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Feed the Goose Bank
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - May, 1974

74-05.JPG (9122 bytes)Feed The Goose, our choice as No. 235 in the numerical classification, is a rather late bank which is, however, very difficult to find in nice original condition and shape or configuration, This is particularly true with respect to the large egg under the goose. The bank is made of a pot metal of apparent poor quality subject to distortion, cracking and chipping. A line of comparison could be drawn with the type drive wheels used on many standard or wide gauge electric train engines of the period. The wheels just seem to disintegrate and fall apart being castings of apparently similar type poor quality pot metal. It certainly seems a shame that the Feed The Goose was not made with some type quality metal casting as it is a quite clever bank in its design and action. The somewhat angular appearance of the figure of the goose is rather offbeat, but this at the time of its manufacture was most probably an attempt to give the bank a "modern" look. In any case, the bank as its subject matter represents the famous old story of the goose that laid the golden egg.

The Feed The Goose was until quite recently classed in with the modern group of mechanicals and thus made after 1935. Patent papers reveal that this is not the case, however, and as a matter of fact it was patented August 7, 1928, by Douglas Hall of Chicago, Illinois. The bank as produced is practically identical to the patent drawings, which are, by the way, exceptionally well detailed. As a matter of interest, the text of the patent refers to the figure as that of ‘a grotesque goose’.

A printed sheet of suggestions and directions was originally furnished with each bank. This details with a drawing the method of removing the goose from the egg. In one place it refers to the bank as the "Golden Egg" Bank, and in another "Feed The Goose". Under ‘Suggestions’ various points are explained such as the fact pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters can be used to operate the bank. Larger denominations and paper money can be deposited in the special coin trap in the bottom of the egg. Also, one coin at a time must be used to operate the bank properly, with the coin dropping into the egg before another is inserted. The sheet is printed on both sides and folded. The back of the sheet is of particular interest and we quote as follows:

Aesop’s Fable "The Goose With the Golden Eggs" was written long ago, but the moral it teaches is needed today as much as in Aesop’s time.

If you work but do not save, you are killing your Goose, for when the Goose died the Eggs ceased to come. When you cease work, your income stops, unless you have saved Part of Your Earnings.

Feed the Goose often and it will "Lay Your Golden Eggs".

The Small Change you feed your goose will change your Future from Dependence to Independence.


The bank pictured is in far better condition than most in spite of the somewhat distorted egg and flaking of the paint on the bird. The egg is gold, the bird a bronze color with yellow bill, red wings, and a silver tail. He has green glass eyes. The brass metal plate on the front of the egg has a red background. Imprinted on the plate appears ‘The Union National Bank "Feed the Goose" Fostoria, Ohio’. The special coin trap in the base plate of the egg has the following stamped thereon: ‘Bankers Thrift Corp. Chicago Patented’.

To operate, a coin is dropped into the open mouth of the goose, the bill closes and re-opens, the wings flap up and back down, and the tail flaps up and back down. The weight of the coin causes this action as it travels through the body of the bird on into the egg.

In closing, it bears mention that the writer has seen this bank with the bird finished in purple, silver, red, and the bronze color mentioned. Wings and the glass eyes also are in various colors, including red, blue, and pink, The writer’s example of the bank, not the one pictured, does not have the name Feed The Goose on the front brass plate, the egg fortunately, has no distortion, and, of course, the original paper sheet as described in the foregoing.


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