BY SY SCHRECKINGER
OVER THE CENTURIES audiences have been captivated by various forms of entertainment. None, however, can astonish and fascinate spectators as profoundly as magicians, conjurers and stage illusionists.
Popular trends, attractions and curiosities of any era have always influenced enterprising individuals to create marketable, profitable wares. During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the public’s infatuation with theatrical “chicanery” resulted in the design of numerous illusionary and magical creations.
Shelves of variety and country stores began to be stocked with goods reflecting this popular theme. Amongst these were children’s playthings such as games, toys, and mechanical banks.
Examples of such mechanicals produced during that era included “The Smyth X-Ray bank”, “Presto Bank”, penny changes to a quarter, “Multiplying Bank”, “Wireless Bank” and the subject of this article, “Watch Dog Savings Bank”.
However, these mechanicals differed from one another in the accomplishment of their objective to deceive. While “Smyth X-Ray”, “Presto”, and “Multiplying Bank” depended upon visual illusion, “Watch Dog Savings Bank” and “Wireless Bank” employed an audio device in order to achieve their magic.