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Starting in 2010 I began to contact various American museums in an effort to see which ones may have an interest in acquiring donations of these historically significant American artifacts.


The Early Space Exploration Museum in Cape Canaveral was the first to accept two specimens...they later purchased the remaining six model types.


Soon thereafter the Cosmosphere in Kansas, Smithsonian Air & Space in D.C, Air Force Museum in Warner Robins, Georgia, and both the Queens Museum of Art and the USS Intrepid in New York City had made acquisitions. The Smithsonian, Cosmosphere and Intrepid each acquired full sets of eight model types, while the Air Force and the QMA desired just one. The Air Force Museum wanted just the Atomic Bank, and the QMA naturally chose the Unisphere (Missile Sphere) Bank...They were more interested in the offer of my entire collection of 1964-1965 NY World's Fair paraphernalia.


Though at the time none of these museums had any plans to put the collections on display, the QMA soon remodeled the old Olympic skating rink facility to expand their museum. Both the 1939/40 and the '64/65 World's Fairs are represented in displays called World's Fair Visible Storage: http://www.queensmuseum.org/2013/11/worlds-fair-visible-storage


A full set of Duro and Astro Mechanical Banks can be found in the Smithsonian's collection online: https://airandspace.si.edu/collections/search/duro berzac


This museum is scheduled to undergo much needed and long overdue renovation, and the curator informs me that there is a chance their collection may go on display...I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

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Posted Images

Of the six museums I'd donated to, this one currently has a specimen on display...

The USS INTREPID Museum in New York City...





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9 minutes ago, Andyman said:

Good show, Raymond!

Thank you very much...I've worked hard on getting these old toys exposure for the past several years, and collector websites like this one definitely help...

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8 minutes ago, Sparkrobot said:

Beautiful pieces.

Congratulations on your achievement.

I agree they are beautiful...

Thanks for your appreciation...

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26 minutes ago, Roboto said:

What a great display.  :thumbs:


I agree it looks really good...


I hope to one day travel back to my hometown and visit the USS Intrepid as well as the QMA, and hope the displays still stand...


Thank you very much, Roboto..!

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I think that whole effort of yours is very cool. I too am glad to see our hobby get such exposure. Great work and very generous of you!

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46 minutes ago, Ultrarobotman said:

I think that whole effort of yours is very cool. I too am glad to see our hobby get such exposure. Great work and very generous of you!

Thank you very much for your response...


After I discovered one of the eight model types produced in an antique store and, never having seen anything like it before, feeling compelled to research it, I was fortunate enough to have made contact with the son of one of the two brothers who quit one company to start their own...


Cary Berzac was very proud of the family business and shared a lot of inside information with me...information which greatly assisted in researching these great American artifacts...in fact, I can honestly say that I couldn't have done it without his help...


The more I researched these intriguing vintage promotional artifacts, the more obsessed I became with these mechanical banks...


One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I was writing magazine articles, donating to museums and meeting astronauts in Cape Canaveral...


As a disabled Veteran on a tight budget, I could not really afford to make those donations, but the timing was right and I could not resist...After all, how often does one get the opportunity to donate to the Smithsonian Institution..? The Cosmosphere..? To any museum at all..? It doesn't happen every day, and I had not just one or two, but six museums interested in acquiring these historically significant American artifacts..!


American Mettle: Banking On The Race For Space:  http://www.go-star.com/antiquing/space-banks.htm


When I contacted Dale, he was eager to publish my story in his magazine as well: https://www.antiquetoyworld.com/banks/american-mettle-banking-on-the-race-for-space/


He was so happy with that article, he wanted me to write another for his magazine: https://www.antiquetoyworld.com/banks/mission-incredible-space-bank-collection/


The second story may be read in its entirety here: https://www.collectorsweekly.com/stories/171772-updated-group-shot-2015-including-peter


My Mission as it evolved is truly a great American story...within a story...within a story...within a story..!


Thanks again..!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just now, MacDaddyRico said:

Satellite Banks in (L-R) Gold Chrome (non-commemorative,) Matte Gold Commemorative, Silver Chrome Commemorative and a Vacumet specimen in Silver Chrome...

The Duro Satellite Bank 003.JPG

The third one from the left had been signed by Buzz Aldrin...

I love the label on this specimen...



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A little out of focus...taken from iPhone...


This is a collection of signed mechanical banks named the Destination Moon Bank...


Includes Mercury Astronauts John Glenn & Scott Carpenter... 


Each Manned Moon Mission is represented as well...Walt Cunningham (A7,) Frank Borman (A8,) James Lovell (A8,) James McDivitt (A9,) Tom Stafford (A10,) Michael Collins (A11,) Buzz Aldrin (A11,) Richard Gordon (A12,) Alan Bean (A12,) James Lovell & Fred Haise (A13,) Dave Scott (A14,) Edgar Mitchel (A14,) Al Worden (A15,) Charlie Duke (A16) and Gene Cernan (A17)...



Signed Destination Moon Banks 001.JPG

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6 hours ago, Morbius said:

Wonderful collection, very different from what we usually see anywhere.  Thanks for all the information and posting these wonderful pics.

Thank you, Morbius...


Yes, only slightly different...

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