Organ Bank — Type 1 (Cat and Dog)
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - February, 1975

75-02.JPG (15883 bytes)A mechanical bank with particularly good action accompanied by sound is our choice as No. 244 in the numerical classification. This bank, the Organ Bank – Type I, is a companion bank to the Organ Bank – Type II. The main difference between the two banks is that the Type II has a boy and girl in the respective positions of the cat and dog on Type I. Another interesting difference is that the cat and dog each revolve counter clockwise, while the girl on Type II revolves clockwise and the boy turns counter clockwise. In addition to these differences there are a certain number of varieties of each bank, some having three bells instead of two and others with the operating crank on the left side of the bank as well as the right. There are also minor variations on the inside construction and mechanism of each respective bank. Basically, of course, they all have similar action and operation.

The Organ Bank – Type I conforms to the patent drawings in that the drawings show a cat and dog. The patent was issued to Louis Kyser and Alfred C. Rex of Philadelphia, Pa., June 13, 1882, and made by their company, Kyser & Rex, in the same city. This patent of 1882 was an improvement of their patent granted May 31, 1881 which covered just the monkey without the other moving figures. The Type I bank as manufactured by Kyser & Rex is made exactly as shown on the patent drawings of 1882.

The bank pictured is in unusually fine, all original condition, with no repairs. It is an attractive bank with colors as follows: The monkey has a yellow hat with red stripes, his jacket is red with white collar and cuffs. His trousers, as well as jacket buttons, are yellow. The coin tray held in his extended right hand is gold. The monkey’s feet and face are brown and he has white eyes with black pupils and a red mouth. The cat and dog are an overall white, the dog with black markings and the cat with yellow markings. Each has black eyes and red mouth. The monkey sits on a raised blue section. The overall color of the organ is a dark brown japanned-type finish. Highlights in gold are on the crank, the raised coin slot section, the name section, the organ pipes, the section with the open music sheets, and the latticed sides and back. The music sheets are white with definitions of notes in black. This completes the coloring of a very good looking bank.

To operate, the crank is turned so that the tray is in the raised position as shown in the photo. A coin is placed thereon. In turning the crank clockwise the monkey lowers his right arm causing the coin to slide from the tray into the raised slot section. As this occurs he tips his hat with his left hand and arm. Concurrently the cat and dog revolve counter clockwise. As all this action continues by turning the crank, bells inside the bank are caused to ring with a rather loud but pleasant sound. A very nice action bank to see and hear in operation.

Coins are removed by means of a key locking coin trap in the base. The patent date of June 13, 1882 is cast in the back plate of the bank.