This mechanical bank manufactured by “Duro Mold and MFG. Inc.” (embossed underneath) was made in 1962 to commemorate John Glenn’s triple orbit of the earth having been launched by a rocket. Other astronauts recognized are “Shepard, Grissom, Carpenter, Schirra, Cooper” whose names are embossed on the top of the ring (see image). Embossed on the underside of the ring “Commemorating Lt. Col.John H. Glen Jr.’s Triumphant Triple Orbit of The Earth February 20, 1962.” Patent information is embossed on the underside along with the name of the bank “Model 1000” “Destination Moon Bank” and “First U.S. Direct Hit April 26, 1962”. Patent information reveals that it was designed in 1959.
On the front bottom is the name of the bank who ordered and distributed it; “The Citizen’s National bank 200 W. Thomas 1903 W. Church Hammond, Louisiana”. The toy bank would have been given to a bank customer as a premium for opening an account.
The key is original and directions for opening are embossed right on the trap which is on the sphere; “to lock push in on key”.
“U.S.A.” is embossed vertically on both sides of the rocket. I have placed the key on a key chain with a globe which is not part of the bank; just so it does not get misplaced. Simulated craters of the moon appear on the sphere.
To operate; pull down on the rocket launcher on the side of the rocket until it “clicks” into place; place a penny or dime on top of this “launcher”; press down on the round button lever on top of the base and watch the coin get launched upward into the bank.
The bank is made of white metal and plated in a gold color (as it should be). It is in excellent and all original condition with no repairs. Similar examples do not necessarily have the ring around the moon, nor do they all have the commemorative documentation, or copious embossing and inscriptions. This particular example is almost as if it came from the bank initially. It is American made with “Detroit, Michigan” also embossed on the underside.
An example of this bank is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Dimensions: 10 3/4″ high x 3 3/4″ wide x 3 3/4″ deep