Mason and Hod Carrier Mechanical Bank, ca. 1890
My wife gave that to me for a wedding present ten years ago in September. It was either her mother's great-uncle or her mother's uncle that had it originally. Both the uncle and the great-uncle were in the trade of bricklaying, so it came to him that way.
Well, that's very interesting that a bricklayer would have this bank, which, as you know, is called the mason bank, sometimes referred to as the mason and hod carrier. And it's a classic bank from the 1890s-- 1880s, 1890s-- and it's one of the great mechanical banks. As you know, mechanical banks were given to children to teach them the benefit of thrift so that they would... if they were operating this, they'd be saving money at the same time. I'd like to show the audience exactly how this worked. What we do is we put the penny here in the hod of the hod carrier. This was the fellow who gave the cement to the bricklayer standing up here doing his work. And then when we push down this lever, the penny goes into the hopper as the mason starts working with his trowel and laying the bricks. This is a really fine example. It comes complete with the original key, and... which opens up the trap to get the money out. And this is very clearly marked. And it is Excelsior, it's an excellent bank. Um, the condition is very good. It has all the original parts. Often the hod has been broken off or this hand has been replaced. One thing about banks, condition is the key. The last one of these I know of selling recently at auction listed also in very good condition, which is what I would rate this, sold for in excess of $3,700.
I... So, now, what did you give your wife for a wedding present?
I think I owe her a little bit.
I think you just might.
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