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American Cast Iron Still Banks

Still Banks

The first mass produced American toy banks were Still Banks or banks with no mechanical action. One of the earliest was a penny bank made to accommodate the large copper coin minted in 1793 by the United States.

The same companies that made Mechanical Banks often made cast iron Still Banks as a less expensive alternatives. Several banks can be found in both still and mechanical versions. Both Still and Mechanical banks were toys intended to encourage children to save money and make this process fun.

Companies that built Still Banks included Arcade, Ives, Kenton and Stevens. Building shaped toy banks are perhaps the single largest type of cast iron Still Banks. Other shapes include animals, people, bust of famous people, appliances, safes, clocks, mail boxes and globes.

Building shaped cast iron still banks span a range from President Lincoln's cabin, cottages, Victorian houses, mansions and skyscrapers. Commemorative banks such as toy banks resembling the Washington Monument, National Banks, Century of Progress Building and the Eiffel Tower were popular. In addition other Still Banks made to look like Home Savings Banks, State Banks and Churches.

Still Banks

One popular type of Still Bank is the registering bank. These toy banks were often in the shape of a safe or cash register. Registering banks only accepted certain coins such as a dime or nickel and would keep a running total of deposits and could be opened when full.

Restoration of banks is strongly discouraged unless done by an experienced professional. Restoration of a still bank or mechanical bank can result in damage to its collector value. Watch for reproductions as both mechanical and still banks are prime targets.

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