Piggy banks:saving money or odd coins

Sparschein Haspaoz
Sparschein Haspaoz | Source
A modern Money box
A modern Money box | Source

Money Boxes

Piggy Banks are sometimes called penny banks, money box or coin bank that is often used by children. For collectors of these banks they may be called still banks to distinguish tem from mechanical banks that were popular in the early 1900’s.Most often they are in the shape of a little pig. Another theory that is popular in Germany is that in Germany and nearby countries the pig is a symbol of good luck, thus keeping money in a piggy bank will bring good fortune.

Often financial institutions have used piggy banks as logos for saving products. However with the encouragement of children to open junior savings accounts the piggy bank is less popular, according to Wikimedia.

 This may be true to some extent but I remember as a child back in the 1949’s we had a “savings day” at school where we brought our dimes or whatever to by “war stamps” which were saved up to turn in for war bonds. After the change was brought in to put in savings accounts. Often the money to buy the stamps or put into a savings account was saved up between in a Piggy bank.

Roman Clay money box from the 2d or 3d century A.D. found in Rosenheim D, germany on display at Staatssammlung, Munchenistrict
Roman Clay money box from the 2d or 3d century A.D. found in Rosenheim D, germany on display at Staatssammlung, Munchenistrict | Source
Source
Pink Piggy.
Pink Piggy. | Source

How did it happen?

Pigs have no reputation for saving, according to a children’s book “Mistakes that worked,” by Charlotte Foltz Jones. She points out hat dogs bury things to save them, Squirrels store nuts, camels store food and water but what do pigs save? Nothing!

It’s all because of a mistake back in the Middle Ages. At that time a clay called pygg” was used to make household utensils. A clay jar was used to drop spare coins into It was their pygg bank or pyggy bank. This term was used for the next two or three hundred years Eventually the people forgot the original term and when English potters got orders for Pyggy banks they made ones that looked like pigs Customers like them and children were delighted.

The oldest money box found dates from the 2nd century B.C. Greek colony Priene, Asia Minor that is shaped like a little Greek temple and has a slit in the pediment. Various money boxes were found in Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as on late ancient provincial sites, especially in Roam Britain and along the Rhine.

In Indonesia the figure of a wild boar is used in relation to domestic banks. Their word is celengan. Where the word came from is obscure but there is a 15th century Majapahit piggy bank. Wikipedia cites it as parallel evolution.

Majapahit Piggy Bank
Majapahit Piggy Bank | Source

Famous Piggy Banks

The official mascot of Pike Place Market in Seattle Washington is a bronze cast piggy bank that weighs nearly 600 lbs. Rachael, as it is called, was designed by local artist Georgia Gerber and modeled after a pig named Rachael on Whidbey Island and won a 1977 island county prize. Rachael collects currency of about $9,000 a year and helps fund the Markets social services.

 

 

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40 comments

leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 5 years ago from Western New York

Our boys both have piggy banks (they are 3 and 5) - they love their "piggies!" They only have a few coins in the banks, though - they far prefer to spend quarters on rides in the mall (I can't blame them, since this winter seems interminable)!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for being the first to comment.Now they are, I think, collectors items.I recall we used to try to shake the money back out of the slot so we wouldn't have to break it.


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 5 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

My husband has a large collection of piggy banks which is gradually filling with 20p coins so when there is a national shortage of that coin we know who to ask!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I too had a piggy bank when I was young. Had I kept it...it would probably be collectible by now. Ha! Interesting hub! We have seen that pig at Pike's Place Market in Seattle. Nice to know the money goes to helping people.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I sort of admire people who keep coins like that. I usually make a point of spending my small change, except for a quarter to get a cart at ALDI's. thanks for commenting.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Peggy W

I think almost everyone had a Piggy bank sometime in their life. I just recall a collection of mechanical banks at the "house on the Rock." That's an interesting place but I gather admission charge havee gone up a lot since I was last there.

Thanks for the comment.


Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 5 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

LOL Doesn't everyone have a Piggy Bank? Mine is Lime Green with flowers all over it. I had a glass one too, but somehow, it fell and broke into a million pieces. This was a truly interesting hub and I like best the story of the huge bronze cast piggy bank and especially what they use the money in it for.

I enjoyed this so very much!! Thanks for the history on them!! Blessings to you and yours!!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for the enthusiastic comment. I think my wife has some stashed away.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

dahoglund, I love the history on how the piggy bank got it's name. I used to have a pink piggy bank with a couple of yellow flowers with blue center. I loved it and them my brother broke it. Oh well. Great hub.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

They seem to be made to be broken.Thanks for commenting.


wilbury4 profile image

wilbury4 5 years ago from England I think?

Informative! We learn something new everyday... I thought piggy banks were simply designed on a pig because of the normally large size of the pigs belly, obviously holding more coins.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Learning new things is a bonus for writers. I didn't know that either until I did the research for this article. Thanks for your comment.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Well, I never knew why piggy banks are called that!

When I was a little kid in Nebraska I had a 'dime bank'. It was shaped like a cash register and (obviously) only took dimes. The bank would only open when it was full of dimes.

When mine opened I had enough to buy a bike. I can't remember if it was a 2nd hand bike or new - but I liked it at lot. The experience of saving and then using the money to buy something special has made me into a lifelong saver.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

That is a positive experience.I never manage to save much that way but I did buy the savings stamps and later the bank savings at school.Thanks for commenting.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information and very inspiring us. I liked the history of money box. I'll share this to mu student. They follow my advice to save their money in their piggy bank. Very informative hub. I give my vote to this hub. I learn much from you. Vote up! Cheers...

Prasetio


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks you for the nice comment. It is good to teach the saving of money. Most people now borrow money rather than save.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

I've always liked piggy banks...the friendly face of money-saving but I've never yet managed to fill one up.

Very interesting about the clay pyyg. I always imagined the pig-as-moneybox idea came about because of that expression 'greedy pig' ...but perhaps the term came about AFTER the invention of the piggy bank.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I don't know where the expression about pigs being greedy came from. From things I have read in the past pigs have had a lot of bad press.Thanks for commenting.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

I love the story of pigg bank. I actually have a huge, about 2 feet wide, piggy bank in my house, from my mom. In fact, it looks like a real piglet !

I also like the list of pigg banks from amazon listed above, they are so cute !


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

dahoglund, interesting and entertaining take on the piggy bank. The piggy bank I loved the most growing up was where you put a coin on top of this coffin and a skeletal hand snatches it and it disappears into the coffin. It was popular i n the 1960s yet, fifteen years ago when I wanted to buy a niece an Easter gift, I found one brand new in the shops. She was delighted by the gift. Sure, it was an unusual present but, then again, I had a reputation for giving my nieces and nephew strange presents that they tended to take to anyway. My reason being that a present with a bit of imagination attached can go a long way. Besides it was good being able to share some of my past with her.

Yes, very interesting about the clay pyyg.

Before there was much money around, going back to Anglo-Saxon times, it was common for a freeman to buy a piglet within five years of a daughter being born. The piglet would grow up into a pig and be the meat for the wedding feast. When I was in Bali in the '70s there was a similar practice going on. Feeding and generally looking after the animal from piglet to pig you might look upon as an investment of sorts.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Ingenira

Thanks for commenting. I think my wife has some but I haven't had one for years.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting. I agree with you about the personalizing of gifts. It requires thoughtfulness and some imagination. I used to carpool with a part time farmer. He would buy pigs in the Spring, if I remember, and sell them in the Fall.


Rod Marsden profile image

Rod Marsden 5 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Sounds like the part time farmer was onto something. And he had his own way of investing in the future. Whoever said a piggy bank need not involve a live piggy.

In the Addams Family television show Pugsley Addams had a live piggy bank. It took a bit of muscle to get money out of the poor thing.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Part time farming is a way in which farming has changed.

Nothing is easy for the Addams family


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

I remember the ceramic piggy banks.I wish I had one now stuffed full of silver dimes.You know the pre-1965 all silver dimes that are now worth at least two dollars each when you account for Inflation.The pure copper penny is now worth much more than the copper coated zinc pennies we have today.Though I suspect that coins will one day be obsolete altogether.

I may be wrong ,but I'm thought pigs were just young hogs just as lambs sre young sheep.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I don't know that much about pigs and hogs. You could be right. thanks for commenting.


Carl  5 years ago

I always thought the pig form was used because of how greedy pigs are at the trough, filling themselves until round! I raise pigs, its fun to watch how they eat when the other pigs are close. They stuff themselves even when not hungry.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

You obviously know more about real pigs than I do. thanks for commenting.


ubalildon profile image

ubalildon 5 years ago

I really like piggy banks...i lost the one i had a long time ago..i really miss it.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 5 years ago from Indonesia

Hi dahoglund, I'm from Indonesia. Actually, the word 'celeng' means wild boar. We added 'an'-suffix as something artificial. So, celengan = something looks like celeng.

I love the cute pink piggy bank, thank you for sharing.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting and for the information on the word.


kingphilipIV profile image

kingphilipIV 5 years ago from Iloilo, Philippines

I do have piggybank at home but I only use it for decoration.. Now I know the purpose of it..


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Kingphillip,

In the days in which I grew up piggy banks were very common, especially for children. I remember having a glass one with a pebbly surface. We always tried to get coins out it by shaking it. Coins were worth more back then.Thanks for commenting.


crockpotcooking profile image

crockpotcooking 5 years ago

When I visited London, UK, two years ago. I bought two piggy banks. One for me and another, a present. It was very cute, named "Union Jack Piggy Bank" because it has a British flag printed all over it. Funny and beautiful.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting. The British Piggy banks sound interesting.


Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

Oh I loved it! It brought back memories.What a great topic to pick. My son has a bank account but he can't save a dollar to save his life. So, we saved for him.All dads change everynight goes in.no matter what happens. I should have my son read this!lol


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

I'm glad you liked it.Saving is a good thing for young people to learn. It helps throughout life.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 2 years ago from West Virginia

Well that was interesting information.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thanks for commenting, Lady Guinevere.

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