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Space Race Era Mechanical Toy Bank

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Posted 4 years ago

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MacDaddyRico
(5 items)

My Duro Mold & Mfg Commemorative Strato Bank honors John Glenn's triple orbit of the Earth, and was a promotional give-away from the Cape Kennedy Federal Savings & Loan in Cocoa, Florida! I had it signed by Mr. Glenn a couple of years ago, my first in a mission to have as many Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts sign these American-made artifacts from one of our country's most exciting periods of history. The Strato Bank, by Duro, also resembles the Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon-type spacecraft. Resting horizontally and aimed at the Moon, it uses a similar firing mechanism. The patent, by Mr. Carl G. Bergman, was filed June 15, 1953 and approved Jan. 3 of the next year. This model came most commonly in green, with rare appearances in both chromed and matte silver. I've seen one in gold chrome, as a commemorative, but haven't seen a matte gold model of either type. I've also seen a couple painted in the orange and brown scheme of the Sportsman Bank, but they were from foreign banking institutions. Jump to 1961: Three model types were modified to commemorate the Mercury Astronauts by name and mission. Along with the Satellite and Destination Moon banks, the Strato Bank later came as a commemorative* model, modified slightly to retain a metallic ring around its Moon, which was made from the same type metal. These rings (which also came in a larger size to accompany the Destination Moon Bank) had inscriptions on one (or both) sides, commemorating one (or two) of the following;

A) Alan Shepard's first sub-orbital flight of an astronaut.

B) John Glenn's triumphant triple orbit of the Earth.

C) The Spacemen by name; Shepard, Grissom, Glenn, Carpenter, Schirra & finally Cooper.

Earlier rings had just 5 names inscripted, omitting Cooper as well as Slayton.

(Though there were originally 7 Mercury astronauts, Mr. Donald

"Deke" Slayton never flew any Mercury missions due to health issues.)

Read more about these historically significant American artifacts here: http://www.go-star.com/antiquing/space-banks.htm

UPDATE 12/30/13:
Total number of mechanical banks signed by astronauts = 43.

Total number of Astronaut Scholarship Foundation-sponsored Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Shows attended to date = 5.

*Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo~Soyuz, Skylab, Mir~Shuttle, Space Shuttle & I.S.S. Astronauts are all represented in this collection.*

Comments

  1. MacDaddyRico MacDaddyRico, 4 years ago
    This is my signed group.
  2. Jonathan parker , 3 years ago
    I have one of these banks its crome with a light green ring. It has a first national bank of st louis sticker on the base. What do you think its worth Thank you j parker
  3. MacDaddyRico MacDaddyRico, 9 months ago
    Been extremely busy...Wow...Three years have passed already..!

    Jonathan Parker, sorry so late and you've probably learned by now how much these artifacts may be worth. Value is determined by rarity and condition, so I cannot give you an accurate appraisal without actually seeing it. Ballpark figures range from $60 on up to over $300. (Non-commemoratives: silver chrome, $60-$160; gold chrome, $75-$185; green, $110-$350; and matte silver, $150-$385. Commemoratives: add $65 across the board. Original boxes: $50-$150.)

    Read more here: http://www.go-star.com/antiquing/space-banks.htm
  4. MacDaddyRico MacDaddyRico, 9 months ago
    MacDaddyBanks is now Space Truckin'
  5. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 9 months ago
    Incredible ! You must have lived very close to where they worked or lived to get so many signed !~
  6. MacDaddyRico MacDaddyRico, 9 months ago
    Actually, Phil, I make the annual trek to Cape Canaveral for the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation-sponsored Astronaut Autograph & Memorabilia Show, and have been to 5 now.

    With expenses totaling over $2000 just for the trip, I've got a considerable sum invested here. Add the actual cost of each artifact, plus each signature...
  7. PhilDavidAlexanderMorris PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, 9 months ago
    A lot of dedication to your collecting, I like that :)
  8. MacDaddyRico MacDaddyRico, 9 months ago
    These great old promotional toy banks deserve my best efforts...they've led me on a journey of a lifetime so far, and no telling how far it'll go.

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