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About MacDaddyRico

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    GE Progressland

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    Austell, Georgia
  1. It's been a while since I posted to the community.


    Through the years since discovering and researching the Duro, Astro & Vacumet mechanical banks, I've made donations to seven prominent American Museums.


    Along with the Queens Museum, the others who've accepted my donations include the Smithsonian Air & Space, The Cosmosphere in Kansas, The USS Intrepid in New York City, The US Air Force Museum in Warner Robins and The Early Space Exploration Museum in Cape Canaveral.


    The most recent historical institution is the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, where these historically significant banks were made.


    As most of you may already know, the Ford Motor Company was the New York World's Fair's biggest sponsor, so I thought I'd contact the museum and make an offer. After months of consideration, they finally accepted the donation, specimens of which may be found on the below links to their website...



    "Rocket Bank," circa 1951

    In the years before the space race of the late 1950s, many Americans viewed outer space exploration as fantasy and science fiction. Whimsical space toys based on popular movies, radio and television shows, and comics featured futuristic robots, ray guns, and spaceships. This mechanical rocket bank from about 1951 resembles those early comic-book-style space vehicles.

    "Strato Bank," circa 1953

    In the years before the space race of the late 1950s, many Americans viewed outer space exploration as fantasy and science fiction. Whimsical space toys based on popular movies, radio and television shows, and comics featured futuristic robots, ray guns, and spaceships. This mechanical "Strato" bank from about 1953 includes a mechanism for launching coins from the rocket through the ...

    "Guided Missile" Mechanical Bank, circa 1957

    In the years before the space race of the late 1950s, many Americans viewed outer space exploration as fantasy and science fiction. Children's space toys -- including banks --reflected those futuristic visions. This "Guided Missile" bank, made by Astro Manufacturing about 1957, contains a spring-loaded mechanism that launches a coin into a slot in the underside of the rocket's nose.

    "The Satellite Bank", circa 1961

    Many early space toys depicted outer space as a futuristic fantasy world. But when space travel became possible, these toys became more realistic-looking. This bank, made about 1961, resembles rocket ships that launched people into orbit. It also commemorates the six U. S. astronauts chosen to be the first Americans in space.

    "Plan-It" Mechanical Bank, circa 1959

    Many early space toys depicted outer space as a futuristic fantasy world. But when space travel became possible, these toys portrayed a more realistic and scientific vision. The "Plan-It" bank from about 1959 features the then nine planets -- possible destinations for future American astronauts as the U. S. entered the space race.

    "Unisphere" Mechanical Bank, circa 1964



    Astro Manufacturing Cuff Links and Tie Clip Set, 1957-1963


    Astro Manufacturing Cuff Links and Tie Clip Set, 1957-1963

    This cuff links-and-tie clasp set was produced by Astro Manufacturing, the producer of the full-size mechanical version of the bank depicted on them. This so-called Astro Missile Coin Bank, like the other banks produced by this company, drew upon Americans’ interest in outer space during the mid-20th century. This set was a free gift when a bank placed its order.


    They are also currently considering a vinyl Salesman's money pouch (picture attached.)


    It is a great honor that I had these opportunities to donate to these great American institutions.


  2. "Hazel" TV Show with New York World's Fair Storyline

    Just Me, Harold and the Universe:
  3. Inherited Collection - Need Help and Advice

    Hello Rappaport, Welcome to the community! There are a few reference books available to research your collection, but I've discovered that even these don't have information on each and every artifact from the Fair. If you'd like,you may email me and I can try to help. My email is rico.ent@hotmail.com Regards, Raymond
  4. Kodak Pavilion Model

    Good job..! I'm a sniper myself on eBay and often win valuable artifacts due to the fact that, like your artifact, many people do not know how to list the items... Search engines seek out KEY WORDS, and when the listing fails to use these KEY WORDS the artifacts will not reach the right collectors... Again, a great find..!
  5. Another WF Flea Market Find

    We know it's a Unisphere... Is this 20 Questions..? 1) Is it made of metal..? 2) Is it a bank..? 3) Is it a foot tall or taller..? 4) Is it marked appropriately (USS STEEL, etc)..? 5) Will you post a picture soon..?
  6. Claimed to be from the fair

    I've seen one before, but can't recall whether it was related to the NYWF... It's not in Joyce Grant's 1964 1965 NY World's Fair Collectibles...but then again I've had quite a few artifacts from this Fair which were not in her book...including a mechanical bank named the Rocket Sphere...
  7. Help IDing an item?

    I always enjoy sharing pertinent information regarding vintage and historically significant American artifacts...
  8. Help IDing an item?

    I bought one on eBay a few years ago against my better judgement, and when I had it in my hands my suspicions were confirmed: It was a marriage aka fake. Good thing for the money back guarantee for items significantly not as described, though it tied up the funds for a couple of weeks because the seller insisted it was authentic. I proved him wrong and got a full refund plus shipping. The proof: The real unisphere and related copyright-protected images are set at an angle on its unique triangular pedestal. Notice how this lamp has no triangular pedestal, nor does the World sit at its natural angle!
  9. Unisphere Bank with Orbits

    It's been several years since the last post, which was about the time I started researching Duro, Astro and Vacumet mechanical banks. My article: http://www.go-star.com/antiquing/space-banks.htm To clarify: The Unisphere models were not made by Duro, but instead license was granted by Duro to United States Steel and sub-contracted to RMS in East Orange, New Jersey.
  10. Vertical Unisphere Mechanical Bank

    Hello; Any older key with a "T" shaped end may open this bank, as well as a large paperclip bent into a "T" shape with needle-nose pliers (just ensure the smaller end is 1/8" or so.) Be careful when handling the opened lockplate, as they are extremely fragile, as are the original keys themselves. You may refer to my website for more images and information regarding these intriguing and historically significant American artifacts, which I'd been researching for the past five years or so. Regarding the launching issue: These banks were produced in 1961 when the smaller denominations were more prevalent in children's pocket change, and I'd discovered that pennies, nickels and dimes work best. You may find that quarters are simply too heavy for these "dime banks."
  11. My Collection

    Nice collection! Pictured here are most of the many artifacts from my personal collection which I'd decided to donate to the Queens Museum Of Art, which recently doubled it's size with the aquisition of the old Olympic skating arena. The museum sits on the grounds of both the 1939 & 1964 NYWF's, so my donation is home where it belongs, for generations to enjoy.
  12. Hello All

    Thanks, Cathy!
  13. Hello All

    Thanks for the welcome, youse guys!
  14. Unisphere / Atlas Rocket bank

    Thanks for the important information. Once the new expansion (the recent groundbreaking for the remodeling of the old skating rink) is complete, they will have doubled their size. The museums I'd spoken with don't make any promises as to the displaying of the donations (I'd donated full sets of my space-themed mechanical banks to the Cosmosphere and Smithsonian, among others,) but I will surely ask for their return should the museum(s) decide to get rid of them. I feel comfortable believing my donations will in fact be displayed at some point in time, in all of these museums, due to their nature and the timing of the anniverseries of historical events that will unfold over the next decade. Besides, a donation (as opposed to a loan) is supposed to be unconditional. Thanks again.
  15. Hello All

    Hello everybody, My name is Raymond, and I'd been hanging around here reading some of the fora. I'm not too social a person, but enjoy sharing information with other collectors. With the Queens Museum Of Art's newest project breaking ground recently, I thought I'd mention it here in case some of you weren't aware.Located on the grounds of the 1939-1940 and 1964-1965 New York World's Fair grounds, this museum will soon be twice its former size and will highlight these two fairs among other displays in the newly renovated former skating rink.