BY SY SCHRECKINGER
DURING THE LATTER portion of the nineteenth century the first patented cast iron mechanical penny bank was introduced to the marketplace. Entitled “Hall’s Excelsior”, it was intended to inspire children, via their playthings, to be thrifty and save their pennies.
Booming sales resulted in an innovative and profitable business venture. The period spanning 1869 through 1935 saw the birth of more than five hundred different mechanical banks portraying a plethora of subjects, including utilitarian items. Examples of such commonly utilized items included a country store cash register, a pocket watch, a train station platform scale, various ticket and drink dispensers, a sewing machine, the common skeleton key, a mantel or shelf clock, etc…
Our subject, this article, “Time” Registering Bank, represents one of the aforementioned items, namely a stylized column and splat shelf clock. The invention of “Time” Registering is attributed to Edward R. Ives and Charles A. Hotchkiss of Bridgeport, Connecticut. They were assigned Patent Number 445,754 on February 3, 1891.