Cast-iron mechanical banks
Article by Gerhard Gross
They were manufactured for the first time in 1869 in the USA. Four years to the end of the American civil war the iron using industry had free capacities.
Cast iron became economical and made in great amounts. So one began to produce hardware, also toy and now money banks from this material.
The first bank, the "Halls's Excelsior Bank", was announced on 21.12.1869 to the patent.
The main time lay between 1880 and 1895. Inventors and manufacturers of most mechanical banks are known: There were 34 factories in the USA which put on at least one bank. The J. & E. Stevens Co. in Connecticut made more than 80 of the about in total 210 known different models.
There were already at the beginning of the 20th century some serious collectors of this kind of banks. Until the fifties there were, however, only few collectors and traders in the USA.
Unfortunately there are copies and fakes from many mechanical banks. Often they are to be recognized, however, only from specialists. Most offers of traders and flea markets in Europe are pastiches without historical value.