Piggy Banks, An Appreciation


I had a piggy bank and I bet you did too. Mine was glass and was shaped like the Liberty Bell. I am not sure why it was shaped like the Liberty Bell but I suppose someone had gone to Philadelphia and purchased it for me as a souvenir. 

Why do piggy banks look like pigs and why are they called by that name? It seems that before there were commercial banks, 800 or so years ago, people used to keep their money at home in jars or bowls made out of a clay material called "pygg". In the 19th century when manufacturing companies began to churn out consumer products, some inspired companies began making banks that looked like pigs (see above).

My next door neighbor, who always had cooler stuff than I did, had a piggy bank that looked like a register. It looked the bank shown below. You pulled the lever when you inserted a coin and the bank registered the amount and showed you how much you had saved. I don't recall how you removed the money.

There are so many types of banks produced over the years that I picked out a few for their creativity and sheer weirdness. For example, this late 19th century clown bank is pretty freaky:


A rope skipping bank also from the 19th century:

Rope1And then there was the 1928 Bonzo Bank:

1928_bonzobank_IllustrationChronicles_1500Who was Bonzo? I have no idea. Do you know?


2 thoughts

  1. Piggy banks were a game for children to educate them on saving from an early age.
    Too bad that the banks do not do this function anymore.

  2. Re piggy bank resembling a cash register: I had one as a child prior to 8 yrs old and recall it held and calculated coins up to $10.00 only. At that point you needed to empty the register and I as well cannot remember exactly how but there was a door either at the lower backside of the register or at the bottom.
    Fun Memories!!!!
    Thank you,
    Sam Horowitz
    Lovee Doll & Toy Co.

Leave a Reply