This blog discusses old toys from the early 1920's to the end of the 1950's. All kinds of topics are discussed.
The time span was the greatest period for "hands-on" toys, where a young child could actually go outside and play for hours at a time.
You can see the elegance but simple design of these toys. It was a time when huge machines, and people made and finished toys by hand.
The era has long passed, but many of the toys are still around, and that is what I would like to share.
Non-Toy Mechanical Banks (More from the Clive Devenish Collection)
I'm continuing to write above Mr. Clive Devenish's outstanding collection of mechanical banks.
Included in hide collection that was auction through Bertoia Auctions were several "non-toy" mechanical cast iron banks. At the time (1890's-1930's), millions upon millions of these mechanical banks were manufactured. However, there were also the non-toy banks for adults, and these were made in large numbers.
You have to remember that coinage (pocket change) had value at those times.As an example,A penny could buy you a handful of candy, or have you send a letter. Today, our poor Canadian penny is gone - the government decided it had no value! And to mail a letter costs $ 1.15. I remember a bag of potato chips in 1956 was 5 cents, a pack of bubble gum cards was also 5 cents, and a bus ticket was 9 cents for a child (or was it for an adult). 4 ounces of smoked salmon were 50 cents, and a haircut was about $2.00 plus the tip. So imagine what these items were in 1890-1930!
Fortunately, Clive Devenish also liked to collect valued non-toy mechanical banks, and I decided to present 3 for toddy's post.
ATLAS MECHANICAL BANK Mfg. Unknown, circa 1890’s, mixed mediums make up this well designed bank Atlas displayed in strength pose holding up the world made of lithographed paper. Slide the lever to the left, exposing coin slot, insert coin, release lever and the globe spins counter-clockwise for several revolutions. Provenance: Tim Walsh Collection Minimal paper loss to top of globe, otherwise (Pristine Cond.)
What makes the Atlas bank so fascination is the exceptional casting of Atlas and his muscles. Toy can see every anatomical muscle on his torso.
GEM REGISTERING MECHANICAL BANK J&E Stevens Co., Cromwell CT, cast iron with paper register, patented 1893 Intricate side dial allows coin removal when full, heavily embossed floral patterns in nice contrasting gold bronze colors, one of the finest specimens known. Coin deposit involves turning side wheel clockwise then back again. Provenance: Hall Henry Collection through Millie Henry by Descent.
(Near Mint Cond.)
Once again, we see the exceptional details from the original casting. For those who don't know, most of the cast iron toy companies and mechanical banks companies had lots of very gifted Europeans who were new immigrants to the USA. These people got jobs in the foundries making hardware for houses (door handles and knobs, hinges), as well as mechanical banks and toys.
MUSICAL SAVINGS MECHANICAL BANK (REGINA)
Regina Music Box Corp., NJ, circa 1900, ornate wood case with tin scrolls Scrolls at corners with twenty discs and certificate of shipment from 1900, works well, quite an attractive piece. Upon coin deposit a tune is played on changeable discs. Provenance: Wally Tudor, Steven Steckbeck Collections. (Near Mint Cond.)
Of course, if you're over 60 years old or "young",you'd immediately recognize how the is bank made music. Inside the banks are tunes (like a fork) . They are different lengths, and were punched from a metal plate. As the musical disk rotates, the tunes fall into the slots, and make music in the form of notes. Different lengths create different notes. When all of the notes are played in sequence, you get a melody.
What I like about this bank is the large metal plaque that was screwed into the back portion of the bank. When my wife, Heidi and I, moved to our home in 1992, the sidewalks had a brass maple leaf
embedded in the sidewalk. It was from the construction company, who took pride in their work,and of course advertised. I always regretted not hammering out the "souvenir", when the sidewalks were replaced. The sidewalks that replaced the original sidewalks are now cracked and have lots of missing parts from the tractors that clear snow in winter. However, the original sidewalks that I remember didn't seem to even need replacement.
Of course, I'm sure that embedded brass maple leaf with the name of the manufacture got my attention more than the sidewalks!