March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This Flying Saucer mechanical bank manufactured by Duro Pattern & Mold Co. of Highland Park (Detroit), Michigan comes from a design that was patented in 1956. The moving parts on this bank included an elaborate spring-loaded mechanism. The owner pulled back on a lever that included the names of planets, cocking the mechanism. When the center button was pushed, the mechanism released, sending the inserted coin around the inside of the disc and into the interior of the bank. The coins could then be retrieved by removing the entire base plate.
Created to be distributed as a premium by local commercial banks, the Strato included an adhesive sticker that advertised the gifting institution, in this case the State Bank of Standish (Michigan).
Raymond Reines donated this bank to the Museum in 2011.
Gift of Raymond R. Reines. Dedicated to the Berzac Family, in honor of Team NASA.