Kidd's Toy Museum - Portland, Oregon - One of the Finest Collections of Mechanical Banks


The Kidd's Toy Museum is located at 1300 SE Grand Avenue in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Frank Kidd is a lifetime toy collector, and Kidd's Toy Museum houses his collection. When he first began his collection, Frank Kidd was mainly interested in collecting vehicular toys. His interest was probably influenced by the fact that his family was in the automotive parts business. Even today, Kidd's Toy Museum is next door to his auto parts store.

Kidd expanded his interest in toys and later began collecting trains, banks, railroad locks, early Oregon memorabilia, police badges, and lanterns. His wife, Joyce, expanded his collection by adding her own collection of teddy bears, holiday collectibles, and dolls.

The museum itself is in a dull, gray building and can easily be missed. There is only a small white sign on the door that lets patrons know that the museum is there.

The first toy acquired for the collection was a Buddy L pedal car. Since that time, Kidd has traveled to Europe and various places in the United States in order to acquire more toys for his collection.

Kidd's collection today consists primarily of toys from the 1869 to 1939 period. The heart of the collection is Kidd's mechanical banks. Kidd's Toy Museum boasts one of the finest collections of mechanical banks in existence. The collection contains lead and brass patterns that were used for making mechanical banks, as well as some patent office models. Also included in the collection are a number of original sand-casting molds.

One of the highlights of the bank collection is a pair of banks that show Jonah being swallowed by a whale and then being spit back out again. Another one of the banks shows Michael Dukakis and George H. W. Bush peering through the holes of an 88 logo, which is the year that they were both presidential candidates.

While the collection is kept behind glass, there is much to see at Kidd's Toy Museum. The collection includes toy trucks, Disney paraphernalia, and gumball machines. Many of the more modern toys in the collection are plastic banks that were bequeathed to Kidd by a friend. One of these banks is called "Dual at the Dome.'' This particular bank features a football player attempting to tackle someone else before they are able to score a touchdown.

The museum also has a corner display of a cast iron toy stove. It is actually a fully-functional miniature version of a cast iron stove with four burners. Even though it is considered a toy, a person would actually be able to use it to cook if firewood were placed in it.

Several of the toys in the museum are not what would be considered politically correct by today's standards, but they reflect a part of history.

The museum is open Monday through Thursday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm and from 1:00pm to 6:00pm on Friday. Weekends and other hours are available by appointment. The museum can be reached by calling 503-233-7807. Currently, there is no charge for admission to the museum.

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