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Calumet Bank, Type II
by F.H. Griffith - HOBBIES Magazine - September, 1979

79-09.JPG (11853 bytes)Mechanical banks made only for advertising purposes are few and far between. That is to say, a mechanical made no other way than with the advertising of a certain product or whatever. A few mechanical banks were used for advertising, but this was not the initial or main purpose of these banks. An example of this is the Pump And Bucket, which was used by Gusky’s of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, years ago. This has the name ‘Gusky’s’ cast on the base of the bank. The Columbian Magic Savings Bank was utilized as an advertising item with the name ‘The Hub’ ‘Chicago’ cast on the center front of the bank. Other concerns also used this bank for advertising.

The feature of an advertising connection with a mechanical bank does add a degree of interest. As a matter of fact, certain collectors of the mechanical banks prefer, if possible, to have the Pump And Bucket with the Gusky’s name. It is more unusual and harder to come by than without the name.

As we reach No. 281 in the numerical classification, we have chosen an advertising mechanical that was patented for this purpose and made only this way, with advertising. This interesting bank is the Calumet Bank, Type II, featuring Calumet Baking Powder and the Calumet Kid. It was patented as an advertising novelty September 16, 1924, by Edward E. Barnes of Chicago, Illinois, assignor to Calumet Baking Powder Company of the same city. A quote from Barnes’ patent explains the purpose of the bank —

"My invention relates to toy banks of the kind designed for use more particularly as advertising novelties, one that is designed to attract attention by means of an image which is so positioned with respect to the coin receptacle of that bank that each time a coin is dropped into the receptacle the image will be actuated by the coin contacting with a portion of the body thereof extended into the receptacle, which causes the image to move."

The patent further explains that a "suitable surface is provided for presenting advertising matter of any kind which will at all times be displayed in front of the moving image"

The Calumet Bank, Type II shown is in mint condition. Unlike the Calumet Bank, Type I (HOBBIES, November 1966), the ‘can’ of this bank is cardboard with tin top and bottom. The bank is larger than Type I, both in height and diameter. Height of can is 4 inches and diameter is 2-7/16 inches, overall height is 5-3/4 inches. Measurements of the Type I can are 3-1/4 inches by 2-1/8 inches, overall height is 5 inches. Different, too, is the fact that the full figure of the Calumet Kid is shown on the back of the Type II — this does not appear on the Type I.

The coloring of the bank is a very attractive overall red. Lettering and other decorations are in black, blue and white. The Calumet Kid has natural face coloring with pink cheeks and a blue tie with white polka dots. The ‘THANK YOU’ lettering is white and is in a larger size than that of the Type I.

To operate the bank, a coin is dropped in the slot and this causes the Kid to rock back and forth for a period of time. There is no provision for removal of coins and it is reasonable to assume that in most cases the bank was destroyed or damaged badly when coins were removed.

The Type I and Type II make a very desirable pair of banks. The Type I is particularly hard to come by, especially so in nice condition.


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