I started collecting glass advertising pin trays with architecture depicted on them many, many, years ago.  These things were always showing up at yard sales and thrift stores; they were fun and inexpensive.  Eventually, because of the sheer number of such trays, I honed my search down to just  trays which depicted banks.  Why banks?  Well, of all the buildings depicted on advertising pin trays, banks were typically the most interesting visually.  Check your local thrift stores – these things are still abundant!  I have two boxes of them packed away somewhere, but could only find a handful when I impulsively decided to post about them today.

After each photo depicting the image on a glass pin tray, a recent photo of the actual building will follow so that we can see how time has changed some of these facades:


This tray is typical of the kind I obsess over; Mid-Century architecture depicted on a smoked glass tray. I like the fact that it has a bonus illustration of the drive-up facility! Let’s see how these structures have fared…


The main bank has not only grown, but has shed its modern facade in favor of a late twentieth-century interpretation of something kind of resembling Colonial architecture (a pair of 1960’s aluminum and glass doors survive in the vestibule behind the newer bronze-tone doors).


Happily, the drive-up facility is still intact, suffering only minor incursions such as a giant ATM cube and some signs. The door has a nice wood and aluminum door pull.


I had trouble photographing this smoked glass tray printed with gold; I had to hold it up to a window to get this image.


Half a century later, the building has gained a hipped roof.  Half of the building houses a post office.  Image courtesy Google Street View.


This is one of the newer trays I’ve run across. Pin trays seemed to fall out of favor in the 70’s.


The entry has been updated with a vaguely Post Modern gabled pediment-like thing.  Image courtesy Google Street View.


Not a bank, but an interesting and early example of the genre on glass. This tray probably dates to the late 40’s or early 50’s, and the image is based on an actual photo.  Earlier versions of pin trays are plentiful in porcelain and various metals.


I’m fairly certain that this is the location, but I could be wrong. Image courtesy Google Street View.


Another tray I had to hold up to the light. I like the minimalist but perky 1960’s styling!


The original facade survived up until at least 2008. Here, generic clapboard and limestone are favored over authentic modernism. The aluminum entry door, sidelights and transom appear to have survived – a good indication of their quality.  Image source: Google Photos.


I’ll bet this place had a great lobby… I love the hanging globe lights depicted. So far, I have been unable to determine the fate of this building despite looking. I had to include it because, well, Mid-Century Modern!


%d bloggers like this: