AVID COLLECTORS OF mechanical banks have been known to develop a desire for increased knowledge of their cast iron marvels. Such collectors voraciously seek information pertaining to historical documentation of these ingenious coin-receptacle devices.
The pursuit of information relating to the design, manufacture, and marketing of mechanical banks has certainly been a pathway to extending the list of collectibles. Included are such items as patent papers, catalogs, trade cards, wooden packing boxes, patterns, and original patent models. An example of one of these, namely, an original patent model entitled “Patronize The Blind Man And His Dog”, subject of this article, is seen in Figure 1.
The history of all antique mechanical banks began with the birth of an idea. In most instances, this was translated into a conceptual linear sketch. A working model is then created, utilizing either wood, or tin, or brass, or another practical medium. The resultant model, accompanied by appropriate documentation and a highly detailed description, are presented to the United States Patent Office. The purpose is to acquire legal protection for the creator’s idea, as seen by the patent papers represented in Figure 2.