Posted 5 years ago
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
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.*