Winner Savings Bank
Horse racing, the so called Sport of Kings, again comes to the fore as we reach No. 78 in the numerical classification of the mechanical banks. The Winner Savings Bank is our choice to occupy this position and its operating theme centers around a horse race. Another mechanical bank has the same subject matter and this is the Horse Race Bank which appeared in the series as No. 72, HOBBIES, March, 1959.
The Winner Savings Bank was patented April 23, 1895, by Alfred A.R. Berger of New York City, N.Y., and manufactured by Berger & Medan Manufacturers of the same city. The patent papers as issued to Berger are very specific as to the operation of the bank and thoroughly cover the fact that the horses can finish in any number of positions at the completion of each race. This as outlined in the patent papers is accomplished by means of spacer washers on the central operating shaft that cause the factor of friction to be the motivating force.
The bank shown is from the fine collection of L.C. Hegarty. It is in what may be called mint condition, completely original, no repairs, and excellent paint. The bank is an overall light bluish green. The first part of the name "The Winner" is in gold with red outlining and "Savings Bank" is in gold with green outlining. The scroll work and decorations are in green. The horses on the front and side are a reddish brown. There is a large gold and red horseshoe on the back and the name of the manufacturer "Berger & Medan" is printed thereon. The following is also printed on the back: "Directions. Pull out rod, insert either a one, five, or ten cent piece in slot then push in rod." Opposite this appears this statement: "To take out contents remove cover in the bottom of the bank." All the aforementioned printing is in green. In each corner of the top there is a gold horseshoe with a red riding whip through each shoe. The round raised rim on top, the top edge, and the bottom edge are in gold with green scroll decorations. The inside base under the round glass top is tan. The six horses in this glassed-in top section are on the ends of three flat strips which revolve on a central axle. The horses are white, black, pink, yellow, tan, and gray. The riders have different color coats, caps, and riding breeches in red, green, blue, yellow, and pink.
To operate the bank the directions as shown on the back are followed and the horses spin around and around until an eventual winner stops near the finish point marker. The bank is operative only when a coin is used and this, of course, is a desirable feature.
The bank is made of tin and it is 5" square, 4" high, and the round top is 4¼" in diameter. It seems to be a very difficult item to add to a collection as so far only a few are known to exist. Its a colorful item with its attractive decorations and makes a nice addition to a collection of mechanical banks.