Monday, January 28, 2013

A Reproduction of a Mechanical Bank

Monday, November 19, 2013


A Reproduction of A Mechanical Bank

     A few days ago, I was writing a post about mechanical banks. I was screen-capturing my images for the post,when I saw an bank that I have. However, mine is a "reproduction". I didn't bother to capture the "real ones", as I was busy with the post that I was about to write. A few days later, I had to track down those images. So the point of this story? Always go with your instinct, and do what you have to now, so you don;t waste time tomorrow!

    I know my mechanical bank is a "reproduction", since I bought it at one of the few remaining general stores/hardware stores in Montreal, by the name of Hogg Hardware. I know it was a reproduction, and they were selling it as such. I go to Hogg Hardware or Quinquillerie Hogg (French), when the super-sized giants don't have what I'm looking for! Those giants like Home Depot or Lowe's in the US, and Rona here in Montreal did a great job in knocking off all of the smaller stores! Those giants are also like our gas companies here in Canada- there is no competition!  The prices are always so close, it doesn't pay for me to run around the city looking to save 5%.

    Anyway, back to the story. My sense is that if a company closes down, then years later, it seems that anyone can reproduce their product without a care in the world. Maybe I'm wrong,so if you're reading this, especially if your a copyright or patent lawyer, I could use the confirmation or the correction!

   Today's mechanical bank reproduction is a "knockoff "(a polite word for "fake")of the renowned 1880's company by the name of J.E. Stevens. The original bank was  patented (May 31, 1892) by  Shepard Hardware (Buffalo, New York, USA). Later the bank was made by the  J & E Stevens Company. While I was researching this post, I came across a cornucopia of a site for mechanical banks. Bill Jones who is the webmaster and the writer for the site, as well as many other contributors. He has created an encyclopaedic source for anyone who has one of these fine banks, and wants to know something about it. 

                                                     http://www.mechanicalbanks.org
                            (Please press on the above address to be redirected to this great site!)
                    (



The red arrow is pointing to the threads of a screw on the underneath side.
On my "fake", this screw holds holds a spring that works the arm and cannon.
 On the "real" items, there is no rubber plug for holding the $$ in the bank,
and the spring is not seen.



On my "fake", you can see the poor casting for the cast iron bank.
The 4 corners of the "fort" have large gaps.

A top view of the "fort" to show you the large spaces where the 4 parts of the "fort" meet.



The arrows are pointing to the helmet visor and the hand.
Again, poor moulds  have resulted in the lact of fine detail. The visor on the authentic Stevens bank is longer, while the detail in the hand is much more refined!

My "reproduction"  release is shorter than the authentic Stevens bank


The red arrow is pointing to the # 3. On the authentic Stevens bank, there is no # 3.

All of the above images are of my "reproduction".
The ones below are from Net sources, and are "real"!




A photo or scan of an original advertisement of the "artillery bank" from the Shepard Hardware Company, in Buffalo (New York, USA).





Another of Bill Jones' photos.
I'll be adding more photos when I find out the credit sources.

However, Bill's well-taken photo shows many of the points to recognize is as "the real one":

1. The 4 fort corners meet smoothly without any gaps.
2.There is a small holein the third row of the fort bricks.
3. The hand has finer detail, and the visor of the cap is longer than my "reproduction"
4. The trigger latch (next to the word bank) is shorter on the real one.
5. There  are no screw threads showing through in front of the "fort"
6. The entire overall quality of the casting is more refined and smoother than on my "reproduction"


Of course, it's always great to have Bertoia auctions help me out when I write my blogs.

   It's always best to search for 2-5 different sources if you're looking to authenticate or disprove a "real" or a "reproduction". And it's even better if you can see the item in your hand.


So that's it for today.When I was out on Friday to do some shopping, they already were starting to sell Christmas trees. Is it just me, or is it everyone? I'm referring of course to how fast time goes when you get older.  I was just writing in the summertime,and now it's almost Christmas.

Thanks as always for dropping by,
and have a good morning, afternoon, or evening,
wherever you may be.

Stacey








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2 comments:

sam baliva said...

Terrific information, saved me a lot of $$$. I have a taiwan bank. The letters were covered with a very nice felt pad. Gotcha

Anonymous said...

Got tickets to Antiques Roadshow and thought about taking my bank. Thanks for the info! I now know I won't be taking my reproduction :)