What is the oldest known piggy bank?

What is the oldest known piggy bank featured

The oldest known piggy bank dates back to the Middle Ages

The piggy bank is a childhood staple that has been used for generations to help children learn about saving money. But have you ever wondered when the first piggy bank was created? The oldest known piggy bank can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

The origins of the piggy bank

Although the piggy bank as we know it today is usually made of ceramic or plastic, the early versions were made from a variety of materials. The first piggy banks were actually made from clay and shaped like a pig, hence the name. The idea behind using a pig as a symbol for saving money is believed to have originated in medieval Europe.

A medieval innovation

In Europe during the Middle Ages, there was a shortage of coins in circulation. As a result, people turned to other forms of currency, such as metal tokens or simple shapes made from clay. The pig shape was a popular choice because pigs were associated with abundance and prosperity.

The oldest piggy bank in existence

The oldest known piggy bank is currently housed in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany. It dates back to the 14th century and is made from red clay. The piggy bank features a slot on its back for coins to be inserted and a removable base, which would have been used to retrieve the saved money.

Oldest Piggy Bank

Other early examples

While the piggy bank in Nuremberg may be the oldest known example, there are other early piggy banks that have been discovered. For example, in the United States, a pig-shaped bank made from glazed pottery was found in the archaeological remains of a 19th-century bank building in New York City. This bank is believed to have been used by children who visited the bank with their parents.

Another early example of a piggy bank is the porcelain “Chinaman” bank, which dates back to the 18th century. This bank features a figure of a Chinese man holding a tray, and coins are deposited through a slot in the top of his hat.

In conclusion

The oldest known piggy bank can be traced back to the Middle Ages, where pigs were associated with wealth and prosperity. The piggy bank as we know it today may have evolved from simple clay shapes used as currency during a time of coin shortage. While the oldest known piggy bank is from the 14th century, there have been other early examples discovered around the world. Whether made from clay, porcelain, or other materials, piggy banks continue to be a popular tool for teaching children about the importance of saving money.

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