National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Toy Bank: Frog Toy Bank: Frog
Rendered by William O. Fletcher (artist), c. 1938
watercolor, graphite, and gouache on paper
overall: 21.5 x 29 cm (8 7/16 x 11 7/16 in.) Original IAD Object: base: 1 3/4" high, 4 1/2" diameter; overall: 4 15/16" high
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Toys from the Index of American Design
Object 21 of 26

The mechanical bank had a special purpose as a child's toy: it made saving fun; thrift was turned into a game. The spring and lever action was well suited to a wide range of subjects. The bank shown here consists of a bullfrog sitting on a cylinder whose walls are pierced in a latticework design. The frog's right front foot rests on a spring; when the foot is pressed down, the frog's eyes roll and its lower jaw opens to receive coins. Foundries produced mechanical toy banks of cast iron by the millions between about 1870 and 1910. This piece was issued a patent on August 20, 1872.

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