America's Coin Banks

January - March 2002

"America's Coin Banks," a traveling exhibit of more than 40 unique, antique and contemporary banks sponsored by Coinstar, chronicles the history of one of the hallmarks of American culture and everyday life.

The first US coins were minted in 1793. Since then, Americans have sought to save and store their money, resulting in the creation of the coin bank. The physical appearance of the bank has evolved over the years from the traditional ceramic piggy bank, which was designed as a toy to teach and encourage children to save their pennies, to today's boxes of metal and plastic used to market products, movies and businesses. Whether stuffed with coins or on display, coin banks are found in the majority of American households.

"At an early age, children are encouraged to place their change in piggy banks, thus learning the importance of saving their money. Coin banks have been around for more than 150 years, and the exhibit will help examine the historical precedent for saving and investing," said Meg Ventrudo, the Museum's assistant director for exhibits and education. "We are pleased to work with Coinstar in presenting this educational and decorative exhibit."