Mechanical bank:Boy on Trapeze

J. Barton Smith Co.ca. 1890

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Earn your living and save your money. This clever little toy taught the fundamental lessons of American capitalism. Manufactured by the J. Barton Smith Company of Philadelphia in 1888, the "Boy on Trapeze" painted, cast-iron, mechanical bank introduced a cheery little circus performer who worked harder for higher wages. What could be more American than that? The action of this bank requires the weight of a coin to work, cleverly tailoring its action to the coin's value. Deposit a coin in the boy's head and he will spin around on his trapeze. The bigger the coin, the better the show. A penny earns one spin, a quarter earns three spins, and a silver half-dollar earns an outstanding six spins - and the crowd goes wild! Parents in late-19th-century America were no doubt thrilled to see their kids having such fun and learning such a valuable lesson at the same time.

Show lessRead more
  • Title: Mechanical bank:Boy on Trapeze
  • Creator: J. Barton Smith Co.
  • Date Created: ca. 1890, ca. 1890
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia, PA
  • Subject Keywords: boy, trapeze, boy, trapeze
  • Type: Mechanical Toys, Mechanical Toys
  • Medium: painted cast iron, bronze
  • Object ID: 77.2246, 77.2246

Additional Items