Tuesday, November 15, 2016

More Exceptional Mechanical Banks

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Cloudy with Sunny Periods
8 Celsius   46 Fahrenheit

More Exceptional 
Mechanical Banks

Morphy Auctions is having an exceptional auction of mechanical and still banks 
on January 14, 2017. There are 516 items up for auction, and I selected 10 for viewing. A mechanical bank for those who don't know is a bank that usually has a mechanism whereby part of the bank is tension via a spring. You then place a coin on the part that was tension, and when the spring is released, the coin falls into a hole or slot and disappears. These fascinating banks were very popular from the 1880's-1920's, and even after.

Hall's "Twin Bank" Bronze & C.I. Mechanical Bank
First pull the lever and set one figure out front. Then place a coin onto the tray
and push the lever back in. The coin is deposited into the bank as the other figure
appears to receive the coin. 
Height:  7 1/2"  190 mm

Preacher in the Pulpit
This bank was manufactured by J. & E. Stevens Co., in Cromwell Connecticut.
Patent issued 1876. When a coin is placed on the tray,the weight causes the preacher to 
lower his arm and the coin slides from the tray into the bank. Simultaneously, he tilts his head forward.

Bowling Alley Bank, Four Coin Slots
Panted by Louis Kyser in 1879, and manufactured by Kyser & Rex of 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When a coin is inserted in one of the slots,
and you press the lever, the man leans forward, and a bowling ball placed on his hand rolls from his hand to the pins.  THe pins and bowling ball must be reset each time.

Jonah & The Whale Cast Iron Mechanical Bank
Manufactured by J. & E. Stevens. Pull back the rod located behind the tail to lock the bank into position.Place a coin in the small boat-shaoped holder located by the whale's tail and press the lever. It shoots forward and deposits into the bank. At the same time, the whale open's its' mouth, and Jonah's head and shoulders emerge. At the same time, the whale's tail flips up.

Charles A. Bailey Baby Elephant Mechanical Bank
When the clock dial is moved to the 10 o'clock position, the baby elephant 
will rear up and stick out its' tongue exposing the coin slot.
Length:  4 1/2"  114 mm

Dentist Cast Iron Mechanical Bank
 Attributed to J,E.Stevens, but several details indicate that it might have been designed
by Charles A. Bailey. Appears in an 1888-1889 Conway Bros. Catalogue.
A coin is placed in the  left pocket of the dentist and a lever is pressed at the feet of the figures.
The dentist extracts a tooth and falls backwards against the gas bag, and the coin drops into the 
bag.At the same time, the patient falls back backwards in the chair, throwing his arms up.
 Clown, Harlequin & Columbine Cast Iron Mechanical Bank
Manufactured by the J. & E. Stevens Company. It was patented in 1887,
 but production did noir start until 1906. A is inserted between the figure of the Harlequin and the clown. A level on the right in pressed, and the two figures reverse position, causing the figure of Columbine to spin, and the coin to drop into the bank.

Kyser & Rex Chimpanzee Cast Iron Mechanical Bank
Patented in 1880. When a coin is deposited it is necessary for the coin to push the lever
over the slot to the rear. When the lever is pushed back, the figure's head nods forward and its right hand moves down as if writing in the ledger book. A bell rings as part of the action. 
When the coin is deposited, the figure returns to the regular position.

 J. & E. Stevens Milking Cow Cast Iron Mechanical Bank
Made by J. & E.Stevens and first came on the marker in 1888. A coin is placed on a slot in the back of the cow,and the flower-shaped lever is pressed to deposit the coin.Simultaneously, the cow kicks its right leg, wings its tail and the young boy falls backwards

When the iron industry developed and expanded especially during the civil war, iron became a valuable commodity to expand the USA. Since iron aaas inexpensive cast iron toys and banks soon were invented and made to provide for the rapid expansion of new immigrants into America.
THe banks became very popular in the 1880's and later on. The banks were colourful and whimsical, reflecting everyday life such as milking cows and dancing, and biblical and fictional characters. These banks were made from the 1880's until the end of WWII.

Banks are highly collectible, and still are desirable for people, and as such one has to be careful when purchasing them. There are a lot of "reproductions" that resemble the original banks, and so 
if you wanted to purchase a mechanical bank, you'd best be advised to buy from a reputable auctioneer or an antiques dealer.

Thanks for dropping by,
and as always,
Have a great part of the day or night,
Wherever you may be.

Stacey Bindman

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