Musical Houseware

Mechanical piggy bank “ORGAN BANK”

    Mechanical piggy bank “ORGAN BANK”

    USA, Mount Joy

    The 1960s


    Cast iron, steel; casting, painting

    14.5 х 10 х 19.2 cm, 1558 gr

    On the front side: «ORGAN BANK»; on the rear side: "PAT. JUNE 13. 1882", on the stand bottom: "REPRODUCED FROM ORIGINAL IN COLLECTION OF THE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE", "MADE IN USA".


    Mechanical piggy bank in cast iron body in the form of a street organ on pedestal with feet. A monkey in blue and yellow clothes is sitting on it. Flat plate is in the monkey’s right hand, a hat – in its left hand. Both hands can turn simultaneously around the same axis. A coin slot is in front of the monkey. Two figures of the dancers, a boy and a girl in bright clothes are on the right and left sides of the monkey. The street organ is decorated with the relief elements marked with "golden" paint. The inscription "ORGAN BANK" is on the front side top, the image of organ pipes is in the center, a floral ornament and white strip with notes - are on the bottom side, woven lattices are on three sides. Relief inscriptions and  aperture are on the stand’s bottom. A crank that activates the mechanism of the piggy bank is on the right side. The figures of the dancers begin to spin when the bell ting-a-lings, the monkey’s left hand takes off the hat, its right hand descends; the coin falls from the plate into the slot. Such cast-iron piggy banks were produced from the 1870s up to the 1930s.
    In 1957, the advertising agent named Lee Howard came to the New York publishing house The Grolier Society, Inc. with the idea to organize the advertising campaign for the popularization of the Children's Encyclopaedia "The Book of Knowledge". Howard suggested assembling a collection of original cast-iron piggy banks within the framework of the Encyclopaedia in order to organize manufacturing of the exact copies for further demonstration and sale. The ORGAN BANK piggy bank is a part of the “The Knowledge Book” collection with the number 178. It is the exact copy of the original that was patented in the USA on June 18, 1882 and produced by Kaiser and Rex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.