Specialized in coin banks. The banks were made in Chicago from 1931 until 1985. They resemble famous people, animals, trophies, vehicles and architecture.
In 1931, Jerome Aronson and Joseph Eisendrath purchased the business and equipment of Banker’s Thrift Corportaion, creating a new company with the abbreviated name Ban-thri-co. Both Banker’s Thrift and its subsidiary, Stronghart, were well-known makers of coin banks.
Although Banthrico continued the Bankers Thrift and Stronghart name during the 1930s, most banks were clearly incised with the Banthrico name in the base and/or trap door of the bank until the company was sold to Toystalgia in 1985.
Banthrico made over 900 different metal banks; most were sold to financial institutions. This vast variety of banks reflects Banthrico’s capacity to create designs and produce molds for custom orders of as few as 500 or 1000 units. The designs included famous politicians, actors, college mascots, fictional characters, animals, birds fish household items, food products, modes of transportation, and buildings, particularly those of the financial institution giving away the premium.
Most Banthrico banks were made of “white metal” consisting of 95% zinc, 5% aluminum and traces of copper, brass and lead. The production of the banks required a highly skilled workforce including a sculptor, mold maker, engraver, chemist and metallurgist. The production was by hand. The caster poured the molten metal into each mold separately. Later, imperfections and burrs were removed with a belt sander and buffing wheel. Banks were then colored through an electroplating process and a clear lacquer was applied.
Over the years Banthrico made incursions into other product lines including lamp parts, trophies, bookends, figurines and machine parts. All production of the approximately 75 employee company was in a Chicago manufacturing facility.
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