Charles Mellon gave this mechanical coin bank to the Otoe County museum so that generations of children could continue to enjoy a hundred-year-old toy. Mechanical coin banks were a post-Civil War American invention, popular among Victorians because they taught the children the value of thrift. First made in 1904, this particular coin bank embodies the story of Theodore Roosevelt and the bear. Complete with glasses and a moustache the mechanical bank Teddy aims a gun at a tree stump. Powered by a simple spring mechanism the gun shoots a coin into the stump to make the bear appear at the top. Made of cast iron, these banks are as much fun as they used to be a hundred years ago and are now valuable collecting items.
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