Mechanical bank:Mason Bank

Shepard Hardware Co.ca. 1895

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

Cast-iron mechanical banks, a uniquely American invention, represent a perfect combination of readily available materials, low-cost labor, mass-production processes, and ingenious toy design. After the American Civil War ended in the 1860s, cast-iron foundries turned to the production of peace-time goods. Many manufactured cast-iron toys as a sideline to making shovels, rakes, stoves, tools, and other consumer products. Adding a mechanical action to savings banks encouraged children (eager to see the banks' motions again and again) to save more of their coins (or so their parents hoped).

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  • Title: Mechanical bank:Mason Bank
  • Creator: Shepard Hardware Co.
  • Date Created: ca. 1895
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
  • Type: Mechanical Toys
  • Medium: painted cast iron
  • Object ID: 77.74280