Like many great toys of the past, penny banks are considered abstracts from real life. Here are still banks, those with no moving parts, and mechanical banks that flip coins into a receptor, chosen to illustrate the history of penny banks. There are banks made of cast iron, tin, pottery, wood, and pot metal in forms that include folk art, political events, and special places such as a World's Fair. The book presents over 250 color photographs of intriguing American banks arranged from the 18th century through the present. They are treasured toys to some and fascinating mechanical devices to others who cherish the advances made possible by new technologies and subjects. While toy collectors and dealers will enjoy the variety, bankers-and we all know a few of them-will appreciate the thrift these banks convey.
Author Don Duer has been a collector of toys and banks for over twenty-five years. He helped organize and wrote the accompanying booklet for the exhibition "A Penny Saved: Architecture in Cast Iron Toy Banks" at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York. Mr Duer is a professional architect whose firm is located in Winter Park, Florida.