Organ Bank – Type II (Boy and Girl)
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1973

73-02.JPG (15415 bytes)As we reach No. 217 in the numerical classification we have chosen a mechanical with nostalgic overtones, referring our thoughts back to the era of the very popular organ grinder and his performing monkey. He certainly was a colorful figure in his day and children, as well as many grownups, never seemed to tire of the loud organ music and many antics of the monkey. The bank that so well represents this scene from the past is the Organ Bank Type II (Boy & Girl), lively action and plenty of noise are the keynotes of this bank.

Before getting into the colors and action of the Organ Bank Type II we would like to point out that this is another mechanical utilizing representations of out of proportion figures. Referring to the picture please note the large size monkey as compared to the small boy and girl. A number of the mechanical banks utilize this distortion of related size and perhaps the most outstanding of all is the Jonah and the Whale (Jonah Emerges From Whale’s Mouth). Here we have the extremely large figure of Jonah (as compared to the whale) coming out of a whale which is barely larger than Jonah. Then the very small boat which holds the coin is more or less in proportion to the size of the whale, but certainly not to Jonah. Actually distortion of this type can add a lot of interest to a bank. In any case, while we are on the subject of this particular Jonah And The Whale it bears mention that one of the three, possibly four, known examples of this bank changed hands toward the end of 1972. It very definitely is one of the outstanding acquisitions of that year, and Wally Tudor is now the proud possessor of this really great bank.

Back to the Organ Bank (Boy & Girl). It was patented June 13, 1882 by Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., and manufactured by their company, Kyser & Rex. They made the bank pretty much in accord with the patent drawings, both as to operation and configuration. The patent drawings, however, show the figure of a cat and dog, rather than a boy and girl. This being the way the bank was made in the more common type I.

The bank shown is in exceptionally fine all original condition with no repairs and the original paint is in excellent shape. Attractive colors are as follows: The entire organ has a brown japanned-type finish, sections of the front, both sides and back are highlighted in gold. The sheet music book on the lower center front is white. The monkey’s face, hands and feet are brown. He has white eyes, black pupils and a red mouth. He holds a yellow hat with red stripes in his left hand, and the tray in his right hand is gold. The monkey wears a blue jacket with yellow buttons and white collar and cuffs. His trousers are yellow and the raised section on which he sits is red. The figure of the boy has natural color legs, hands and face with black eyes and red mouth. He holds a curved gold stick over his head. He wears a blue hat, yellow jacket, red knee-length trousers, and yellow shoes. The girl’s arms, legs and face are natural and she too has black eyes and red mouth. She holds a gold tambourine in her right hand. Her blouse is yellow and skirt red. Both boy and girl stand on a round blue base completing the coloring of the bank.

As shown in the photo, a coin is placed on the tray when in the raised position. The crank on the side is turned and the right arm of the monkey lowers the tray so that the coin slides therefrom into the organ. At the same time he tips his hat forward. As this action takes place the other two figures revolve — the boy turning counter-clockwise, and the girl clockwise. Accompanying this action is the ringing of bells — two in the case of the bank shown. A variety of the bank has three bells and, of course, is therefore noisier. In either case the bells are located inside the organ, one on each sideplate, and if a third, on the front plate. Hammers working on ratchets on the crank shaft ring the bells. The patent date, June 13, 1882, is inscribed in the back plate of the bank. Coins are removed by means of a key locked coin trap in the base plate.

So there you have the Organ Bank Type II, a quite attractive item with plenty of action and sound — who could ask more for a penny!