Rabbit (Standing, Large)
Two American mechanical banks and one Canadian, the first in the series articles, are our present choice in the numerical classification. The Rabbit (Standing, Large) is No. 193, Rabbit (Standing, Small) No. 194, and Elephant (Made In Canada) No. 195. Lets immediately clear up one point of possible confusion with respect to these two Rabbits and the names used to define them. Are they "standing" or not is the question that will come to most minds. Well actually they are sitting upright, however, the word "standing" has been used for so many years to describe their position that there just doesnt seem to be enough justification to change the names. In this case letting well enough alone is the best answer and most collectors are accustomed to using the present names from habit, if nothing else.
The larger Rabbit is somewhat harder to come by than the smaller one. More often than not one or both ears of the large Rabbit are broken off and missing. It is not easy to find one of these in nice original condition with no repairs. The one pictured, Figure 1, is in fine original condition. The rectangular base is green and inscribed on the underside is "Pat Apld For." The figure of the rabbit is gold and the ball-like object he holds is silver. The coin is placed in the provided slot in this silver ball as shown in Figure 1. On depressing the tail the ears move forward and the coin automatically drops inside the figure.
The smaller Rabbit, also Figure 1, is in practically mint condition. The round base is a brown japanned type finish and on the underside is inscribed "Patented." The figure of the rabbit in this case is washed bronze type finish, rather than painted. The ball is gold and the inside of his ears are also painted gold. The smaller Rabbit operates exactly the same as the large one.
It is not yet factually known, to the best of the writers knowledge, who manufactured the two Rabbits. The writer is inclined to attribute them to the H. L. Judd Company. Many similarities exist between these two Rabbits and mechanicals we know were made by Judd. For more information on Judd and banks they made please see HOBBIES, January, 1969, article and references therein.
Figure 2 shows the Elephant (Made in Canada). This is a rather unique bank and only due to the fact it was made in Canada. Note in Figure 2 the wording in raised letters shows very plainly on the left rear leg. Being of Canadian manufacture means everything to this particular Elephant Bank as mechanicals that were made in Canada are few and far between. True a couple of our mechanical banks (United States) were protected by patents in Canada, but they were not manufactured there.
The bank shown is in nice original condition. It is quite similar in configuration to one that was made in the United States. It is an overall gold finish. Decorations are in red and silver, and the raised letters of the name are silver. He has red eyes, silver ball ends on the tusks, and the tip of his trunk is red. The operation of the bank is simplicity itself, inserting the coin in the provided slot on top causes the trunk to move. Thats all there is, there isnt any more. Definitely mechanical, however, and a coin is necessary to cause the action.
The bank has reasonably well been established as a product of the old Albion Iron Works of Victoria, British Columbia. They were in business for the approximate period of 1869 to 1950. The bank is said to have been manufactured around the turn of the century.
The Elephant (Made In Canada) has every evidence of being an elusive mechanical to add to a collection. It just doesnt seem to be around and was possibly made in limited quantity.