Original U.S. WWI MkII Pineapple Grenade Converted for Homefront Use -War Savings Stamps Promotional Piggy Bank

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. “This hand grenade bank is loaned with the understanding that the bank named on the reverse side will donate the same as a reward for patriotic thrift when the holder saves and invests in one or more War Savings Stamps.” These hand grenade savings banks are real MKII pineapple grenades, but were rendered inert by having the blasting cap/fuse taken out as well as the explosive material inside. They are the exact same grenades with the exception of the coin slot cut into it. “Externally the same as those the Sammies used to clean out crooks and bends in captured trenches, enemy dug-outs and machine gun nests”. The War Department owned 15,000,000 hand grenades when the armistice was signed. Some of those were available through the Savings Division of the Treasury Department for distribution to school children as savings banks to encourage the forming of habits of thrift.

This is a totally inert MkII and has had all explosive content removed. It is unable to be rendered live again and is in total compliance per the current BATF standards governing ordnance.

Not Available For Export

This example is in incredible condition with “BUY WSS" still easily read on the face by the 1 ½ inch coin slot. The grenade still retains much of its original green/gray coat of paint, only having some minor oxidation and surface rust towards the top. The spoon and ring have some surface rust but is in appealing condition with the stamping still visible: 35 & C. There are also mold markings on the grenade body itself, and on the bottom plug.

Overall condition is phenomenal especially because they were mainly owned and used by children, and you know how they can be! This is a must have in your Great War collection, but act fast because we guarantee you it will be gone quickly.

War savings stamps were issued by the United States Treasury Department to help fund participation in World War I and World War II. Although these stamps were distinct from the postal savings stamps issued by the United States Post Office Department, the Post Office nevertheless played a major role in promoting and distributing war savings stamps. In contrast to Liberty Bonds, which were purchased primarily by financial institutions, war savings stamps were principally aimed at common citizens. During World War I, 25-cent Thrift stamps were offered to allow individuals to accumulate enough over time to purchase the standard 5-dollar War Savings Certificate stamp. When the Treasury began issuing war savings stamps during World War II, the lowest denomination was a 10-cent stamp, enabling ordinary citizens to purchase them. In many cases, collections of war savings stamps could be redeemed for Treasury Certificates or War Bonds.

The United States Treasury Department issued its first war savings stamps in late 1917 in order to help pay for the costs incurred through involvement in World War I. The estimated cost of World War I for the United States was approximately $32 billion, and by the end of the war, the United States government had issued a total of $26.4 billion in debt. Although national campaigns had aimed to sell $2 billion in war savings stamps, they ultimately accounted for about $0.93 billion, or 3.5 percent, of the total debt issued. Despite the low proportion of total debt purchased as war savings stamps, they represented real additional savings whereas other issues were at least partly monetized already. In addition, government and society leaders utilized the war savings stamps program as a vehicle to teach the importance of saving and thrift.

Promotion of war savings stamps pervaded American culture during World War I. The Treasury Department established the War Savings Organization in order to coordinate marketing efforts throughout the nation. A wide variety of posters were produced to promote war savings stamps, often invoking a sense of patriotic duty to purchase them to support war efforts. President Woodrow Wilson called upon “every man, woman and child” to save for the war and designated June 28, 1918 as National War Savings Day. Governors, mayors, and other political leaders led by example by purchasing war savings stamps and encouraged their constituents to do the same. The Four Minute Men organization, authorized by President Wilson, also developed a series of speech outlines related to war savings stamps for its volunteers to deliver.

Support for war savings stamps also came from a variety of non-government sources. Advertisements were often donated by local newspapers in order to inform people of how war savings stamps worked and to encourage their purchase. War savings societies formed within communities across the country to promote the value of thrift and to collect funds for war savings stamps. Children were also recruited to the war saving efforts primarily through their schools. Children received school kits, which included penny and nickel savings booklets so that children could save up for a 25-cent Thrift stamp a few cents at a time.

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