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1923 book bank?

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Posted 6 years ago


(128 items)

This is a very neat advertising bank book that says deseret federal savings associan salt lake city.Also says BOOK OF THIRFT Safty of your investment to 5000 dollars.It has a old plane and old ship on back of bank book.It also says bankers utilities co san fracisco 1923. If anyone knows any info please share? thanks

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  1. Toyman Toyman, 6 years ago
    Thanks tkiray And ttom tucker.Do you have any info on this bank please say.Thanks again
  2. Unamariah, 6 years ago
    I have one, but I can't find anything on how much it's worth. Mine doesn't have a key. Any information on it's possible worth would be welcome.
  3. Steve Gillespie, 6 years ago
    I need a key for my bank. Where can I find one?
  4. Reginald, 6 years ago
    I have one as well, and it also doesn't have a key, and has coins inside. The only difference in the one pictured and the one I have is the front of mine reads
    Wells Fargo Bank
    Union Trust Co. Has a picture of someone riding a horse. Also "Since 1852" at the bottom. Any info on where to get a key and the value of this item is appreciated. thanks Reginald
  5. Cyrus, 6 years ago
    you need to take the book to the bank. They were the only ones that had the key. Smart way to get people to bring money into the bank in those days....
  6. sak9941, 6 years ago
    I currently have one of these I plan on selling just don't know for how much yet. It says "Talman Federal Savings and Loan Association, 2641 W 51st Street Chicago, Illinois" and I do have a key. It seems in good condition. Spot on the back though where there was scotch tape.
  7. mooseamae, 5 years ago
    8/29/12 I have one. Same on back, front has "The Oldest Bank in Rockford" The Third National Bank founded in 1854, Rockford, Illinois. Do not have a key. Need to know value of it.
  8. dansbug, 5 years ago
    I have 7 of these little book banks. Two from one bank and 5 from another bank. All six open with the same key. All are from Bankers Utilities Co. from San Fransisco, Ca. My local locksmith made a key for me!!
  9. Pastelptgs, 5 years ago
    Dansbug, is there any chance you could email me a picture of the key? Our locksmith was here and could not open the bank. If I had something to show him that would be great. My bank says New Bedford Five Cents Savings Bank on the book cover.
  10. dansbug, 5 years ago
    Pastelptgs - can do but I'm not sure how to find your email?
  11. Pastelptgs, 5 years ago
    dansbug, Thanks, my email is I appreciate this very much.
  12. sonorasandy, 4 years ago
    Book and Add-O-Banks from Bankers Utilities Co. of San Francisco were manufactured by my grandfather and his brothers from 1923 - ca. 1960 (when the company continued under other owners). The leather bound book banks will carry a 1923 patent date (for the mechanism and steel part) but were manufactured with the 1923 date for decades. The handsome example above was designed by my aunt Frances Greer in the mid 1930's showing representations for savings goals of a house, education (the columns), & travel. Add-O banks had handles to total the deposits within. During WWII they added to (I think it was...) $18.50 or $18.75, the cost of a $25 war bond. The company made many styles of banks including treasure chests & banks for insurance companies with wheels to compare coverage and cost. Although many book banks for sale seem to claim 1923 manufacture, that's incorrect except for the earliest book banks, all of which are fairly plain covered. A very early model is a plan Book of Thrift either in black or brown without embossed ornamentation. I'll try to get around to posting some pictures of their more unusual models. My own favorite is the finished sample bank designed by my aunt for the 1939 fair in San is ivory colored with an image of Treasure Island and the fair panorama, a map of San Francisco, etc. and was issued the year before the fair to "save for the fair." More info to follow....My grandfather died in 1960. He would be delighted to see that people are collecting the banks. I have a clutch of bank keys somewhere and will try to find them to see if I can help out the keyless folk above....Sandy.
  13. HambBones, 4 years ago
    I work at a museum in Port Arthur TX and we have one of these book banks from an old local bank in our collection. It seems to have something inside but unfortunatly the donor did not have the key. If anyone could help us aquire a key we would very much appreciate it. Please contact the Museum Of The Gulf Coast at 409-982-7000. Thanks again
  14. dwilks, 4 years ago
    Hi there, I recently bought an old toy truck from the 1920, which had two plain black Banker's Utilities books in them, from a bank in Lawrence Mass. They have no patent date on them, but state "PAT APPD FOR" . I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me find replacement keys for them. One member mentioned they had a locksmith make a key and another member said they had some keys. If I could get a picture of an original key or get the contact info of a locksmith that could make one, that would be great. Thanks for any help someone can provide.
  15. steveblick, 4 years ago
    Hi Everyone.

    Also looking for a key for this great little bank. The back of mine is the same as the above picture and the front is for the Commercial Security Bank Founded 1874, Ogden, Utah. I'm based in Australia and this is an heirloom from my grandfather who was from the USA. If there is a chance to get my hands on a key I'd love to hear about it.


  16. Flashback, 4 years ago
    Sonorasandy would it be possible to get a key from you that I can copy and send it back to you?
    My email us

    Thank you
  17. Flashback, 4 years ago
    I have made a key that opened my Bankers United Bank Book.
    If you would like instructions please email me at and I would be happy to send you a copy of the key and instructions. All you need is an old hacksaw blade and a file.
  18. richardskw, 3 years ago
    Sanorasandy, did you ever find your keys. I have 2 books from first security bank with no keys. One has coins in it, but I can't open it and the bank has gone our of business years ago. These books are really neat. Your Grandpa did good. Thanks
  19. steveblick, 3 years ago
    I ended up using a paperclip to open it.
  20. oldtools, 2 years ago
    I am new to this. Just logged in. Noticed the subject and the interesting information. I have been collecting bookbank for 15 years and now have over 330 all different. Most from bangers utilities and some from Dell (supposed to start with a z but it will not let me) out of New York.
  21. bhkev95, 2 years ago
    Just found this site, and just was given one of these Bankers Utilities banks over the weekend, with no key. Does anyone have information on how to obtain one? Thanks!!
  22. keithtaflinger, 2 years ago
    I just bought one of these book banks at an estate sale. It's from The First National Bank of Springfield, Illinois. Any help with a key would be very much appreciated.
    Thank You
  23. AntiqueJim AntiqueJim, 1 year ago
    Sonorasandy - we would love to find a key from you! We have a Security Commercial & Savings Bank - San Diego, CA. Spine says 'Save and Have'. Benjamin Franklin. Vol. 1. Bottom says Pat. Applied for. E1490
    It's been in the family for 70+ years but we don't have a key. There are coins
    Inside. Help!
  24. apr2016, 1 year ago Scroll down to "diorist" post in April 2014

    This worked on a Bankers Utilities box we've had in our family for umpteen years! If anyone finds a key, I'd love to know the resource. The concept of the lock is that one leg goes all the way through the lock and acts as an anchor. Then the other leg slides the mechanism away from two latches that are held under tension. Thank you diorist!
  25. keithtaflinger, 1 year ago
    I found this on another site,, to unlock these banks.

    I also found a couple of old Bankers Utilities Co. "book" banks at an estate sale. The manufacturer is important because different manufacturers used different locks. The locks for these particular banks can't be slipped with a credit card or otherwise jimmied without structurally damaging the bank walls. However, you can use a rigid capital-T-shaped piece of wire to pick their locks. A wire loop from a small office binder clip is a pretty natural fit and will work without modification. (Note, this is a binder clip as described at, not a plain paper clip).

    1. Remove the wire from the binder clip, so you have a single loop that looks a little like a space alien with just two feet and a head.
    2. Make sure the slots in the rotating and static parts of the lock face are aligned.
    3. Slip one of the alien's feet into the rotating part of the bank lock jiggle it around until the wire actually goes through the back side of the lock (this won't break anything: the lock has a hole in the other side, too).
    4. Then pinch the wire legs together so you can slip the other foot of the wire down into the non-rotating part of the lock. Let the wire foot slide under the skin of the lock so that you can turn the whole wire loop (one foot will still be in the rotating part of the lock).
    5. Turn he whole loop clockwise about 20 or 30 degrees. This will move the outer wire foot toward the front of the book, where it will eventually catch against something (i.e., a small sprint-loaded plate).
    6. These locks can be quite stiff, but continue turning the foot of the alien against the plate and jiggle it until you feel the plate yield. At this point, the "book" will literally spring open.
  26. Mpaustin, 12 months ago
    Hi sonorasandy,
    We have found one of these banks in my deceased father in law's possessions. Would you be willing to sell a key or post an image and dimensions so we can have one made? Thank you.
  27. Flashback, 12 months ago
    Hi all
    I have received ALOT of requests for the template. In all I think I have helped at least 15 people open their banks all over the U.S. Instead of sending the template I make a key for you. I enjoy doing it and I don't charge for the keys that I make and send out. The only reason I am posting this is for future requests. Please include a closeup picture of the lock, since there are different varieties, when you email me for the plans. My email is still
  28. bighelsby, 5 months ago
    I have one of these book banks that I cannot open. There is no keyhole to be found anywhere. It has a slot on the top where the money goes in and you can see little brass flaps along both sides that prevent the money from coming out. Looking down through the slot on the side opposite the top hinge is some kind of hole on the inside. Does anyone have any idea how these type of banks are opened.
  29. Bankfan, 1 month ago
    I have a book bank fro Bankers Utilities Co., SAN Francisco, patented July 3, 1923. The number on it is 1837. The Black leather cover has a gold embossed picture of The Middletown Savings Bank, Middletown, Conn. I do not have the key. Is there anyway I can get a key for it?

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