This is an original key for a John F. Kennedy memorial bank created by Astro Manufacturing, a company founded in 1957 by John and Steven Berzac, two brothers who had formerly worked at Duro Manufacturing (making space-themed mechanical banks). Created to memorialize the President who was remembered by many as an advocate for spaceflight, the bank that this key unlocked may well have used the planned Kennedy half dollar as its inspiration. Unlike the mechanical banks that had also been designed by the Berzacs, this Kennedy memorial bank was a simple still bank with a slot in the top for the deposit of coins and a locked hatch in the base that could be opened with this key for coin retrieval.
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.