined by Webster, is "conformity to ideals of the right human conduct." Illustrating this definition, and created solely for the purpose of teaching youth that lesson, were a unique group of mechanical banks. These emerged during the "golden age" of production of mechanicals (i.e., 1880-1910), with the list including such notables as "Peg Leg Beggar," "Boys Stealing Watermelons," "Uncle Remus," "Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog," and "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" (Figure I).
     Of these, none is as effective nor as dramatic in teaching the lesson of morality as the latter. "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" depicts a mischievous lad, cautiously edging his way along the branch of a tree. His intent is to appropriate three tiny birds' eggs lying within a lone nest while both feathered parents frantically attempt to dissuade his rude invasion. Suddenly, the branch breaks away from the trunk of the tree, thrusting the boy who clings to it onto the ground. The moral ... Punishment will be dealt swiftly to those who attempt to steal another's possessions.
     One of the most beautifully cast, decorated, and executed of all mechanical banks, "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" was a product of the vivid and fertile imagination of the most renowned bank designer of that era, Charles A. Bailey. It bears his unmistakable trademark: prolific usage of graceful floral and leaf motifs. Bailey's fascination with translating the soft, flowing lines of nature into hard, cold, cast iron was an achievement which remains unsurpassed to this date.
     Unfortunately, patent papers for this exquisite mechanical have never been located, leading one to hypothesize that the bank had never been patented. Nevertheless, several sketches and corre­spondence addressed to the J. and E. Stevens Company validate the "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" bank as Mr. Bailey's creation.
     The J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, manufactured the bank around the turn of the century. Figure II is a page from their 1906 toy catalog, offering the "Tree Bank" at "$1.00 apiece. Each in a neat wooden box." A bargain indeed, when it is compared to the $18,700 price a mint example fetched at a recent Christie's auction sale.
     The action of "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" is precise, dramatic and quite relevant to the moral­ity lesson, as previously described. For the price of a penny, the morality playlet that ensues is guaranteed to delight, teach, and amuse the beholder. To quote from the ad in Figure II: "Raise the limb of the tree to position, place a coin in the slot and press the lever. As the boy falls the coin disappears into the tree." Deposits are retrieved by removing the patented, round, Stevens coin re­tainer beneath the base.
     There are neither casting nor color variations of the "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" bank. The colors of the one pictured in Figure I are as follows: the tree is painted light brown with silvery-green vines interspersed with bright red berries running up the side of its trunk. The cut sections at the top of the tree are yellow-ochre, highlighted with light brown swirls. The base is painted bright green with gold highlights, and the two flowers at the roots of the tree have orange petals with white centers. The boy's hat is painted indigo. The pair of birds have bright yellow feathers highlighted with brown. Their beaks and eyes are also painted brown. The boy's face and hands are a pink, flesh color and he wears an orange shirt with brown suspenders and blue pants. His hair, shoes, eyes, and eyebrows are brown, and he has a small, red mouth. The nest is dark green, surrounded by silvery-green leaves. The three tiny eggs in the nest are painted white.
     The combination of attractive appearance, ac­tion, and scarcity had encouraged the reproduction of "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" as far back as the 1950s. Many were recast from actual factory patterns, making detection that much more difficult. More recently, reproductions were cast using original banks as patterns. These lack the fine details of the originals, and exhibit a fairly pebbly, crude appearance. They also are smaller in size than the original bank due to shrinkage of the molten iron as it cooled in the mold.
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest." Most reproductions will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Spring-Jawed Parrot
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1991

      Over the past few years I have written several articles which pertain to a group of European, lead-zinc alloy banks. Having referred to them as "relatively undiscovered" by the bank-collecting community, I was quite surprised recently when informed by several sophisticated and advanced collectors of their long-time interest in acquiring these unique gems.
     The specific grouping of alloy banks being referred to were those manufactured in Germany from 1900 to 1930. Subject matter was diverse and included dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, children, trees, flowers, reptiles, elves, monkeys, houses, cameras, radios, chairs, etc., and any combination of these. Produced in the form of mechanical banks, still banks, and decorative items, they served the purpose of supplying the tourist souvenir trade in the United States as well as abroad. Several of the banks in my collection do indeed bear the inscriptions of various vacation spots throughout the world.
     Owing to the delicate nature of zinc alloy, i.e., its fragility and vulnerability to damage, fine examples of banks comprised of this material are scarce. In particular, a group of zinc alloy mechanical banks commonly referred to as the "Spring Jaws" include several of the rarest banks known.
     The "Spring-Jawed Parrot" (Figure I) is one of seven subjects in a category of zinc-alloy mechanicals which display the unique characteristic of a movable jaw, activated by an internal leaf spring. Other members of this group include "Bonzo the Dog," an al­ligator, a bulldog, a chimpanzee, a mule, and a kitten.
     The extremely low melting point of the alloy utilized in the produc­tion of these banks proved an ideal medium for small, inexpensive, highly detailed, intricate castings. The process used in their manufacture was referred to as "slush-molding." This method entailed filling a multi-section, hollow mold with a molten solution of lead and zinc. The hot solution remained within the mold just long enough for its partial solidification and adherence to the cool exterior of the inner cavity of the mold. The remainder of the molten alloy was poured out, leaving a hollow replica of the mold's interior configuration.
     If the entire array of Spring-Jaw banks, both mechanical and still, were to be scrutinized, one may only marvel at their exquisitely delicate form and detail, surpassed only by fine Viennese bronzes.
     Unfortunately, little is known about the manufacturer, inventor, or date of production of these mechanicals. Had it not been for the word "Germany" either printed or cast into their bases, the country of origin would have also remained an enigma. It may be surmised that the lack of information is the result, in part, of a common practice mandated by early twentieth-century German patent law. Since these banks, and their like, were considered relatively unimportant, they were designated "insignificant patents" and routinely destroyed after fifteen years of issuance.
     The "Spring-Jawed Parrot," as well as the entire Spring-Jaw series, have hinged heads which are secured to their bodies by a small, brass, heart-shaped "trick lock" (see Figure I). Operation of the "Spring-Jawed Parrot" is simplistic and initiated by inserting a coin into the slot atop its head, causing the vibration of a thin, internal leaf spring to which the jaw is attached. This results in movement of the lower jaw and the appearance of a chewing action. Of the three known examples of "Spring-Jawed Parrot," none vary in casting, and only slightly in coloration. Two have beaks and feet that are dark brown, whereas the third has these painted black.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the entire parrot is painted an overall yellowish green. The crest atop its head, the tips of its wings and the end of its tail are highlighted in brownish red. Its beak and feet are painted black, and the inside of its mouth is pink. Finally, it has round, yellow eyes with large black pupils.
     There is a zinc-alloy still bank portraying a parrot with a fixed beak. It appears almost identical in casting detail and size to the Spring-Jaw version. Since this bank is not mechanical, coin insertion will not activate its lower jaw. The colors of this still bank are somewhat more vivid than its mechanical cousin.
     To my knowledge, no reproductions of any zinc alloy banks, including those in the Spring-Jaw series have been created. Nevertheless, Figure II is a contour diagram which indicates size and scale.

The Mickey Mouse Tin Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1991

      The legendary tale of  Mickey began with his conception in 1927 aboard a train bound for California. His creator, Walter Elias Disney, had come from New York and a most discouraging meet­ing with the distributor of his Oswald and Alice series. As per Walt's recollections: "Was I down­hearted? Not a bit! I was happy, at heart. For, out of the trouble and confusion stood a mocking, merry little figure. Vague and indefinite at first, but it grew and grew. And finally arrived — a mouse... By the time my train had reached the Middle West, I had dressed my dream mouse in a pair of red velvet pants with two huge pearl buttons." (1) Immediately upon his return to New York, Disney set his small studio to work on a cartoon that had "the mouse" as its star.
     Disney originally named his creation "Mortimer Mouse" — assumedly after a pet mouse which re­sided in his Kansas City studio. The renaming is attributed to Mrs. Disney. She, reportedly, thought "Mortimer" too pretentious and suggested "Mickey" — a less formal and more endearing title for the little fellow.
     Within a few years after his birth, the world was to become infatuated with Mickey Mouse. His image began to appear on clocks, watches, soap, hair brushed, pens, pencils, radiator caps, cereal boxes, clothing and needless to say, dolls and toys.
     It was during these early years that the Saalheimer and Strauss Co. of Nurnberg, Germany, acquired the rights from Walt Disney to utilize a likeness of Mickey Mouse on one of their tin mechanical banks (Figure 1). To date, no patent papers for this bank have been located.
     However, its internal mechanical parts and action so clearly duplicate those of the Saalheimer and Strauss tin "Minstral Bank" (Figure II), which was granted Patent number L-698681 on June 29, 1928, that is generally assumed the "Mickey Mouse" bank was also protected under that patent.
     Figure II is a rare, early Saalheimer and Strauss mechanical bank flyer. Note the similarity between the design of the "Mickey Mouse" bank in Figure I and that of tin "Ministral," "Scotsman," "Bonzo, the Dog," and "Jolly Joe, the Clown."
     There are no mechanical variations of the "Mickey Mouse" bank; however, there are four variants relating to the manner in which Mickey is portrayed. Aside from his gleeful depiction in Figure I, a second variant depicts our little hero dancing a jig as he plays a concertina; a third reveals him singing, with hands clasped before him; lastly, he is observed as an orator, positioned with right hand raised, left hand on his hip.
     Interestingly, the obverse of each bank displays an attractive portrayal of Mickey Mouse standing alongside an old-fashioned tripod portrait camera. The words, "Smile Please!" are visible above his head. Beneath his feet is the inscription: "If you only pull my ear, you will see my tongue appear. Place a coin upon my tongue/ Save your money while you're young."
     To operate the bank, Mickey's right ear is depressed, causing his tongue to protrude and his eyes to raise in glee. A coin is then placed upon his tongue. The depressed ear is then manually raised, causing the tongue to recede into his mouth, along with the secured coin. Deposits are removed by undoing the square key lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     The "Mickey Mouse" bank is lithographed in bright colors, as might be expected. The arched roof, as well as Mickey's pants and tongue, are red. His face, teeth and the buttons on his trousers are white. His ears, eyes, arms, legs and chest are black. Mickey wears yellow gloves and orange shoes. The upper three-quarters of the background is yellow, while the remaining portion is green. Finally, the bottom flanged base is black.
     The "Mickey Mouse" bank is extremely rare and, compounded with the fact that it is considered a "cross collectible" (I.E. not only appeals to bank collectors, but collectors of comic character toys and Mickey Mouse memorabilia), one could expect to pay a hefty sum for the privilege of adding this bank to a collection.
     To the best of my knowledge, none of the Saalheimer and Strauss tin mechanical banks have been reproduced. But, that does not deny the possibility of a broken or missing piece being replaced or repaired with a reproduced part. Needless to say, in such an instance the value of the bank, as with other fine collectibles, would be compromised.
     Despite its size, a mere 6-7/8 inches in height, and 2-7/8 inches in width, the "Mickey Mouse" bank is a charismatic and impressive addition to a bank collection.
     (1) American Heritage Magazine, 1968.

The Dinah Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1991

      History books reveal the anti-black sentiment and racist attitudes which prevailed here in the United States and Europe. In both this country and abroad, hatred and bigotry were the catalysts for the creation of demeaning artwork, literature, and objects, including children's toys. One such example is the "Dinah" mechanical bank represented in Figure I.
     On March 29, 1911, John Harper and Company, Ltd., of Willenhall, England, was granted British Registry Numbers 581,284 and 581,285 for its design of the "Dinah" mechanical bank. This registry protection was extended for five additional years on March 11, 1916, and subsequently for an additional five years on October 5, 1920.
     As evidenced by the Harper catalog page (Figure II) the company engaged in the production of several toy banks reflecting bigotry and racism. These attitudes were expressed, as well, in the United States by Harper's counterparts, namely the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, and the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York. Interestingly, of the many manufactured mechanicals, only one other utilizes the image of a female, namely the "Mammy and Baby" bank (refer to Antique Toy World article dated January 1987) manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania.
     "Dinah" is quite graphic and colorful. It is considered by several collectors to be one of the more attractive bust-type mechanical banks. Aside from three color variations of her dress, all Harper "Dinah" banks were painted exactly alike. A yellow, brown, or blue dress would be correct in determining the originality of Dinah's painted surface. The colors of the bank illus­trated in Figure I are as follows: Dinah's face, hair, forearm, and hand are painted black. Her lips, tongue and thin lines between her teeth are bright red. Her teeth are white, as are the corneas of her eyes which have yellow irises outlined in black. Her pupils are black. Dinah sports a bright yellow dress, and her brooch, necklace and earrings are silver.
     Any casting variations apply primarily to Dinah's right arm. It may be manufactured from pressed sheet steel, recognized by its long sleeve which extends to her wrist, or from cast iron (refer to Figure 1) with its short, flared sleeve, terminating at Dinah's elbow. On both variations, the name "DINAH" is cast into her back in large gothic letters and the words "MADE IN ENGLAND" are cast into the base plate underneath the bank.
     Worthy of discussion is the fact that original Dinah "style" banks exist. These banks are made of alumi­num and neither the castings nor the painted surface is as finely executed as the Harper iron "Dinah" banks. To date, there is no information pertaining to their manufacture or circa, but they exhibit the words "MADE IN CANADA" which are cast into their backs.
     Operation of the "Dinah" bank (Figure I) is quite simple and amusing. A coin is placed into her right hand; the lever in her back is pressed downward. Simultaneously, her eyes roll upward, her tongue recedes, and her right arm raised the coin which is flipped into her gaping mouth and deposited within the bank. Coin removal is achieved by unscrewing the base plate from the bank.
     Based upon the amount of banks manufactured and the length of time they were sold, it is reasonable to assume that a substantial quantity of "Dinah" banks still exist. This places it into the "fairly common" category. Nevertheless, as with any mechanical bank, a fine or pristine example will certainly command a significantly higher price than a merely average example.
     Figure III is a base diagram indicating the size of an original "Dinah" bank. I am not aware of reproductions. However, a recast utilizing an original "Dinah" bank for a pattern will appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller than the original bank (refer to Fig­ure III). In all cases, originality can be determined by quality of the painted surface, smoothness of the castings, and overall patina.

The Merry-Go-Round Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1991

      Few mechanical banks express the simplicity and carefree joys of childhood. Counted amongst these are Girl Shipping Rope bank, manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company, the Leap Frog bank, a product of Shepard Hardware, and Kyser and Rex's Roller Skating bank. However, none is able to do so with the diversity of form, multicoloration, intricacy, or variety of subjects as the Merry-Go-Round bank (Figure I), subject of this article. Sentiments of innocence and serenity are portrayed in the faces of the children as they ride, endlessly in circles, upon the creatures of their fantasies.
     To date, documentation pertaining to the inventor and/or patent of this mechanical is sparse. And, had it not been for the discovery, several years ago, of an early Alfred C. Rex catalog, circa 1889, which illustrated and offered the Merry-Go-Round bank for sale, the manufacturer of this cast iron masterpiece might still be an enigma. Invention of the Merry-Go-Round is attributed to Rudolph M. Hunter of Philadelphia, PA. This is based upon the similarities between several design aspects of Kyser and Rex's Confectionary bank, an acknowledged Rudolph M. Hunter design and the Merry-Go-Round bank.
     Scrutiny of all twenty-four mechanical banks manufactured by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex (including Merry-Go-Round) reveals design, casting, and painted decoration rivaled only by J. and E. Stevens Company and Shepard Hardware. Knowledgeable bank collectors and antique toy historians alike regard Kyser and Rex with the same high degree of esteem as these other two mechanical bank-producing giants of the nineteenth century.
     To operate the Merry-Go-Round bank, a coin is first placed within the slot adjacent to the coin attendant. As the crank handle in the side of the base is turned, bell chimes begin to sound and the figures revolve around the platform. The attendant, with whip-like object in hand, moves back and forth, as if to acknowledge each depos­ited fare. At the first revolution of the crank, the coin falls through the slot into the bank. These deposits are retrieved by opening a small, square, key lock underneath the base plate. Incidentally, the words, "PAID APLD FOR" are inscribed into this base plate, as well as the number "124", which is cast into the coin retainer.
     There are no obvious external casting variations of the Merry-Go-Round bank, but there are two color variants. These are confined to the panels of the umbrella-shaped canopy. They may be painted red, alternated with yellow, or as indicated in the bank pictured in Figure I, alternate colors of red, white, blue, and white.
     To complete the coloration of the bank illustrated in this article, the finial atop the canopy, as well as the poles to which the animals are attached, are painted gold. The faces and hands of the children and attendant are a pink-flesh color. Their eyes, eyebrows, and hair are black, and their mouths are red. The lone exception is the little girl perched atop the swan. She has hair that has been painted orange. Her dress is blue and her hat is red. The swan she sits upon is white with orange eyes and a red mouth. The figure of the camel is brown, and its rider sports a red outfit and blue hat. The pony is painted black, and its rider wears a blue frock and red hat. The ostrich is painted metallic copper, and the girl nestled upon its back has a red dress and a blue hat. The elephant is gray; its rider wears a blue suit and yellow hat. The attendant sports a blue jacket, yellow hat and pants, and high, black boots. The base is bright red, banded with three gold stripes. The top platform is painted tan and the crank handle is gold.
     The Merry-Go-Round bank is extremely rare and desirable. An 1888 Selchow and Richter toy jobber's catalog offered it at $8.50 per dozen. Any readers wish to place an order?!! Most often, when a Merry-Go-Round bank is located, the finial atop the canopy and/or the crank handle may be missing, or the attendant is broken off. With this bank, as well as with any antique mechanical, a missing, recast, or damaged part should be taken into consideration when making a monetary evaluation.
     To the best of my knowledge, the Merry-Go-Round bank has not been reproduced. Nevertheless, I am including a base dia­gram (Figure II) to aid the collector in determining size and scale. If the bank were to be recast, it would appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated. This would be due to iron shrinkage as it cooled in the mold.

The Light of Asia Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1991

      The late nineteenth century was a spectacular era for the great American circuses. It was also a period in which fierce rivalry erupted between their owners. Competition ensued between P.T. Barnum, the undisputed giant of all circuses, and Adam Forepaugh an entrepreneur with an enormous ego. Barnum's Circus exhibited "Jumbo," claiming it to be, and in actuality it was, the "Largest Living Quadruped on Earth" (Figure I). This did not daunt Forepaugh, for he proceeded to advertise one of his elephants, namely "Bolivar," as the "Largest and Heaviest Elephant in the World." (Figure II).
     Subsequent to the tragic death of Jumbo on September 16, 1886, P.T. Barnum attempted to recreate the notoriety and glamour formerly surrounding the pachyderm by conception of another enigma of the animal kingdom. His idea took the form of a rare new discovery: Toung Taloung, the "Sacred White Elephant of Burma." Purchased several years earlier at a cost of $75,000., Toung Taloung, the "Pure White" Elephant, proved to be a tremendous flop since, in appearance, it was the same gray color as most elephants except for a few pinkish spots around its ears. Barnum's disappointment turned out to be Forepaugh's opportunity. He secretly whitewashed one of his own elephants a pure white color and billed it as the "Genuine Sacred White Elephant," "Light of Asia" (Figure III). Adding insult to injury, he referred to Barnum's elephant as an outright fraud.
     The notorious "battle of the white elephants" gave J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, CT, an opportunity to capitalize on the situation. The company incorporated the likeness of "Light of Asia" into a mechanical bank, as shown in Figure IV.
     Worthy of mention is the fact that "Light of Asia" mechanical bank and the "Jumbo" me­chanical bank (Antique Toy World article dated December, 1987), both products of the J. and E. Stevens Co., utilize the same exact castings for their heads and their four-wheeled bases. They differ only in the castings of their bodies and the colors in which they were painted. To date, no patent papers for either the "Jumbo" bank or "Light of Asia" have been located. Perhaps the reason Stevens may never have applied for a "regular" patent on either bank is that the action so closely resembled that of the "Tammany" bank, whereby a coin is inserted and the head nods, that no need was felt to further protect the two banks. However, this is merely conjecture in the absence of more plausible, or factual, information.
     The action of the "Light of Asia" bank can only be described as simplistic. Placing a coin into the slot atop the elephant's back causes its head to nod up and down. Coin removal, on the other hand, was more complicated. The bank needed to be disassembled, which was accomplished by removing the large screw securing both halves of its body.
     "Light of Asia" is considered quite scarce, and possibly for the following reasons: since it was also designed as a pull toy, it is likely that the bank experience rough handling. Unfortunately, its small size and delicate casting were not intended to withstand this type of treatment. Combined with the complexity of coin removal, it is fortunate any intact examples exist today. One must also take into account that "Light of Asia" might have enjoyed only a very short period of production, ending when Adam Forepaugh's "faux pas" was exposed.
     There are no casting or color variations of "Light of Asia." The colors of the bank pictured in Figure IV are as follows: the entire elephant is painted light gray. Its ears and portions of its legs are highlighted in pink. It has white eyes with black pupils, and a red mouth. Its blanket is bright red, with a yellow braided border. The words "Light of Asia" and the crescent moon design are painted gold. The platform and wheels upon which the elephant stands are bright green with gold accents.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of the "Light of Asia." Nevertheless, Figure V is a wheel diagram which should help determine the size and scale of the bank. A recast would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller than indicated.
     Correction: It was erroneously stated in the December 1987 Antique Toy World article, "The Jumbo Bank," that the J. and E. Stevens Co. also manufactured the "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" bank. Discovery of new evidence indicates the likelihood of Kyser and Rex Co. of Frankford, PA, as its manufacturer. Further elaboration will be contained within a future article in this magazine.

The Frog on Rock Bank
(Jug-O-Rum)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1991

      Nature in its creative and splendiferous fashion, provided the inspiration for several nineteenth century designers of mechanical banks. Depictions of amphibians are abundant, since obviously, what creature could possess a more appropriate receptacle for coin gobbling than the cavernous-mouthed frog. Among the mechanicals utilizing amphibians are: "Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat," "Frog on Round Base," "Chief Big Moon," "Snake, Frog in Pond," "Flip the Frog," "Frog on Arched Track," "Goat, Frog and Old Man," "Initiating Bank, First Degree," "Two Frogs," "Toad on Stump," and the subject of this article, "Frog on Rock" (Figure I).
     The "Frog on Rock" bank is but one of a group of four mechanical banks designed by M. Elizabeth Cook of Ohio. Ms. Cook was a highly-acclaimed artist and sculptress of her time. The sensitivity and simplistic qualities evident in the banks' designs bear testimony to her extraordinary talent. In addition to "Frog on Rock" (originally christened "Jug-O-Rum," the frog), the group of banks included "Pokey," the turtle, "Flop Ears," the rabbit, and "Blinky," the owl. "Blinky" is the only bank of the aforementioned to have had a variation: i.e. the coin slot is located either in its head or the end of the book under its wing. Worthy of mention at this time is the fact that "Pokey," the turtle, is not only the rarest of the four, but it has the distinction of being one of the rarest in the entire category of mechanical banks.
     The banks presently under discussion were produced by the Kilgore Manufacturing Co. of Westerville, OH. They were originally referred to collectively in Kilgore advertisements and catalogs as "The Thrifty Four" and "The Toytown Workers Group." Unfortunately, to date, no patent information has surfaced. However pertinent data obtained through period catalogs suggests manufacture of "The Thrifty Four" occurred sometime between 1920 and 1934.
     Interestingly, most mechanical banks of that era were packaged individually in sturdy wooden boxes due to their size, weight and complexity. The "Thrifty Four" were also packaged individually but, due to their minute size, were placed into small cardboard containers as pictured in Figure II (from the collection of Greg Zemenick).
     The box housing "Frog on Rock" or, as it was originally named, "Jug‑O-Rum," has the following poem inscribed on its side:
 
          Flop-Ears the Rabbit hops around
          Lifting his ears for every sound
          He sees Blinky the Owl, high in an Oak
          And hears the Frog, Jug-O-Rum croak,
          And wonders if Pokey, the turtle, so slow
          Can catch up with him, if he keeps real slow.
 
     The front of the box, beneath the illustration of the frog, contains the following verse: Says old Frog Jug-O-Run/Save money and have some.
     Activation of "Jug-O-Rum" is achieved by pressing the small lever under its chin. This opens its mouth in order to accept de­posits. Upon release of the lever, the jaw closes, securing the coins within. Coin removal is accomplished by removing the cast iron key-lock coin retainer underneath the base. Original coin retainers were man­ufactured both brightly nickel-plated and unplated.
     There are neither casting nor color variations of the "Frog on Rock." The colors of the bank illustrated in Figure I are as follows: its body is dark green. It has black lips and its eyes are painted white, outlined in black with black pupils. The webs of its feet are bright orange, as is its lower jaw. "Jug-O-Rum" is perched upon a black rock, which is highlighted with red.
     When displayed, the gem-like coloration of "Frog on Rock," as well as the other banks in the Kilgore series, are extraordinarily attractive and appealing.
     I am not aware of the existence of reproductions of "Toytown Workers Group." Nevertheless, the base diagram of "Frog on Rock" (Figure III) will aid the collector in determining size and scale. A recast would, most likely, appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter in length than indicated.

The Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1992

      Members of the primate family, specifically monkeys, were a popular subject, ofttimes utilized by nine­teenth-century manufacturers of banks and toys. Less popular, indeed, was the anthropoid ape of Africa, known as the chimpanzee. Only two mechanical banks represent members of this family of "Great Apes." These are the "Chimpanzee Bank" produced by Kyser and Rex, and the "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee" (Figure I), subject of this article.
     The "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee" is one of seven subjects which comprise a series of banks referred to as the Spring-Jawed Mechanicals. Other members of this unique set include an alligator, "Bonzo" the dog, a sleepy mule, a parrot, a grey kitten, and an English bulldog. Although the entire spring-jawed group is scarce, the Chimpanzee is considered one of the rarest, with possibly three or four examples known to exist in collections.
     The entire group of banks is composed of a zinc-lead alloy, commonly referred to as "pot metal." In view of its extremely low melting point, this material lends itself easily to a casting process called "slush mold­ing." This method of production entails filling a multi-sectional hollow mold with a molten solution of the alloy. As the liquefied metal cooled and solidified within the inside walls of the mold, the remaining viscous metal was quickly expelled. Once fully cooled, the mold was separated, revealing a perfectly detailed, hollow, positive image of the interior of the mold.
     This process provided the manufacturer with a two-fold benefit: it is extremely inexpensive, and the cast object is exquisitely smooth, sharp, and highly detailed. The major disadvantage is the resultant fragility of the castings. It is this inherent weakness which, most likely, accounts for the scarcity of the entire category of zinc-alloy banks, whether they be mechanical or still.
     Operation of the "Spring-Jawed Chim­panzee" is incomplex. A coin is inserted through its mouth, activating a thin, internal steel leaf spring attached to the Chimp's lower jaw. This creates a wobbly action to the jaw, which gives the illusion of our Simian friend chewing the ingested coins. The deposits are removed by undoing the small, heart-shaped "trick lock" beneath its jaw, and opening its hinged head.
     There are no casting or color variants of the "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee." The color of the bank represented in Figure I are as follows: It is painted, overall, a tan color. Its face, hands, feet, and ears are highlighted in pink. Its eyes are orange with black pupils, and it has black eyebrows and a black nose. Its lips and tongue are painted a dark shade of pink.
     The "Chimpanzee Bank," as well as the entire Spring-Jawed series, reflect the caliber and quality of craftsmanship and artistry practiced in German bank and toy production during the turn of the century. Unfortunately, very little is known about the manufacturer or dates of production of these banks. Had it not been for the word "GERMANY" printed underneath their bases, the country of origin would also have remained an enigma. It may be assumed this lack of data pertaining to the banks was the result of a practice common to nineteenth-century German patent law. Insignificant inventions and simple toys were included in the designation of "Registered Designs" rather than true patents. These documents were mandated to be discarded after only fifteen years, sadly leaving a void for future researchers and historians of German alloy mechanical banks.
     To my knowledge, none of the Spring-Jawed series have been reproduced. However, Figure II is a contour drawing of the "Chimpanzee Bank" for the purpose of aiding the collector in determining size and scale.
     Once again, I request readers with further knowledge, and perhaps of other subjects relating to the Spring-Jawed series, to please contact this writer at P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, New York 11518, to share information through future articles.
     Correction: (from May, 1992) Refer to the article entitled "Spring-Jawed Chim­panzee," January 1992 issue of A.T.W. It was erroneously stated that the Chimp appears as the subject of only two different mechanicals: the cast-iron "Chimpanzee" bank (Kyser and Rex) and the zinc-alloy "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee" bank (of German manufacture). It have since been informed by a fellow mechanical bank collector, Mr. Tom Stoddard, that he is in possession of yet a third variety in which the chimp is featured. It also has a movable jaw and is composed of zinc-alloy. But since it is larger and heavier and appears to have never been painted, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee" bank.

The Elephant with Tusks on Wheels Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1992

      During the mid-to-late nineteenth century, rivalry between entrepreneurs such as P.T. Barnum and Adam Forepaugh led to shenanigans which are believed responsible for elevating the American circus to unparalleled heights. It was this rivalry which also led to the creation of a legend in the form of "Jumbo," the infamous circus phenomenon. This largest of all living creatures on earth exerted a tremendous impact upon the population during that time. As "Jumbo-mania" swept the nation, the elephant's likeness was utilized in conjunction with products such as packaged foods, clothing and toys.
     One of these toys was the "Jumbo" mechanical bank (Figure I) produced by J. and E. Stevens Co. of Cromwell, CT. The success of "Jumbo" is believed to have given the impetus to the manufacture of another bank, and the subject of this article, namely "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels." Figure II represents "Elephant with Tusks," which was produced by the Kyser and Rex Co. of Frankford, PA.
     For several decades, information pertaining to patents, advertisements and catalogs for this mechanical appeared to be quite elusive. For this reason, as well as the remarkable similarities between "Jumbo" and "Elephant with Tusks," antique toy historians conjectured that both banks had been manufactured by J. and E. Stevens. Recently, however, Mr. Anthony Annese, a friend and a collector of antique toy catalogs, brought to my attention an 1882 copy of a Kyser and Rex jobbers catalog illustrating the "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" as one of their products (Figure III). The following description was contained within the advertisement: "No. 115, Size 3 inches high 4 inches long and 2 wide. The animal moves its head when a coin is deposited. It is a toy as well as a bank. Painted natural color, and packed one-half dozen in a box and two gross in a case."
     The "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" is handsomely designed and executed. This is typical and consistent with the entire line of toys and banks manufactured by Kyser and Rex. Their finely detailed castings and artistic finishes have placed them alongside J. and E. Stevens and the Shepard Hardware Co. as the three leading nineteenth-century mechanical bank producers.
     The action of "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" is incomplex (and reminiscent of the "Jumbo" bank in Fig­ure I). A coin is placed into the slot in the elephant's back which causes its head to nod up and down. Deposits are removed by opening the screw which fastens both halves of the body together.
     There are no casting or color variation of "Elephant with Tusks." The colors of the bank shown in Figure II (as well as the "Jumbo" bank in Figure I) are as follows: the entire body and head are painted dark brown. It has white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. Its blanket is bright red, fringed in yellow. The platform and wheels are bright green.
     Repeated references throughout this article have been to the similarities between "Jumbo" and "Elephant with Tusks." However, they differ significantly in the matter of scarcity. "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" is considered extremely rare in view of the fact that merely four or five examples are known to exist. Possibly, Kyser and Rex may have infringed upon a design or mechanical patent relating to the J. and E. Steven's "Jumbo" bank. Or, perhaps, their "Elephant with Tusks" bank was too similar in action and appearance to "Jumbo." In either case, Kyser and Rex may have ceased production and sales of their bank voluntarily, or through court order, resulting in the current situation wherein few examples are known to exist.
     Figure IV is an ad from an 1886 Selchow and Richter toy jobbers catalog, offering the Kyser and Rex "Elephant Bank" for the modest sum of $1.75 per dozen!
     I am not aware of any reproductions of "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels." Nevertheless, Figure V is a base diagram which should help determine the bank's size and scale. A recast would appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller than indicated.
     Note: The "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" bank shown in Figure II is a superb, all-original example from the Steckbeck Collection.

The Bank of Education and Economy
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1992

      The subject of this month's article, represented in Figure I, most aptly fulfills the promise implied by its name. The "Bank of Education and Economy" undisputedly offers educational enrichment through the act of saving money. Unfortunately, the data imparted by this device warrants describing the bank as a fountain of obscure information.
     Contained within is a fairly large roll of paper, upon which are recorded countless questions, as well as quotations and their sources. The following is a sampling: Questions — "What do you consider the greatest work of Justin?"; "What made Archibald Forbes famous as a war correspondent?"; "Name some of the works of Rose Terry Cooke?" Quotations — "Happiness is the natural flower of duty" — Brooks. "The head ever the dupe of the heart" — La Rochefoucauld. "No possession can surpass, or even equal, a good library" — Langford, etc., etc., etc.
     The words "PATENTED APR-30-95" are cast into the front of the bank (Figure I). This facilitated the discovery of the patent information, shown in Figure II.' On April 30, 1895, Mr. James S. Barcus, of Chicago, Illinois, received a patent for his invention of a "coin controlled apparatus for advertising and educational systems." The words "MFG-BY PROCTOR-RAYMOND CO., Buffalo, N.Y." are cast into the underside of the base and aided in establishing the identity of the individuals, as well as the firm involved with the production of this mechanical.
     The advertisement shown in Figure III is copied from the 1896 Buffalo Business Directory.' It depicts the Proctor-Raymond Company as a firm that possessed the technology and capability of manufacturing a cast-iron bank, despite the fact that it had never advertised itself as an iron foundry.
     The "Bank of Education and Economy" is activated by the insertion of a dime (the only coin which can be utilized) within the coin slot atop the bank. This allows the depositor to rotate the round knob clockwise one turn. As the dime is deposited, a slip of paper with a question on one side and a quotation on the other emerges from the top of the bank. Deposited coins build neatly behind a small glass window in the front area of this mechanical. As the stack of coins increase, they raise a lever which extends through the top of the bank. In order to remove the deposits, the lever is manually depressed, releasing an internal spring device. This allows the small, sliding trap door underneath the base to be pushed aside, liberating the coins.
     There are no color variations of the "Bank of Education and Economy." However, there is one casting variant. This provides for a chuted-coin slot designed into the front of the bank.
     The mechanical pictured in Figure I is a delicately cast mass of graceful, free-flowing forms, swirls and curlicues, finely executed in cast iron and brightly nickel plated. I am not aware of any reproductions. Nevertheless, Figure IV is a base diagram indicating size and scale. If it were to be reproduced, more than likely it would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller than indicated.
     The "Bank of Education and Economy" is extremely scarce. Combined with its simple, yet elegant, appearance and historical significance, it is a most attractive addition to a collection.
            *****
     1)   My thanks to Mr. Bernard H. Thomas, Technical Information Specialist at the Washington, D.C., Patent Of­fice for supplying the information shown in Figure II.
     2)   Ms. Mary F. Bell, Director of Library and Archives, Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, was most helpful in providing the advertisement shown in Fig­ure III.
     3)   The excellent example shown in Figure I is from the collection of the College Savings Bank, Princeton, New Jersey, Mr. Peter A. Roberts, Chairman.

Presto Trick Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1992

      The focus of attention and discussion for this month's article centers upon an obscure, under­rated, and seemingly insignificant cast-iron mechanical bank, namely the "Presto Trick Bank." It is only upon close inspection that one can forgive its diminutive size and modest action. For, it is then that its attributes will be revealed: i.e., an architectural grace, enhanced by well-proportioned, finely detailed castings. It is a structure whose facade ap­pears to reflect the strength of a medieval castle, capped by a graceful, twelfth-century Byzantine, cupola-shaped roof.
     The "Presto" bank, Figure 1, was advertised in an 1892 issue of Marshall Fields and Company catalog. It was referred to as the "Presto Trick Bank," Figure II, presumably because of its action: place a coin into the drawer; close the drawer shut; open the drawer once again and, PRESTO, the coin has disappeared!
     To date, the bank's designer and manufacturer remain anonymous. However, similarities in casting, form, key lock coin retainer shape, and painted decoration have led collectors and historians to the belief that the "Presto" bank may have been a product of the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania.
     Interestingly, the "Presto" can be placed into two distinct categories of mechanical banks. One classification is "Building Banks," which comprise the largest number of mechanicals in any one category, and the other, the "Trick Drawer Banks." Examples of the latter variety include the "Chandler Bank," "Ideal Bureau," the "Model Savings-Cash Register Bank," the "Trick Savings Bank," "Serrill's Bureau," and the "Freedman's Bureau."
     The advertisement shown in Figure II states, "the bank contains the novel feature of a trick drawer." Also indicated is a description of the bank's operation: "Press down the button over the front door and the drawer will fly open. Put the coin in and close it. When the button is again pressed, the drawer will fly open, but the coin will have mysteriously disappeared. The money can be removed from the bottom of the bank by means of a lock and key."
     There are no casting or color variations of the "Presto" bank. The colors of the mechanical pic­tured in Figure I are as follows: the entire facades is painted a light brown japanning. The front door and cupola are bright red. The ball atop the cupola, the name "PRESTO," the trim around the bottom of the roof, trick drawer, and the base of the bank are bright gold. Finally, the doors and windows are outlined in silver.
     The "Presto" key lock coin retainer is quite unique in that it is semicircular with a single flat edge. It is similar in appearance to the coin retainer utilized in Kyser and Rex's "Confectionery Bank." In addition, the number "485" is cast into the bank's coin retainer. Referring to Figure II, this number seems to reflect a numerical catalog designation given to "Presto" by its manufacturer.
     Of note, several other manufacturers of cast-iron still banks had blatantly copied the "Presto" bank's design for their own use. This sort of plagiarism can only be explained by the fact that, although the words "PAT APD" are cast into the back of the "Presto" mechanical, assumedly no patent was ever issued. Figures III, IV, and V, respectively, are ads featuring still bank designs similar to the "Presto" mechanical bank. These are the "CASTLE" bank by the Arcade Manufacturing Company, Freeport, Illinois; the "JEWEL" bank by the Kenton Hardware Company, Kenton, Ohio, and the "TOWER TOY" bank by the A. C. Williams Company, Ravenna, Ohio.
     The "Presto" mechanical bank is not considered rare, but acquiring one that is complete and unbroken with superb paint can prove a difficult task. However, its acquisition may be well worth the pur­suit since it is an attractive and fine addition to a bank collection.
     "Presto" has been reproduced. Figure VI is a diagram indicating the base size of an original. A recast will appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch smaller than indicated.

Professor Pug Frog’s Great Bicycle Feat
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1992

      The year was 1886, and bicycle mania was sweeping the nation. Roads and sidewalks of American cities were teeming with cyclists, perched atop their new­fangled high wheelers (Figure I). It was also a time of unparalleled popularity enjoyed by American circuses. It is no surprise, therefore, that when Charles A. Bailey, master bank and toy designer, approached the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, with the opportunity to purchase the rights to produce and market his "Pug Frog Bicycle" bank, acceptance was immediate. Here, indeed, was a mechanical bank that, most assuredly, would appeal to almost everyone, children and adults alike. The charm of an adorable frog, a bicycle, a circus clown and Mother Goose, combined with the practicality of a children's savings device (Figure II), could prove nothing less than a sales bonanza!
     Figure III represents a copy of the original agreement between Charles A. Bailey and the J. and E. Stevens Company. Dated April 12, 1886, it authorized transfer of all rights of production and manufacture of Bailey's "Pug Frog" bank to them.
     An explanation of how, or why, Bailey would have conceived of such an illogical image as that of a frog performing somersaults upon a high-wheeled bicycle, remains a riddle. Perhaps the bank was based upon an obscure Mother Goose nursery tale, or merely a local folk fable. Or, might it have been only a figment of Bailey's fertile imagination? In my quest to answer this puzzle, several days were spent researching children's books at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., but to no avail. I did, however, discover a nineteenth-century personalized bookplate featuring the image of our bicycles (Figure IV). The plate had been pasted inside the front cover of an undated copy of Moby Dick. It would be of interest to learn which came first: Bailey's "Pug Frog" bank, or the image in Figure IV.
     To date, neither patent information nor documentation pertaining to the "Pug Frog" bank has surfaced. Had it not been for the agreement (Figure III) and an early 1888 J. and E. Stevens catalog picturing the bank on its front cover, the inventor and manufacturer of this timeless classic may have remained an enigma. The action of "Pug Frog" is both amusing and surprising. The bank must first be wound in order for it to operate properly. This is accomplished by rotating the bicycle pedal clockwise two or three turns. Once wound, a coin is placed upon the flat area above the small rear wheel. The lever in front of Mother Goose's left hand is then tapped. The frog and his bicycle rapidly rotate a full 360 degrees, throwing the coin into the clown's gaping basket. The rear wheel strikes the book held by Mother Goose and that, in turn, strikes her face which causes her tongue to wiggle.
     When a "Pug Frog" bank is discovered, it is frequently with the lower jaw of "Pug" either snapped off or repaired. This was, and is, due to the misconception of the location of coin placement prior to the bank's activation. It does, indeed, appear to be incorrectly obvious that the ideal depository for the coin would be the frog's mouth. Fortunately, an advertisement for the "Professor Pug Frog" bank appearing in an 1882 Marshall Field and Company jobbers catalog (Figure V) elucidated proper placement of the coin prior to operation as directly over the rear wheel. Caution must be exercised, for even a slightly oversized coin jammed into the frog's mouth is likely to result in a fractured lower jaw.
     The "Pug Frog" bank is placed into the unique classifi­cation of cast iron, clockworks mechanical banks. This group is, possibly, one of the single most desirable categories, for it includes such classics as "Girl Skipping Rope," "Organ Grinder and Performing Bear," the "Motor Trolley Bank," and "Bulldog Savings Bank." Although the "Pug Frog" is not considered rare, its charisma, multi-chromatic appearance, subject matter and action dictate a lofty sales price. This is in sharp contrast to the pur­chase price of a "Pug Frog" bank in 1882, when Marshall Field and Company sold each for the sum of 70 cents!
     There are no significant casting variations of the bank, but there are two color variations. These pertain solely to the drapery covering the front center section. It may be either white with red letters (pictured in Figure II), or red with gold letters. The following coloration is consistent throughout both variations: "Pug Frog" is painted an overall dark green. His chest, eyebrows and the rims of his ears are yellow. His lips are red and he has white eyes with black pupils. His bicycle is silver with a brown seat and a light blue pedal. Mother Goose wears a red bonnet, a blue blouse with a yellow collar and a red dress with a yellow hem. She has blue eyes and a red tongue. Her books contain white pages, edged in gold and bound in light blue. The clown sports a yellow-ochre hat with blue decorations. His coat is blue with a red collar and belt. His knickers are red and his socks are painted white. He wears black shoes, each topped with a red pompon. Finally, the basket he embraces is lemon-yellow, as is the platform supporting the Professor and his bicycle.
     "Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat" has been reproduced. Figure VI is a base diagram indicating the dimensions of an original example. A recast will appear approximately one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     Correction: Refer to the article entitled "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee," January 1992 issue of A.T.W. It was erroneously stated that the Chimp appears as the subject of only two different mechanicals: the cast-iron "Chimpanzee" bank (Kyser and Rex) and the zinc-alloy "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee" bank (of German manufacture). It have since been informed by a fellow mechanical bank collector, Mr. Tom Stoddard, that he is in possession of yet a third variety in which the chimp is featured. It also has a movable jaw and is composed of zinc-alloy. But since it is larger and heavier and appears to have never been painted, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to the "Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee" bank.

Zoo Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1992

      During the "Golden Age" of mechanical bank production (1870-1910), foundry toy designers incorporated recent and important events, or popular subjects, into their mechanical banks. Well-known examples include "Jumbo Elephant" (A.T.W., December 1987), "Humpty Dumpty" (A.T.W., July 1984), "Darktown Battery" (A.T.W., January 1985), "Boy Scout Camp" (A.T.W., March 1986), and "Calamity" (A.T.W., August 1985). It is not surprising, therefore, that with the successful debut of zoological parks in the United States, at least one bank manufacturer sought to cash in on their popularity with the creation of the "Zoo" Bank.
     The first zoological gardens was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1859 and opened to the public in 1874. This was followed by the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., which was established in 1890 by Congress "for the advancement of science and the education and recreation of the people." The advent of sanctuaries for living wild animals, a custom as old as recorded history but new to this country, was greeted with enthusiasm by a receptive public. It was this atmosphere into which the "Zoo" Bank was born.
     To date, attempts to determine the inventor and/or manufacturer of the "Zoo" Bank (Figure I) have been unsuccessful. Fortunately, the time period in which it was offered for sale came to light with the discovery of an 1894-95 Selchow and Righter toy jobbers catalog. In it was an advertisement for the "NEW 'ZOO' BANK, priced per dozen at $2.00" (Figure II).
     Historians and mechanical bank collectors believe that the bank might have been a product of the Kyser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania. Their supposition is based upon the number of similarities between "Zoo" Bank and several other mechanicals produced by the company. These similarities include casting features, paint type, coloration, and the common use of square lock coin traps.
     Two other mechanicals which share the same lack of data pertaining to patent, inventor, and manufacturer are the "Uncle Remus" Bank and "Boy Stealing Watermelons" Bank. These are also believed to have been manufactured by Kyser and Rex since they exhibit many similar design characteristics such as coloration and paint application technique. In addition, all three banks have one of the following numbers molded into their back plates: 133, 134, 136, leading to the assumption that the trio was part of a series. Interestingly, they all share the unique design characteristic of buildings which display severely foreshortened perspective, lending the illusion of greater depth than the banks actually achieve.
     The action of the "Zoo" is simple, effective, and surprising, as described in the advertisement in Figure II: "The money is put in the slot and remains in sight until the monkey's face is pressed, when it falls, the shutters fly open and the lion and tiger put their faces through the windows. The shutters can be snapped shut and the bank is ready for business." (Curiously, the ad describes the animals behind the shutters as a lion and tiger. In actuality, they are a lion and bear.) Coin deposits are retrieved by removing a square, key lock retainer underneath the base.
     There are no casting variations of "Zoo" Bank, and few slight accidental color deviations, which are of no significance. The colors of the bank illustrated in Figure I are as follows: The building is red. The roof is painted grey with gold highlights. The side door and the ground are green, both highlighted with gold. The bear in the left window is black and silver; the lion in the right window is tan and brown, and the monkey peeking through the arched window in the cupola is brown and bronze with a red mouth.
     "Zoo" is an extremely attractive and desirable mechanical, and an asset to a collection. Its colorful appearance, subject matter, and surprise action more than make up for its diminutive size.
     To date, and to the best of my knowledge, no reproductions have been manufactured. In the event that one may exist, it would appear ap­proximately one-sixteenth inch shorter in length than indicated by the base diagram (Figure III) of an original "Zoo" Bank.

The General Butler Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1992

      A most unique and impressive penny bank, and one that deviates from the type usually discussed in this column, is the "General Butler" still bank (Figure I). Its "dual personality" contributes to its desirability and appeal to collectors of both mechanical and still banks. Compared to others in the cast iron, figural, still bank category, it is the largest and most elaborately painted. It also bears an uncanny resemblance to the multifarious family of mechanical banks produced by the J. and E. Stevens Co of Cromwell, CT.
     Unfortunately, there is no mention of the manufacturer of "General Butler" in either catalogs or advertisement of the period, nor in the patent papers shown in Figure II. Furthermore, had it not been for the utilization of a round J. and E. Stevens' coin retainer, its heritage might have remained an enigma.
     The Butler bank was patented by Arnold Seligsberg of New York City on November 12, 1878, and assigned Design number 10,907. Although the patent papers make no mention of the name of its subject, there can be little doubt on the part of the viewer as to the individual's identity. It is a remarkably accurate, albeit cruel, caricature, of the great Civil War statesman, politi­cian, general, and lawyer, Benjamin Franklin Butler (Figure III). In addition, if we were to examine historical records of the period, the idea of his resemblance being merely coincidental would be quickly dispelled.
     The year was 1872 and the country was sliding into a deep depression. An economic phenomenon known as "Greenbackism" was rapidly emerging. Disenchanted farmers and failing businessmen demanded that the government place additional paper money, or "greenbacks," in circulation although they would not be backed by hard gold or silver currency. Benjamin Butler, serving in Congress as an Independent Greenbacker, demanded the government continue the issuance of paper money in lieu of hard currency. Ultimately, the result was uncontrollable inflation and a glut of worthless greenbacks. Mr. Seligsberg's design, Figure II, portrays and describes the character of his penny bank as a green-backed frog "grasping a piece of paper money."
     In 1873, Ben Butler purchased the yacht "America" at a bogus government auction for a mere $5,000. He was the sole bidder, thanks to arrangements by friends in the United States Navy Department.
     As mentioned previously, if there was any question as to who Arnold Seligberg's creature repre­sented, J. and E. Stevens eradicated all doubt. Not only did they refine the bank's facial features to more closely resemble those of Ben Butler (Figure III), they also added the words, "For the masses" on the bank's left arm, "This is $1,000,000" on the package of greenbacks carried in its left paw, and the words "Bonds and yachts for me" on its right arm.
     Created as a still bank, there is, of course, no action which follows the placement of a coin within the general's cavernous mouth. Alas, our green-backed frog remains perpetually unanimated. Deposits are removed by opening the round Stevens' coin retainer underneath the base.
     There are no casting or color variations of the Ben Butler bank. Colors of the bank in Figure I are as follows: the face is painted a pink-flesh tone and the eyes, eyebrows, hair, moustache and claws are black. The belly and back are painted dark green, and both arms and legs are yellow‑green. The paper money in the left paw is bright emerald-green and the base is reddish-brown. Finally, all lettering on both arms and the numbers on the greenback currency  are highlighted in the same pink-flesh tone as the face.
     The Butler bank is considered quite scarce and is sought after by both still and mechanical bank col­lectors alike. A truly superb example was recently purchased at an auction held in New York City. The selling price was that generally realized for a mechanical bank and, not surprisingly, purchased by a collector of mechanical banks.
     To the best of my knowledge, the "General Butler" bank has not, heretofore, been reproduced. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure IV). In the even that it had been recast, it would appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Spring-Jawed Penguin
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1992

      Clumsy, comical, and flightless is the sea bird known as the penguin. This member of the Aptenodytes genus appeared to have been overlooked in favor of other winged denizens chosen to represent the world of mechanical banks. However, a recent discovery within the ranks of the "Spring-Jawed" group of mechanicals has happily remedied that situation.
     The "Penguin," Figure I, is one of eight subjects which comprise the aforementioned grouping. Other members of this unique set had been discussed in previous Antique Toy World articles: i.e., "Alligator" (October 1987), "Bonzo" (October 1988), "Kitten" (November 1989), "Bulldog" (June 1990), "Mule" (February 1991), "Parrot" (July 1991), and "Chimpanzee" (January 1992).
     The "Penguin" bank, as well as the entire series, reflects the quality of craftsmanship and artistry evident in German bank and toy production during the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately, there is little information pertaining to the manufacturer and/or date of production of these banks. As stated in previous articles, had it not been for the word "GERMANY" printed underneath the bases of several examples, the country of origin would also have remained unknown.
     It may be assumed, perhaps, that lack of pertinent data relating to the "Spring-Jawed" series was the result of a practice common to nineteenth-century German patent law. It was during this time that nonessential products were designated as Deutsches Reichs Ge­brauchs Muster (D.R.G.M.), meaning second-grade patents, and not listed in the Annels Patent Index. This was in contrast to Deutsches Reichs Patent (D.R.P.), meaning the full Ger­man patent. It was the practice to routinely discard second-grade patents after fifteen years. This, of course, resulted in the existent void for collectors and historians who seek further knowledge of these toys.
     Worthy of mention at this time is the reason for the designation "spring-jawed" when referring to this particular group of banks. The lower jaw of each subject is secured internally to the inside back of its head by a thin, steel leaf spring. Upon insertion of a coin through the bank's coin slot the leaf spring is activated, causing the lower jaw to jiggle in a manner of chewing. The deposits are removed by undoing a small, brass, heart-shaped "trick lock" and opening the hinged heads.
     The "Penguin" is the rarest of the group, with only one known example to have surfaced. Nevertheless, the "Parrot," "Mule," "Chimpanzee," and "Bulldog" assume a close second place in terms of scarcity, since there are only three or four examples of each known to have survived. The rarity of the group is attributed to the nature of its composition. A zinc-alloy, commonly referred to as "pot metal," was utilized in its manufacture. This material is extremely fragile and quite prone to breakage at the slightest mishandling. It also rapidly deteriorates under certain adverse conditions, such as high humidity or an acidic environment. Conversely, it is the soft, fragile nature of zinc-alloy that enables castings to be smooth and intricately detailed, as evidenced by the entire "spring-jawed" family.
     The method of manufacture is referred to as the "slush mold" process. It entails filling a multisectional hollow mold with the molten ("pot metal") zinc alloy. As the liquefied metal cooled and solidified within the inside walls of the mold, the remaining viscous metal was quickly expelled. Once fully cooled, the mold was separated, revealing a hollow, smooth, perfectly detailed, eggshell-thin positive image of its interior.
     All examples of the "Spring-Jawed" mechanicals are attractively decorated. The colors of the "Penguin" bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the entire back, wings, head, and beak are painted black. It has two tiny white eyes with black pupils. The chest is white with an indication of light gray plumage stretching from wing to wing. The "Penguin" has a white jaw with a pink tongue; its two large feet are painted a bright orange. The words, "A Present from Ramsgate," are scrawled across its stomach and are lettered in black.
     To date, none of the "Spring-Jawed" series has been reproduced. However, Figure II is an outline drawing of the "Penguin" for the purpose of providing size and scale of the bank.

The William Tell Bank
Arrow Coin Shooter

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1992

      William Tell, the legendary Swiss figure of a bygone era, acquired his popularity through he­roic deeds. Tell and his son had travelled to Altdorf, Switzerland, a city occupied by the Austrians under the Austrian Governor Gessler. When Tell refused to pay homage to the governor by bowing to a hat which had been placed upon a stake in the main square symbolizing Austria's sovereign power, he was punished. Tell was ordered to shoot an apple with a crossbow from the head of his son. To the governor's amazement, Tell succeeded and followed his act by commenting that his "next arrow was destined for Gessler's heart." Tell was then imprisoned, but later escaped and, eventually, slew Gessler in an ambush. This, as well as other heroic acts, led to Switzerland's rebellion and liberation from Austria on New Year's Day in the year 1308.
     Five hundred eighty-eight years later, the legend of William Tell was captured in Russell Frisbie's design of a mechanical bank in the hero's image (Figure I). Frisbie, of Cromwell, Connecticut, was granted design patent number 25,662 (Figure II) on June 23, 1896. He assigned the patent rights to J. and E. Stevens Company, also of Cromwell, Connecticut, who eventually manufactured and marketed the bank.
     The "William Tell" bank (Figure I) adhered quite faithfully to the patent design and is true to the popular legend, with one major exception: William Tell brandishes a bullet-firing rifle rather than an arrow-propelling crossbow. This discrepancy is responsible for this addendum to my November 1985 article, "William Tell Bank," in Antique Toy World. A coin shooter slide in the shape of an arrow (Figure III) for the "William Tell" bank, heretofore unknown, had been discovered by mechanical bank historian Mr. Mark Haber, now deceased. Haber, who resided in Wethersfield, Connecticut, located this unique part many years ago at the then-defunct Stevens' Foundry pattern assem­bly room. This slide, to my knowledge and puzzlement, had never been incorporated into the actual design of the J. and E. Stevens "William Tell" bank. (If any reader should happen to know, or be in possession, of a "William Tell" bank which was produced utilizing the arrow coin shooter rather than the common example shown in Figure I, your information would be greatly appreciated.)
     The action of the bank in Figure I is aptly described in a 1906 J. and E. Stevens catalog (Figure IV): "Place the coin in proper position on the barrel of the rifle. Press the right foot and the rifle shoots the apple from the boy's head. As the coin enters the castle, it strikes a gong bell. It is so arranged that a paper cap may be fired at the same time." (Figure I represents the bank after the apple has been shot from the head of Tell's son.) The apple is resent by lowering the boy's right arm.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: William Tell's hands and face are a pink flesh color; the corneas of his eyes are white with black pupils, and he had black hair and eyebrows; his lips are red. Tell's hat is gray with a red plume, and his jacket is black with red trim and a red belt. His sleeves have yellow pouffes at the shoulders. The cape is black with a brown collar and red lining. His pantaloons are yel­low, and his stockings are a pink flesh color. He wears brown boots. The rifle is black with a gold coin shooter. His son has pink flesh-colored arms, legs and face. He had black hair, eyes and eyebrows. His shirt is red, and the kilt and boots are orange. The apple atop his head is yellow. The castle is tan with gold decoration, and the entire base is painted light green, highlighted with gold.
     The "William Tell" bank is not considered rare. However, its attractive coloration, combined with its legendary subject matter, contribute to its popularity amongst today's collectors.
     Several years ago this mechanical had been reproduced as a promotion incentive to purchase the "Book of Knowledge" Encyclopedia. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure V) to aid the collector in determining an original from a recast. The reproduction will appear approximately one-quarter inch shorter in length than an original.

The Hubley Trick Elephant Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1992

      Of all the animals to inhabit the circus, the elephant may, perhaps, be considered one of the most endearing to both children and adults alike. Few are able to resist its gentleness, so deceptively concealed beneath its huge and powerful exterior.
     It is of no great wonder, therefore, that early toy manufacturers sought to capitalize upon the popularity of the pachyderm by incorporating its image into almost every line of their wares. Encouraged by the, sales of these toys, many of the mechanical bank manufacturers also began to incorporate the circus elephant into their designs. Examples include such notables as "Baby Elephant Opens at X O'Clock," designed by the well-known Charles A., Bailey, "Elephant Howdah Man Pops Up" bank which was introduced by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, "Elephant and Three Clowns," the "Jumbo Elephant" bank and the "Light of Asia," which were produced by the J. and E. Stevens Co., "Elephant with Tusks on Wheels" bank, sold by Kyser and Rex, and the series of elephant mechanical banks with swinging trunks, issued by the A.C. Williams Co.
     The "Trick Elephant" bank (Fig. I) is believed to be the last of the "antique" elephant mechanical banks to be manufactured. It was produced by one of the major cast iron toy foundries, namely the Hubley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, PA. The company was founded by John Hubley in 1894 and became one of the leading producers of cast iron toys in the world. Their merchandise included toy automobiles, trucks, trains, airplanes, farm vehicles, animal-drawn wagons and still banks. It was not until the turn of the century that Hubley introduced their line of mechanicals. These included "Trick Dog" — 6-part base (Fig. II), the patent and patterns of which were purchased from the Shepard Hardware Co. of Buffalo, New York. Following this was the "Trick Dog" — solid base version, the "Trick Monkey" bank, and the final in the series, the "Trick Elephant" bank (Fig. III).
     Unfortunately, neither patent papers nor other information pertaining to the banks' inventor(s) or designer(s) has surfaced. Had it not been for Hubley catalogs and advertisements (refer to Figure III), the manufacturer of "Trick Elephant" bank might have remained an enigma.
     There are two minor casting differences and two color variants of the "Trick Elephant" bank. The elephant may either be painted a natural light gray, as were the earlier production models, or a flat white. As to the castings, the tail may be created from either cast iron or aluminum. The colors of the bank illustrated in Figure I are as follows: The entire elephant is painted white. It has yellow tusks, and eyes, the pupils of which are dark blue with red dots in each corner. The mouth and top of the trunk are painted red. The howdah is also red and is bordered with gold decorations. It sits upon a dark blue blanket with gold fringe. Finally, the strap around the elephant's belly is painted red.
     The action of the "Trick Elephant" bank is both simplistic and amusing. To quote from the catalog page in Figure III ... "Coin is placed in trunk, and thrown into body by lifting tail." Coin deposits are removed by unscrewing the large center bolt which secures both halves of the elephant together.
     The "Trick Elephant" bank is considered to be quite common since it had been produced in large quantities over several years. However, in view of its popularity with young children, it is quite un­common to come across an example that is in superb, almost mint condition. Thus, when an exceptional bank is offered for sale, it is usually at a premium price.
     The "Trick Elephant" bank has been reproduced. Figure IV is a base diagram of an original example. Dimensions of recasts will vary from one-quarter to one-half inch shorter in length than indicated.
     I would like to thank Mr. Julian Thomas of Thomas Toys, Inc., Fenton, MI, for his kind assistance in providing the catalog pages and information pertaining to the Hubley Co. mentioned in this article.

The Hubley Trick Monkey Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1992

      Long Gone is the era of the organ grinder who, with his precocious monkey, performed on street corners. My mother would often reminisce about her youth and growing up in an early 20th century America. She would describe, with much nostalgia, the joy and excitement of the neighborhood children who eagerly gathered after hearing those very first notes heralding the appearance of these street corner entertainers. Their small fists, so tightly clenched, concealed a single penny destined to be retrieved by the pleading, outstretched paw of the vendor's greedy monkey.
     Of the numerous antique cast iron mechanical banks which represent the entertaining duo, none is as realistic and accurate in depiction as the "Trick Monkey Bank" (Figure I). This mechanical was patented by Mr. Daniel Cooke of Camden, NJ, on June 2, 1891 (Figure II). However, as evidenced by the final production bank in Figure I, there appears to have been little adherence to Cooke's patent design, other than maintaining its theme and cast of characters. Of interest is the fact that another of Daniel Cooke's patents (Figure III) was utilized solely as a source of animation and activation for the "Trick Monkey Bank," and was designed initially for his "Trick Dog Bank" (refer to "Trick Dog Bank," Antique Toy World, November, 1988).
     The "Trick Monkey Bank" was manufactured by the Hubley Manufacturing Co. of Lancaster, PA. Founded by John Hubley in 1894, the company became one of the leading, and final, cast iron bank manufacturers in the world. It wasn't until the turn of the century that Hubley introduced their line of mechanicals, beginning with "Trick Dog" and "Trick Monkey" banks. This was followed, at a much later date, by their "Trick Elephant Bank." Figure IV is a page from a 1937 Hubley catalog illustrating these three very colorful and animated mechanicals. A separate wholesale price list included with this catalog offered the trio to stores at the price of $7.50 per dozen.
     There are no casting differences of the "Trick Monkey Bank," and only two minor color variants. These pertain solely to its base, which may be painted either dark green or light green. In either case, the remainder of the bank's color scheme is consistent. The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: the base is light green with the words "MONKEY BANK" highlighted in gold. The flanged edge at the bottom of the base is also painted gold. The organ grinder sports a bright red jacket and hat with a yellow band. His pants are yellow, and he wears black shoes. His hands and face are painted a pink, flesh color. His hair, eyes, eye­brows and moustache are black. The organ is cocoa-brown, with gold bands. The monkey is painted an overall cocoa-brown. It wears a yellow jacket, red pants and a blue hat. Its eyes are black and the mouth is red. The fulcrum to which the monkey is connected to the base is red, and the chain leash joining the monkey to its master is brass.
     The action of the "Trick Monkey Bank" is amusing and uncomplicated. A coin is placed in the monkey's mouth. The lever behind the monkey is then pressed. Simultaneously, the monkey springs forward, depositing the coin into the slot atop the organ. Deposits are removed by opening the large, square key lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     The "Trick Monkey Bank" is considered to be quite common. However, due to its amusing action and attractive appearance, it obviously gained great popularity among children. Therefore, most examples are either well played with and/or broken. When a "Trick Monkey Bank" does surface in extremely fine mechanical and paint condition, it is usually accompanied by a premium price.
     Reproductions do exist. Figure V is a base diagram of an original. Dimensions of a recast will appear one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter in length than indicated.
     Note: My thanks to Mr. Julian Thomas of Thomas Toys, Inc., Fenton, MI, for his help in providing information and catalog pages pertaining to the Hubley Manufacturing Co. 
     Refer to Antique Toy World, November 1992: (from June, 1993) The "Trick Monkey" Bank. I have been informed of yet a third color variation of this bank. It has a reddish brown base, rather than the more usual light or dark green versions. This mechanical resides in the Frank Kidd collection.

The Hubley Trick Dog Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1992

      The appeal and fascination of jesters and clowns are undeniable, as evidenced by their popularity throughout recorded history. It is no wonder, therefore, that their images have been captured for use in children's playthings. Toy manufacturers would surely be remiss if they failed to recognize the desirability of these subjects.
     During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the circus clown rose to prominence in the world of mechanical banks. Classic examples of banks produced both in the United States and abroad in­clude: "Humpty Dumpty," "Punch and Judy," "Elephant and Three Clowns," "Clown on Bar," "Clown Bust," "Bill-E-Grin," "Clown and Harlequin," "Professor Pug Frog," "Acrobat," "Hoop-La," "Clown and Dog," etc.
     The "Trick Dog" bank (Figure I) was conceived by Mr. Daniel Cooke, an inventor who resided in Camden, New Jersey. On July 31, 1888, he was granted Design Patent Number 18,489 (Figure II). The bank was initially produced by the Shepard Hardware Company, of Buffalo, New York, and is referred to by collectors as "Trick Dog," Six-Part Base (refer to Antique Toy World, November 1988). An early Montgomery and Ward catalog, circa 1889, offered these Shepard banks at 85c apiece (Figure III).
     Sometime around the turn of the century, Shepard Hardware discontinued production of their entire line of mechanical banks, including "Trick Dog." Several years later, Shepard's foundry patterns and patent rights for their "Trick Dog" mechanical bank became the possession of Hubley Manufacturing Company. Initially, Hubley produced the "Trick Dog" bank, Six-Part Base utilizing the original Shepard patterns (Figure IV). These banks differed from those manufactured by Shepard in the style in which they were painted: i.e., usage of a very simplistic color scheme, namely green, yellow, and brown, in contrast to the highly detailed and delicately executed paint work which was the Shepard trademark. In addition, Hubley's base was secured together with brass twist pins instead of the threaded flat-head machine screws utilized by Shepard. Several years later (1920-1930), Hubley ceased production of their "Trick Dog," Six-Part Base. They redesigned the base, utilizing a one-piece casting, which was much less complex and more economical to produce (Figure I).
     Operation of the "Trick Dog" is initiated by placing a coin within the dog's mouth. This is followed by depressing the lever at the end of the bank. Simultaneously, the pup springs upward, through the hoop, dropping the money into the barrel. Deposited coins are retrieved by releasing a square, key-locking coin retainer underneath the base.
     Figure V is a page from a 1937 Hubley wholesale toy catalog illustrating the "Trick Dog" mechanical, along with its counterparts... the "Trick Monkey" bank and the "Trick Elephant" bank. A price list included with the catalog offered the "Trick Dog" at $7.50 per dozen.
     The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: the clown's face and hands are white; he has black eyes, a red mouth, and red dots on his cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. His outfit, including the cap, is painted red, yellow, and black. He wears white stockings and black shoes. The dog is black with white spots and a red mouth. The barrel is red and the base of the bank is blue with the words "TRICK DOG" highlighted in gold. The flange at the bottom of the base and the hoop held by the clown are also painted gold. Hubley produced the solid-base "Trick Dog" bank over a period of approximately thirty years. The earliest production models of these solid base banks were decorated with brighter and more garish colors. For example, the clown's garb was painted a bright green which was replaced by later usage of maudlin black. Finally, the base was painted yellow and brown.
     Unfortunately, in 1940, the Hubley Manufacturing Company, by then the world's leading cast-iron toy manu­facturer, ceased all toy production. This was due to government demands for iron to be used for war materials.
     The entire line of Hubley mechanicals (i.e., "Trick Dog," "Trick Monkey," and "Trick Elephant") is ex­tremely attractive, and an important component of many a bank collection.
     The Hubley solid-base "Trick Dog" bank has been reproduced. I am, therefore, including a base diagram (Figure VI), indicating the size of an original. Reproductions will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along its length.
     Note: Once again, my thanks to Mr. Julian Thomas, of Thomas Toys, Inc., Fenton, Michigan, for his help in providing pertinent information and catalog pages relative to the Hubley Manufacturing Company.

The Safety Locomotive Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1993

      The legendary locomotive, a symbol of freedom and expansion, has been immortalized in story, folklore, and song. These steam-belching "iron horses" enabled early settlers and industrialists to span vast distances, through prairies, forests, deserts and mountain ranges, with both speed and safety. During the 19th century images of locomotives were seen adorning a great number of products which were utilized in everyday life. Toy manufacturers took full advantage of the trend. Children of the era were offered the fantasy via miniature railroad playthings.
     On November 15, 1887, Edward J. Colby, of Chicago, Illinois, was granted Patent number 373,223 (Fig­ure I) for his "Safety Locomotive" Bank (Figure II). Colby described his invention as having a threefold purpose, namely as a bank, a paperweight, and a toy drawn by a child. The locomotive, indicated in the patent drawings and shown after manufacture (Figure II), represents one of the earliest of the 4-4-0 engines. This numerical classification pertains to the locomotive's wheel arrangement: i.e., four wheels under the front truck, four wheels under the steam boiler, and no wheels under the engineer's cab.
     Interestingly, the "Safety Locomotive" Bank is not considered a true mechanical. This is based upon the fact that no visible action occurs immediately upon insertion of a coin. The bank does, however, open automatically when its cavity is saturated with deposited coins. The "Safety Locomotive" is not unique; several other banks may also be placed in the category of "semi-mechanicals." Among these are the Ives "Time Registering" Bank, Kyser and Rex's "Coin Registering" Bank, Proctor Raymond's "Bank of Education and Economy," J. and E. Stevens's "Perfection Registering," and the "Lighthouse" and "Pump and Bucket" Banks, whose manufacturers are unknown.
     The action of the "Safety Locomotive" Bank is accu­rately described in an early 1887 Montgomery and Ward Toy Jobbers Catalog (Figure III). It reads: "The weight of the money dropped in the slot on top of cab will, after the bank is full (and not before), loosen the smokestack, which can then be lifted out and the money poured from the opening."
     There are two casting and two color variants of the "Safety Locomotive." It may be either nickel-plated or black. The example shown in Figure II is painted glossy black. The cow catcher, front lantern and dome of the rear steam tank are highlighted with gold. The lens of the lantern is painted red.
     The casting variations apply to the word "SAFETY," which may be either cast into the front end of the boiler or under the windows of the engineer's cab. Similarly, the words "PAT. 87," may also be cast underneath the windows of the cab, or into the front end of the boiler.
     It is the later models of the "Safety Locomotive" which have the word "SAFETY" cast underneath the windows of the engineer's cab. This "improved" model also has a removable part under the smokestack, allowing for an easier and more reliable means of emptying the deposited coins.
     The "Safety Locomotive" Bank has never been reproduced. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure IV) revealing size and scale. A reproduction, if it were created, might appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter in length than indicated.
     The bank in discussion is an extremely desirable and attractive addition to a collection. Unfortunately, its rarity dictates that few bank collectors will actually own one, and especially an example that is complete and original.
     ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The pristine example of the "Safety Locomotive" shown in Figure II is from the Steckbeck collection of mechanical banks.
     Refer to Antique Toy World, November 1992: The "Trick Monkey" Bank. I have been informed of yet a third color variation of this bank. It has a reddish brown base, rather than the more usual light or dark green versions. This mechanical resides in the Frank Kidd collection.

Hold The Fort Bank
(Five Hole Variation)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1993

      War games and weaponry have always fascinated youngsters. This becomes evident when children, and boys in particular, are observed at play. They delight in brandishing cap pistols, arranging toy soldiers in miniature army formations, and protecting their combatants within the confines of the impenetrable fort.
     Amongst those who recognized the opportunity to capitalize upon these youthful militaristic fantasies were nineteenth-century mechanical bank manufacturers. These entrepreneurs combined the theme of armed conflict with the then-popular thrift-save-a-penny philosophy which was sweeping the nation. Both the Shepard Hardware Company, of Buffalo, New York, and the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Connecticut, prominent bank manufacturers of the era, produced no fewer than five variants of the "Artillery" Bank (Figure I). In addition, Stevens manufactured the "Target" Bank and the "U.S. and Spain" Bank which also incorporate the fort and the cannon theme.
     Two other mechanical banks utilizing a fort and cannon are the "Fort Sumpter" Bank and the subject of this month's article, "Hold the Fort" Bank (Figure II). Unfortunately, there is little known information pertaining to the manufacturers of either of these mechanicals. The "Hold the Fort" Bank was designed and patented by Samuel Clark of Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Clark was granted Patent number 197,250 on November 20, 1877 (Figure III). As indicated by the patent drawings, the manufacturer adhered faithfully to Mr. Clark's original design.
     The action of "Hold the Fort" is appropriately described in an early trade flyer, Figure IV, as follows: "'HOLD THE FORT' AN AMUSING AND INSTRUCTIVE TOY BANK FOR BOYS. Pull back the ring until the rod is held in place by the lever. Tip the Bank, lay the Coin on the Target, and drop the Shot in the Cannon." "The shot generally follows the coin into the Bank and escapes out of the perforated bottom.
     "The coin placed in position forms the target. The ball projected by a spring strikes the coin with sufficient force to carry it into the bank.
     "A percussion wafer can be used to add to the amusement, and will encourage the saving of money." Deposits are removed by unscrewing the coin retainer, which represents an arched doorway at the end of the bank, directly behind the cannon.
     Interestingly, there are not only two casting variations of "Hold the Fort," but a "Hold the Fort" inkstand. The bank variations are referred to as "Hold the Fort" Bank, five holes (Figure II), and "Hold the Fort" Bank, seven holes. The holes refer to the round portholes cast into the sides of each bank. The aforementioned arched door coin retainer resides upon the five‑hole bank. The seven-hole "Hold the Fort" utilizes a screw-on, rectangular coin-retainer which is located underneath its base.
     An advertisement within the Winter 1877 issue of the American Athletic Journal read as follows: " 'Hold the Fort' Bank. Sent by mail, prepaid, $1.25. A few shot and caps and a flag, are packed with each bank." Also offered by the advertiser is the "Hold the Fort" inkstand. It varies somewhat in appearance from the bank in that its walls have a rougher, pebblier texture and is not as attractively painted. In addition, the name "HOLD THE FORT" is cast onto the lower portion of the front edge. Fortunate is the collector who owns both "Hold the Fort" variants and a "Hold the Fort" inkstand. All are extremely scarce, and all make an attractive display.
     The color schemes of both "Hold the Fort" Banks are similar. The top, bottom, and four sides may be either tan or gray. The crenellations and raised decorations on the walls are dark blue and red. The cannon can be either dark blue or black, and the target enclosure is painted bright red.
     Although the previously discussed advertisement had indicated the inclusion of a flag with the "Hold the Fort" Bank, to date, none has materialized. Nevertheless, if an authentic example were to surface, its colors would certainly be that of Old Glory, i.e., red, white, and blue.
     The "Hold the Fort" five and seven-hole Banks, are equally uncommon, and neither one commands a higher price than the other.
     I am not aware of any existent reproductions. Nonetheless, I am including a base diagram of an original example (Figure V). If a recast were produced, it would be approximately one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     My thanks to Steve Steckbeck for allowing me to include a photograph in this article of his superb "Hold the Fort" (Figure II).

Pig In High Chair Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1993

      "The Duchess was sitting on a three-legged stool nursing a baby, the cook was leaning over a fire stirring a large cauldron which seemed to be full of soup. "There's certainly too much pepper in that soup!" Alice said to herself, as well as she could for sneezing.
     Even the Duchess sneezed occasionally; and for the baby, it was sneezing and howling ... "Here! You may nurse it a bit if you like!" said the Duchess to Alice, flinging the baby at her as she spoke. Alice caught the baby with some difficulty, as it was a queer-shaped little creature ... "Don't grunt," said Alice; to the baby, "that's not at all a proper way of expressing yourself. " The baby grunted again, and Alice looked very anxiously into its face to see what was the matter with it. There could be no doubt that it had a very turned-up nose, much more like a snout than a real nose; also its eyes were extremely small for a baby.
     "If you're going to turn into a pig, my dear," said Alice, "seriously, I'll have nothing more to do with you."
          —Lewis Caroll (from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

       The year was 1865 and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, cre­ated his timeless masterpiece of the absurd and sublime Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Chapter 6, entitled "Pig and Pepper," describes a ludicrous scene in which a Duchess sits feeding a hysterical baby who gradually metamorphasizes into a piglet (Figure I).
     Thirty-two years later, on August 24, 1897, Peter Adams of Buffalo, NY, appears to have recaptured that nonsensical episode created by Carroll with his patent design for a mechanical bank in the form of a piglet sitting in a highchair.
     Although the patent papers make no mention of the Alice in Wonderland fantasy, the image of a baby pig sitting in a high chair being fed coins appears to be more than coincidental.
     The words, "PAID AUG 24 1897" cast into the underside of the base facilitated location of the patent papers illustrated in Figure II.
     The "Pig in High Chair" bank (Figure III) was subsequently manufactured by the J. and E. Ste­vens Company of Cromwell, CT. Noteworthy is the fact that Peter Adams, inventor of the "Pig in High Chair" bank, initially designed mechanical banks solely for the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, New York. This was at a time when Shepard and J. E. Stevens were leading competi­tors in the manufacture of mechanical banks. However, during the latter part of the nineteenth century, Shephard Hardware experienced great financial difficulties and was ultimately forced to cease its operations. The defunct company sold several of their mechanical bank designs and patents to the J. and E., Stevens Company. Included among these was "Pig in High Chair."
     An early Steven's toy catalog (Figure IV) pictures the "Pig in High Chair," but with the name "Educated Pig" bank. The designation "Pig in High Chair" was created by bank collectors who sought to identify the mechanical by more accurate description of its actual appearance.
     The action of "Pig in High Chair" is appropriately and simply described in a 1903 Montgomery Ward and Company catalog (Figure V); "Place a coin on the tray and press the lever; the pig catches it in his mouth, moves his tongue and swallows it." Deposits are recovered by opening the round Stevens-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     There are neither casting nor color variations of "Pig in High Chair." The example shown in Fig­ure III is nickel-plated cast iron. Sadly, because of its small size, lack of color and limited action, the "Pig in High Chair" bank is not a particularly popular or sought-after mechanical. However, to those bank collectors who have examined its flawless detail, graceful casting, as well as its ridiculous but intriguing subject matter, it has proven to be a worthy and attractive addition to their collections.
     I am not aware of existent reproductions of "Pig in High Chair." Nonetheless, if one were to be recast, it would be approximately one‑eighth of an inch shorter across the base than indicated in Figure VI.
     Acknowledgment: The "Pig in High Chair" bank (Figure III) is from the superb mechanical bank collection of Mr. Barry Seiden.

The Bread Winners Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1993

      The year was 1884. Squalor in the workplace and wage abuse were rampant. The paramount factors resulting in the exploitation of labor in this country were corruption in big business and monopolies. In order to stem these abusive conditions, the Anti-Monopoly Political Party was formed. Championed by Benjamin F. Butler, it suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Grover Cleveland, with Butler unable to muster even a single electoral vote.
     Two years later, in 1886, the J. and E. Stevens Company, a leading manufacturer of cast-iron toys, located in Cromwell, Connecticut, captured the essence of the still piteous labor situation with its creation of the "Bread Winners" Bank (Figure I). Depicted is "Honest Labor," with sledge hammer in hand, poised to strike at the heavy club of "Monopoly." The recipient of the blow is the corrupt big business "Rascal," appearing in the form of a Semite. Immediately behind the "Rascal" is the head of the crooked politician, his body imprisoned in an overstuffed moneybag. Portrayal of the "Rascal" as a Semite may have been prompted by prejudicial propaganda directed towards the newly immigrated Jews. This practice of discriminatory characterization of minority groups was evident in the design of several mechanical banks which J. and E. Stevens manufactured: i.e., "Bad Accident," "Paddy and the Pig," "Reclining Chinaman," etc.
     To date, there is little information which relates to either patent or design of "Bread Winners." However, the discovery of a letter amongst the Stevens Foundry archives sheds some light upon its history. The correspondence was dated May 6, 1886, and written by mechanical bank designer, Charles A. Bailey, assigning to them "a bank which hits on the labor question and is called the Bread Winners Bank."
     Operation of the mechanical is simple and effective: the "Honest Labor" sledge hammer is raised and set into position. A coin is placed within the slot at the end of the "monopoly" club. The small lever in the back of the laborer is then pressed. This causes the sledge to strike sharply down upon the club, depositing the money into the large loaf of bread and sending the big business "Rascal" up, heels over head! Coins are removed through a round retainer underneath the base.
     To find intended meaning in the fragmented imagery of the "Bread Winners" Bank, we must first take notice of the raised letters placed upon its many segments: across the base are the words, "SEND THE RASCALS UP — THE BREAD WINNERS BANK"; the loaf of bread is worded "HONEST LABOR BREAD"; the moneybag is embellished by the phrase "BOODLE, STEAL, BRIB­ERY," and the coin-slotted club states "MONOPOLY." Thus, upon activation of the bank, its meaning becomes evident. If labor strikes a forceful blow to monopoly, corrupt big business will be forced to relinquish its ill-acquired gain, thereby putting more bread into the mouths of the honest working man. Simultaneously, justice will prevail and the dishonest "Rascal" will be sent up "the river," to prison.
     There are no significant casting variations of the "Bread Winners" Bank, and few color variants. Occasionally, one may see the laborer, the rascal, and the base painted in reversed colors. The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: the laborer has pink, flesh-colored face and hands. He has black eyes, eyebrows, mustache, hair and shoes. His cap is reddish-brown, and he wears a dark blue shirt, olive green pants and a tan apron. The rascal's hands, face and feet are white. He has a black mustache, beard, eyes, eyebrows, and hair. His jacket is dark blue and he sports bright red pants. The politician emerging from the moneybag also has a white face, black eyes, eyebrows, hair and mustache. The moneybag is light brown with a dark blue drawstring. The "Monopoly" club is olive green, and the loaf of bread is painted shades of light brown and tan. One half of the base is red and the other is dark blue. All of the raised letters are highlighted in gold, as is the head of the sledge hammer and the anvil, upon which the "Monopoly" club rests.
     In view of the extreme rarity of the "Bread Winners" Bank (i.e., a superb example will command a high, five-figure price tag), I have included an early Selchow and Righter toy jobbers catalog advertisement, circa 1886-87, which may be of interest (Figure II). The price of the bank is listed at $8.50 per dozen!!!
     The "Bread Winners" Bank has been reproduced, ergo, Figure III, a base diagram of an original example. A recast example would appear approximately one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Presto Bank
(Penny Changes to a Quarter)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1993

      The thrill of  easily-acquired wealth, as well as man's fascination with magic and illusion were, perhaps, the sparks that ignited the idea for the ingenious "PRESTO" Mechanical Bank, Penny Changes to a Quarter, as shown in Figure I. Of all the so-called illusory banks, i.e., "Multiplying," "Smyth X-Ray," and the subject of this article, "Presto," none adheres to the vernacular "presto, chango" as doggedly as the latter.
     An advertisement from an 1884-1886 toy jobbers catalog (Figure II) expresses this con­cept simplistically: "You drop a penny in the PRESTO BANK and it appears to be transformed into a twenty-five cent piece." The primary difference between the aforementioned "Multiplying" and "Smyth X-Ray" Banks and the "Presto" Bank is that the former utilize mirrors in order to achieve their illusory effect while "Presto" employs a series of clear and ground glass plates, combined with a facsimile coin to attain its result.
     Henry C. Hart and James W. Cross, of Detroit, Michigan, were the inventors of "Presto." They were assigned Patent number 296,689 on April 8, 1884 (Figure III). The bank, illustrated in Figure I, was subsequently manufactured by the Henry C. Hart Manufacturing Company of Detroit, Michigan.
     The patent drawings indicate the intricacy of "Presto" Bank with its twenty-six separate and exacting components. This complexity, combined with its fragile, thinly cast, iron walls and glass plates most assuredly accounts, in part, for its extreme rarity. It is puzzling that even a single example of so frail a bank could survive at the hands of youngsters, and the ravages of time. To date, only three "Presto" mechanicals are known to exist in collections. The bank represented in Figure I has the distinction of being one of two totally original and complete examples known. This outstanding specimen resides in the superb collection of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Steckbeck.
     In contrast to other highly imaginative, gloriously colorful mechanical banks produced during the same era, "Presto" conveys a colorless, lackluster, boxey appearance. This may have also contributed to its present-day scarcity, as weak consumer demand might have dictated a limited number of banks manufactured. If drastic price reduction attests to weak or faltering sales, the toy jobbers advertisement (Figure 11) illustrates that concept quite clearly: "PRICE, $2.00 PER DOZEN. FORMER PRICE, $3.00 PER DOZEN."
     Operation of the bank is initiated by placing a penny into the coin slot located above the word "PRESTO!!'' A light source must then be reflected upon the slanted, frosted glass plate. The depositor then peers into the round viewing hole. As the lever is pushed downward, the penny drops into the bank and in its place there appears a twenty-five cent piece. Deposits are removed by unscrewing a rectangular coin retainer underneath the base. The words "PATENT APL'D FOR" are also inscribed upon the base plate.
     There are no casting or color variants of the "Presto." The colors of the example shown in Figure I are as follows: the bank is painted bright red overall; one side has figures climbing a ladder, at the top of which there is a man with a telescope sitting in front of an American flag. At the base, children with musical instruments are seen marching in what appears to be a parade. The other side shows a boy with a sled, a man peering through a telescope and people climbing upwards on a ladder, with the individual at the highest point reaching as if for the sun. Embossed upon the back of the bank are the words "We offer aid to all who strive to make one penny twenty-five." The front end is emblazoned with the word "PRESTO!!' All aforementioned figures and words are highlighted in gold. Finally, the lever, base plate, coin slot border, and the interior of the viewing section are painted black.
     To date, there seems to have been no attempt to reproduce the "Presto" Bank. Nevertheless, Figure IV represents a base diagram of an original example. If a reproduction were manufactured, it would appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Turtle Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1993

      Inexhaustible and abundant resources have been Mother Nature's invaluable contribution throughout the ages. This Grand Dame has supplied rich material for the inspiration of man to recreate in her image. Nineteenth and twentieth-century mechanical bank designers and manufacturers were no exception. Their works abounded with birds, rabbits, cats, dogs, frogs, elephants, and the like.
     Sadly, one creature, namely the turtle, seemed almost to have been ignored. Had it not been for the "Turtle Bank," Figure I, this distinguished member of the reptilian class may have remained neglected in the world of mechanical banks. Its designer was M. Elizabeth Cook, a renowned and celebrated sculptress of her day. The bank's graceful lines and simplistic design bear testimony to Ms. Cook's craft and skill.
     Interestingly, and as previously mentioned, the "Turtle Bank" has been the lone mechanical produced to feature this fascinating creature. It was but one of a group of four mechanicals designed by Ms. Cook, and subsequently produced by the Kilgore Manufacturing Company of Westerville, Ohio. Kilgore referred to the group as both "Toytown Workers Group of Animal Banks" and the "Thrifty-Four," and both terms were used interchangeably. Members of the group consisted of "Flop Ears," the rabbit; "Jug-O-Rum," the frog; "Blinky," the owl (refer to Antique Toy World articles: April 1989, January 1990, May 1990, and December 1991); and the subject of this article, "Pokey," the turtle.
     Unfortunately, no information pertaining to patent has been located. The determination of date of manufacture and sale of "Thrifty-Four" as sometime between 1920 and 1934 was based upon original Kilgore packaging, toy catalogs, and advertisements.
     The "Turtle Bank" has the distinction of not only being the rarest amongst its group, but also one of the rarest in the entire mechanical bank category. This virtue might easily be explained by the fact that, during the period of its manufacture, the Kilgore Company was experiencing a great deal of difficulty with "Pokey" involving an internal malfunction. This resulted in the removal of the bank from the assembly line. The few examples which were in working condition were distributed amongst the employees, gratis.
     Unlike most cast-iron mechanical banks which were packaged and sold in individual wooden boxes, the penny-gobbling group of four was packaged in small, cardboard containers. This was due, most likely, to the minuscule size of the banks. The following is an inscription on the sides of the boxes housing "Flop-Ears" and "Jug-O-Rum":
   
          "Flop-Ears the Rabbit hops around
          Lifting his ears for every sound
          He sees Blinky the Owl, high in an Oak
          And hears the Frog, Jug-O-Rum croak,
          And wonders if Pokey, the turtle, so slow
          Can catch up with him, if he hops real slow."
   
     I am aware of the existence of only those original boxes which contained "Jug-O-Rum" and "Flop-Ears." If any reader has knowledge of containers which might have housed "Blinky" and "Pokey," notification would be appreciated. Write: Post Office Box 104, East Rockaway, New York 11518.
     There are neither casting nor color variants of the "Turtle Bank." The colors, as shown in Figure I, are as follows: Pokey's legs and shell are painted a glossy black. Its eyes are white with black pupils, and its mouth is orange with a light blue underjaw. The outside perimeter beneath its shell is orange with light blue splotches. Pokey's base is painted yellow-green, with muddy orange and black highlights.
     Operation of the "Turtle Bank" is uncom­plicated. A coin is pressed into the slot at the top of its shell. This causes the head to extend approximately one-half of an inch. As the coin drops into the bank, the head returns to the position seen in Figure I. Removal of deposits is achieved by unlocking a bright, nickel-plated coin retainer underneath the base.
     To my knowledge, the Kilgore four have not been reproduced. Nevertheless, Figure II represents a base diagram of an original example of "Pokey." If a reproduction were to surface, it would appear approximately one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     On a final note — and particularly for those readers who are nature lovers — the "Turtle Bank" is a rendition of the American eastern painted turtle.
     Acknowledgments: The mint example of "Pokey" (Figure I) resides in the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
     Once again, I would like to thank my wife, Linda, for the invaluable aid she provides in writing and editing these articles.

The Watch Dog Safe Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1993

      What could be more appropriate for the design of a mechanical bank than a receptacle in the form of a money safe? With well over five-hundred known subjects, it is surprising that only a handful of different examples exist which depict this currency-storing object. These include: tin, "Electric Safe;" "Fortune Teller Savings Bank;" tin "Magic Safe;" white metal "Magic Safe;" "United States Bank;" and the subject of this article, "Watch Dog Safe" (Figure I).
     To date, neither patent nor design information pertaining to "Watch Dog Safe" has been located. However, a multicolored, lithographed, advertising trade card, circa 1880-1890, picturing the bank, attributes its manufacture to the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut (Figure II). Unfortunately, no illustration or description of the "Watch Dog Safe" is to be found in any of the J. & E. Stevens' numerous toy catalogs or trade marketing literature. The trade card appears to have been the sole means of advertising of this mechanical bank.
     Operation of the "Watch Dog Safe" is amusing and incomplex. A coin is placed within the slot atop the bank. The lever on the left side is then pressed upward. Simultaneously, the coin drops within the safe and the jaw of the Dalmatian guarding the bank opens, emitting a low, barking sound (accomplished through an ingenious bellows and brass reed device, secured within the bank's front door). As the lever drops back into position, the pup's jaw closes and the bank is once again poised for action. Deposited coins are retrieved by setting the combination wheels to 2-1-7, twisting the door knob clockwise, and then pulling the safe door open.
     "Watch Dog Safe" is typical J. & E. Stevens fare: well-designed, sharply defined castings, and attractively painted.
     There are no casting or color variations of "Watch Dog Safe." The colors of the example shown in Figure I are as follows: The safe is painted an overall glossy black with gold highlights. The Dalmatian, typical of its breed, is white with small black spots. It has black eyes, eyebrows, a red mouth, and a red collar. The dog sits upon a silver, fringed shelf. The relief busts of the Roman soldier adorning each of the safe's sides are painted gold. The crest of his helmet is in the form of a bird with reddish-brown plumage. The top panel of the bank depicts a small, brown bird sitting in a cream-colored nest which rests upon a brown branch with green foliage.
     For all the bank's simplicity of form and action, modest coloration and lack of rare sta­tus, a superb, all-original example of "Watch Dog Safe" with an original, working bellows will command a lofty price. Few truly superb examples are to be found, even in the more sophisticated and complete collections of mechanical banks.
     Interestingly, the "Watch Dog Safe" trade card (Figure II) is far more scarce than even the bank itself. A fine example will command a price equal, or superior, to the bank.
     Because of the historical importance of the trade card, I would appreciate reader(s) in possession of same to contact me, and send a photocopy for discussion in future articles. Please address all correspondence to: Post Office Box 104, East Rockaway, New York, 11518.
     Lack of scarcity and the complexity of design are factors which seem to have discouraged reproduction of "Watch Dog Safe." Nevertheless, Figure III is a diagram of the back panel of the bank. If one was to be recast, it would appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter across the width than indicated.
     Acknowledgement: The rare "Watch Dog Safe" trade card (Figure II) is from the superb collection of Karen and Larry Feld.
     Addendum: (from September, 1993) Re.: "Watch Dog Safe" article, Antique Toy World, July 1993. Mr. Frank Kidd, of Portland, Oregon, has kindly brought the following information to my attention: In addition to the fully painted example of the bank described in the article, a totally nickel-plated version has surfaced. However, since I have not personally examined the bank, I cannot attest to its authenticity.

Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1993

      The oft-spoken phrase, "as much fun as a barrel of monkeys," sums up our perceptions of these creatures. Their antics amuse and delight, as evidenced by the gleeful faces of children being entertained at circuses and zoos.
     The allure of these playful primates was recognized by several nineteenth-century toy manufacturers, and their likeness was captured in no less than eighteen different mechanical banks. Examples include: the Hubley "Monkey Bank"; Kyser and Rex's "Chimpanzee"; "Organ Medium"; "Organ, Boy & Girl"; "Organ, Cat and Dog"; "Organ, Tiny"; "Lion and Monkeys"; "Zoo Bank"; J. and E. Stevens' "Hall's Excelsior"; "Rival"; "Monkey and Coconut"; and the subject of this article, the "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach" (Figure I).
     To date, no advertisements, catalogs, packing crates, and/or other items have surfaced which might accurately reveal the identity of the manufacturer of "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach." Despite the lack of pertinent data, several characteristics of the mechanical (e.g., design, casting, paint) link its origin to, possibly, one of the following producers: Judd Manufacturing Company of Wallingford, Connecticut; Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut; or Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Connecticut.
     Presently, the lone source of factual information relating to this bank was derived from Figure II, a patent issued to C. F. Ritchel of Bridgeport, Connecticut, assignor to S. S. and G. D. Tallman of New York City. Of interest is that C. F. Ritchel was granted two consecutive Design Patent Numbers, 13,400 and 13,401, on November 7, 1882. These protected both his "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach" and "Shoot That Hat Bank." Both banks are quite rare, with merely a handful of each known to exist, and these in the collections of a few very fortunate individuals.
     Assignees S. S. and S. D. Tallman were toy jobbers with offices in New York City. They purchased toy patents and designs, and sub­sequently contracted them out to various toy manufacturers and foundries. They, in turn, distributed the finished product through diverse retail outlets.
     The "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach" operates by first placing a coin upon the tray which the monkey holds in its paws. The lever in its back is then pressed downward. This causes the tray to tilt upward, resulting in the coin sliding through the slot in the monkey's stomach and into the bank. Deposits are retrieved by undoing the single screw which secures the two halves together.
     There are no casting variants of "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach." However, there are several color dissimilarities. It may be painted an overall dark brown japan; or dark brown japan with a pink face, white eyes, black pupils, red eyelids, nostrils, and mouth; or, as shown in Figure I, overall gray with a pink face, white eyes, black pupils, red eyelids, nostrils, and mouth.
     Its unassuming appearance and diminutive stature may result in one's underestimating the appeal of this rare and desirable mechanical. The example seen in Figure I reveals a modest, yet stately charm, and a definite asset to even the most complete and sophisticated mechanical bank collection.
     To my knowledge, the "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach" has not been reproduced. But, considering the simplicity of its castings and the value placed upon an original example, the possibility of its duplication does exist. Figure III is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, it would appear approximately one-sixteenth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     Acknowledgment: The outstanding example of "Monkey Bank, Coin in Stomach" (Figure I) resides in the collection of Steve and Marilyn Stechbeck of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  

Squirrel and Tree Stump Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1993

      The nineteenth-century philosophy of thrift provided the impetus for a plethora of penny banks and toys. The popular adage, "A penny saved is a penny earned," was demonstrated by toy designers and manufacturers who incorporated bank buildings, safes, bank tellers, and cashiers into their wares.
     However, the creature which epitomizes the theme of saving and hoarding, namely the squirrel, seemed to have been overlooked in the world of mechanical bank design. Had it not been for Mr. Robert E. Turnbull, of New Britain, Connecticut, this woodland miser might never have been represented in a mechanical savings device. The Squirrel and Tree Stump bank, Figure I, was designed by Mr. Turnbull, for which he was granted Patent number 243,475 on June 28, 1881.
     With the exception of the two operating levers shown in the patent papers (Figure II), the final production bank (Figure I) adheres quite faithfully to Mr. Turnbull's drawings. In attempting to explain why his initial design indicated two levers, perhaps it was in anticipation of mechanical failure, thus providing the manufacturer with an alternative had one of the levers malfunctioned.
     The Squirrel and Tree Stump was produced by the Mechanical Novelty Works of New Britain, Connecticut. Robert Turnbull was one of three partners of that firm. (The other two gentlemen were also notable designers, i.e., George W. Eddy and James A. Swanson. Mr. Eddy was the inventor of "Initiating Bank First Degree" and "Initiating Bank Second Degree," also manufactured by Mechanical Novelty Works. [Refer to Antique Toy World article, November 1986.]
     An advertisement which appeared in the 1882 Winter edition of Erich's Fashion Quarterly is seen in Figure III. The "Squirrel Bank," as it was referred to by the manufacturer, was priced to sell for seventy-five cents apiece, and with postage, an additional fifty cents.
     Operation of Squirrel and Tree Stump is quite simple: "Place a coin in the squirrel's forepaws, touch the spring and the squirrel bounds forward and throws the coin into the bank."
     There are neither color nor casting variations of Squirrel and Tree Stump. The colors of the bank, as shown in Figure I, are as follows: the entire bank, including base plate, is painted a brown japan. The figure of the squirrel is highlighted in copper and gold. Its eyes are painted black. The top of the stump and one cut root end, are painted a creamy white color. There are indications of grassy patches around the base. They are embellished with red, yellow, and dark green floral designs.
     Squirrel and Tree Stump is considered quite scarce, and especially when found in superb, all‑original paint and mechanical condition. The figure of the squirrel appears to be extremely fragile. Any degree of rough handling most likely resulted in irreparable damage to the bank.
     There are presently more reproductions of the "Squirrel Bank" than authentic examples. Figure IV is a base diagram of an original mechanical. The recast, if measured across the base, will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter than indicated.
     Addendum: Re.: "Watch Dog Safe" article, Antique Toy World, July 1993. Mr. Frank Kidd, of Portland, Oregon, has kindly brought the following information to my attention: In addition to the fully painted example of the bank described in the article, a totally nickel-plated version has surfaced. However, since I have not personally examined the bank, I cannot attest to its authenticity.

The Grenadier Bank
(a unique color variant)
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1993

      Boyhood fascination with implements of war has long been recognized by toy manufacturers both in this country and abroad. Notable examples of toy mechanical penny banks employing the theme of battle and men-at-arms which were created during the 19th and early 20th centuries include: "Creedmoor Bank," "Volunteer," "U.S. And Spain," "Tank and Cannon," "Artillery," "Tommy," "Octagonal Fort," "Wimbledon," "Hold the Fort," and the rare "King Aqua" bank.
     One of the more attractive and appealing mechanicals on this subject is the "Grenadier Bank," pictured in Figure I. It was created by the leading British mechanical bank manufacturer, John Harper and Company, Ltd., of Willenhold, Staffordshire, England. Founded in 1790, the company manufactured hardware items, doorstops, toys and both mechanical and still banks. Examples of mechanical banks in the Harper line included: "Jolly Nigger - Hi-Hat," "I Always Did 'Spice a Mule," "Speaking Dog," "Tommy," "Volunteer," "Hoop-La," "Football Bank," "Dinah," "Kiltie" and "Giant in Tower." Their cast-iron toy and bank production took place from the 1880s until World War II, when the shortage of ferrous war materials caused the company to cease production. After the war, and until 1953, Harper manufactured only a limited selection of still banks.
     Unlike its counterparts in the United States, the John Harper and Company, Ltd. mechanicals never attained the level of achievement of meticulously fine castings and delicate paintwork of either the Shepard Company, of Buffalo, New York, or the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Conn.
     Worthy of discussion is the historical significance of the "Grenadier." During the 17th century, the military employment of grenades necessitated the recruitment of soldiers possessing exceptional physique and strength. These "special" battalions were known as "Grenadiers." They wore either fur or brimless cloth hats, thereby removing obstacles which might interfere with the action of throwing a grenade. In later years the Grenadier units were phased out, since nearly all ground combat troops were trained to use grenades.
     Operation of the "Grenadier Bank" is quite simple: the notched slide atop the rifle barrel is pushed back and clicked into place. This causes the soldier's head to tilt forward, as if taking aim. A coin is then balanced atop the rifle directly in front of the slide. The Grenadier's right shoe is then pressed downward, thus releasing the slide which shoots the coin into the tree trunk, striking an internal bell. Simultaneously, the man's head snaps backward, as if reacting to the rifle recoil. Coin removal is accomplished by opening the round, Stevens-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     Although there are no casting variations of which I am aware, there are several color variants. These pertain solely to the figure of the Grenadier; the colors of base and tree trunk remain consistent. The base, with its grassy representation, is painted dark green. The rock-like objects on the base, as well as the tree trunk, are dark brown. The top of the tree trunk is yellow, and the round coin slot target area is white.
     The Grenadier's face and hands are a pink-flesh color. His eyes, eyebrows, moustache, hair, rifle and shoes are black. He wears a red hat with a yellow emblem. His tunic is red with a yellow belt, and his cape and pants are painted navy blue. (Examples exist in which his pants are painted gray.) The unique color variant in Figure I has the Grenadier's pants, tunic, cape and hat painted khaki, with the hat's emblem highlighted in gold.
     Figure' II is a copy of a 19th-century John Harper and Company, Ltd. catalog. In it, the "Grenadier" is offered at "47/6 per dozen, finished in fancy colors and packed one in a box."
     The "Grenadier Bank" is not considered rare, but is quite scarce, particularly in complete, all-original, superb paint condition. Just as the Shepard Hardware Company, in the United States, did not undercoat their mechanical banks prior to painting, neither did John Harper and Company, Ltd. This resulted in both manufacturers' products experiencing excessive paint loss due to normal handling and/or unfavorable atmospheric conditions.
     As a note of caution, "rare" examples of "Grenadier" exist where the figure sports a short "Creedmore"- type cap with a long peak. It is believed that this head and cap were not of original Harper Company manufacture, but rather as a later addition by an unscrupulous dealer for the purpose of deceiving collectors.
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original "Grenadier Bank." If one were recast, it would appear approximately one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Detection of
Mechanical Bank Reproductions

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1993

      A problem which may occasionally confront both the novice and the experienced collector is the detection of reproduced mechanical banks. Unfortunately, this situation has become increasingly more frequent over the past few years due to prices of mechanical banks which have risen to unprecedented heights. It is, therefore, advantageous to be able to recognize recasts since knowledge acquired through education and experience may minimize the possibility of unknowingly acquiring a reproduced example.
     Recognition of a reproduction is dependent upon awareness of the unique, inherent characteristics of a genuine antique mechanical bank and the standards practiced at the iron foundries during the late-19th and early-20th centuries. These include the molding and casting process, and the application of paint to the assembled mechanical bank surface. Scrutinization of an old, original mechanical bank would reveal glass-smooth, highly detailed castings and tight seams that had been fitted precisely. Figure I is such an example: i.e., "Teddy and the Bear" bank, circa 1907, manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. In contrast, a reproduced mechanical bank manufactured by a modern iron foundry will display poorly fitted parts; gaping seams; soft, indistinguishable detail; and a coarse, pebbly textured surface (eg, Figure II: A reproduction "Teddy and the Bear" bank, circa 1957, distributed by the "Book of Knowledge Collection").
     One of the primary reasons for the radical differences in surface texture and appearance between a recently produced bank and an antique mechanical is the quality of molding sand each of the iron foundries utilized in its casting process. Nineteenth and early-20th­century foundries used an extremely fine-textured, high-grade casting sand in their molds. The result was a much smoother finish than those cast from molds utilizing a cheap, coarse grade of sand which is commonly used by modern-day foundries. However, it is not solely the quality of the sand which guarantees the sharp, crisp castings inherent to all antique mechanical banks.
     All antique cast-iron mechanical banks commence as highly detailed master patterns. These were handmade and carefully finished working models of the mechanical bank that would ultimately be manufactured. They were usually comprised of a soft, easily workable metal, such as bronze or lead. The individuals responsible for their creation were exceptionally skilled and trained master craftsmen. The master pattern parts were then pressed into the sand molds, forming an exact hollow replica of the pattern's surface. Subsequently, molten iron, poured into these molds, when cooled emerged as precise, smooth, beautifully detailed parts for a mechanical bank.
     On the other hand, procedures of the contemporary iron foundries differ from the archaic casting process previously discussed. Not only do they utilize actual antique mechanical banks as their master patterns rather than the actual highly detailed master patterns themselves, but they press the banks into coarse sand in order the create their molds. The results are reproductions which lack the detail and smooth characteristics of the old, original bank.
     Probably the most significant factor in determining a reproduction, aside from appearance, is the fact that mol­ten cast iron shrinks approximately one-quarter of an inch per foot as it cools. The reproduction "Teddy and the Bear" bank, shown in Figure II, measures approximately one-quarter of an inch shorter along its base than the original "Teddy and the Bear" bank in Figure I.
     Next month: The detection of reproduced mechanical banks through their painted surface, and a list of significant antique mechanical banks that have been reproduced.

The Detection of
Mechanical Bank Reproductions
(Part II)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1993

      Mechanical bank reproductions may be categorized into two specific areas: (1) those which are clearly identified as such in their castings, and offered for sale "as is"; and (2) those which were created to replicate authentic antique mechanical banks and serve solely to deceive the purchaser.
     Several "bogus" banks (i.e., those which did not identify themselves as replications) were supposedly produced during the late 1940s by two gentlemen residing in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, identification and realization of these forgeries are difficult since they possess many characteristics similar in nature to original mechanicals. Their castings are extremely smooth and detailed, and their seams are exacting enough to fool the unwary collector. However, knowledge and experience in the detection of frauds can avoid costly errors.
     These reproductions were created by usage of original mechanical banks as master patterns, rather than utilization of master patterns them­selves. Therefore, they lack the extremely fine details of the original banks. In addition, deep, muddy, muted tones of the originals colors were used to give the banks a look of age and authenticity. And, most importantly, each is one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than the original.
     The following is a listing of several "high quality" reproductions which are believed to have been created by the aforementioned individuals: "Acrobats"; "Boy Robbing Birds' Nest"; "Boy on Trapeze"; "A Calamity"; "U.S. and Spain"; "Chimpanzee"; "Circus Ticket Collector"; "Milk­ing Cow"; "Goat, Frog and Old Man"; "Mama Katzenjammer"; "Peg Leg Beggar"; "Squirrel and Tree Stump"; and "Tabby."
     In addition to these, there were equally fine reproductions produced either by those previously mentioned gentlemen or unidentified others. This list includes: "Bill-E-Grin"; "Boys Stealing Wa­termelons"; "Bread Winners"; "Bull and Bear"; "Dog Charges Boy"; "Bucking Mule"; "Bear and Tree Stump"; "Girl in Victorian Chair"; "Billy Goat"; "Harlequin, Clown and Columbine"; "North Pole"; "Perfection Registering"; "Bismark Pig"; "Shoot-the-Hat"; "Shoot the Chute"; and "Uncle Sam Bust" bank.
     During the 1950s the "Book of Knowledge" issued thirty reproduction mechanical banks as an incentive to purchase its set of children's encyclo­pedias. Each bank displays the following words underneath its base: "Reproduced From Original in Collection of The Book of Knowledge," which is followed by a 1-9/16 inch impression of a circle (Figure I).
     Also during the 1950s, approximately 11 other mechanical banks had been reproduced from the "James D. Capron Collection," and were identified as such underneath their bases. Both sets of these 1950s reproductions are fairly easy to discern. Besides the designations cast into their bases, their surfaces and seams are rough and pebbly. Their paint quality is garish and crude, lacking the subtle color tones and details of an old original mechanical bank. And, as with the unmarked reproductions, each is one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than the original example (Figure II).
     Most reproductions can be distinguished from original banks by noting either the quality of its casting or the virtues of its paint application. Nineteenth and early twentieth-century toy and mechanical bank manufacturers utilized high-quality, lead-bearing enamels to decorate their wares. The pigments used were of exceptional purity and intensity, never to be duplicated. For example, the yellow pigment (and those colors such as green and orange, which were dependent upon yellow) was derived from uranium oxide. Because of the obvious hazards involved in its us­age as well as those of lead-based pigments, government mandate has restricted sale of both these paint ingredients. Unfortunately, few, if any, substitutes accomplish the same purposes as successfully as uranium oxide for intensity of yellow, and lead, for a thick, smooth-flowing surface.
     Due to heavy applications of paints and the sparse amount of drying time required on the assembly line, particular dryers were used. This resulted in very smooth, glass-hard finishes. As with fine china, this fine old paint cracked and crazed as it struggled against the ravages of time. Close examination of most antique mechanical banks will reveal tiny craze lines throughout their painted surfaces. This is especially true in the deep, creviced areas, where paint might have pooled to an excessive thickness.
     The mechanical bank manufacturers of yesterday employed highly skilled artisans to decorate their mechanical banks. Their brush strokes were deft and knowledgeable. No detail was omitted, as seen in the Shepard Hardware "Uncle Sam Bank" — from the tiny hairs of an eyebrow or eyelash, to the minute buttons, piping and stars on its vest. Conversely, modern reproductions are not manufactured with the same objectives. There is a lack of sensitivity and pride in the fin­ished product. The only goal is to create a "reasonable" facsimile of the original old mechanical bank, with compromise as the standard and not the exception. Paint is applied thinly, using only the basic and primary colors. Mixing subtle tints and shades of colors only increases the cost of the banks, and is omitted from the process.
     Paint thickness, texture, brush strokes, crazing, detail, chipping, intensity, and purity of color are characteristics which can be helpful in determining the age and/or authenticity of a mechanical bank. If further proof of originality is required, ultraviolet, or "black" light, can be useful, although it is not foolproof. When illuminated in a darkened room by this particular light source, "old" paint appears as muted shades of the colors in question. In contrast, newer paints fluoresce, giving the semblance of bright "Day-Glo" hues.
     Undoubtedly, chemical tests and "black" light are valuable adjuncts to the detection of new and repainted banks. However, knowledge, intuition and the experienced eye peering through a high-power magnifying lens also play an important role.
     Correction: (from February, 1994) Refer to Antique Toy World, December, 1993, "Detection of Mechanical Bank Reproductions" Part II: Figures Number I and II, positioned above the photographs of "Teddy and the Bear" banks should be transposed.

The Detection of
Mechanical Bank Reproductions
(Part III)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1994

      My preceding two articles concerned themselves with the comparison of an original antique mechanical bank to one that had been reproduced. This month's topic will deal with the manufacturers of those reproductions.
     Possibly, the most easily recognizable of the "legitimate" reproductions (i.e., those created with no intention to fool collectors) are those banks recast from the "Book of Knowledge Collection." This series was initially produced by the Grey Iron Casting Com­pany, of Mount Joy, Pa., during the early 1950s (Figure I). It includes 30 recasts of original antique mechanical banks, namely: "Artillery"; "Dentist"; "Paddy and the Pig"; "Bull Dog Bank"; "Tammany"; "Magician"; "Kicking Cow"; "Jonah and the Whale"; "Bucking Buffalo"; "U.S. and Spain"; "Eagle and Eaglets"; "Creedmoor"; "Trick Pony"; "William Tell"; "Always Did 'Spise a Mule"; "Humpty Dumpty"; "Leap Frog"; "Owl Turns Head"; Spise a Mule, Jockey Over"; "World's Fair"; "Punch and Judy"; "Cabin"; "Uncle Remus"; "Organ, Boy and Girl"; "Hometown Battery"; "Indian and Bear"; "Cat and Mouse"; "Teddy and the Bear"; "Uncle Sam"; and "Boy on Trapeze."
     During the late 1960s, Donald Smith of the Riverside Foundry in Wrightsville, Pa., assumed production of the "Book of Knowledge" banks. He marketed these under his "John Wright" line of toys and novelties (Figure II).
     Also occurring during these years was the manufacture of 11 additional reproductions of antique mechanicals. These represented examples from the "James D. Capron Collection" (Figure III) and included: "Hubley Trick Dog," "Bad Accident," "Mule Entering Barn," "Clown on Globe," "Horse Race," "Lion and Monkeys," "Professor Pug Frog," "Two Frogs," "Hubley Monkey Bank," "Magic Bank," and "Hubley Trick Elephant."
     Both "Book of Knowledge" and "James D. Capron" banks have been clearly identified under their bases, and present no problems in detection. In addition, as described in my previous articles, all have crude, pebbly surfaces. Their seams are ill-fitted and they are painted in basic primary colors. And, most importantly, each is one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than its antique counterpart.
     In conclusion, I suggest the novice antique mechanical bank collector exercise caution when contemplating a purchase. A great number of these reproductions may appear aged and even rusted, thereby impersonating an old, original mechanical. Careful scrutiny, however, will reveal its true identity.
     Coincidentally, and quite timely to this writing, is the publication of a book written by Robert L. McCumber. Entitled "Mechanical and Still Bank Reproductions," it presents a brief, illustrated history of the several contemporary iron foundries engaged in the manufacture of mechanical bank reproductions. For further information, or to order a copy, write: Robert L. McCumber, 201 Carriage Drive, Glastonbury, CT 06033.

U.S. and Spain Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1994

      Eyewitness accounts describe a great explosion and a ball of fire as the ghostly white hull of the United States Battleship "Maine" slowly sank into the murky depths of Havana harbor. Following the loss of more than 260 American seamen the battle cry "Remember the 'Maine,' to hell with Spain!" echoed throughout the land, heralding the onset of the Spanish-American War.
     The conflict began in April of 1898 and ended just a few months later, with the United States emerging the victor. Independence was established for Cuba, and America gained possession of Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. The "U.S. and Spain" mechanical bank (Figure I) illustrates the dramatic climax of this grim war. The Spanish fleet, led by Admiral Cervera, lay trapped and helpless in Santiago harbor. On one side they faced Admiral Schley's formidable North American Fleet, and on the other, the heavy cannon artillery of Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt.
     Figure II represents a rare J. and E. Stevens Company flyer, circa 1898, wherein the ensuing battle and the action of the "U.S. and Spain" bank is described: "The Latest Novelty. A Harmless Toy. No Powder Used. When the hammer is brought back, and a paper cap placed in position, press the thumb piece. The shot will strike the ship, bringing down the military mast as the coin disappears. May be used without caps." (The flyer neglects to mention: the coin is placed within the slot in front of the mast, atop the deck of the ship, and a wooden artil­lery shell is inserted into the muzzle of the cannon prior to firing.) Deposited coins may be removed by opening the round Stevens'-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     On July 12, 1898, Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Conn. assignor to the J. and E. Stevens Company, was granted "Design" Patent number 29,049 (Figure III) for his "U.S. and Spain" mechanical bank. As evidenced by the final production bank (Figure I), Bailey's design was stringently adhered to by its manufacturer and his employer, the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn.
     To my knowledge, there are no casting variants of the "U.S. and Spain," and only two decorative variations. One utilizes a rough-textured sand finish to the sides of the stones representing the walls of the U.S. fort. The other, also pertaining to the walls, has these painted a tan color to lend the appearance of stone. In both examples, basic coloration remains constant.
     The hull of the battleship "SPAIN" is black, with red portholes and decorations. The name "SPAIN" is white. The ship's deck is grey with all of the cannons painted gold. The mast, and figures of the sailors on the mast are red, yellow, orange, tan, brown, and pink. Santiago harbor's water is sea-blue with foamy white waves. The U.S. cannon is black and rests on a grey cradle with the letters "U.S." painted gold. The stone walls of the fort are a tan, sand color and the area on top of the fort is green, with red and yellow highlights.
     The "U.S. and Spain" mechanical is quite rare, particularly one that is superb, all original condition. Most often, when the bank is located, either the mast of the battleship is missing or has been recast, replacing the original.
     Reproductions do exist. Figure IV is a base diagram of an original example. A recast will appear approximately one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     My thanks to fellow bank collector, Ed Sheridan, for his help in supplying information relevant to the "U.S. and Spain" bank.
     Correction: Refer to Antique Toy World, December, 1993, "Detection of Mechanical Bank Reproductions" Part II: Figures Number I and II, positioned above the photographs of "Teddy and the Bear" banks should be transposed.

The Bow-Ery Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1994

      The "Bow-Ery Bank" (Figure I) has been the subject of much discussion and theor­ization. Information pertaining to its namesake and manufacturer has, thus far, proven to be merely speculative. Some believe that, since the animated subjects are dogs, and the childlike expression associated with these animals is a simplistic "Bow-Wow," combined with the action of two small illustrated dogs that bow towards one another, these offer plausible explanations for the name "BOW-ERY."
     With no intention to render the "Bow-Wow" or "Bowing" theories worthless, I offer yet another, and perhaps more relevant interpretation. A section of New York City, situated in lower Manhattan, had been designated "The Bowery." In addition to some wholesale restau­rant supply businesses, the area is now also populated by destitute panhandlers, rundown bars, "flop" houses, and mission house soup kitchens. This contrasts sharply with the Bowery of the late 19th century, when the "BOW-ERY BANK" was manufactured, wherein glittering dance halls, burlesque theaters, saloons, bawdy houses, and opium dens abounded. Most of these establishments were controlled by several of the New York City mobs and catered to the thrill-seeking, posh, social aristocrats.
     Imagine, if you will, the "BOW-ERY BANK" being likened to New York City's Bowery with its two symbiotic factions in the form of illustrated dogs peering from the doorways of their respective dog houses. On the left we see a tough-looking bulldog, suggesting mob affiliation, whereas the pooch on the right sports a monocle and bow tie, intimating an aristocratic background.
     Possibly, the inventor of the "BOW-ERY" mechanical intended that his bank be a satire of New York's Bowery. Is it merely coincidental that the "mob" bulldog bows respectfully to the socialite dog who, upon receipt of a coin, likewise bows in recognition? Unfortunately, conjecture is all that may be offered since little is known which pertains to the intended meaning of the bank.
     Selchow and Richter, a New York City based wholesale toy and game manufacturer and distributor, offered the "BOW-ERY BANK" for sale in one of their early (circa 1890) toy jobber catalogs. In it, the bank was pictured and offered at $4.00 per dozen. This, at least, establishes the bank's approximate date of production and distribution.
     The action of the "BOW-ERY BANK" is quite uncomplicated. Upon insertion of a coin through the doorway slot of the socialite dog, both dogs bow toward one another. As the money falls into the bank, the duo return to their upright positions. Deposits are retrieved by unscrewing the back half of the bank.
     Examination of the bank's internals will possibly provide one clue as to the extreme rarity of "BOW-ERY BANK." Its entire mechanism is constructed of thin, fragile pieces of wood and paper. Easily broken and, when one considers the cost of only 34 cents each, then discarded.
     There are no casting variants within the two known examples of the "BOW-ERY BANK." But, surprisingly, each is painted in a slightly different manner. The central, rectangular panel upon which the words "BOW-ERY BANK" appear is painted either dark green with gold letters, or dark brown with gold letters. All other coloration is consistent with one another.
     The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: the top section is painted red, with the raised, wide border outlined in gold. The rectangular area in the center is brown, with gold letters, and the base is dark green. The entire back half of the bank is brown. Finally, the illustrations of the two dogs are printed in black ink on buff-colored paper.
     Note the disk-shaped depression at the top of the bank. On the example not shown, there is a remnant of a paper label. Unfortunately, its content is badly deteriorated and totally illegible, once again shrouding the history of the "BOW-ERY BANK."
     Aside from its fragile internal construction, this mechanical's rarity may also be attributed to its lackluster, unattractive appearance, as well as its unappealing subject matter for children. These factors, more than likely, were responsible for an extremely short sale life, and the ultimate discontinuance of its manufacture.
     I am not aware of any reproductions of the "BOW-ERY BANK." Nevertheless, Figure II is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, the resulting product would appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     My thanks and appreciation to Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck for allowing me to utilize a photograph of their superb "BOWERY BANK" (Figure I) in the writing of this article.

Time Is Money Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1994

      The oft-quoted adage "time is money" is aptly portrayed by our "bank of the month," pictured in Figure I. Here we see a round, silver-colored medallion, upon which is an effigy of a bearded and winged Father Time. He appears to be cranking the obverse side of an Indian Head Penny. Below the coin, a "Shield of Liberty" emerges from the top of an hourglass.
     Unfortunately, there is little, if any, background information relating to the "TIME IS MONEY BANK." Puzzling is the fact that its design, configuration, and even its enigmatic past are strikingly similar to another mechanical, namely the "BOW-ERY BANK" (refer to Antique Toy World, February 1994).
     A third bank, and one that is identical in appearance to "TIME IS MONEY" is the "CHRO­NOMETER BANK." Shown in Figure II, it dif­fers only in the respect that it is a coin-registering bank and not a mechanical. Ehrich's Fashion Quarterly, a former wholesale-retail toy jobber's catalog, offered the "CHRONOMETER BANK" for sale to the general public, circa 1876, "Price, 75 cents. By mail, 15 cents extra." Other than this advertisement, no pertinent information relating to its designer and/or manufacturer has, thus far, been uncovered.
     However, the cryptic graphics molded into the circular face of the "TIME IS MONEY BANK" (Figure I) offer the opportunity to elicit a plethora of interpretations. Allow me to express my thoughts, albeit conjecture.
     The year in which "CHRONOMETER BANK" (and possibly "TIME IS MONEY") was offered for sale was the period in which the United States was involved in the "great economic depression" (i.e., 1873-1878). Expansion of industry during this time was accompanied by increased tension between business and labor. By the 1870s, labor unions began to emerge in an attempt to alleviate hardships suffered due to pitiful wages. The plea "a fair wage for time spent on the job" was echoed by workers across the land. Perhaps these difficult times inspired the creation of a mechanical bank whose message "time is money" reflected the thoughts of downtrodden workers throughout the country.
     Or, does the name lack any symbolic meaning, and are the seemingly mystical hieroglyphics decorating its circular face merely meaningless designs of an unknown toy manufacturer? Was there any historical significance linked to the bank's creation, or was the intent solely to inspire savings?
     The action of "TIME IS MONEY" is unique and somewhat unexpected. The Father Time disk is rotated approximately one full turn clockwise, locking it into position. Upon insertion of a penny, the disk quickly spins around counterclockwise, causing the coin to drop into the bank. Deposits are removed by unscrewing both halves of the mechanical.
     I am not aware of the existence of casting variations of "TIME IS MONEY." However, there is one minor color difference. It pertains to the rectangular panel upon which the words, "TIME IS MONEY BANK" are cast. It may be painted either brown or red. The colors of the example shown in Figure I are as follows: the entire bank is coated with a dark brown japan varnish. The Father Time disk is painted silver and the finial, central thin horizontal protruding ledge, as well as the wide border across the bottom of the base, are bright red. Finally, the words, "TIME IS MONEY BANK" and the filigree on each side of the silver disk are highlighted in gold.
     "TIME IS MONEY BANK" is extremely rare, with less than a handful known to exist within collections. An attempt to explain its scarcity is to surmise the following: The bank was either a specialty item intended to recall a most unpleasant moment in our history and generated few or no sales, or its subject matter and composition were so obscure and unappealing to children that few were purchased.
     To my knowledge, "TIME IS MONEY BANK" has not been reproduced. Nevertheless, Figure III is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, the result would appear ap­proximately one eighth of an inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     My thanks and appreciation to Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck for allowing me to utilize a photograph of their superb "TIME IS MONEY BANK" (Figure I) for the purpose of writing this article.
     The entire series of articles, from August 1982 to the present, is expressly the property of Sy Schreckinger and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without his permission.

The Chronometer Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1994

      A temporary departure from the topic of mechanical banks brings us to another type of "coin keeper," namely the registering bank. An example, and the focus of discussion this month, is the "Chronometer Bank," seen in Figure I. Personifying the definition of a registering bank, its sole function is to record an amount of money deposited, either in a small window or other appropriate area. This differs from a mechanical bank wherein a specific action is initiated either by depressing a lever in order to deposit a coin, or the coin itself causes a particular action to ensue.
     The question most likely to be uppermost in the reader's mind is: why feature a registering bank in an article normally devoted to mechanical banks? This can be answered by directing your attention to Figure II (i.e. "Time is Money Bank" — refer to A.T.W., April, 1994) Figure III ("Bowery Bank" - refer to A.T.W., March, 1994). The similarity in design, material, and appearance of "Bowery Bank" and "Chronometer Bank" is apparent, but the resemblance between "Chronometer Bank" and "Time is Money" is remarkable. Assumedly, all three banks were designed and manufactured by the same individuals. Unfortunately, however, the three also have in common the lack of information pertinent to their backgrounds.
     Well-known mechanical bank historian, Mr. F. H. Griffith, is in possession of a rare Erich's Fashion Quarterly wholesale-retail toy jobber's catalog, circa Winter 1876, in which there is an illustration of the "Chronometer Bank." Accompanying the engraving is a caption reading: "This Toy Money Bank has a clockwork arrangement by which every penny deposited registers itself so that a child can always know just how much money the bank contains."
     "What the bank book and the clerk are to the large depositor, this automatic registering device is to the child, with the additional charm of a little mystery about the way it is done. Price, 75 cents. By mail, 15 cents extra."
     The striking similarity of design and subject matter between "Time is Money" and "Chronometer" mentioned earlier, may be seen in a comparison of their photographs (refer to Figures I and II). Each of their faces exhibits a circular disk, upon which is an effigy of a winged and bearded Father Time. He is cranking the reverse side of an Indian Head Penny. Below this coin a "Shield of Liberty" emerges from the top of an hourglass. However, on the "Chronometer Bank," to the left of the penny and shield are two small rectangular windows which display the total amount of money deposited. The top window records single penny increments while the lower window indicates deposits in ten cent increments.
     Previously mentioned was the lack of action shared by registering banks pursuant to the insertion of a coin. The "Chronometer" typifies this description. Operation of the bank is simple and precise. An Indian Head or Lincoln bust-type penny (the only types of coins which allow for proper operation of the banks in Figures II and 111, as well) is inserted into the slot located on top of the bank directly behind the finial. The weight of the penny causes the total amount of deposits to appear in one of the two windows. Accumulated coins are removed by unscrewing both halves of the bank.
     I am aware of two casting and color variations of the "Chronometer Bank." These pertain to the small deposit recording windows and the rectangular area upon which the words, "CHRONOMETER BANK" appear. The windows are either rectangular (refer to Figure I) or circular in shape. The rectangular area incorporating the bank's name is painted dark green or reddish-brown, and the lower border at the base of the bank can be either gold or red.
     Colors of the example in Figure I are as follows: the entire bank is coated with a dark brown japan varnish. The Father Time disk is painted silver. The panels on either side of the disk are dark green with flourishes and finial high­lighted in gold. The rectangular area beneath the disk is painted reddish-brown, with the raised letters, "CHRONOMETER BANK" rendered in gold. Finally, the raised border at the bank's base is bright red.
     The "Chronometer Bank" is extremely scarce. The collector in possession of this bank, as well as "Bowery" and "Time is money" is indeed fortunate.
     To my knowledge, the "Chronometer Bank" has not been reproduced. Nevertheless, Figure IV is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, the result would appear approximately 1/8" shorter along the base than indicated.
     The fine examples shown in Figures I, II, and III are from the superb collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Punch And Judy Bank
(Part II, A Unique Color Variation)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1994

      Surprising and enlightening is the recent discovery of a copper, electroplated variation of the Shepard Hardware Company's "Punch and Judy" mechanical bank (Figure I). This necessitates an addendum to the January 1986 Antique Toy World article, "The Punch and Judy Bank," in which was written that all "Punch and Judy" banks manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company were painted in the same manner and colors as shown in Figure II.
     The new find was acquired from an antique dealer residing in the Abilene, Texas, area. He had purchased it from an elderly gentleman from Fort Worth who recounted that the bank had been presented as a gift to his grandfather, then a small boy in Pennsylvania.
     When offered, the mechanical's appearance was bleak. It was totally encrusted with a thick coating of dull black oxide. Only minute traces of copper were visible through several areas underneath the base. My initial appraisal of the bank categorized it as a 19th-century bronze foundry pattern used to cast original "Punch and Judy" banks. However, closer examination and a magnet soon dispelled the "pattern" theory. The bank was not composed of bronze, but cast iron with a metallic copper coating!
     I then proceeded to contact an associate who is astute on the subject of metallurgy. My goal was to uncover as much of the original finish remaining under its oxide shroud as possible. Within several hours of testing, he concluded that the bank had been copper-electroplated and oxidized during the late 19th or early 20th century. Supporting his hypothesis was the fact that the oxide used to blacken the electroplate was arsenic-based. He further explained that this was an archaic, post-copper-electroplating procedure discontinued at the turn of this century due to the mortal dangers involved in its usage. Because of its hazardous nature, it was suggested that he, rather than I, remove the oxide. This was accomplished by using a soft, silver-stainless steel alloy wire brush combined with a mild polishing agent. Figure I is the successful result of his endeavors.
     Worthy of mention is that, until the discovery of the copper-electroplated "Punch and Judy" bank, the Shepard Company was thought to have copper-electroplated only one other mechanical bank in their line: i.e., the "Artillery" bank (refer to Antique Toy World, February 1988).
     The "Punch and Judy" bank was conceived by both Peter Adams, Jr., and Charles G. Shepard of Buffalo, N.Y. They were granted Patent number 302,039 on July 15, 1884 (Figure III). Several days later, on July 22, 1884, "Design Patent" number 15,155 (Figure IV) was also issued to Messrs. Adams and Shepard. The additional patent was solely to protect the external design features of their "Punch and Judy" bank.
     To date, I am aware of only two color variations of the "Punch and Judy" bank (Figures I and II), and three casting variants. These pertain to the letters which form the words "PUNCH AND JUDY BANK" at the peak of each bank. The mechanicals pictured in Figures I and II are re­ferred to as the "large letters" variation. The other two have the name "PUNCH AND JUDY BANK" across a raised, arched ribbon in either small or medium Gothic letters.
     The action of "Punch and Judy" is quite amusing. The round plunger on the right side of the bank is pulled out, causing Judy to turn towards the front and Punch to raise his club in a menacing manner. A coin is placed into Judy's tray and the small lever under the round plunger is then pressed downward. Simultaneously, Punch lowers his club as if to strike Judy, and she quickly turns toward him, depositing the coin into the bank. The money is removed by unscrewing the base plate underneath the bank.
     The "Punch and Judy" bank has been reproduced. Therefore, I am including a base diagram (Figure V) to aid the collector in determining an original example from a recast. A reproduction will appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the width than indicated.
     Acknowledgement: The electroplated example of the "Punch and Judy" bank (Figure I) now resides in the superb collection of Frank and Joyce Kidd of Portland, Ore.

The Jonah Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1994

      "God was displeased with Jonah for disobeying him, and caused so violent a storm to arise that the ship was in danger of being wrecked. Then the seamen drew lots to find out for whose wicked­ness the storm had come upon them. And the lot fell upon Jonah. So he told them all: And said they must take him and throw him into the sea. The sailors were unwilling to do this. So they rowed hard, in hopes of getting to land. But it was no use, so they had to throw Jonah over; and immediately the storm ceased.
     But Jonah was not drowned. God had prepared a great fish, that swallowed him up, and at the end of three days and three nights, swam to shore, And vomited him up unhurt."
        — The Old Testament

    
     Rare , distinguished, and unique are a few of the adjectives which best describe the mechanical bank portrayed in Figure II. The characteristic that differentiates it from all other banks ever produced is that it concludes a story introduced by another mechanical bank.
     Figure I, the "Jonah and the Whale Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, July 1986) represents the beginning of Jonah's Biblical ordeal with God. Here we see a robed and bearded sailor casting Jonah into the cavernous mouth of a "large fish," portrayed as a whale. Figure II, the "Jonah Bank," depicts the conclusion of Jonah's ill-fated journey which took place in the belly of the whale.
     Unfortunately, little is known about either the origin or manufacturer of the "Jonah Bank" (Figure II). There has, however, been much speculation on the part of mechanical bank historians and collectors alike. The bank's colors, construction and design suggest the possibility of its having been a product of master bank designer Charles A. Bailey during his employment with the J. and E. Stevens Foundry of Cromwell, Conn.
     Figure III is an advertisement from a rare Ives, Blakeslee and Company Catalog, circa 1880s, wherein the "Jonah Bank" was offered for sale at the price of $9.00 per dozen. Ives, Blakeslee and Company had been a toy jobber and manufacturer based in Bridge­port, Conn. In attempting to resolve the question of who designed, produced and ultimately manufactured the "Jonah Bank," it would be reasonable to assume that Ives, Blakeslee might have presented the J. and E. Ste­vens Company with plans for their mechanical, also requesting additional refinements, and eventual manufacture.
     Operation of the "Jonah Bank" (Figure II) is initiated by pulling the round knob located beneath the whale's tail, thus setting the lever. A coin is then placed within the small boat atop the bank's right-hand side. Simultaneously, upon depression of the lever behind the whale's right-hand flipper, the boat shoots forward, depositing the coin, and whale's mouth opens, ejecting Jonah upon the beach. Coin removal is achieved by sliding the small coin retainer, underneath the perforated square base, to one side.
     There are no casting variants of the "Jonah Bank." However, there is one color deviation which applies solely to the front, rear and sides of the base. These may be painted either bright red or orange (one example known). The colors of the bank pictured in Figure II are as follows: the whale is an overall medium gray. It has white corneas, red pupils and red eyelids. Its lower lip is also painted red, and there are bright red markings on its flippers and tail. Jonah's face is pink flesh-colored with black eyes, eyelids and a red mouth. He sports a blue-black robe. The top of the base (representing the beach) is painted a light tan sand color, strewn with gray-colored sea life. The water and waves are blue-green. The small coin-carrier boat and activating knob beneath the whale's tail are bright red, as is the base, but with gold highlighting. Finally, the square coin box underneath the base, as well as the entire underside of the bank, are painted maroon.
     The "Jonah Bank" (Figure II) is an extremely interesting and attractive mechanical. Unfortunately, its rarity is the obstacle preventing most bank collectors from ever owning one.
     In attempting to ascertain reasons for its rarity, one need only to examine its construction: i.e., complicated with a multitude of intricate and extremely delicate cast parts. It undoubtedly was prone to malfunction and breakage, possibly at the factory or during transit to retailers (as were other rare banks of the period: i.e., "Girl Skipping Rope" bank — refer to Antique Toy World article dated December 1982).
     Aside from one contemporary aluminum replica, I am not aware of the existence of any reproductions. Nevertheless, Figure IV is a base diagram of an original "Jonah Bank." A reproduction, or recast, will appear approximately one quarter of an inch shorter along the base then indicated. This is due to the fact that cast iron shrinks approximately one-quarter inch to the foot during succeeding attempts at duplication.
     The superb, all-original example of the "Jonah Bank" (Figure II) is from the mechanical bank collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck of Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Owl Bank, Turns Head
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1994

      An unlikely, or perhaps inconceivable subject for a child's plaything is the image of a bird of prey. And yet, the "Owl Bank," turns head is just such a creation. Represented in Figure I, this ornithological beauty is cloaked in a soft, plush feathery coat. It peers at the world with two large limpid and transparent eyes.
     To date, there are three different cast iron mechanical banks which portray this nocturnal dinizen. In addition to the subject of this article, there is "Owl Bank," slot in head (refer to Antique Toy World, April, 1989), and "Owl Bank," slot in book (Antique Toy World, January, 1990). Of these, "Owl Bank," turns head is the one which most closely mimics the creature it represents. Its inventor and designer, James H. Bowen, of Philadelphia, Pa., was able to capture characteristics endowed by nature such as the owl's large yellow, transparent eyes and a head that is able to swivel a full 90 degrees.
     Inscriptions underneath the base plate of "Owl Bank," turns head which read "PAT'D SEPT 21 & 28th 1880" and "PAT NO 232,628" facilitated location of the patent drawings (Figures II and III). The "Design Patent" (Figure II) was utilized to protect the external features of the invention from pilferage, while the patent shown in Figure III protects the inventor from infringement of the internal mechanical workings of his design.
     The bank shown in Figures II and III was ulti­mately manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Com­pany of Cromwell, Conn. As evidenced by the patent papers (Figures II and III), the final production bank (Figure I) adheres faithfully to these drawings.
     Figure IV represents a page from a J. and E. Stevens' catalog, circa 1906, wherein the "Owl Bank," turns head is offered for sale at the price of both 50 cents and 75 cents each. (The reason for the price differential remains a mystery to this day.) The action of "Owl Bank," turns head is best explained by the following quote from the advertisement (Figure IV): "Place a coin on top of the branch and press the thumb piece at the back, when the head of the Owl turns and the coin is deposited, after which the head moves back to its former position." Deposits are recovered through a round Stevens'-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     Interestingly, there are several painted variations of the "Owl Bank," turns head. Each depicts a dif­ferent specie of owl. The example shown in Figure I is representational of a Snowy Owl and is painted primarily with white plumage. Other colorations are medium-grey plumage for the Barn Owl, brown feathers with yellow highlights for a Barred Owl, and greyish-brown, mottled with light grey coloration for the Great Horned Owl.
     There are no casting variants of "Owl Bank," turns head other than the two different patent desig­nations inscribed underneath the base plates.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the owl is painted an overall white with light grey highlights. It has yellow talons and yellow translucent glass eyes with black pupils. The foliage to the left of its head and the back of the base is dark green with gold embellishment. The bird is perched upon a brown tree stump, the ends of which are painted light tan with brown age rings. The operating lever located at the rear of the base is bright red.
     The "Owl Bank," turns head is considered a fairly common mechanical. However a superb, almost-mint example, or one decorated in one of the scarcer color schemes (i.e. white with light grey highlights) will command a premium price.
     Several reproductions of "Owl Bank," turns head do exist. Figure V is a base diagram of an original example. A recast will appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base than indi­cated. Note: the arrows indicate the outside dimensions of the base.

Rabbit Standing, small
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1994

      "Cute, simplistic, but sadly unappreciated," are the comments uttered by mechanical bank collectors when referring to "Rabbit Standing, small," Figure I.
     Considering the enormous appeal of bunnies and rabbits to children, it is surprising that manu­facturers of the period had not recreated their likeness more frequently in the production of their wares. Oddly, the few mechanicals (i.e., three different ones known) which utilized the rabbit as subject of banks were created by lesser-known, or "minor," bank manufacturers: i.e., the Kilgore Manufacturing Company's "Rabbit in Cabbage" (refer to Antique Toy World, May 1990), "Rabbit Standing, small," Figure I, and "Rabbit Standing, large," produced by the Lockwood Manufacturing Company of South Norwalk, Conn.
     The bank pictured in Figure I was invented by Henry S. Lockwood of South Norwalk, Conn. On August 22, 1882, he was granted Patent number 13,261 for his design (Figure II). The word, "PATENTED" appears underneath the circular base of the bank. The patent drawing's square base (Figure II) is more reflective of the second Lockwood mechanical bank, "Rabbit Standing, large" (to be discussed in a subsequent article), while the operation and action of both banks are identical. A coin is inserted in what the inventor describes as the "apple or fruit" which the rabbit holds between its forepaws. The tail is depressed, causing the ears to pivot forward and the coin to drop into the bank. Since there is no coin retainer underneath the base, deposit removal is achieved by unscrewing the base of the bank.
     Interestingly, no sequential method of operation is mentioned in the design patent, nor is any operating lever identified. Therefore, one may assume from reading the patent that either the rabbit's ears may be pivoted forward in order to deposit the coin, or its tail is pressed downward. In either case, whichever action is applied, the opposing appendage reacts as stated, and the coin is deposited.
     I am not aware of any casting variation of "Rabbit Standing, small," and only two color variants which pertain solely to the round base. It may be painted either a light brown japan or red.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are monochromatic, but quite elegant in appearance: the rabbit is painted a copper-bronze color. Its ears and "apple" are gold, and the base is finished in a light brown japan varnish.
"Rabbit Standing, small" is extremely difficult to find in superb, all-original condition. Most often, when one is located, the ears are either missing, repaired or recast. A fine, all-original and working example is quite a rarity and its addition to a collection can prove to be a challenge.
     I am not aware of reproductions of "Rabbit Standing, small." Nevertheless, Figure II is a base diagram of the bank. If attempts were/are made to recast the mechanical, its base would appear approximately one-sixteenth to one-eighth of an inch smaller O.D. than indicated.

Rabbit Standing, large
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1994

      Undervalued and unappreciated aptly describe the plight of a number of mechanical banks. Des­pite their enviable status of rarity, these "orphans" are fated to remain, perhaps eternally, upon dealers' shelves. Factor which have contributed to their unpopularity are small size, lackluster appearance, monochromatic coloration, subtle action and unfamiliar subject matter.
     A few of the members of the grouping of "unfortunates" include "Afghanistan" bank; "Billy Goat" bank; "Elephant With Tusks on Wheels"; "Light of Asia"; "Turtle"; "Little Moe"; "Monkey, Coin in Stomach"; "Smyth X-Ray" bank; "Watch Bank, Dime Disappears"; the entire group of Spring-Jawed mechanicals; and the subject of this article, "Rabbit Standing, large."
     The bank shown in Figure I was invented by Henry S. Lockwood of South Norwalk, Conn. On August 22, 1882, he obtained Patent Number 13,261 for his design (Figure 111). The words "PAT. APL D. FOR" appear underneath the square base of the bank. "Rabbit Standing, large" (Figure I) was produced by the Lockwood manufacturing Company of South Norwalk, Conn. Adherence to the patent drawing, pictured in Figure II, is apparent when compared to Figure I.
     Operation of "Rabbit Standing, large" is simple and the action which ensues is charming. A coin is inserted in what Henry Lockwood describes in the patent papers as the "apple or fruit," located between the rabbit's forepaws. The tail is then depressed, causing the ears to pivot forward and, simultaneously, the coin to drop into the bank. Deposits are removed by unscrewing the round head bolt underneath the base and detaching the square base plate.
     Interestingly, no sequential method of operation for coin deposit is described in the patent; nor is any operating lever identified. Nevertheless, the drawing of the rabbit in Figure II does indicate, via dotted lines, a movable tail and ears. Ergo, one may assume by noting the patent drawing that, either the ears may be pivoted forward in order to deposit the coin, or the rabbit's tail may be depressed downward. In either case, whichever action is initiated, the opposing appendage reacts as indi­cated in the patent drawing (Figure II).
     A mechanical bank which is far less scarce and not considered a rarity is the "Rabbit Standing, small" (refer to Antique Toy World, September 1994). Also designed and manufactured by Henry S. Lockwood, it operates in precisely the same manor as "Rabbit Standing, large." Both banks are protected by the same patent (refer to Figure II).
     I am not aware of any casting variations of "Rabbit Standing, large" and only two color variants which pertain solely to the figure of the rabbit. It may be painted a brown japan, or gold. In both cases, the apple or fruit is silver and the base is painted bright green. The example shown in Figure I is the gold version.
     "Rabbit Standing, large" is considered quite rare with just a handful of superb, all-original examples residing in a few collections. Most often, when one is located, the ears are either missing, repaired or recast. In addition, and for undetermined reasons, the finish is often extremely worn.
     I am not aware of reproductions of "Rabbit Standing, large." Nonetheless, Figure III is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast was attempted, its base would appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller (O.D.) than indicated.
     The superb example of "Rabbit Standing, large" (Figure I) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
     CORRECTION: (from December, 1994) Refer to Antique Toy World, October 1994, "RABBIT STANDING, large" Figure III. The following base diagram was inadvertently omitted from publication.

The Coasting and the Shoot the Chute Bank
A mystery and a history, Part I

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1994

      Perplexing and unique describe the correlation between two mechanical banks that has baffled both collectors and historians alike. The puzzlement pertains to the relationship between the elusive "Coasting Bank" as seen in Figure I, and the "Shoot the Chute" bank, Figure II. These mechanicals are strikingly similar to one another in design and action, but differ in one major respect: an original example of the "Coasting Bank" has yet to be discovered, while "Shoot the Chute" may be seen residing in several mechanical bank collections.
     Approximately 40 years ago, when there was only a handful of "Shoot the Chute" banks known to exist, interesting and historically significant information came to light. This was via an early, wholesale toy jobber's catalog, i.e., the 1884 Winter Edition of Ehrichs 'Fashion Quarterly (Figure III). In it was an illustration of the "Coasting Bank," Figure I. The advertisement, which offered the mechanical for sale at the price of "95 cents each," included a description of its action: "Upon plac­ing the sled at the top of the hill and pulling the string, the sled swiftly makes the descent until it meets an obstruction that lands the coaster on his head and deposits the coin in the bank. Size, 9-3/4 inches long, 2-3/4 inches wide, and 5-1/2 inches high."
     Figure IV is a page from a 1906 catalog of the J. and E. Stevens Company, one of the leading mechanical bank producers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The "Shoot the Chute" bank was offered for sale at $1.00 each, with the following description of its action: "Raise extension to position, press the hook down and lay a coin in the slot, place Buster Brown and his Boat at the top of the chute and start downward. Length, 9-7/8 inches. Height 6-5/8 inches. Width 2-5/8 inches."
     A comparison of the Ehrichs' and J. and E. Stevens' catalogs, Figures M and IV reveals the similarities of action, design and dimensions between the two banks. The outstanding difference is their subject matter. The "Coasting Bank" portrays a black boy seated upon an old-fashioned, wood-runner sled, whereas "Shoot the Chute" embodies the characterization of Buster Brown and his dog, Tige, descending the chute in their rectangular row boat.
     Speculation persists as to why a reputable toy wholesaler such as Ehrichs would advertise a mechanical bank that may not, based upon lack of proof of its existence, have ever been manufac­tured. One possible theory is that a toy manufacturer such as J. and E. Stevens, in attempting to comply with Christmas holiday deadlines, had prematurely presented a prototype of the "Coasting Bank" to Ehrichs for use in their Winter catalog prior to successful development of working bank patterns. Perhaps, subsequent to publication, the bank was discovered to have serious faulty design which would ultimately preclude its manufacture. Several other mechanical banks have suffered a similar fate, although not to the extent of the "Coasting Bank" (e.g., "Girl Skipping Rope" — Refer to Antique Toy World, "mechanical bank notes," December 1982 and April 1988).
     Other prevailing theories include: an unpopular toy with few sales; too complicated and fragile for children; the boy in the sled is easy to lose, rendering the bank useless; too expensive to manufacture and sell at an acceptable price; manufacturer dispute with the inventor or designer over patent rights.
     Twenty-two years later, on March 27, 1906, when the "Coasting Bank" was forgotten by most, lo and behold! the emergence of "Shoot the Chute" bank (Figure V), and the subject of next month's article (i.e., Part II).
     If anyone has information, documentation, knowledge of a complete, original "Coasting Bank," or a fragment thereof, wooden packaging boxes and ephemera which may be shared with other readers, please contact Sy Schreckinger, P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, NY 11518.
     Note: The superb, all-original example of the "Shoot the Chute" bank (Figure II) is from the mechanical bank collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck of Ft. Wayne, Ind.

The Coasting and the Shoot the Chute Bank
A mystery and a history, Part II

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1994

      During the last decade of the 19th century, a brilliant cartoonist created what was to become a national institu­tion. Richard F. Outcault was the originator of the first full-color Sunday comic strip in the United States. His creation was entitled "Hogan's Alley" and featured a crude, ungainly youth named the "Yellow Kid." Although the strip was extremely pop­ular with a segment of the population, Outcault became dissatisfied with the "vulgarity" of its "low class" characters and decided to terminate the column in 1898.
     Four years later, in 1902, he sired another strip, characterizing a "more refined," albeit brat-like youngster named Buster Brown. The child was frequently accompanied by his faithful dog, Tige (Figure I), who possessed the amazing powers of speech. The comic duo enjoyed immediate success. Their exploits appeared in several New York newspapers until their termination in 1920. For almost 40 years, the images of Buster and Tige adorned various categories of consumer goods. Endorsements included: books, clothing, umbrellas, raisins, soap, buttons, cigars, whiskey, hair cuts, shoes and toys.
     It was during the pinnacle of Buster Brown's popularity that Charles A. Bailey, one of the world's leading mechanical bank designers, capitalized upon Outcault's characters. He incorporated them into one of his own creations (Figure II), for which he was granted Patent Number 815,935 on March 27, 1906. The bank was eventually manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. (Figure III).
     Interestingly, the aforementioned papers indicate that Bailey originally assigned his invention to the National Novelty Corporation of Westfield, N.Y. This was a trust composed of several of the major toy manufacturers of the day, and included the J. and E. Stevens Company. The trust planned to pool their production and monopolize the toy market. However, their efforts failed to achieve fruition, and the group disbanded after only one year of existence.
     Action of "Shoot the Chute" is quite amusing. As described in an early J. and E. Stevens catalog, circa 1906 (Figure IV): "Raise extension to position, press the hook down and lay a coin in the slot, place Buster Brown and his Boat at top of chute and start downward." At this point, the descending boat hits the coin, knocking it into the bank. As the coin is deposited, it strikes a lever which raises a hook at the end of the chute. The boat then catches onto the hook, flipping Buster Brown and his pup head over heels!
     Several prevailing theories attempt to explain the rarity of "Shoot the Chute" Bank. One of these is that, perhaps, the mechanical's jarring action caused irreparable damage to the fragile cast-iron boat, thus rendering the bank useless. Another is that the failed trust, which had held the patent rights to "Shoot the Chute," may not have obtained proper licensing from Outcault for usage of his characters, prompting a court decision for discontinuance of the bank's production.
     There are no casting variations of "Shoot the Chute," and only two color variants which pertain solely to the boat and its occupants. It may be either nickel plated or colorfully painted, as seen in the example in Figure III. Buster Brown's face, hands and stockings are a pink flesh-color. His hair, eyes and eyebrows are brown, and his mouth is red. He sports orange pantaloons, a khaki coat with an orange collar, and a fluffy white bow tie. Tige is painted an overall khaki color, with dark brown eyes and a red mouth. The boat is bright red. The entire base is nickel plated. Both sides are highlighted in bright red with gold flourishes.
     Aside from the rarity of "Shoot the Chute," its coloration and subjects distinguish it as a worthwhile and attractive addition to a mechanical bank collection. Unfortunately, its rarity has en­couraged several unscrupulous attempts at reproduction. Figure V is a base diagram of an original example. The reproduction will appear approximately one-quarter inch shorter along the base O.D. than indicated.
     In reference to last month's article in Antique Toy World concerning the  "Coasting Bank," the following may be stated as a certainty: The bank illustrated in Figure VI of this article (as it had appeared in the 1884 Winter Edition of Ehrichs' Fashion Quarterly) is not an artist's misrepresentation of the "Shoot the Chute" Bank (Figure III), since that bank would have been introduced 18 years prior to Outcault's creation of his Buster Brown character.
    Regrettably, we are left with unanswered questions...
•     Was the "Coasting Bank" originally an unpatented Charles Bailey design which might or might not have been manufactured, only to reappear 22 years later as Bailey's patented "Shoot the Chute" Bank?
•     Or, did Bailey only gain inspiration from the Ehrichs'Fashion Quarterly illustration (Figure IV), adapting another's design of the "Coasting Bank" to suit the needs of the J. and E. Ste­vens Company?
     CORRECTION: Refer to Antique Toy World, October 1994, "RABBIT STANDING, large" Figure III. The following base diagram was inadvertently omitted from publication.

The Santa Claus Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1995

     Twas the night before Christmas ..." begins Thomas Clement Moore's poem "The Account of a Visit of St. Nicholas." This, as well as Thomas Nast's popular illustration of "Father Christmas" (Figure I), provided the inspiration for a plethora of holiday items, objects and ornaments during the latter part of the 19th century. Nast's impression of Santa Claus appeared on a multitude of items, including Christmas cards, decorations, candy molds, cookie cutters, costumes, advertisements, games and children's toys.
     Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, of Buffalo, N.Y., designed a toy savings bank employing the image of this yuletide legend. They were granted Patent Number 19,356 on October 15, 1889. Ultimately, their "Santa Claus" bank was manufactured by the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, N.Y. As evidenced by the patent drawing in Figure II, the Shepard Company's final production bank (Figure III) adhered closely to Messrs. Shepard and Adams' concept.
     A mail-order catalog distributed by Montgomery and Ward, circa 1889, advertised the "Santa Claus" bank (Figure IV), with a selling price of 40c each. Quite an investment when compared to the recent selling price of a "Santa" bank in excellent condition, for more than 14,000 times the original 1889 catalog price!! The "Santa Claus" bank is not considered rare. However, as with all Shepard banks, finding one in exceptionally fine paint condition is an almost unattainable challenge. This was due to the fact that Shepard Hardware never applied a protective undercoat to its product prior to painting, inevitably resulting in profuse crazing and badly flaked surfaces. However, despite this flaw in production, to date, the Shepard Hardware Company remains unsurpassed amongst mechanical bank manufacturers in having achieved the ideal combination of meticulously fine castings and highly detailed, delicately painted surfaces.
     There are two minor casting, and two color, variants of the "Santa Claus" bank. These pertain solely to a patent designation cast underneath the base, and the color of St. Nick's coat. The latter may be either brown or light grey with white snowflakes and trimmed in reddish-brown fur (see Figure III).
     In both variants, Santa's face and hands are a pink flesh color. He has blue eyes, white eyebrows, moustache and beard. His mouth is painted red. St. Nicholas' face is outlined by the bright red inner lining of his cap. On his back he carries a yellow basket of red toys which are highlighted in gold. His boots are shiny black, and he stands upon a rectangular medium-gray platform which bears the words "SANTA CLAUS" accented in gold. Finally, the chimney is painted bright red with white mortar lines.
     In reference to the aforementioned casting variations, some examples of the "Santa Claus" bank have the words, "PAT. APP'D FOR" appearing on the underside of the base. This indicates that the production of these mechanicals took place prior to issuance of the patent (Figure II). Later examples display the words, "PAT OCT 15 1889."
     Operation of the "Santa Claus" bank is uncomplex. A coin is placed into Santa's right hand. The lever behind his right foot is then depressed. Simultaneously, his hand lowers, releasing the coin into the chimney. Deposits are recovered by unscrewing the small, rectangular coin retainer underneath the base.
     Over the years, several reproductions of the "Santa Claus" bank have been created. Figure V is a base diagram of an original example. A recast will appear approximately one eighth of an inch shorter along the base, O.D., than indicated.

The North Pole Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1995

      A bitter dispute centering upon the discoverer of the North Pole resulted in a decision which, even to this day, remains a subject of debate. The infamous controversy involved Admiral Robert Peary and Dr. Frederick Cook. Both gentlemen claimed to have been the first to travel to the North Pole. Peary and his expedition, after several unsuccessful attempts, reached their destination on April 7, 1909. They planted the Stars and Stripes in the name of the United States of America. Upon returning home, Peary learned that a former associate, Dr. Cook, had announced to the world that he had reached the North Pole one year earlier than Peary. Vicious mudslinging between the two resulted in a congressional committee investigation, with Robert Peary emerging victorious. Supporters of Cook, however, never accepted the final decision. On July 26, 1910, master mechanical bank designer, Charles A. Bailey was granted Patent Number 965,843 for his invention and design of the "North Pole Bank" (Figure I). It was ultimately manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. (Figure II). Both Bailey and J. and E. Stevens discreetly avoided reference to either Peary or Cook in the design of the bank, thereby hoping not to offend prospective customers on either side of the issue.
     Operation of the "North Pole Bank" is initiated by depressing the flag into the globe, snapping it into place. A coin is then inserted in the slot on the left side of the bank, as shown in Figure III (an illustration from a J. and E. Stevens catalog, circa 1910). As the coin is pushed into the bank, the flag pops up. Deposits are removed by undoing the round, Stevens-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     There are no casting or color variants of the "North Pole Bank." The colors, as shown in Figure II, are as follows: the upper section of the mechanical, including the globe, is painted a gold-bronze color. The lower two thirds of the base is silver, highlighted with white. The explorers have pink, flesh-colored faces and are clothed in tan parkas. The sled dogs are painted a tan color. The sled is dark blue and carries a gold supply pack. The various examples of Polar wildlife indicated around the base are highlighted in gold, tan and white.
     The words, "PATd APLD FOR" are embossed onto the underside of the base. The "North Pole Bank" is quite rare, possibly attributed to poor sales which dictated early termination of its manufacture. It is not surprising, since foundry records and documents indicate sales and public interest in mechanical banks were steadily declining subsequent to the year 1900. What chance would a bank such as "North Pole" (Figure II), with its limited action; lackluster, somewhat monochromatic appearance; and its controversial subject matter, have in such a negative sales climate?
     Caution and wariness should be exercised when contemplating purchase of a "North Pole Bank," since very few totally original examples exist. Most are compiled from original, but unpainted and unassembled, parts discarded by the J. and E. Stevens foundry when mechanical bank production ceased. These banks were assembled and painted by individuals who misrepresented them as totally original to unsuspecting collectors. More than likely, expert opinion is required to determine paint originality, since base tracings (as in Figure IV) will only indicate size differentiation of a recast mechanical bank.
     In addition, several complete recasts of the "North Pole Bank" have been fabricated. These banks will appear approximately one quarter of an inch shorter along the base, O.D., than indicated in the base diagram (Figure IV).
     The superb, all-original example of the "North Pole Bank" shown in Figure II, is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Bismark Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1995

      Numerous mechanical banks were designed to represent significant historical and/or political events. Those with more overt, or recognizable, themes are represented by such distinguished titles as: "U.S. and Spain"; "North Pole" Bank; "Stump Speaker"; "Uncle Sam"; "Hold the Fort"; etc. Other mechanicals may depict unfamiliar, or obscure, events which may confound all but the astute historian. Included amongst this listing are: "Afghanistan" (refer to Antique Toy World, September 1986); "Bread Winners Bank" (Antique Toy World, April 1993); "Schley Bottling Up Cervera"; and the subject of this article, the "Bismark Bank" (Figure 1).
     Once again, master bank designer, Charles A. Bailey, of Cromwell, Conn., recognized the opportunity to capitalize upon a subject of current interest to the public. He designed a bank incorporating a likeness of German chancellor, Otto von Bismark, emerging from the topside of a pig. Although the message related appears obvious, an understanding of the circumstances occurring at that time in history would reveal its actual symbolic intent.
     During the latter portion of the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismark attempted to unify the loosely knit German states into a world power. Many of his expansionist and colonialist policies were perceived as aggressive and hostile, particularly when he labeled the Monroe Doctrine an "international impertinence." In retaliation for the constraints placed upon him by the Doctrine, Bismark restricted the import of American pork and meat products into Germany. This action resulted in hardships upon pork producers in the United States, and precipitated vehement anti-Bismark sentiment. It was this prevailing attitude toward Bismark that provided the inspiration for Charles A. Bailey and many of his constituents to design toys and banks ridiculing the German chancellor.
     To date, no patent information pertaining to the "Bismark Bank" has been located. Had it not been for J. and E. Stevens' foundry records, the designer and manufacturer of this mechanical would have remained an enigma. Figure II is an advertisement from the 1884 Winter edition of Ehrich's Fashion Quarterly (a mail-order catalog) offering the "Bismark Bank" for "75 cents each. Express only." The action of the bank is somewhat surprising, albeit appropriate. To quote the Ehrich's advertisement: "Upon placing a coin, as shown in the cut and pressing the pig's tail, the depositor will immediately ascertain the cause of his trouble." Bismark will then pop up (see Figure I).
     I am not aware of any casting variants of the "Bismark Bank," and there are only two color variations. The figure of the pig (which had been manufactured from cast iron) may be painted either glossy black (Figure I) with a white snout, hooves, eyes, eyebrows and a red mouth. The words "BISMARK BANK" are highlighted in gold. Or, it may be painted white with black splotches, a pink snout and hooves, a red mouth, black eyes and eyebrows and the words "BISMARK BANK" also accented in gold.
     Chancellor Bismark (cast from zinc-lead alloy) has a pink, flesh-colored face with black hair, eyes, eyebrows and moustache and a red mouth. Coupled with the "black pig" variant, Bismark wears a red jacket with black buttons. In the "white pig" version, he sports a blue jacket. Both variations utilize a round, tin, gold tray which is attached to the front of Bismark.
     The "Bismark Bank" is considered quite rare, especially when found in complete, all-original, fine-paint condition. This is understandable when one considers the fragile casting of the figure of Bismark and his precariously positioned tin tray.
     Many years ago, attempts to reproduce the "Bismark Bank" resulted in a few crudely executed examples. These are easily detectable, since the castings are pebbly and heavy in appearance, with wide, gaping seams In addition, the ill-fitting parts precluded smooth operation of the bank.
     Figure III is a base diagram of an original example of the "Bismark Bank." A recast would be approximately one eighth to one quarter of an inch shorter in length O.D. than indicated.
     The superb example of the "Bismark Bank" shown in Figure I is from the mechanical bank collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

Mechanical Bank Ephemera
Part II of: Jolly Nigger Bank, Hall's Excelsior Bank,
Chronometer Bank, Mama Katzenjammer Bank

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1995

      Occasionally mechanical bank enthusiasts and readers of this column will submit items of interest which relate to, and elaborate upon, my articles in Antique Toy World. Generally, such material is most informative and, frequently, a valuable adjunct to my writings. Admittedly, it appears that the serious collector as well as the newly initiated, can never be satiated with knowledge when the subject pertains to mechanical banks.
       Allow me to share a few of these gems with you:
 
Jolly Nigger Bank: Refer to Antique Toy World, December 1983.
Advertising Flyer: Submitted by Dr. Greg Zemenick.
  
Hall's Excelsior Bank: Refer to
Antique Toy World, February 1984.
Flyer, possibly packed with each bank.
Submitted by Dr. Greg Zemenick.
  
Chronometer Bank: Refer to Antique Toy World, May 1994.
Toy jobber's catalog page, E. G. Selchow and Co., circa 1875.
Submitted by Mr. Anthony Annese.
  
Mama Katzenjammer Bank: Refer to
Antique Toy World, January 1984.
Manufacturer's catalog page, Kenton Hardware Company, circa 1906.
  
Note the handwritten word "out" across both the "Teddy Bear Bank" and the "Mrs. Katzenjammer Bank," possibly indicating both items were poor sellers, a factor which may have prompted discontinuance and deletion from their 1907 toys and banks catalog.
Submitted by Mr. Bill Robison.
 
Note: Readers are welcome to share their ephemera relating to mechanical banks: eg, trade cards, flyers, wooden packing boxes (especially those displaying the name "Kyser and Rex Co.), etc. Please contact: Sy Schreckinger, P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, NY 11518.

First One Hundred Fifty Articles — An Index
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1995

      In view of the overwhelming number of requests received from readers, the following is an index of the one hundred fifty articles I've written for Antique Toy World:

 1.   August 1982-The Edwin H. Mosler Bank Sale
2.   December 1982-Girl Skipping Rope
3.   January 1983-Acrobats
4.   February 1983-Zig Zag
5.   March 1983-Two Frogs
6.   April 1983-Reclining Chinaman
7.   May 1983-Elephant and 3 Clowns
8.   June 1983-Peg Leg Beggar
9.   July 1983-Circus Ticket Collector
10.   August 1983-Little Jocko Musical
11.   September 1983-Chimpanzee
12.   October 1983-Billy Goat
13.   November 1983-Confectionery
14.   December 1983-Jolly Nigger
15.   January 1984-Mama Katzenjammer
16.   February 1984-Hall's Excelsior
17.   March 1984-Paddy and the Pig
18.   April 1984-Speaking Dog
19.   May 1984-Tammany
20.   June 1984-Fowler
21.   July 1984-Humpty Dumpty
22.   August 1984-Mason
23.   September 1984 - Humpty Dumpty Part II
         -Elephant and 3 Clowns Part II
24.   October 1984-Organ Bank, Cat and Dog
25.   November 1984-Bulldog Savings
26.   December 1984-Bird on Roof
27.   January 1985-Darktown Battery
28.   February 1985-Magician
29.   March 1985-Boy Stealing Watermelons
30.   April 1985-Uncle Sam
31.   May 1985-Stump Speaker
32.   June 1985-Zig Zag Part II
        -Bill Norman's Bank Book, Review
33.   July 1985-Lion Hunter
34.   August 1985-Calamity
35.   September 1985-Organ Miniature
36.   October 1985-Indian and the Bear
37.   November 1985-William Tell
38.   December 1985-I Always Did 'Spise A Mule (Jockey)
39.   January 1986-Punch and Judy
40.   February 1986-Organ Bank, Boy and Girl
41.   March 1986-Boy Scout Camp
42.   April 1986-Perfection Registering
43.   May 1986 - I Always Did 'Spise A Mule (Boy on Bench)
44.   June 1986-Bad Accident
45.   July 1986-Jonah and the Whale
46.   August 1986-Organ Grinder and Performing Bear
47.   September 1986-Afghanistan
48.   October 1986-Dentist
49.   November 1986-Goat, Frog and Old Man
50.   December 1986-Teddy and the Bear
51.   January 1987-Mammy and Baby
52.   February 1987-Novelty
53.   March 1987-Lion and Monkeys
54.   April 1987-Horse Race
55.   May 1987-Hall's Lilliput
56.   June 1987-Mule Entering Barn
57.   July 1987-Toad on Stump
58.   August 1987-Milking Cow
59.   September 1987-Dog on Turntable
60.   October 1987-Spring-Jawed Alligator
61.   November 1987-Clown on Globe
62.   December 1987-Jumbo Elephant
63.   January 1988-Organ Bank with Monkey
64.   February 1988-Artillery
65.   March 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part I
66.   April 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part II
67.   May 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part III
        -Penny Lane Book Review
68.   June 1988-Stevens Foundry, Part III
        -Penny Lane Book Review
69.   July 1988-Red Riding Hood
70.   August 1988-Eagle and Eaglets
71.   September 1988-Butting Buffalo
72.   October 1988-Spring-Jawed Bonzo
73.   November 1988-Trick Dog, Six-Part Base
74.   December 1988-Patronize the Blind Man and His Dog
75.   January 1989-Bucking Mule
76.   February 1989-World's Fair
77.   March 1989-Frog on Round Base
78.   April 1989-Owl, Slot in Head
79.   May 1989-Uncle Sam Bust
80.   June 1989-Boy on Trapeze
81.   July 1989-Boy and Bulldog
82.   August 1989-Bulldog on Square Base
83.   September 1989-Cat and Mouse
84.   October 1989-Rooster
85.   November 1989-Spring-Jawed Kitten
86.   December 1989-Saalheimer and Strauss Toy Catalog
87.   January 1990-Owl, Slot in Book
88.   February 1990-Bulldog Standing
89.   March 1990-Atlas
90.   April 1990-Monkey and Coconut
91.   May 1990-Rabbit in Cabbage
92.   June 1990-Spring-Jawed Bulldog
93.   July 1990-Organ Grinder and Performing Bear, Part II
         -Perfection Registering, Part II
94.   August 1990-Uncle Tom
95.   September 1990-Leap Frog
96.   October 1990-Chief Big Moon
97.   November 1990-Girl in Victorian Chair
98.   December 1990-Cross-Legged Minstrel
99.   January 1991-The Home Bank
100.   February 1991-Spring-Jawed Mule
101.   March 1991-First 100 Articles
102.   April 1991-Butting Goat
103.   May 1991-Elephant Howdah - Man Pops Up
104.   June 1991-Boy Robbing Bird's Nest
105.   July 1991-Spring-Jawed Parrot
106.   August 1991-Mickey Mouse Tin
107.   September 1991-Dinah
108.   October 1991-Merry-Go-Round
109.   November 1991-Light of Asia
110.   December 1991-Frog on Rock
111.   January 1992-Spring-Jawed Chimpanzee
112.   February 1992-Elephant with Tusks, on Wheels
113.   March 1992-Bank of Education and Economy
114.   April 1992-Presto, Trick Drawer
115.   May 1992-Professor Pug Frog
116.   June 1992-Zoo
117.   July 1992-General Butler
118.   August 1992-Spring-Jawed Penguin
119.   September 1992-William Tell, Arrow
120.   October 1992-Hubley Elephant
121.   November 1992-Hubley Monkey
122.   December 1992-Hubley Trick Dog
123.   January 1993-Safety Locomotive
124.   February 1993-Hold the Fort
125.   March 1993-Pig in High Chair
126.   April 1993-Bread Winners
127.   May 1993-Presto, Penny Changes to a Quarter
128.   June 1993-Turtle Bank
129.   July 1993-Watch Dog Safe
130.   August 1993-Monkey, Coin in Stomach
131.   September 1993-Squirrel and Tree Stump
132.   October 1993-Grenadier
133.   November 1993-Mechanical Bank Reproductions (Part I)
134.   December 1993-Mechanical Bank Reproductions (Part II)
135.   January 1994-Mechanical Bank Reproductions (Part III)
136.   February 1994-U.S. and Spain
137.   March 1994-Bow-ery
138.   April 1994-Time is Money
139.   May 1994-Chronometer
140.   June 1994-Punch and Judy (Part II)
141.   July 1994-The Jonah Bank
142.   August 1994-Owl Turns Head
143.   September 1994-Rabbit Standing (Small)
144.   October 1994-Rabbit Standing (Large)
145.   November 1994-Coasting Bank
146.   December 1994-Shoot the Chute
147.   January 1995-Santa Claus
148.   February 1995-North Pole
149. March 1995-Bismark
150. April 1995-Mechanical Bank Ephemera Part II: Jolly Nigger Bank,
        Hall's Excelsior, Chronometer, Mama Katzenjammer Bank

The Hen and Chick Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1995

      The virtuous state of motherhood has been extolled a countless number of times and through various means. One such expression has been via antique mechanical banks, with such notables as "Mammy and Baby," "Eagle and Eaglets," "Lion and Monkeys," "Two Frogs," "Mama Katzenjammer," "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest," and the subject of this article, "Hen and Chick" Bank (Figure I).
     Of the aforementioned, "Boy Robbing Bird's Nest" and "Hen and Chick" have been documented as the creations of master bank designer, Charles A. Bailey. His genius had once again been demonstrated by rendering a pile of nuts, bolts, springs and molten cast iron into the personification of maternal tenderness. Both mechanicals bear his unmistakable trademark: prolific use of leaf and flora forms woven into their design. Bailey's successful use of cold, hard cast iron to achieve the warmth of graceful flora form remains unchallenged to this day.
     On October 1, 1901, Charles A. Bailey of Cromwell, Connecticut, was assigned Patent Number 35,159 for his design of the "Hen and Chick" Bank (Figure II). The mechanical bank was subsequently manufactured by his employer, the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut. It was offered for sale in their catalog "Iron Toys, Etc.," circa 1906 (Figure III): "Retail price $1.00. Each in a neat wooden box."
     The action of "Hen and Chick" Bank is whimsical and entertaining. A coin is placed into the slot directly in front of the hen. The lever adjacent to her right side is then pulled to the rear of the bank. This causes her head to move back and forth and her beak to open and close, emitting a clucking sound. Simultaneously, a tiny chick springs forward from beneath her breast and pecks the coin into the bank! Deposits are retrieved by removing the round, patented, Stevens'-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     There are several casting and color variations of the "Hen and Chick" Bank. A rare example of this mechanical bank is painted an overall gold color. More common are the two variants, which were more attractively painted. The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: the base is bright green, adorned with light blue flowers with yellow centers and yellow flowers with light blue centers. The leaf and grass designs are highlighted in copper. Mama hen is painted white with a bright red comb and wattles. She has a brown beak and yellow eyes with black pupils. Her brood, their tiny heads peeking from beneath her protective wing feathers, are painted yellow with black eyes. The chick emerging from beneath mama's chest is also painted yellow, and it has black eyes and a brown beak. Finally, the operating lever is painted gold.
     There is one other polychrome version of the "Hen and Chick" Bank. This one portrays a light brown hen, sitting on a dark metallic green base. The colors of the flowers, chicks, etc., remain consistent with those of the "white" hen variant. Interestingly, there were a few methods utilized by the J. & E. Stevens Company to indicate patent information underneath the base plate of "Hen and Chick." The first has the words, "PAT APLD FOR" cast onto the base plate. A second has the words, "PATENT APPLIED FOR" printed in black ink on a light-green paper label affixed to the base plate. The third method is a base plate completely devoid of any patent information.
     Surprisingly, there has been no known attempts to reproduce the "Hen and Chick" Bank despite its desirability and popularity. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram of an original example (Figure IV). If a reproduction were manufactured utilizing an original "Hen and Chick" Bank as a pattern, it would appear one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base, O. D., than indicated.
     I extend my gratitude to fellow collectors Dr. Greg Zemenick and Mr. Mike Gabriel for supplying pertinent information for use in this article.

The Panorama Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1995

      The design and manufacture of the first cast-iron mechanical bank (Figure I) unknowingly effectuated the birth of a major, worldwide industry. Mr. John D. Hall, of Watertown, Mass., invented and patented (December 21, 1869) his "Hall's Excelsior," a mechanical bank in the form of a building (refer to Antique Toy World, February 1984). His ingenious creation was the inspiration for eventual production by other talented individuals of well over 400 varied mechanical banks, spanning a period of approximately 40 years.
     Although other subjects have enjoyed equal success and popularity, the group comprised of buildings has been the most prolific in both the mechanical and still bank families. Classics amongst the mechanicals include: "Dog on Turntable," "Mosque," "Hall's Lilliput," "Cupola Bank," "Novelty Bank," "New Bank," "National Bank," "Home Bank," "U.S. Bank," "Zoo Bank," and the subject of this article, the "Panorama Bank" (Figure II).
     On March 7, 1876, James D. Butler, of Lancaster, Mass., received patent number 174,410 for the invention of a most unique "building-style" mechanical bank, namely his "Panorama Bank" (Figure III). Subsequently, Butler assigned the patent rights to Elisha G. Selchow and John H. Righter, two entrepreneurs who owned and operated a wholesale game and home- amusement company located in New York City (see Figure IV). Selchow and Righter ultimately contracted the J. and E. Stevens Foundry, of Cromwell, Conn., to manufacture Mr. Butler's invention.
     Interestingly, the original patent papers (Figure III) indicated a device designed to exhibit only three different pictures. It is likely that either Selchow and Righter or J. and E. Stevens modified the design, enabling the final production bank to display six different images, rather than three.
     To operate the "Panorama Bank," a coin is first pushed through the slot located at the center of the backside of the roof. This engages an internal lever which revolves a wooden, paper-covered cylinder, resulting in the viewing of precisely one picture at a time. Additional coins must be utilized to expose each image. Deposits are retrieved by opening the square sliding coin retainer underneath its base.
     The revolving cylinder features six different color lithographed pictures of children engaged in various activities. It includes: a boy standing on a bridge observing swans; a girl playing with a kitten; two boys in a rowboat; two children, one feeding a goat and the other fishing; three children feeding ducks; and, lastly, two girls reposing in a garden.
     I have recently been informed of the existence of a "Panorama Bank" with six totally different images from the aforementioned. However, since I have not personally viewed the bank, I am unable, at this time, to comment upon the credibility of the report.
     To my knowledge, there are no known casting variations of "Panorama Bank." However, there are several color variants. One is painted white with a blue roof and red trim. Another has a light green façade with a red roof and brown trim. A third, Figure II, has yellow walls, red window trim, blue lettering and a brown door. This variant also features yellow chimneys with blue trim, a blue base and brown and blue stairs.
     The "Panorama Bank" has not, to my knowledge, been reproduced. Nevertheless, Figure V is a base diagram of an original example. If a reproduction were manufactured, it would appear approximately one-quarter of an inch shorter along the base. O.D. than indicated.
     On a final note: Recently, architectural-style banks, both mechanical and still, have become increasingly popular and desirable. The "Panorama Bank" is a most attractive addition to such a collection.

The Motor Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1995

      Historical events, social issues and the celebration of new and exciting inventions are among the topics depicted in antique toys and mechanical banks. The collector and historian are often provided with an abundance of information relating to various eras. The subject of this article, shown in Figure I, pays homage to an invention which revolutionized the transportation industry.
     With the advent of the steam locomotive during the early mid-19th century and its rapid expansion in the United States, other cleaner and less-noisy means of travel were sought — especially within urban and highly populated areas. It was not until the latter half of the 19th century that a successful, operational "electric traction" car was developed by Mr. Leo Daft of New Jersey. His invention involved the use of a small carriage, or troller," which rode above overhead electrified wires, thus gathering power for the vehicle's motor. From this little "troller" of the Daft system evolved the word "trolley."
     Street cars and trolleys suddenly acquired a particular appeal and fascination. They were glorified and romanticized in story and song. Manufacturers utilized the image of the trolley to sell various merchandise, from toys to foodstuff.
     On April 30, 1889, Alfred C. Rex, of Philadelphia, Pa., was granted Patent Number 402,351 for his toy "Motor Bank" (Figure II). The bank was ultimately manufactured by the Kyser and Rex Company, of Frankford, Pa., who strictly adhered to the patent design, as evidenced by the drawings in Figure II. It is alleged that the J. and E. Stevens Company, of Cromwell, Conn., later obtained patent rights to the "Motor Bank." However, their production of the bank has never been verified.
     Of interest in the fact that, in the patent papers, Mr. Alfred Rex described his invention as a coin-operated toy, while in the patent illustration he indicated its name as a bank.
     Action of the "Motor Bank" is quite entertaining. Instructions are printed upon a small label affixed to its underside: "Directions — To connect mechanism push catch in rear platform into left-hand slot of shaft: To disconnect, push into the right-hand slot. To wind hold bottom of car toward you, bottom side up and key in right hand. To start push coin or other object in money slot, thus releasing spring and the car will run. When mechanism is disconnected the car can be drawn along with a string without injury to it, otherwise it cannot." As the car is set in motion, a bell chimes from within. Deposits are removed by unlocking the raised, cupola-like section of the roof.
     Figure III is an offering for the "Motor Bank," priced 90 cents each! It appeared in the Montgomery Ward and Company catalog, circa 1889.
     There are two casting and two color variants of the "Motor Bank." the undercarriage may be either perfectly smooth, or have reinforcement ribs cast into it. The panel under the windows that contains the number "125" may be either light green or ultramarine blue. Neither casting nor color variation has any bearing upon the bank's desirability or value.
     The colors of the bank (Figure I) are as follows: the roof and front and rear doors are painted red, as are the motorman's platforms, which are outlined in gold. The sides of the bank are bright ultramarine blue and light yellow, with the words, "MOTOR BANK" highlighted in red, and the number "125" accented in gold. The wheels are black.
     The words, "PAT. APL. 30. 89" are cast into the undercarriage.
     The "Motor Bank" is extremely rare, with only a handful of fine, all-original, working examples existing in collections. Most often, when a fresh example is discovered it is either broken, missing parts or lacking a considerable amount of its paint.
     To date, the "Motor Bank" has not been reproduced. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram (Figure IV), demonstrating size and scale. A reproduction, if it were to be created, might appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter in length than indicated.
     Acknowledgement: The superb example of the "Motor Bank" shown in Figure I is from the Steckbeck collection of mechanical banks.

The Mosque Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1995

      An infinite number of sources tended to serve as inspiration for the myriad mechanical bank designs. One of these was foreign lands, whose images stimulated thoughts of their allure, mystery and intrigue.
     During the latter portion of the 19th century, immigration to the United States from Asia and the Orient sparked the interest and imagination of novelists, song writers and artists. Awareness and opportunity to capitalize upon a popular trend brought mechanical bank manufacturers into the arena with such notables as "Afghanistan" (refer to Antique Toy World (ATW), September 1986); "Elephant Howdah, Man Pops Up" (ATW, May 1991); "Elephant, Locked Howdah"; "Chimpanzee" (ATW, September 1983); "Hindu"; "Cupola Bank"; "Japanese Ball Tosser"; "Reclining Chinaman" (ATW, April 1983); "Mikado"; and the subject of this article, the "Mosque" Bank, Figure I.
     The "Mosque" Bank was manufactured by H. L. Judd and Company, of Wallingford, Conn., and is pictured in its April 1, 1885 "Catalog of Metal Goods" (refer to Figure II). It sold for thirteen dollars per dozen with a "dark antique finish," and for fourteen dollars per dozen, "ebony and gold." Interestingly, the Judd catalog stated its banks were shipped in separate boxes. However, no such container has surfaced. If a reader is aware of the existence of such a box, a note to this author would be greatly appreciated.
     Unfortunately, the inventor of "Mosque" Bank and the date of its manufacture are unknown. The Judd Company had never applied for patents on any of its banks. However, approximation of the time period of manufacture may be deduced from the 1885 catalog (Figure II).
     Meticulously fine castings and scrupulous attention to minute details are attributes associated with banks produced by Judd. To illustrate, one need only observe its line of animal banks, e.g., "Bear With Paws Around Tree Stump" and "Bulldog Standing" (ATW, February 1990). Each of these cast-iron creatures displays finely detailed hairs and features. Judd's architectural-style mechanicals, such as "Dog on Turntable" and "Mosque," boast finely detailed brickwork and intricate mosaic windows.
     In contrast to the sophistication and complexity of its castings, the Judd Company's byword, insofar as operation and action of its banks, was "simplicity." A subtle gesture or a nodding head as the coin was deposited into the slot was all that Judd utilized to delight a small child. Operation of the "Mosque" is initiated by placing a coin atop the round tray which the ape-like creature holds above its head (Figure I). The crank is then turned clockwise, causing the coin and its bearer to disappear within the building's dome. The creature subsequently emerges sans money. Deposits are removed by pivoting a flexible rectangular piece of sheet steel, located underneath the base and to one side.
     Most of the mechanicals produced by Judd were monochromatic, painted primarily in metallic colors or various japan varnishes. The palette included a glossy ebony finish, maroon, semitransparent brown, copper, gold and an occasional touch of white for an eye or red for a mouth. Polychromed examples do exist. Some of these may have been factory-painted, but most were the artistic fancy of an early owner. Such particular examples should be closely scrutinized for authenticity when contemplating a purchase.
     There are two casting and several color variations of the "Mosque." The figure atop the dome may be constructed from either brass or iron, and may be painted brown or black. The building itself may be decorated in a brown "antique" finish, highlighted with a blue-green verdigris wash, or a glossy ebony, accented with metallic gold or, as the example shown in Figure I, painted overall copper metallic, highlighted with a verdigris wash.
     The "Mosque" Bank is not considered rare. However, locating a completely original example, in superb paint condition, could prove a challenge to even the most advanced collector. Often, when one is discovered, the figure atop the dome is either recast or missing. In addition, several of the bank's thinly cast walls may be cracked and/or have portions missing.
     To my knowledge, the "Mosque" Bank has not been reproduced. Nevertheless, I am including a base diagram of an original example (Figure III). If a reproduction were attempted, it would appear approximately one-eighth of an inch shorter along the base O.D. than indicated.
     The superb example of the "Mosque" Bank shown in Figure I is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

Queen Victoria Bust Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1995

     She ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 64 years.
     She was endowed with the distinguished title of "Empress of India."
     She supported several issues pertaining to women's rights and never questioned her ability to rule. However, she contradicted herself by denouncing the intents of her "poor feeble sex" (Figure I).
     She was, during the time period of 1837 to 1901, a dominant force felt 'round the globe.
     "She" was Queen Victoria, renowned as one of the most influential monarchs who has ever lived, and whose name is synonymous with an era.
     In celebration of the fiftieth year of Queen Victoria's reign, she rode in an open landau through the streets of London. The route from Paddington Station to Buckingham Palace was lined with enormous, cheering crowds. It was during this "Golden Jubilee" year of 1887 that hundreds of Queen Victoria commemorative items were manufactured. Her likeness appeared on pottery, chinaware, silver, jewelry, coins, stamps, paper currency, hats and other articles of clothing, banners, biscuit tins and foodstuffs, toys, dolls, games and booklets. Amidst this commemorative clutter arose the now extremely rare "Queen Victoria Bust Bank" (Figure II).
     Interestingly, despite Queen Victoria's notoriety, with volumes written about her life and philosophies, very little is known about the bank. To date, neither patent nor manufacture data has been located. Inscriptions on the bank itself offer the only known information pertinent to date of production and distribution: i.e., across the front of the Queen's dress is written "JUBILEE, 1887 — GOD SAVE THE QUEEN"; on the right-hand side: "PATENT NO. 14197"; across its back: "BORN MAY 24th 1819 — CROWNED JUNE 20th 1837 — MARRIED FEBY 10th 1840."
     Popular theory and speculation persist that the "Queen Victoria Bust Bank" may have been manufactured by John Harper & Co. Limited of Willenhall, England. The company was the most distinguished manufacturer of cast-iron toys and mechanical banks of the period. Much of the "Queen Victoria Bust Bank" casting details, structural design and decorative application appear to reflect many a Harper product. Hopefully, further factual information will surface, revealing the bank's actual creator(s).
     Operation of the "Queen Victoria Bust Bank" is quite simple: a large English penny is dropped into the slot in the crown, striking an internal counterbalanced lever attached to the eyes. This results in movement of the eyes in an upward and downward fashion which occurs several times. Deposits are removed by unscrewing the perforated base plate underneath the bank.
     The colors of the mechanical pictured in Figure II are as follows: the face is a tannish white, and the hair and eyebrows are painted black. The corneas are white with black pupils. The lips are red, and the cheeks are a pink color. The crown, earrings and necklace, as well as all of the lettering and the medal at the left side of the dress are painted gold. The ribbon on the dress and the cloth extension of the crown cascading down the back of Queen Victoria's head are painted red. The dress is dark blue, and the perforated base plate underneath the bank is coated with a maroon japan finish.
     To the best of my knowledge, there are only two known examples of the "Queen Victoria Bust Bank." While there is no casting variation, there is a difference in the metals utilized for each mechanical. One is cast from iron and the other, totally from brass.
     I am not aware of the existence of any reproductions of the "Queen Victoria Bust Bank." However, due to its simplistic construction and extreme rarity, one cannot rule out future attempts at fraudulent duplication. Figure III is a base diagram of an original example. A reproduction would appear approximately one eighth to one quarter of an inch O.D. smaller than indicated.
               ******
     "The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of Women's Rights, with all its attendant horrors.... Woman would become the most hateful, heartless and disgusting of human beings were she allowed to unsex herself and where would be the protection which man was intended to give the weaker sex?"
                                            — Queen Victoria

               ******
     EPILOGUE: Upon the death of Queen Victoria on January 22, 1901, a journalist for the Illustrated London News observed: "The Victorian age itself had been one of profound political, economic and social reform. There was no class whose way of life had not been transformed. But the age which this journal has witnessed has been an age which, if its faults have been many, men will remember with wonder, gratitude and respect."
      Acknowledgement: The superb, all-original example of the "Queen Victoria Bust Bank" shown in Figure II is from the mechanical bank collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Giant Bank
“The Giant That Jack Killed”
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1995

      Ogres, witches, giants and the like abound in the imagination and fantasy world of children. How many of us, as youngsters, were willingly and delightfully chilled to the bone by Dr. Frankenstein's grotesque creation, looming menacingly before us on the silver screen? Fables of ogres and giants continue to thrill audiences, as they did in ancient times. Recall such notables as Cyclops, the one-eyed giant of Greek mythology, Paul Bunyon, Pecos Bill of the American West, and the elusive, omnipresent inhabitant of the North Woods, "Big Foot."
     The public's fascination with fabled creatures, no doubt, inspired toy manufacturers of the 19th century to adorn their wares with such images. However, to date, I am aware of only two different cast-iron antique mechanical banks which utilize the images of giants. They are the English "Giant in the Tower" Bank and the American-manufactured "Giant Bank" shown in Figure I, this month's topic of discussion. In an attempt to offer an explanation for the rarity of both the English and American "Giant" banks, it is likely that parent considered the subject too frightening for children.
     As yet, there is no information pertinent to inventor and/or manufacturer of the "Giant" Bank (Figure I). However, an illustrated advertisement for the "Giant" Bank appeared in an "Unexcelled Fireworks Company" Catalog, circa 1885, calling it " 'The Giant That Jack Killed' Bank, priced at $8.50 a dozen." Presumably, individuals involved in the invention, manufacture or naming of the "Giant That Jack Killed" Bank had the mountainous villain from the fable "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Figure II) in mind.
     I am not aware of casting variations of the "Giant" Bank but there are, possibly, two color variants. One is, reputedly, a copper-electroplated version which I have not seen and, thus, an unable to comment upon. The other is the example shown in Figure I, the colors of which are as follows: the giant is painted an overall copper-metallic color. The base of the bank and rocks behind the giant are a dark brown japan varnish, highlighted with silver. The giant's mouth and tongue are bright red.
     Popular conjecture is that the "Giant" Bank was a product of the H. and L. Judd Company of Wallingford, Conn. This association is attributed to Judd's usage of japan colors on various mechanical banks which are similar to those decorating the "Giant." Unfortunately, conclusive evidence cannot be based solely upon paint type since several other 19th-century mechanical bank manufacturers utilized similar japan finishes for their products. These include Ives, Blakeslee and Williams Company, of Bridgeport, Conn., with its "Bulldog Savings Bank"; the Lockwood Manufacturing Company, of South Norwalk, Conn., with its "Rabbit" banks; the Mechanical Novelty Works, of New Britain, Conn., who produced examples such as "Initiating Bank Second Degree" and "Squirrel and Tree Stump"; and the Trenton Lock and Hardware Company, of Trenton, N.J., with its "Pelican" series of banks.
     Operation of the "Giant" Bank is apropos to the subject. The lever under the giant's left foot is pressed downward, causing the simultaneous raising of his arms and club, opening of his mouth, and the extrusion of his tongue. A coin is then placed upon the tongue as if to placate his hunger. As the lever is released, the giant lowers his arms, closes his mouth, and swallows the money. Deposits are removed by unscrewing the back of the bank.
     Simplicity of construction and extreme rarity are motivating factors for the fraudulent recast of this highly desirable mechanical. If a reproduction were attempted, it would appear approximately one eighth to one quarter of an inch shorter across the base O.D. than indicated. Figure III is a base diagram of an original example.
     Acknowledgement: The superb example of the "Giant" Bank (Figure I) is from the bank collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Rival Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1995

      Selection of topic  and source of inspiration for this month's article was the emergence of a totally original example of the extremely rare and desirable "Rival" mechanical bank. This is exciting and newsworthy since merely a handful of "Rival" banks are known to exist in private collections. Of these, few have not been completely or partially fabricated, utilizing non-original components.
     The example shown in Figure I was recently discovered and, subsequently, consigned to Sotheby's Auction House in New York City. It will be offered for sale in their December 1995 "Collectors' Carousel" auction. The bank is in all-original condition with excellent painted surface and patina. Unfortunately, the monkey's wire tail is missing and the operational spring is weak. However, these are not critical factors and do not compromise the desirability of this fine mechanical.
     The "Rival" Bank was designed by Daniel James MacLean, of Reading, Pa., and was granted Patent number 203,927 on May 21, 1878. The words, "PAT. MAY 21, 1878," cast in raised letters on the back of the bank, facilitated location of the patent papers (Figure II).
     To date, no catalog or sales records have surfaced which reveal the banks' manufacturer. However, several aspects of its design and action suggest the possibility that "Rival" may have been a product of the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The arched window motif of Stevens' "Novelty" and "Panorama" banks, combined with the action of their "Mule Entering Barn" Bank (Antique Toy World, June 1987) seem quite reminiscent of the design of the arched windows and action of the "Rival."
     Notwithstanding, the actual manufacturer of "Rival" Bank adhered closely to Mr. MacLean's patent drawings, the only difference being the operational spring design. The patent, Figure II, indicates an internal spring mechanism, whereas the bank itself (Figure I) utilizes an external spring attached to the extend fulcrum connected to the monkey.
     Action of the "Rival" is incomplex: the monkey is pressed downward and held in a horizontal position. A coin is then inserted within the slot between its chest and knees. Upon release, the monkey springs forward, depositing the coin into the large, arched dormer window. An internal baffle prevents the coins from being shaken out. Deposits are removed by unscrewing the two threaded nuts underneath the base plate.
     To the best of my knowledge, there are a few color, but no casting variations of the "Rival" Bank. One original example has brown walls and a red roof. The bank shown in Figure I is painted a light aquamarine blue, with a red roof and red trim around the door and windows. The base is dark brown and the monkey is brown with light blue eyes and a red mouth.
     Webster's Dictionary defines "rival" as "a person or thing that can reasonably be said to equal or surpass another in some way." Based upon Webster's definition and particular statements in the patent papers, one might gain some insight as to why Mr. MacLean named his creation "Rival." The papers read, "the advantages of my toy bank are, first, that it holds more money than any other bank of the same size; secondly, that any size coin, from a cent to a trade-dollar, may be deposited with equal facility; and, lastly, that the working of the figure will cause great amusement to the children."
     Unfortunately, several reproductions of the "Rival" Bank have been created. Ergo, Figure III: a base diagram of the original example shown in Figure I. Recasts will appear approximately one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter, O.D. along the base than indicated.
     Inquiries regarding the December 1995 Sotheby's Auction sale in which the "Rival" Bank (Figure I) will be offered, should be directed to Ms. Dana Hawkes or Ms. Alison Kurke, Sotheby's New York.
     Acknowledgement: My thanks to bank collectors Frank Kidd and Steve Steckbeck who shared information pertinent to the writing of this article.

The Giant in Tower Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1996

     Throughout history, the British Isles has been fertile breeding ground and birthplace of many mythological creatures, folklore and fairy tales. Characters in these tales were often fearsome and mighty giants who were, sometimes, challenged by brave adversaries.
     A particular fable told of the cunning young Cornish Jack, whose purpose it was to win fame and fortune by matching wits with the most gruesome of ogres. One version of this tale finds young Jack cautiously approaching a solitary cottage at the foot of an awesome mountain. The youth suddenly finds himself face to face with an old man who recognizes him as the famed "Jack, the Giant Killer." The elder proceeds to reveal, in vivid detail, the whereabouts of the cruel giant, Galligantus, who inhabits an enchanted castle of many towers atop the overshadowing mountain.
     No doubt this, as well as other fables pertaining to giants, inspired John Harper and Company of Albion Works, Willenhall, England, to produce the "Giant In Tower" Bank (Figure I). Registered (English Patent) on August 13, 1892, by John Harper and Company, the bank was subsequently offered for sale in their Fourth Edition Catalog (Figure II). The catalog featured a black line illustration of the "Giant" Bank, with the following designation: "No. 1406 painted 'Indian Black, Head painted only ... 25/-per dozen. And in various colors ...31/-per dozen.' "
     During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Harper and Company was the foremost designer and manufacturer of cast-iron mechanical banks in England. The company's variety and quality of product was to be compared only with its American counterpart, the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. Other mechanicals manufactured by Harper were such notables as "Hoop-la," English "Football," "Wimbledon," English "'Spise-a-Mule," English "Speaking Dog," English "Jolly Nigger," "Kiltie," and "Grenadier" (refer to Antique Toy World, October 1993).
     There are no casting differences and only two color variations of "Giant In Tower," and these pertain solely to the tower. One has the structure painted an overall glossy "Indian Black," and the other (Figure I) is painted bright red with yellow arched doors and windows. In both variations the giant's face and hands are black. He has white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. He sports a light brown shirt with yellow suspenders and white cuffs. His club is painted a bright red color.
     Action of "Giant In Tower" reflects the menacing demeanor of this unfriendly, ominous character. A coin is inserted into the slot in the front of the tower, causing the giant to tilt forward in a most aggressive manner. As the coin drops into the bank, the giant returns to his upright position. Deposits are removed by unscrewing both halves of the tower.
     The "Giant In Tower" Bank is quite rare. This, combined with an attractive and imposing appearance, credits it with being an extremely desirable addition to a mechanical bank collection.
     I am not aware of reproductions of "Giant In Tower." However, simplicity of construction, as well as rarity, might inspire the creation of a recast version. If the bank were reproduced, it would appear approximately one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter in diameter O.D. than indicated in the base diagram (Figure III).
     Acknowledgments: The superb example of the "Giant In Tower" Bank (Figure I) is from the mechanical bank collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck. The catalog pages (Figure II) are from the collection of Mark and Lynda Suozzi.

The Picture Gallery Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1996

     Toy penny banks as we are well aware, were designed and created to teach children the virtue of thrift. "A penny saved is a penny earned" was the popular maxim oft repeated in former times. Walter and Charles G. Shepard, owners of the Shepard Hardware Company, of Buffalo, N.Y., expanded upon this concept with their creation of the subject of this month's article (Figure I). Not only did "Picture Gallery" mechanical bank attempt to encourage savings, but also taught the alphabet, counting and vocabulary.
     Unfortunately, to date there is no information pertaining to the patent and/or design of "Picture Gallery." However, supposition places year of its design and manufacture in the neighborhood of 1885. Similarity to Shepard's "Punch and Judy" Bank (Figure II) insofar as operation, internal mechanism and various aspects of design (e.g., rear-section grill work) suggests the designers/inventors were Walter G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr.
     Action of the "Picture Gallery" is aptly described in a rare, full-color, advertising trade card, circa 1885 (Figure III): "Made wholly of Iron Highly Finished in Brilliant Colors very amusing also instructive. Figure in centre receives coin in his Hand deposits it in the Bank. All the letters of the alphabet and numbers From 1 to 26 inclusive are shown in rotation also twenty Six different animals or objects with a short word for each letter. PRICE $1.00 EACH."
     A lever behind the left side of the man (not visible) in the photograph) effects coin deposit. Another lever behind the small top window which displays the numerals (also not visible in the photograph) activates the alphabet rotation disk. Each action is accomplished independently. Deposits are removed via a square, key lock coin retainer underneath the base of the bank. Interestingly, when the letter "L" is reached during disk rotation, the word "LOCK" simultaneously appears in the right hand window, accompanied by an image of the "Picture Gallery" Bank's key lock coin retainer.
     There are no casting or color variations of the "Picture Gallery." Colors of the bank illustrated in Figure I are as follows: the entire front is painted bright red with the outer edge bordered in green. These two colors are separated by a thin yellow stripe. All of the lettering, decorative scrolls and window frames are highlighted in gold. the rotating disk is painted green with gold letters, numerals, words and objects. the man's face and hands are a pink flesh color. He has blue eyes with white corneas, black pupils, eyebrows, eyelashes and a red mouth. His jacket is dark blue, and he wears a white shirt and brown cap. Finally, the back of the disk is tan and the rear grillework is painted bright red. Typical of all Shepard mechanical banks is the regard to painted details, and "Picture Gallery" is no exception. Further, the company's reputation for line and application of color remains unsurpassed in toy manufacture to this day. Unfortunately, Shepard Hardware never undercoated its banks prior to painting. Ergo moisture, heat and the ravages of time have left countless examples with either badly flaked or denuded surfaces. On rare occasions, when an extremely fine example of any Shepard bank is offered for sale, it most assuredly is accompanied by an astronomical price tag!
     The "Picture Gallery" is large in size and a rather impressive mechanical. This, combined with its unique educational theme and action, accounts for its position as a highly desirable and popular bank amongst collectors. I am not aware of the existence of recast versions of "Picture Gallery" Bank. Figure IV is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast was attempted, it would appear approximately one eighth to one quarter of an inch O.D. shorter than indicated.
     Acknowledgements: The fine example of the "Picture Gallery" Bank shown in Figure I is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck. The mint example of the "Picture Gallery" trade card shown in Figure III is from the collection of Barry Seiden.

The New Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1996

     One of the largest categories of mechanical banks is that which utilizes an architectural style of design. Each member of the grouping incorporates a building into its theme. A few well-known examples include: "Novelty Bank," "Dog on Turntable," "Zoo," "Hall's Excelsior," "Panorama," "Magic Bank," etc. Architectural banks have generally been regarded as "late bloomers," with significantly increased appreciation and popularity being realized only within recent years.
     The "New Bank" (Figure I), a representative of this group, is of particular interest. What distinguishes it from other members is that much of its history has eluded detection. Knowledge pertaining to its designer or manufacturer had remained an enigma until the discovery of a somewhat obscure patent on a still, safe bank, namely Number D5,494 (Figure II), which shed some light upon the subject. The patent of a Mr. Anthony M. Smith, of Brooklyn, N.Y., reads: "the novelty and distinctive characters of my design is the application of the door to a toy safe in combination with the niche and figure of a watch man, as shown in the drawing forming part of this application." Although Mr. Smith made no reference to any mechanical bank, the similarity between the niche and watchman in his patent to that of the "New Bank" leaves little doubt as to the designer of that particular facet of the mechanical. However, the identities of the designer and manufacturer of the remainder of the mechanical remain unknown.
     Another aspect which distinguishes "New Bank" from other architectural-style mechanicals is the rarity of one of its casting variations, with only two examples known to exist. This variation pertains solely to the bank's operating lever, which is normally located in the lower right hand corner of the arched doorway. In the rare version, the lever is positioned directly beneath the center door step, thus the designation "New Bank, Center Lever" (Figure I). Worthy of mention is the fact that even the "common" variety, with its side lever is considered quite scarce and a challenge to locate in superb condition. Action of both the "New Bank" side-lever and the center-lever variants is identical. The lever is pushed to the left and held in place. Simultaneously, the watchman moves aside, exposing the coin slot. A coin is then inserted and is deposited into the bank. The lever is released, the watchman returns to his original position and, once again, the slot is concealed. Removal of deposits is accomplished by undoing the square nut underneath the base of the bank.
     Colors of both variations of "New Bank" are extremely attractive. The "common" example has the entire building painted dark green. The niche behind the watchman and the inside of the lower base are dark blue. The roof-dome, vertical corners, front windows, door frame, name plaques and lever are a bright red color. The words, "NEW BANK," and the sections of the door and window frames are highlighted in white. Finally, the watchman is painted gold. (Note: There is a scarce color variation in which the watchman is wearing a blue jacket, red pants and a blue hat.)
     The colors of the center-lever bank (Figure I) are as follows: the entire building is painted a light green. The windows, doorway, vertical corners of the building, name plaques and flat areas of the roof are bright red. The roof-dome and lower base and legs are dark blue. The inside section of the base and niche are painted brown, and the watchman is gold. Both red vertical corners of the building display a thin, wavy white line, combined with intermittently placed blue dots.
     Speculation attributes production of the "New Bank" to the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. This is based upon an ad appearing in the 1877 edition of Ehrichs' Fashion Quarterly (an early toy jobbers catalog) which offered "New Bank" for sale at 60 cents each, along with several other mechanical banks known to have been manufactured by J. and E. Stevens, but not so identified.  Since Ehrichs did not solely represent J. and E. Stevens' wares, and frequently offered banks produced by other 19th-century toy manufacturers, mere appearance in the company of Stevens' banks is not conclusive proof of the manufacturer's identity. In addition, I am of the opinion that several aspects of the "New Bank" suggest it may have been a product of the Kayser and Rex Company of Frankford, Pa. These include colors and casting nuances, types of fasteners used, method of coin removal and, most importantly, no evidence of the notorious Stevens' undercoat.
     I am not aware of the existence of reproductions of either version of the “New Bank.” Figure III is a base Diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, its base would appear approximately one-eighth inch smaller O.D. in width than indicated.
     Acknowledgement: The superb example of the rare "New Bank," Center Lever, shown in Figure I, is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

Elephant, Swings Trunk
(small)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1996

     Majestic and colossal describe the behemoth that entertains and performs at circuses worldwide. This pachyderm continues to delight audiences of all ages, despite competition from mischievous monkeys to fearsome felines. It is not coincidental that major circus performances commence and conclude with the "Grand March" of these generally gentle giants.
     Nineteenth-century toy manufacturers, cognizant of the opportunity to capitalize upon the elephant's popularity, utilized the likeness of the animal in the design of many of their wares. Examples of the multitude of mechanical banks incorporating the image of this grand creature include "Elephant and Three Clowns" (refer to A. T W., May 1983); "Elephant With Howdah, Man Pops Up" (A.T.W., May 1991); "Hubley, Elephant With Howdah" (A. T W., October 1992); "Elephant With Tusks, On Wheels" (A.T.W., February 1992); "Jumbo" (A.T.W., December 1987); "Light of Asia" (A.T.W., November 1991); "Elephant Locked Howdah," and the subject of this article, "Elephant, Swings Trunk" small. On June 27, 1905, Adam C. Williams, of Ravenna, Ohio, was granted Design Patent number 37,474 for his handsome representation of the circus elephant (Figure I). The bank was subsequently manufactured by the designer's company, i.e., the A. C. Williams Company of Ravenna, Ohio. Comparison of the patent drawings to the actual production bank (Figure II) reveals scrupulous adherence to each detail.
     The Williams Company manufactured the "Elephant Toy Bank" (as it was originally titled) in two sizes, i.e., large and small. This is indicated in one of the company's wholesale catalogs, circa 1906 (Figure III): "No. 3548 Seven inches long, four and seven-eighths inches high; weight 2 lbs., finished in drab; gold and silver trimmings; per gross ... $50.00. No. 3648 Five and one-eighth inches long. Three and five-eighths inches high; weight 19 oz., finished same as 3548; per gross $25.00."
     These banks, now designated by collectors as "Elephant, Swings Trunk, Large" and "Elephant, Swings Trunk, Small" (Figure II), are almost identical in appearance, except for size. There are no casting variants of either, and only an occasional color modification of the elephant and/or its blanket.
     The colors of the bank shown in Figure II are as follows: the elephant is an overall olive-gray; it has white eyes with black pupils. The blanket and howdah are painted silver with gold highlights and trim. The bell strap is bright, maroon red.
     Action of both "Elephant, Swings Trunk" banks is subtle, simple, and appropriate to the subject. To quote once again from the A. C. Williams catalog (Figure III): "The trunk of the elephant moves when coin is inserted, and trunk automatically closes the slot as soon as coin is deposited. Coin can be removed only by taking the bank apart."
     Both the large and small versions of "Elephant, Swings Trunk" are relatively common. This factor, plus its lack-luster appearance, account for its status as an inexpensive mechanical bank. Nevertheless, locating an all-original, unbroken, complete example in superb paint condition could prove a challenge to even the most advanced collector.
     Reproductions of both the large and small versions are known to exist. Figure IV is a base diagram of an original example of "Elephant, Swings Trunk" Large, and Figure V is a base diagram of an original example of "Elephant, Swings Trunk" Small. Recasts of each will appear approximately one-eighth to one-quarter inch smaller, O.D., along the base than indicated.

Schley Bottling Up Cevera Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1996

     History books tell of the mighty explosion in 1898 which resulted in the death of more than 260 American seamen aboard the ill-fated U.S. Battleship Maine. The once-great ship, reduced to a disemboweled hull, now lay in a watery grave beneath the murky depths of Havana Harbor. This significant incident exacerbated United States' hostility towards Spain over threatened investments and humanitarian issues involving Cuba's desperate struggle for independence. The battle cry, "Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain!" echoed throughout the land. It was not long afterwards that the Spanish-American War commenced.
     Acting upon knowledge of the United States' intended retaliation, a Spanish fleet commanded by Admiral Pascual Cervera was dispatched to the southern coast of Cuba, and anchored in Santiago Bay. Word of its whereabouts reached U.S. Intelligence, whereupon the North Atlantic squadron, commanded by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson and Commodore Winfield Scott Schley was sent to blockade the Harbor. The United States sought to "bottle up" Cervera between Teddy Roosevelt's "Rough Riders" occupying the heights overlooking the Bay, and Commodore Schley's battleships.
     Following directives from Spain, Admiral Cervera attempted to escape by leading his fleet out of the Harbor. Ultimately, the ensuing battle terminated with the destruction of Cervera's ships. For all practical purposes, the war was now ended. A short time afterwards, Spain and the United States met in Washington to negotiate an armistice and a protocol was signed on August 12, 1898.
     It was at approximately this time that two mechanical banks were designed and manufactured, each depicting and immortalizing the conflict between the two nations. One was entitled, "The U.S. and Spain Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, February 1994), and the other, "The Schley Bottling Up Cervera Bank" (Figure I), the subject of this article.
     With less than a handful of known examples, the Schley and Cervera bank remains one of the notable conundrums of mechanical bank collecting. Not only is there a lack of information pertaining to the bank's designer, but close examination of the piece itself offers no clues to its manufacturer.
     Design and operation of the Schley and Cervera bank is uncomplicated. Shaped as a glass bottle, it is jarred to the left, causing a black-and-white lithographed paper image of Admiral Cervera to appear in the round window (see Figure I). Upon insertion of a coin, the image of Cervera seemingly drops into the bank and is replaced by the image of Commodore Schley, leaving Cervera literally "bottled up." Deposits are removed by unscrewing both halves of the bank.
     I am not aware of the existence of casting and/or color variants of the Schley and Cervera bank. Colors of the mechanical illustrated in Figure I are as follows: the entire surface is painted an overall glossy black. The tear-shaped paper label is black with a gold border. The words, "Schley Bottling Up Cervera" are red with a thin gold drop-shadow. Both the American and Cuban flags are appropriately painted red, white and blue. Finally, the sunburst effect around the pictures of the two adversaries is gold, as is the thin line delineating the stopper-shaped top of the bank.
     Although, to date, no reproductions have surfaced, in view of the extreme rarity of "Schley Bottling Up Cervera Bank," its recreation is not inconceivable. Figure II is a contour diagram of an original example. A recast, using an original example as a pattern, will appear approximately one eighth to one quarter of an inch shorter along the vertical dimension than indicated.
     In conclusion, the Schley and Cervera bank had been manufactured almost entirely of cast iron, the exception being the paper images of Schley and Cervera and the tear-shaped label on the front.

The U.S. Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1996

     Several mechanical banks are distinguished by their obscure or inexplicable subject matter. Their irrelevance is puzzling and we ponder the designers' reasons for creation.
     An example is the "U.S. Bank" (Figure I), wherein the comically portrayed faces of a black man and a black dog are seen peering through the windows of a bank building (Figure II). Interpretation, other than racial, has eluded detection since there is scant documentation pertaining to the "U.S. Bank," including its designer and manufacturer. Had it not been for the recent discovery of a patent on a toy "safe" bank, i.e. Number D5,494 (Figure III), all aspects of this mechanical's history would have remained an enigma.
     The patent of a Mr. Anthony M. Smith of Brooklyn, New York, reads: "The novelty and distinctive characters of my design is the application of the door to a toy safe, in combination with the niche and figure of a watchman, as shown in the drawing...". Although Mr. Smith made no reference to any mechanical bank, the similarity between the niche and watchman in his patent to that of the "U.S. Bank" leaves little doubt as to the designer of that particular facet of the mechanical.
     Several collectors attribute production of the "U.S. Bank" to the J. & E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Connecticut, based upon a few similar design characteristics. However, my belief is that, based upon several casting, color and design similarities, the bank's manufacturer may possibly have been the Kyser & Rex Company of Frankford, Pennsylvania. The most compelling arguments against the J. & E. Stevens theory are the notable omission of the infamous Stevens' undercoat paint, and the absence of the company's patented round or sliding coin retainers. Needless to say, only the disclosure of further documentation will establish the true identity of the bank's manufacturer.
     There are two minor casting variations of the "U.S. Bank." One has a small ledge cast under the coin slot, while the other has none (see Figure I). There are no significant color differences. (Note the photograph in Figure I, wherein the color of the side walls, sections of the roof and the base appear to be black. These are actually painted a deep blue.)
     Action of the "U S Bank" is both simplistic and surprising. Firstly, the white porcelain-topped plunger is depressed, exposing the coin slot and faces of the man and dog (Figure II). The coin is then deposited by inserting it through the slot. When the plunger is released, the slot closes and the faces of the man and dog are once again veiled. Deposits are removed by unscrewing the slotted screw, which also has the function of holding the entire bank together, and is located underneath the base.
     The "U.S. Bank" is one of the rarest and is the largest member in the architectural mechanical bank category. Finding an all-original example in superb paint condition, with no broken or replaced parts, could prove a challenge to the most advanced collector.
     I am not aware of the existence of reproductions of the "U.S. Bank." Figure IV is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, it would appear approximately one-quarter inch smaller O.D. in width than indicated.
     Acknowledgement: The fine example of the "U.S. Bank" shown in Figure I is from the collection of Don and Betty Jo Heim.

Kiltie Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1996

     Discussions involving "bust-type" mechanical banks generally conjure up images of those well-known examples which exemplify blatant racist sentiment. These include "Dinah," "Uncle Tom," and countless varieties of the "Jolly Nigger" banks. However, there are others in the "bust-type" category which dignify and commemorate their subjects. Amongst these are notables such as the "Humpty Dumpty Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, July 1984), the "Queen Victoria" bust bank (A.T.W., October 1995), the "Uncle Sam" bust bank (A.T.W., May 1989), and the subject of this article, "Kiltie Bank" (Figure I).
     Although its name is derived from the "kilt," or skirt-type garment, the "Kiltie Bank" unfortunately is not able to display this aspect of the Scottish Highlander's outfit. What we are able to observe, and that which involves another important fact of traditional Scottish dress, is the tartan. Draped over Kiltie's left shoulder, it is a length of cloth into which is woven a colorful plaid pattern, formerly used to identify the numerous clans which inhabited the Highlands.
     The "Kiltie Bank" was registered in Great Britain on July 29, 1931, and was assigned Register Number 766,563. It was manufactured by John Harper and Company Ltd., of Willenhall, England, a well-known and prestigious manufacturer of cast-iron mechanical banks during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The quality of castings and paint application was generally not as fine and detailed as its counterpart in the United States, i.e., the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. Nonetheless, the design, simplicity, and boldness of Harper's products speak highly of the company. Figure II is a representation of an early John Harper catalog featuring several of its other mechanical banks.
     Action of "Kiltie" is uncomplicated and certainly most suggestive of the Scotsman's penchant for saving money. A coin is placed into our subject's right hand. As the lever in the rear of the bank is depressed, the right arm ascends, the eyes roll upward, and the coin slides into the slot in the tartan. (Note: Only large English pennies will allow for proper operation.) Deposits are retrieved by unscrewing the baseplate underneath the bank.
     There are no casting or color variations of the "Kiltie Bank." Colors of the mechanical shown in Figure I are as follows: the face is painted an overall pink flesh color, with blue eyes; rosy cheeks; black hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and moustache; and a bright red mouth. The hat is black with red borders, and the jacket is painted bright red with white buckles, buttons and embellishments. The tartan is an indigo and red plaid design. The hand is a pink flesh color, and the raised letters "KILTIE BANK, RD NO. 766563" on the back of the bank are highlighted in gold.
     The "Kiltie Bank" is an appealing and desirable member of the bust-bank family and is an extremely attractive addition to one's collection. I am not aware of the existence of any reproductions. If a bogus example were to surface, it would appear approximately one quarter of an inch smaller in width, O.D., than indicated in the base diagram (Figure III).
     The superb example of the "Kiltie Bank" (Figure I) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Cupola Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1996

     The massive influx Europeans and Asians during the 19th century influenced various aspects of American culture. Architectural styles, for example, responded to the changes inspired by foreign concepts, as evidenced by the edifices in many towns and cities. One form was the domed building, which originally developed in Italy during the Renaissance and baroque periods, and also became an important architectural design element within many of the Asian religious sects.
     The eagerness of toy manufacturers of the period to capitalize on popular styles resulted in some of the most interesting and graceful architectural-type toys ever produced. In addition to the abundance of still banks which incorporated the cupola, or dome, into their designs, several mechanicals were created utilizing this unique element. These included "Hall's Liliput" (refer to Antique Toy World, May 1987), "Hall's Excelsior" (Antique Toy World, February 1984), "New Bank" (Antique Toy World, March 1996), "Chimpanzee Bank" (Antique Toy World, September, 1983); "Mosque" (Antique Toy World, September 1995), and the subject of this article, "Cupola Bank," Figure I.
     On January 27, 1874, Diedrich Dieckmann, of New York City, received Patent Number 146,755 for his most uniquely styled architectural mechanical bank, namely the "Cupola Bank" (Figure II). It was subsequently manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. The final production bank, shown in Figure I, indicates that Mr. Dieckmann's original design (Figure II) was closely followed. Of particular interest is the fact that the patent makes no written reference to the bank's unique floral-style cupola or design, but rather to its action. To paraphrase the patent papers: "a cover, which can move upward or downward for the purpose of exposing the vibrating figure and opening, and thus allowing the introduction of money into the box."
     Action of the "Cupola" is incomplex, albeit surprising. Initially, the cupola is depressed, locking it into position. The lever emanating from the front door is then pushed inward, causing the cupola to "pop" upward (Figure I), thus exposing the coin slot and the "vibrating" man.
     Deposits are removed by disassembling the bank. This is accomplished by undoing the square nut which is located underneath the base plate. Once the bank is disassembled, it is an extremely difficult task for an adult to reassemble, and virtually impossible for a young child to accomplish. Perhaps this critical design flaw is the major factor responsible for the rarity of the "Cupola Bank." We can only speculate about the number of banks that may have been broken during attempted reassembly, or merely left unassembled and parts misplaced due to frustrating and failed attempts.
     To my knowledge, there are no casting variations of the "Cupola Bank." However, there are several color combinations. I have seen examples with red, blue, pink or green roofs with contrasting red, blue, pink or green cupolas, and red, blue, pink or green sides. It is very likely that examples utilizing other color combinations do exist.
     The colors of the bank pictured in Figure I are as follows: the top of the cupola is red, with its flared section painted dark green. The lower, large flared roof is also painted dark green. The sides of the circular building are light blue, with the windows and front door outlined in red. The vertical columns and archway over the door are painted yellow-ochre. The bell-shaped design and the word "BANK" above the door are painted gold, and the base and stairs are dark green. The man in the cupola has a pink flesh-colored face with black eyes, eyebrows, mustache and goatee. He sports a blue jacket, white shirt and black top hat. The raised letters "PAT. JANUARY 27, 1874" on the front section of the lower flared roof are highlighted in gold.
     The rarity of the "Cupola Bank," its impressive size and attractive, colorful appearance, as well as the recent popularity of architectural banks, elucidate the astronomical price recently realized at an auction for a superb example.
     Fortunately, to date, the complicated castings and design of "Cupola Bank" have discouraged attempts at reproduction. Nevertheless, Figure III is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were produced, it would appear approximately one quarter of an inch shorter along the base, O.D., than indicated.

The Spring-Jawed Rabbit
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1996

     An exciting new discovery within the elusive series of mechanicals referred to as "Spring-Jaws" is the "Rabbit," as shown in Figure I. Not only does our rabbit have the distinction of being one of nine creatures to comprise this scarce group, it is also a subject rarely portrayed in any category of mechanical banks. To be precise, only four examples feature the image of a rabbit... Surprising, since the number of different mechanicals exceeds 600, and also in view of the appeal and popularity of the animal with children.
     The "Spring-Jawed Rabbit" reflects the quality and artistry evident in most German handicrafts manufactured during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is apparent, as well, in the other members of the "Spring-Jaws" series. These include "Alligator" (refer to Antique Toy World, October 1987), "Bonzo" (October 1988), "Kitten" (November 1989), "Bulldog" (June 1990), "Mule" (February 1991), "Parrot" (July 1991), "Chimpanzee" (January 1992) and "Penguin: (August 1992).
     There is scant information pertaining to either the manufacturer or exact date of production of members of the aforementioned grouping. Fortunately, however, the country of origin has been revealed by the word "GERMANY" printed underneath several of the bases. It may be assumed that the lack of pertinent data relating to the "Spring-Jaws" series was the result of early patent laws existing in Germany. To reiterate the explanation provided in previous articles, products designated as nonessential were classified as "D.R.G.M." (Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchs Muster), meaning second-grade patents. The routine practice of Germany's patent office to discard these patents after 15 years created the present-day lack of factual information.
     Operation of the "Spring-Jawed Rabbit" is uncomplicated. A coin is inserted through the slot in the back of the head, thus activating a thin internal steel leaf spring attached to the rabbit's lower jaw. The result is a "wiggling" action, and the illusion of ingested coins being nibbled upon. Deposits are removed by undoing a small, brass heart-shaped "trick lock" beneath the jaw, enabling the rabbit's hinged head to be opened.
     The entire "Spring Jaws" series is composed of zinc-lead alloy. The low melting point of these metals makes it an ideal medium for the slush-mold casting process. This method of production entailed filling a multi-sectional hollow mold with the molten alloy. As the hot, liquefied metal cooled and solidified against the inside walls of the mold, the remaining hot solution was quickly expelled. Once fully cooled, the mold was separated, revealing a perfectly detailed, hollow positive image of its interior.
     Needless to say, extreme care should be exercised when handling any zinc-alloy bank. Their eggshell-thin casting and fragile nature make them susceptible to damage, and may alone account for the rarity of the "Spring-Jaws" mechanical banks.
     The "Rabbit" (Figure I) and the "Penguin" share the spotlight as the rarest of the group, since there is only one known example of each. Nevertheless, the "Parrot," "Mule," "Chimpanzee," and "Bulldog" assume second place, with only a handful of these in collections.
     To my knowledge, no member of the "Spring- Jaws" clan has been reproduced. However, Figure II is an outline drawing of the "Rabbit" to aid the collector in determining its size and scale.
     Acknowledgement: The superb example of "Spring-Jawed Rabbit" (Figure I) is from the collection of Frank and Joyce Kidd of Portland, Ore.
     Note: Information regarding the whereabouts of any "Spring- Jaws" bank, especially undocumented, or "new subjects, is greatly appreciated and will be passed along to readers of future articles. Please send photos to Sy Schreckinger, P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, NY 11518.
     Omissions: (from November, 1996) (1) Operating instructions for the "Mason Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, September 1996) were erroneously omitted: The rabbit is an overall dark reddish brown, with tan and white highlights. The tips of its ears and nose are black, and it has light tan eyes with black pupils. The inside of its mouth is pink, and it has two white teeth.
     Correction: (from January, 1997) Descriptive colors of the "Spring Jawed Rabbit" (Antique Toy World, September 1996) were erroneously omitted: The rabbit is an overall dark reddish brown, with tan and white highlights. The tips of its ears and its nose are black, and it has light tan eyes with black pupils. The inside of its mouth is pink, and it has two white teeth.

The Tommy Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1996

     Raging Battles, courageous soldiers, artillery, all symbolic of war, have fascinated most young boys throughout the ages. Entrepreneurs, eager to capitalize upon the imagination of youth, had brought to the marketplace objects and playthings which focused upon armed conflict.
     Among those opportunists were 19th and 20th-century mechanical bank manufacturers, both in the United States and abroad. Enterprising individuals creatively combined the theme of warfare with the maxim, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Notable examples of such mechanicals include: "Creedmoor Bank," "Volunteer," "Grenadier," "U.S. and Spain," "Tank and Cannon," "Hold the Fort," "King Aqua," "Artillery," "Wimbledon," and the subject of this article, the "TOMMY!" bank (Figure I).
     The "TOMMY!" bank was produced by Great Britain's foremost mechanical bank manufacturer, John Harper and Company, Ltd., of Willenhall, Staffordshire, England. The company received British Registration Number 642,816 on October 14, 1914, for its design. That number and the word "BEATRICE" are cast into the underside of the base. "BEATRICE" was a term utilized by Harper to designate a specific series of its mechanical banks.
     Figure II represents an illustration of the "TOMMY!" bank as it appeared in an early John Harper and Company catalog. Figure III is a page from another of its catalogs, wherein several other mechanicals were offered for sale.
     The Harper Company was quite prolific, and some examples of its products include: "Jolly Nigger—Hi Hat," "I Always Did 'Spise a Mule," "Speaking Dog," "Volunteer," "Grenadier," "Hoop-La," "English Football," "Dinah," "Kiltie," "Giant in the Tower" and "Wimbledon." The company's manufacture of cast-iron toys and banks began in the 1880s and continued until the shortage of ferrous war materials experienced during World War II necessitated cessation of operations.
     The "TOMMY!" bank was manufactured and sold circa World War I. Its rarity is attributed to limited production dictated by the British government's usage of iron as a war material. In addition, of those few manufactured, many may have subsequently been consumed by World War II scrap drives.
     Of interest is the name of the bank itself, specifically the origin of the word "Tommy." It is the shortened version of the fictitious name "Thomas Atkins," which was utilized by the British military as the standard, or model, when filling out printed forms, analogous to our "John Doe." Figure IV is a vintage photograph of a Tommy outfitted in the traditional khaki service uniform of the British army. Comparison to the "TOMMY!" bank (Figure I) reveals an accurate and dignified representation of these World War I servicemen, complete to the color and type of attire.
     Action of "TOMMY!" is uncomplicated and appropriate to the subject. The brass coin launcher atop the rifle is pulled back and set into place. Simultaneously, the marksman's head tilts forward as if taking aim. The coin is then placed atop the gun barrel. The lever at Tommy's side is pressed downward, causing the arm and hand to be raised. This releases the coin launcher, propelling the coin into the tree stump. Tommy's head snaps backward, as if reacting to the rifle's recoil. Deposits are retrieved by unscrewing the base plate underneath the bank.
     To my knowledge, there are no color variations of the "TOMMY!" bank, and only one minor casting variant. The coin shooter atop the rifle is composed of either brass or iron, cast smooth or ribbed.
     The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: Tommy's face and hands are a pink flesh color. His hair, eyebrows, eyes, mustache and shoes are painted black. His uniform, hat and puttees are painted a military khaki. The tree stump is dark brown with a yellow top. The rifle is a silver color and rests upon a light brown mound. The grass and entire lower sections of the base are painted dark green. The word "TOMMY!" which is cast onto the top of the base is highlighted in gold.
     To date, I am not aware of any attempt to reproduce "TOMMY!". Nonetheless, Figure V is a base diagram of an original example. If the bank were to be reproduced, it would appear approximately one-quarter inch shorter along the base than indicated.

The Trick Pony Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – November, 1996

     Our featured subject this month is, indeed, a notable member of the cast-iron mechanical bank community. The "Trick Pony," seen in Figure I, has the distinction of being the sole mechanical to utilize the image of a horse, or more specifically, a pony, as its subject. Other banks have either portrayed mules, donkeys and horses as mere accompaniments to a theme, i.e., Hall's Horse Race Bank (refer to Antique Toy World, April 1987).
     On June 3, 1885, Mr. Julius Mueller, of Wilmington, N.C., was granted Patent Number 16,121 (Figure II) for the design of "Trick Pony" bank. Mr. Mueller subsequently assigned manufacture rights of his invention to Charles and Walter Shepard, principals and co-owners of the Shepard Hardware Company of Buffalo, N.Y. Approximately one month later, on July 7, 1885, both Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr. (designer/inventor employed at Shepard Hardware) brought Mr. Mueller's vision to fruition. They were provided with Patent Number 321,650 (Figure III) for the mechanization of the "Trick Pony" design. The words, "PATd JUNE 2D AND JULY 7th 1885" were cast into the underside of the base. It is interesting that the "Trick Pony" bank is the only mechanical in the Shepard Hardware line to have been designed by someone other than Charles G. Shepard and Peter Adams, Jr. In addition, securitization of the final production bank (Figure I) reveals precise adherence by Shepard Hardware to Mr. Mueller's initial concept.
     Shepard Hardware enjoyed a lengthy and very profitable period of manufacture for this particular mechanical. Factors contributing to the popularity of "Trick Pony" were its attractive coloration, graceful design and appealing subject matter. Many of today's collectors express puzzlement over the fact that other 19th-century mechanical bank manufacturers did not incorporate this subject into more of their wares.
     In Figure IV we see the forefront and obverse image of a full-color, 3-by-5-inch advertising trade card, circa 1885, which offered the "Trick Pony" bank for the price of $1.00 each. These cards were distributed by Selchow and Righter, a wholesale toy jobber located at 41 John Street, New York City.
     Action of the bank is incomplex and aptly described in the trade card (Figure IV): "The Pony receives the coin in his mouth and deposits it in the manger — a trap door at the bottom of the latter opens at the same time and then closes over the coin." However, the card fails to mention that, after the coin is placed in the pony's mouth, the lever located at the tail end of the bank must be pulled. Coin removal is accomplished by removing the rectangular, key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     Neither color nor casting variations of "Trick Pony" are known to exist. The colors of the bank (Figure I) are as follows: the pony is an overall reddish brown. It has red nostrils, white eyes with black pupils and yellow bridle straps. Its mane, tail and hooves are painted black. The saddle is dark blue with a yellow border and a bright red belly band. The blue scalloped ribbon around its neck is decorated with yellow tassels. The fluted pedestal under its body is gray and tan. The top section of the base is gray. The side panels are sienna brown and the words "TRICK PONY" and "BANK" are highlighted in gold. The diamond-shaped design on the front panel and the frame around both side panels are also accentuated in gold. The lever is dark brown with gold striping, and the entire base is outlined in black.
     The colors and painted details of "Trick Pony" had been meticulously executed and is depictive of all Shepard Hardware mechanicals. The result is an extremely colorful and attractive appearance. Unfortunately, the company never primed its banks prior to painting. Consequently, the ranges of time and moisture have taken their toll, as evidenced by either the considerable amount or total paint loss on most Shepard banks. However, on rare occasion, an exceptional example is found, such as the one shown in Figure I.
     The base diagram (Figure V) of an original example may prove helpful, especially in view of the fact that "Trick Pony" has been reproduced. A recast is approximately one quarter of an inch smaller along the base O.D. than indicated.
     Addenda: (1) The superb example of the "Trick Pony" Bank (Figure I) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck. (2) The mint "Trick Pony" trade card (Figure IV) is from the collection of Dr. Greg A. Zemenick (a.k.a., "Dr. Z").
     Correction: (from January, 1997) Please note: Due to editorial errors in the "Omissions" section which followed the "Trick Pony Bank" article, Antique Toy World, November 1996, the paragraphs which NOW follow replace that section.
     Omissions: (1) Operating instructions for the "Mason Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, August 1984) were erroneously omitted: A coin is placed into the hod and the lever is then pressed. Simultaneously, the hod tilts forward, the money falls through an opened trap door section behind the brick wall, and the mason raised his trowel and brick. Deposits are retrieved by removing the rectangular, key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.

The Mikado Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – December, 1996

     Nineteenth-Century America realized an influx of immigrants from foreign lands. Oppressed, persecuted peoples, as well as those seeking their fortunes and that "pot of gold" arrived on the shores of the "land of opportunity." However, treacherous, lengthy journeys were offtimes rewarded not with friendship and open arms, but with wariness and hostility.
     These evils were reflected in many products of the era, including children's playthings. Therein, newcomers were often depicted as buffoons, subjected to cruel jokes and pitiless mockery. Several mechanical penny banks expressed the stereotyped prejudice prevalent at that time. Examples indicating the ill feelings directed towards persons of Oriental heritage include: "Reclining Chinamen" (refer to Antique Toy World, April 1983), "Chinamen In the Boat," "Japanese Ball Tosser," "Coolie Bank," "Mandarin," as well as the subject of this article, the "Mikado Bank" (Figure I).
     The year was 1885, and the highly successful and prolific British team of Gilbert and Sullivan was enjoying enormous success in America and abroad with its latest operetta The Mikado, a parody of Japanese life. Eager to capitalize upon the success of this musical, another highly successful team, the accomplished American toy manufacturers Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex, of Frankford, PA., combined the popular theme of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta with America's anti-Oriental sentiment. The result was the "Mikado Bank," as seen in Figure I. The Kyser and Rex creation was a ludicrous, stereotypical representation of the exalted emperor, or Mikado, of Japan. This embodiment of divine ancestry was portrayed as a con artist engaged in the old Chinese shell game, attempting to lure pennies from children.
     To date, there is no known data indicating the designer and/or manufacturer of the "Mikado Bank," and the words "PAT. APLD, FOR," impressed into the top of the desk, offer no clue. However, several design, mechanical and color similarities strongly suggest the possibility that Kyser and Rex produced this mechanical. This is further confirmed by the interchangeability of the back's key-lock coin retainer with another known mechanical manufactured by this company, namely the "Lion and Monkeys Bank." Despite the fact that Kyser and Rex created many banks with racially motivated themes, its line of production was extensive, with such non inflammatory examples as "Bowling Alley Bank," "Chimpanzee," "Organ Bank with Cat And Dog," "Confectionary Bank," et cetera.
     Action of the "Mikado" is ingenious and intriguing. It is aptly described in an 1886 Selchow and Richter toy jobbers catalog (Figure II). To quote from that advertisement: "Place the coin in the recess in the top of the cabinet, under the hat of the Mikado's right hand, and when the lever is turned the coin will disappear and reappear under the hat in his left hand, where it will remain until another coin is deposited, when the first coin will drop into the bank. A sweet chime of bells will be heard when the lever is turned. The bank is richly painted and decorated and packaged each in a wooden box. 8.50 per dozen." It should be noted that only large 19th-century pennies must be utilized for the bank to operate properly. Deposits are removed by undoing the square key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     The "Mikado Bank" is categorized as a rare mechanical. Considering its price, as indicated in the aforementioned 19th-century advertisement, today's possession of one dozen banks, each in its own wooden box, would be valued at upwards of one million dollars!
     There are two casting variations of "Mikado." One operates with internal bell chimes, and the other does not. There are also two color variants, and these apply to the cabinet, with one version painted blue, and the other, red. The figure behind the blue cabinet version is attired in a red kimono and yellow hat, while the figures behind the red cabinet sports a yellow kimono and blue hat.
     The colors of the bank shown in Figure I are as follows: the Mikado's face and hands are painted a pale pinkish flesh color. He has white eyes, black pupils, black eyebrows, a black que, red nostrils and a red mouth. His kimono is red; the buttons, collar and stripes on his sleeves are all painted a yellow color. He wears a yellow hat with a blue band. The bells in his hands are brown with a red stripe. The cabinet is an ultramarine blue with the oriental designs, etc,. highlighted in copper, gold and silver. The words "MIKADO BANK" atop the desk are highlighted in gold. The Mikado's chair is yellow with blue trim.
     Fortunately, complicated design and mechanism have discouraged attempts to reproduce the "Mikado Bank." Nonetheless, please note the base diagram of an original example (Figure III). If a recast were attempted, it would appear approximately one-eighth inch shorter along the base than indicated.
     Acknowledgment: The superb, all-original "Mikado Bank" (Figure I) is housed in the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

Frog on Arched Track
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – January, 1997

     It is no wonder that frogs and toads have been popular subjects for children's playthings. Perhaps their very appearance evokes visions or memories of pleasant summers spent swimming and fishing at the local pond.
     Astute 19th-century mechanical bank manufacturers considered these amphibians worthy subjects for even their wares. Notable examples include: "Two Frogs" bank, "Frog on Round Base," "Professor Pug Frog's Great Bicycle Feat," "Chief Big Moon," "Goat, Frog and Old Man," "Initiating Bank, First Degree," "Snake and Frog in Pond," "Flip the Frog," "Toad on Stump," "Toad in Den" and "Frog on Arched Track" (Figure I). Obviously, there is not a more appropriate creature designed by nature to gobble huge amounts of pennies into a cavernous mouth.
     On December 5, 1871, James Fallows, of Philadelphia, Pa., was granted Patent Number 121,502 (Figure II) for his invention of "Frog on Arched Track." Interestingly, the patent identifies the invention as an "Improvement in Toy Toads." However, historically, collectors had designated this toy to be a mechanical bank and referred to its subject as a "frog." At the time that James Fallows was awarded the patent for his "Toy-Toad," he was a partner in the firm of Francis, Field and Francis, a prestigious toy manufacturer of the era, in Philadelphia. The precise date of production is unknown due to the lack of pertinent information. However, my contention is that "Frog on Arched Track" was manufactured by that firm closely on the heels of obtainment of patent in 1871.
     Subsequent to Mr. Fallows's departure from Francis, Field and Francis, he began, in November of 1874, the operation of his own toy manufacturing business located at 51-53 North Third Street, also in Philadelphia. Continuing the philosophy of his former employer, he produced high-quality, beautifully designed, painted tin toys. James Fallows invented and manufactured only one other toy which utilized a coin in its action, namely "Toad in Den." Again, contrary to its patent papers (Figure III), his creation had been, and is, considered by knowledgeable collectors to be a mechanical bank.
     "Frog on Arched Track" is composed, almost entirely, of tinplate, the exception being the frog, which is sheet brass. There are no structural variations of the bank, and the few external design variances pertain solely to the stenciling.
     Action of "Frog on Arched Track" is incomplex and somewhat surprising. Initially, the hinged lid of the cylindrical cup is lifted and the frog is pushed downward into it. The frog remains hidden in place by manually closing the flap. A coin is positioned into the elevated coin holder. The lid of the cup is then raised, and the frog emerges and travels along the track. It grabs the coin in its mouth and retreats; the money passes through the body and drops into the open cup. The action of the frog is accomplished entirely by the utilization of an internal counterbalance mechanism (refer to the patent drawing in Figure II). Coins are removed by opening the lid of the cup.
     The colors of the mechanical pictured in Figure I are as follows: the toad is painted a dark green, while the remainder of the bank is bright red. All of the stenciling (i.e., both sides of the bank and the cylindrical cup), as well as the words, "Dec. 5th 1871," appearing on the cup, are painted gold.
     "Frog on Arched Track" is extremely rare, with less than a handful known to be in collections. Figure IV represents a base diagram of an original example to enable the determination of size and scale.
     Acknowledgement: The superb example of the "Frog on Arched Track" (Figure I) resides comfortably in the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.
     Correction: Please note: Due to editorial errors in the "Omissions" section which followed the "Trick Pony Bank" article, Antique Toy World, November 1996, the paragraphs which NOW follow replace that section.
     Omissions: (1) Operating instructions for the "Mason Bank" (refer to Antique Toy World, August 1984) were erroneously omitted: A coin is placed into the hod and the lever is then pressed. Simultaneously, the hod tilts forward, the money falls through an opened trap door section behind the brick wall, and the mason raised his trowel and brick. Deposits are retrieved by removing the rectangular, key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     (2) Descriptive colors of the "Spring Jawed Rabbit" (Antique Toy World, September 1996) were erroneously omitted: The rabbit is an overall dark reddish brown, with tan and white highlights. The tips of its ears and its nose are black, and it has light tan eyes with black pupils. The inside of its mouth is pink, and it has two white teeth.

Silent Night, Musical Church Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – February, 1997

     Attractive, albeit deceptively innocuous, may be an apt description of "Silent Night, Musical Church Bank" (Figure 1). Categorized as a music box, this mechanical belies its modest appearance, for upon activation it can reawaken the spirit and joy of Christmas and the holiday season all year through. The sounds of the traditional carol, "Silent Night, Holy Night" greet listeners' ears subsequent to operation of the movement within this mechanical. Initially, the mechanism is wound by utilizing the knob underneath the base, followed by placement of a coin into the slot on the roof. As the deposit descends into the bank, an internal lever is "triggered," resulting in the sound of the Christmas carol so familiar to most of us. Deposits are recovered by opening the key-lock, trap door, coin retainer underneath the base.
     Unfortunately, there is no patent information which would unrefutably indicate the designer of the "Musical Church Bank." The country of origin, however, is known by the German words "Ges Gesch," meaning patented, which are printed on the side of the bank. My special thanks to toy dealer and collector, Tom Sage, whose astute research revealed the likely identity of the manufacturer. As per Mr. Sage, the logo (Figure II) printed on the side of the bank distinguishes it as a product of the Karl Rohrseitz Toy Company of Zirndorf, Germany. The company was engaged in the manufacture of tin money boxes, lunch pails and toy sand buckets from 1881 until approximately 1935. It is fortunate that Karl Rohrseitz signed his product (Figure II), enabling identification many years later. German patent law at that time stipulated that patents which contributed little to industry or society be designated as "Reichsgebrachsmuster," or "small insignificant patent." These were filed for a period of 15 years, and then routinely discarded, thus depriving those patented objects of a heritage. Countless other German toys were treated in this manner, thereby relegating the designer, inventor or manufacturer of unsigned products to the realm of obscurity.
     My thanks also to Mr. Sal Provenzano, expert on antique clockwork devices and music boxes. He further confirms the date of manufacture of the "Musical Church" music box movement to be early 20th-century (ca 1900-1930).
     The "Musical Church Bank" is composed, almost entirely, of lithographed tinplate, the exception being the internal music box. The colors of the example shown in Figure I are as follows: the sides of the bank and the steeple are an ivory color. The arched windows are lithographed in shades of light blue and green. The front arched doors are light tan. The bell and clock designs on the bell tower are printed in shades of blue. The roof's shingles are red and maroon, and the base is dark green. The small trees and shrubs are yellow, light green and pink.
     Worthy of mention is the fact that "Silent Night, Musical Church Bank," as well as other music box mechanical banks, should not be confused with the numerous coin-operated music boxes produced from the mid 19th-century through the early 20th-century. These were created solely as coin-activated entertainment devices and not coin-saving receptacles. The distinction between the two is wording, or rather the lack of it, printed upon them, and the confinement of the monies deposited. The music box banks have either the word "BANK" printed upon their facade, or require a key-type device in order to open the coin closure. Conversely, the coin-operated music boxes have neither the word "BANK" printed anywhere, nor do they have a locked coin chamber, but rather an open coin compartment for easy reuse of deposits.
     Other banks which are placed into the music box category include: "Cupid at the Piano," "Regina Musical Savings Bank," "Wooden Musician Church," "Symphonian Musical Savings Bank," "Piano Bank," "Treasure Chest Bank," etc.
     The value of the "Musical Church Bank" is greatly enhanced by its ability to appeal to collectors on various levels. As a "cross-collectible," it may be placed into the category of Christmas items, architectural toys and banks, mechanical banks and music boxes.
     To my knowledge, the "Silent Night, Musical Church Bank" has not been reproduced. Nonetheless, there is a possibility that similar church banks, playing dissimilar tunes, may surface. Figure III is a base diagram of an original example which should aid the collector in determining size and scale.

The Mama Katzenjammer Bank
(Part II, An Update)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1997

     The “Mama Katzenjammer Bank” had been discussed in the January 1984 issue of Antique Toy World. The article mentioned that the producer of this mechanical was Kenton Hardware Company of Kenton, Ohio. In addition, the bank was manufactured in two color versions: Figure I, the most commonly painted of the duo, and Figure II, the unique color variation with only one original example known.
     Limitations existent at that time precluded illustration of both variants to their best advantage. Now and then, bank collectors have suggested, and even urged, a follow-up in which examples of both variations are featured for comparison. In response to these requests, this month's article is presented as an addendum.
     Sizes, dimensions and animation of the "Mama Katzenjammer" are identical in both versions (Figures I and II) and were discussed in detail in the January 1, 1984, article.
     Acknowledgments: The "Mama Katzenjammer Bank" (Figure I) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck. The "Mama Katzenjammer Bank" (Figure II, unique variation) is from the author's collection.

The Horse Race Bank
(Part II, An Update)

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – March, 1997

     Occasionally, Unique and attractive color variations of mechanical banks are brought to my attention. Recently, I was made aware of one such superb example, namely the "Horse Race Bank" (Figure III), and am delighted to share information with my readers.
     This article, therefore, serves as an addendum to the "Horse Race Bank" article which appeared in the April 1987 issue of Antique Toy World. In it, I had described the mechanical as having several known color combinations, utilizing the following: red, dark blue, light blue, white, yellow, and green.
     Worthy of mention in view of its extremely attractive appearance is the example shown in Figure III. Its finish is an overall, transparent, purple-brown-japan color, with several of its components painted bright yellow and powder blue.
     Heritage, dimensions and animation of the "Horse Race Bank" are discussed in the April 1987 article.
     Acknowledgments: The superb example of "Horse Race Bank" exhibited in Figure III blissfully grazes in the collection of Tim Walsh.

The Hall’s Excelsior Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1997

     The following an addendum to my article entitled "Hall's Excelsior Bank" which appeared in the February 1984 issue of Antique Toy World. Since that printing, an extremely rare and important variation which pertains to the composition of a particular segment of the bank, namely the head of the "cashier" monkey, has come to my attention.
     In the aforementioned article, on page 47, I wrote, "Some years ago, rumor had original metal heads were found for the the desk, but these proved to be of modern manufacture. Until proven otherwise, the only authentic figures should be carved totally out of wood."
     However, several original examples of "Hall's Excelsior Banks" have since been discovered, and these incorporate "cashier" heads made of a hollow zinc alloy (Figure 1). The heads, one of which is seen in Figure 2, are fully painted. They have been adjudged, subsequent to evaluation by historians and experts in the field, to be totally original and of the period.

BOOK REVIEW
Penny Banks Around the World — By Don Duer

by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – April, 1997

     The book we’ve all been awaiting is finally here! Don Duer's Penny Banks Around the World is the only reference book which may boast of separate sections for tin, lead, wood, and cast-iron mechanical banks; iron, tin, ceramic, lead, zinc-alloy, silver, brass, wood, glass, and paper still banks; and tin pocket and registering banks.
     This thorough résumé contains more than 1,600 clear, full-color photographs, printed on high-quality glossy paper. Mr. Duer grades each bank according to rarity and desirability. An up-to-date price value guide is provided in the concluding section of the book.
     Penny Banks Around the World is a full-sized, hard-covered volume that should serve not only as an invaluable aid to bank collectors, but also to anyone interested in antiques.
     For further information regarding the obtainment of a copy or copies, write: Sy Schreckinger, P.O. Box 104, East Rockaway, New York, NY 11518. Or try your local bookstore.

The Tank and Cannon Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – May, 1997

     Weapons and armed conflict have long been subject matter for games, toys, and countless other merchandise. Such was the case in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when several entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic produced a plethora of war-related mechanical banks. These served to fascinate and capture the imagination of young children and, at the same time, encouraged the practice of saving pennies.
     Notable examples of mechanicals in this category include: the "Tommy!" Bank, "Hold the Fort," "The Fort Sumter Bank," "Artillery," King Aqua," "Creedmoor," "Volunteer," "U.S. and Spain," "Wimbledon," "Grenadier," and the subject of this article, the "Tank and Cannon" Bank (Figure 1). Of interest is the fact that, of all the war-related mechanical banks ever produced, only "Tank and Cannon" commemorates the introduction of a then newly developed battle weapon, i.e., the tank.
     The year was 1917, and the catastrophic event was World War I. German machine guns were decimating and demoralizing the British soldiers. England desperately needed a counter-weapon, not only to penetrate the massive barbed wire barricades protecting the German trenches, but to boost the morale of its soldiers with an ominous-appearing, effective battlefield "killing machine." The answer to the British dilemma was provided by Col. Sir Ernest Swinton. He furnished the concept and design for an armor-plated, multi-terrain, tractor-treaded, heavily gunned war vehicle which he nicknamed "the tank" (Figure 2). The then Minister of Munitions, Sir Winston Churchill, advocated quick development and deployment of Swinton's invention, which ultimately resulted in providing yet another nail in the Axis powers' coffin. (Of interest is the derivation of the name "tank." Due to the highly secret nature of this armored vehicle during its developmental stage, the manufacturers designated to produce its armored body were informed by the British government that they were merely building steel water tanks.)
     On January 16, 1919, Robert Eastwood Starkie and his wife, Nellie Starkie, of Burnley, England, were granted British Patent Number 122,123 for their design and invention of the "Tank and Cannon" Bank. Subsequently, on May 4, 1920, the Starkies were also issued United States Patent Number 1,338,879 for the same invention (Figure 3). The words "STARKIES PATENT 122,123," in raised letters and numbers, are seen underneath the base plate, while the word "PATENT" had been impressed into the tank's side.
     It is unclear whether the Starkies actually produced any, or all, of their own mechanicals or subcontracted them to local foundries. Additional banks in Robert and Nellie Starkie's line include: the "Robot" (a depiction of an English letter carrier), the spiral "Aeroplane Bank," and several versions of "Jolly Nigger" bust-type banks. Most of the Starkies' mechanicals were manufactured in cast aluminum, with the occasional use of cast iron, tin, and pressed wood-pulp board.
     The "Tank and Cannon" is a fairly large, heavy, faithful representation of Swinton's World War I vehicle and was produced in both aluminum and cast iron. The example shown in Figure 1 is constructed wholly of cast iron.
     There are several color and casting variations of "Tank and Cannon." Numerous examples are painted a silver color, while the one shown in Figure 1 is an overall brown japan, with gold accents and a base that is highlighted in dark green. Most of the casting variations are insignificant, the most obvious of which are the wheels supporting the cannon. These may be plain (Figure 1) or spoked.
     Action of "Tank and Cannon" is uncomplicated and appropriate to the subject. Initially, the cannon's plunger is pulled back. A coin is placed into the small, square, flat platform at the cannon's muzzle. Upon release of the plunger, the coin is propelled forward through the coin slot into the side of the tank. Deposits are removed by unscrewing one side of the vehicle.
     Despite its fairly crude and heavy castings, the "Tank and Cannon" can be quite attractive when painted in the manner of the example shown in Figure 1. In addition, and for whatever reason, many of the English manufacturers failed to attain the smooth, detailed castings so evident in the cast-iron toys and banks manufactured in the United State.
     I am not aware of "Tank and Cannon" reproductions. Figure 4 is a base diagram of an original example. If a recast were attempted, it would appear approximately one-quarter inch shorter O.D. than indicated by the arrows.
     Acknowledgment: The superb example of "Tank and Cannon" Bank (Figure 1) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Freedman’s Bureau Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – June, 1997

     Chaos, Destruction, and havoc were the ultimate consequences inflicted upon the southland following the Civil War, Economic and political devastation was rampant. The Union government, supported by northern abolitionists, were confronted with seemingly insurmountable difficulties, Amongst these were the alleviation of extensive confederate refugee problems, and the plight of illiterate, destitute, newly emancipated Negroes. These former slaves, ill-prepared and ill-equipped to assume responsibility for themselves, faced a bleak and piteous future.
     On March 3, 1865, Congress authorized the creation of a government-sponsored agency, under whose jurisdiction would be the provision of relief for freedmen and war refugees. Entitled "Freedmen's Bureau," this organization became the most important tool for rehabilitation, education, and job training of the free African American. Far less successful were the Bureau's efforts to obtain land and civil rights for Blacks. These goals were thwarted by both President Andrew Johnson's restoration of abandoned lands to pardoned Southerners, and opposition to racial equality by Southern white bigots.
     It was during this period that a mechanical bank was produced and designated the "Freedman's Bureau" (Figure 1). Interestingly, the bank's title is the classic example of a double entendre, with the word "bureau" referring to both a government agency and a chest of drawers. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of documented information pertaining to either the bank's design or manufacture, Hearsay attributes its origin to a company operating out of Springfield, Mass., circa 1865.
     The construction of "Freedman's Bureau" Bank is entirely of wood, specifically walnut, and it is coated with a dark brown varnish. The words "FREEDMAN'S BUREAU" (on the top of the chest) and "NOW YOU SEE IT & NOW YOU DON'T" (on the drawers) are stenciled in gold. Similarly, both the left and right sides of the bank are stenciled, but with a red and gold floral design.
     The "Freedman's Bureau" is a member of a particular group of mechanicals known as "trick drawer banks." This distinguished category encompasses such notables as the patented "Serrell's Bureau" (Figure 2), and Tollner's "Trick Savings Bank" (Figure 3).
     Operation of the "Freedman's Bureau" is typical of this "trick drawer" group. A coin is placed within the opened top drawer of the chest. When the drawer is closed, the false-hinged bottom flips down, releasing the coin to the bottom of the bank. Upon reopening the drawer, the bottom is raised into position creating the illusion of a solidly constructed, empty drawer. Deposits are retrieved by removing the sliding panel underneath the bureau. There is a cloth baffle within the bank which muffles the sound of coins descending from the drawer into the bottom of the chest.
     Seen in Figure 4 is an outline drawing of an original "Freedman's Bureau" Bank. This should aid the collector in determination of size and scale. To date, there are no known reproductions. However, considering the bank's extremely rare status and monetary value combined with simplistic construction, creation of a bogus example is certainly feasible. Ergo, consideration of purchase of such an item should be accompanied by expert corroboration and provenance, both of which play significant roles.
     In closing, another mechanical bank manufactured during those troubled times expresses the plight of the disheartened, emancipated Negroes. The "Freedman's Bank" (Figure 5) was a product of James B. Secor of Bridgeport, Conn., and will be discussed in my next month's article in Antique Toy World.
     Acknowledgments: The "Freedman's Bureau" Bank, shown in Figure 1, is in the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.
     Correction and addendum: (from October, 1997) Refer to Antique Toy World, June 1997: "THE FREEDMAN'S BUREAU." Fellow collector William Werbell has been kind enough to send me a copy of an original label affixed to his example of this mechanical bank. The label identifies the bank as "THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU," thereby correcting my spelling. In addition, the label identifies the manufacturer of the bank. It reads: "FREEDMEN'S BUREAU, MANUFACTURED BY F.L. CHILDS CO., SPRINGFIELD, MASS. PATENT AFPLIED FOR."

The Freedman’s Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – July, 1997

     The Civil War had ended, and multitudes of liberated Negroes were bewildered and perturbed as they faced an uncertain future. Ill-prepared to deal with their newly acquired independence and accompanying responsibilities, Blacks turned to a government agency entitled the "Freedmen's Bureau." The purpose of this organization was to aid needy free men through education, acquisition of jobs, settlement of homesteads on deserted and confiscated lands, and protection of civil rights.
     On March 3, 1865, concurrent with the establishment of the Freedmen's Bureau, Congress chartered the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company. Its purpose was twofold: to encourage savings and budgeting amongst the new African-American work force and, most importantly, to protect this group from the hordes of unscrupulous private bankers eager to pilfer their earnings. Figure 1 is a depiction of an original Freedman's Savings and Trust dividend check. Each certificate bore the likeness of Abraham Lincoln, an image the freedman equated with honesty, trust, and integrity.
     However, despite all good intentions, both the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and the Freedmen's Bureau proved impotent and inept. Blacks continued to fall prey to Southern white racism. Anti-Black lobbies within the government continued to prevent the freedmen from making any significant inroads into the "free" American society. African-American resentment grew nationwide.
     Utilizing these emotions and historical events, paramount inventor, designer, and toy manufacturer Jerome B. Secor, of Bridgeport, Conn., designed a bank that demonstrated the growing Black dissatisfaction. His creation was christened the "Freedman's Bank," and is seen in Figure 2.
     An early advertising flyer for the "Freedman's Bank" is seen in Figure 3. The price of each bank is indicated as a whopping $4.50. Since the average workingman's salary was approximately 20 cents per day, this leaves no doubt as to the object of Secor's intended market.
     Action of the "Freedman's Bank" can only be described as fascinating. Initially, the clockwork is wound. A coin is then placed between the freedman's left hand and the round hole on top of the desk. As the lever is pushed down, the black man's left hand sweeps the coin through the opening and into the bank. Simultaneously, he raises his right hand, nods his head, and thumbs his nose at the depositor (Figure 4). Coins are removed by unscrewing one side of the desk.
     Composition of the "Freedman's Bank" is quite varied. The head is of zinc alloy; the collar is made of tin, and the shirt and pants are cotton; the feet are composed of iron; the clockworks are brass and steel; the desk is wood; and both labels are of paper.
     The "Freedman's Bank" has become one of the rarest and costliest of all mechanical banks. This is easily attributable to its fragile construction and an exorbitant, prohibitive price tag when originally presented to the public.
     This most complicated masterpiece of mechanical ingenuity has been reproduced, and in a manner which makes it practically indiscernible from an original example. These re-creations are, however, designated as such by the word "REPRODUCTION" on a small paper label affixed to the underside of the desk. As per the manufacturer, they were created "not to fool anybody, but to afford collectors the opportunity to own a 'Freedman's Bank' at a fraction of the cost of an original's six-figure price tag." Nevertheless, in view of the accuracy of each "perfect" recreation, one must be especially wary when offered an "original" "Freedman's Bank." As with any costly fine antique that has been reproduced, an expert's corroboration as well as provenance play key roles in the decision to purchase.
     In conclusion, the dimensions of both the original and reproduction Freedman's Banks are as follows: the height (i.e., from the top of the head to the bottom of the desk's legs) is 10-3/8 inches, and the width of the top portion of the desk is 6-1/2 inches.
     Acknowledgment: The fine, original example of "Freedman's Bank" (Figures 2 and 4) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.
     My appreciation to Glenn Smith, author of Discovering Ellis Ruley, a 20th-century self-taught Black artist, for his kind help in supplying historical data and the document relating to the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company (Figure 1).

The Bonzo Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – August, 1997

     “Lovable” and "charismatic" describe the canine image pictured in Figure 1. Originating as a cartoon character known as "The Studdy Dog" after its creator, George Ernest Studdy, it was featured in a series within a popular magazine published in Great Britain, circa 1918. Evolving from its artist's conception of the traits and features of a terrier/bulldog/bull terrier/sealyam, the canine was embraced by an adoring public. It was this same devoted public that insisted upon the release of the dog's actual name. In November of 1922, "The Studdy Dog" was rechristened "Bonzo."
     George Studdy, one of the foremost British illustrators and cartoonists of his day, continued to enjoy success with his creation. Bonzo became famous indeed when he was among the first of the neon signs to be erected in Piccadilly Circus. The canine was eventually developed into the star of the only fully animated film series of cartoons produced in Great Britain during the era of silent movies. Bonzo's likeness was incorporated into postcards, clothing, books, lamps, children's playthings which include the "BONZO BANK" (see Figure 2), and a plethora of other items.
     However, despite its popularity and importance internationally, Bonzo never did capture the heart of the American public. Perhaps the tremendous competition from Walt Disney's beloved megastar, "Mickey Mouse," factored in the obscurity of both the British pup and its creator.
     During the 1920's, the Saalheimer and Strauss Company, of Nurnberg, Germany, acquired the rights from George Studdy to use an image of Bonzo on one of its tin mechanical banks (Figure 2). The company, a manufacturer of fine tin items, toys, and penny banks, produced an advertising flyer offering the "Bonzo Bank" to toy distributors and wholesalers This rare and early flyer is seen in Figure 3.
     To date, no patent papers for the "Bonzo Bank" have been located. However, since many of its mechanical components and action so closely duplicate Saalheimer and Strauss's "Minstrel Bank" (Figure 3), which was assigned Deutsches Patent Number L-698681 on June 29, 1928, it is generally assumed the "Bonzo Bank" was also protected under that patent.
     Interestingly, the obverse of each bank (Figure 4) bears the image of the Bonzo character about to deposit a coin into his very own "Bonzo Bank." This is one of the few instances in which an image of the actual bank appears on the surface of the mechanical itself.
     Operation of the "Bonzo Bank" is uncomplicated and aptly described in the brief but humorous verse seen on its front side (Figure 2): "Press the lever lightly, Watch my tongue appear, Save a penny nightly, Make your fortune here." The coin is placed upon Bonzo's protruding tongue. The lever is released, and the tongue and coin snap back into the bank. Deposits are retrieved by unlocking the square key-lock coin retainer underneath the base.
     The "Bonzo Bank" is quite rare and has the distinction of being considered a "cross collectable," i.e., not only appealing to bank collectors, but to collectors of comic character toys and Bonzo memorabilia. For these reasons, one could expect to pay a premium price for the privilege of adding an example to a collection.
     To my knowledge, none of the Saalheimer and Strauss tin mechanicals, including those shown in Figure 3, have been reproduced. Nonetheless, I am including Bonzo's dimensions to aid the collector in determining size and scale: 6-7/8 inches in height and 2-7/8 inches in width.
     The superb example of "Bonzo Bank" (Figures 2 and 4) is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Smyth X-Ray Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – September, 1997

     This month’s featured mechanical bank owes its origins to an extraordinary discovery which impacted powerfully upon the scientific world. The year was 1895 and the discovery was "X-rays," so named because of their uncertain nature. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, professor of physics at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, astounded the scientific community with his observations, which followed much experimentation begun by his predecessors.
     Although X-rays have had far-reaching effects into many branches of science, they are especially well known in medicine. The first medical application took place on January 12, 1896, when Dr. Henry Louis Smith, professor at Davidson College, North Carolina, was able to locate a bullet lodged within the hand of a human corpse.
     Interestingly, despite numerous scientific advances throughout the 19th century, only one aspect of that vast arena was recreated in the form of a mechanical bank, namely "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" (Figure 1). This is curious, since toy manufacturers generally tended to capitalize upon intriguing and timely topics. The designer/inventor of "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" was Charles Smyth of Dayton, Ohio. On May 31, 1898, three years after Rontgen's amazing presentation before the scientific community, Charles Smyth was granted Patent Number 605,064 (Figure 2) for his creation. The bank was subsequently manufactured by the Henry C. Hart Manufacturing Company of Detroit, Mich. Examination of the patent papers shown in Figure 2 attests to the fact that the Hart Company's product (Figure 1) faithfully adhered to Smyth's design.
     Operation of "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" is uncomplicated and fascinating, A coin is placed within the lever or slot of the X-ray camera. The depositor then raises the bank to eye level and points it at a very well-lit object. Peering through the flanged opening at the end of the camera, the viewer sees the object as if he or she were looking through the coin. The lever is then depressed and the coin falls into the bank. The depositor continues to see the object with uninterrupted vision. What has occurred is a clever illusionary effect created by the usage of four internal mirrors. (Refer to Figure 2 and observe the arrows shown in the patent drawing.) The viewer is actually looking at a reflection of the object in the mirrors rather than the object itself. Deposits are retrieved by unscrewing both halves of the bank.
     Henry C. Hart produced only one other mechanical bank whose action also relied upon the usage of mirrors to create an illusion. (Please refer to the May 1993 issue of Antique Toy World for my article entitled "Presto Bank, Penny Changes to a Quarter,")
     There are a few insignificant internal variations of "The Smyth X-Ray Bank," and two color variants. Referring to the latter, most are totally nickel-plated, as is the example in Figure I. However, I am aware of a variant with sides that are painted brown with gold highlighting.
     "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" is considered quite rare and is especially desirable when it boasts of an unblemished plated finish and original operating lever.
     Many collectors, in addition to myself, are becharmed by illusionary banks. In addition to the two aforementioned mechanicals which utilize internal mirrors, there is a third: "The Multiplying Bank," manufactured by the J. and E. Stevens Company of Cromwell, Conn. However, this particular bank is not considered mechanical, since it contains no moving parts to either engage a coin or activate the bank.
     "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" has been reproduced. Ergo, Figure 3 is a diagram indicating the base size of an original example. A recast will appear approximately one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch shorter O.D. than indicated.
     Acknowledgments: The superb example of "The Smyth X-Ray Bank" seen in Figure 1 is from the collection of Steve and Marilyn Steckbeck.

The Tin Scotsman Bank
by Sy Schreckinger – ANTIQUE TOY WORLD Magazine – October, 1997

     Valiant and proud is the image of the Scottish Highlander. In sharp contrast is the figure depicted upon the subject of this month's article. As seen in Figure I, the tartan-clad individual appearing upon the facade of the tin "Scotsman Bank" is represented as a humorous caricature.
     To date, only two different antique mechanical banks utilizing the image of the
clansman are known to exist. One of these is the aforementioned tin "Scotsman Bank," and the other is the cast-iron "Kiltie Bank" seen in Figure II (refer to Antique Toy World, July 1996). The "Kiltie Bank," however, presents a dignified and stoic image of the Highlander.
     Interestingly, the tin "Scotsman Bank" identifies a rather obscure and seldom-discussed aspect of Highlander garb, namely the sporran. This particular accessory is worn around the waist and rests upon the center of the kilt. It is a small, furry or hairy pouch typically made of either badger or goat skin and fastened by a metal clasp.
     Activation of the "Scotsman Bank" is wholly dependent upon the jolly chap's sporran, as is indicated by the verse imprinted upon the face of the bank: "Lift my sporran lightly — On my tongue a penny — If ye do this nightly — Ye'll soon ha'e many." Lifting the Scotsman's sporran results in blinking eyes and protrusion of his tongue, upon which a coin is then positioned. The depositor lightly presses the sporran back into place, whereupon the eyes blink once again and the tongue with coin recedes into the mouth. Monies are recovered by unlocking a key-lock, trap-door-type coin retainer underneath the base.
     There are two variations of the tin "Scotsman Bank." These pertain solely to the lithography on the front of the mechanical. One incorporates the operating instructions verse within the design (Figure I), and the other omits it completely.
     A rare, early 20th-century Saalheimer and Strauss catalog page is seen in Figure III. In it are featured the tin "Scotsman Bank" and several other mechanicals in the company's line. Located in Nurnberg, Germany, the hub of early European tinplate toy production, Saalheimer and Strauss was one of the most important German manufacturers of tin novelty items, children's playthings, household goods, and mechanical banks.
     The unearthing of this catalog page, which occurred approximately 15 years ago, was fortunate since it provided information on several tin German mechanical banks whose manufacturer had heretofore been an enigma. This discovery and subsequent research efforts identified the "SS" logo (to the right side of the Scotsman's walking stick) as that of the Saalheimer and Strauss Company.
     To date, no patent papers have been located relating to either the design or workings of the "Scotsman Bank." However, a similar bank in the "SS" line had received Deutsches - Patent Number L-698681 on June 29, 1928 (see Figure III, top row, center). It is presently assume