ANTIQUES March, 1941 Pat. No. 98,055 Back to Text
The First Five Years of Patented Toy Banks By H. Blair Hull Figure 1
Fig. 1 HALL'S EXCELSIOR BANK. Patented December 21, 1969, by John Hall, Watertown, Massachusetts, inventor. Marked Halls Excelsior on front; constructed of cast-iron parts, wood figure, wood table, paper arms. It is operated as follows: when doorbell is pulled, roof lifts up showing small monkey; coin placed on table overbalances and closes roof; monkey turns head. Variant has small man instead of monkey. Oldest cast-iron patent-marked mechanical bank; there are undoubtedly older unpatented ones. Many minor variations occur. There is still controversy as to whether the bank with a man's head is authentic. Curiously, this is one of the most frequently found of all mechanical banks. The earliest banks show the patent date stenciled on the roof. Immediately thereafter, the patent date was stamped in the iron on top of the roof and is clearly visible through the paint. Later specimens do not show this; doubtless after the patent expired, the date was omitted from the banks.Certainly they were made long after the patent expired.