Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Opamerica's Mechanical Banks

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Clear Skies & Sunny
14 Celsius / 57 Fahrenheit

opamerica's Mechanical Banks

I've written many articles about opamerica's fine toys, but never on their mechanical banks.
You'd think I would have by now, since their full name is opamerica toy and bank museum
They always have a collection of fine toys for sale, and the main reason I chose them is for their painstaking amount of work top photograph their merchandise, and to give thorough and researched written descriptions.

If you research these banks, most authors or sellers give the title that is usually on the toy.
You can also use the title when you do a search for a particular mechanical bank. A mechanical bank has a set of springs and gears that allow the characters of the bank to take a coin and then through an action or several actions drop the coin into the "vault" area of the bank. Most mechanical banks came with keys that may have been lost. I'm not sure if a good locksmith could make a key for you or not. You also have to remember that most of these banks are true antiques, having survived more than 100 years of existence!

I've added the copyright scans from the Al Davidson (author) & Long's Americana (publisher).
This exceptional and exhaustively-researched book was published in 1987, and is an excellent book for referring to Mechanical Banks. The banks are sorted by the name of the bank, and each bank usually has the date of manufacture, as well as a small paragraph as to how the toy works. Many of the banks also have their original copyrights that were most likely obtained from the US Patent Office.

Antique J&E Stevens Magician Mechanical Cast Iron Bank

This wonderful bank portrays a formally dressed stage magician on a stage with a table before him. When you press the lever, the magician will lower his tophat over the coin on the table. He will nod his head and magically, the coin will vanish. The Magician Bank was patented in January 22 1901. It says "Magician Bank" on the front. The magician is, as I’ve said, formally dressed with a boiled white shirt front and black bowtie. His eyes, eyebrows, goatee and sweeping mustache are black. It will work with any coin up to and including a quarter.

Measurements: 7" long, 8" high, 4" wide.

Antique SPEAKING DOG Cast Iron Mechanical Toy Bank 1885

This auction is for an original cast iron Speaking Dog Bank. This was made by the Shepard Hardware Co. in Buffalo, New York and designed by Peter Adams and Charles Shepard. The bank is in it's original condition with no restoration. To operate the bank, depress the lever on the base near the dog, which causes the girl's right arm to move back, dropping the coin placed on the tray into the seat opening beside her. At the same time, the dog opens its mouth as if barking and wags its tail. The bank works fine, but I do not have a key to open it up. There is some obvious paint loss, but otherwise, a nice bank. It is 7 1/2" tall x 7" wide and is marked with a patent date of July 14, 1885 on the bottom.

Antique c. 1880s J&E Stevens Darktown Battery Cast Iron Mechanical Coin Bank

I am offering an antique J. & E. Stevens mechanical bank called "Darktown Battery". Circa 1880s. O'Brians Collecting Toys 11th Edition claims this bank is from 1888. The bottom of the bank has a patent date of 1875. When you put the coin in the hand of the pitcher, press the lever, the coin is thrown into the catcher's mit. Mechanism works well. This is in very good condition - as seen in the pictures. No breaks or cracks. Good original paint. The arms of the batter may be replacements, as they are in a somewhat different color than to body. All else looks really nice! Measures 7 1/4" inches tall and the base measures 10" x 2 3/4".

1879 JE Stevens 'Spise a Mule Cast Iron Mechanical Bank

I am pleased to offer this Antique 1879 J.E. Stevens "Always Did 'Spise A Mule" Cast Iron Mechanical Bank!  This original bank is quite hilarious!  Powered by an exceptional spring mechanism, the mule quickly spins and kicks the man sitting on the bench which in turn drops the coin into the bank!  The top of the bank reads in raised lettering "Always Did 'Spise A Mule". This bank has the original bottom plates which is marked with a patent date of 1879, and has an original coin stopper with a 1875 patent date.
Measures approx. 10-1/8" L x 3" W x 6" H

Important Notice
Before closing, there is one important note to mention. There are many modern-era"reproductions"
on the market, so you have to be very careful when buying what is "supposedly" an original bank. you should always buy from a reputable antique dealer or seller, or have the seller go with you to a antiques dealer who for a small price will help to authenticate the bank.

So that's it for today. It's a great late fall (autumn) day,
 and I'm going to go outdoors and walk our dog Buddy.

So as usual,
Have a great part of the day or night,
Wherever you may be.

Stacey Bindman

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