Kaiser Wilhelm Pig Coin Bank


Bismark Pig Coin Bank

The Pig That Almost Started a War

The Kaiser Wilhelm Pig Coin Bank comes with an interesting story and it goes something like this. Around the year 1859 in the strait between Vancouver Island Canada and Washington, DC mainland is the San Juan Islands. A wondering off Canadian pig almost started a war with the United States; the dispute was called the Pig War or Pig and Potato War.

    This is where the KAISER WILHELM PIG BANK comes in

This war was almost started between Canada and the United States, by a trespassing pig. These islands in the strait were disputed to be either Great Britain (Canada) and/or the United States. Both believed it was their territory.

The short war began when a pig wandered off, owned by the Canadian Hudson’s Bay Company, and was shot by an American farmer for straying into his potato patch. The American farmer warned Hudson’s Bay Company about the pig. “Keep that pig out of my potato patch,” he said. But they didn’t listen. So he shot the trespassing pig.

Normally, as the story goes, the pig episode on its own might not have started a war but the English and the Americans had short fuses back then. And it was mainly over those disputed Islands.

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The British wanted to arrest the American farmer for the murder of the pig, and the Americans called in the Army and then they called in the Navy.

The English did the same with 3 warships anchored out in the strait. They were both ready to do whatever they do.

But both sides come to their senses and agreed to settle this dispute before it got out of hand. They called on a third party to end this ongoing dispute over the ownership of the islands.

This is where the KAISER WILHELM PIG BANK comes into play

An independent arbitration took place headed by the Emperor of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm,  and declared the San Juan Islands to be American and anything above the 49th parallel to be Canadian (British at the time)

All the armed forces stood down and the dispute over the islands was settled. The Murdering farmer had to pay restitution for his crime of killing the trespassing pig.

To date, there are some commemorative metals,(souvenirs) of the Pig War Episode but the one that stands out among-st bank collectors is the hard to find, Bismark Pig Bank which some call the Kaiser Wilhelm Pig Bank. Very little is known about the war that never happened or even, the Cast Iron Kaiser Bank with a rider on a pig, presumably, Kaiser himself. The manufacture of the bank is unknown. Well, at least to me.

“The Penny Bank Book” has an illustration of the bank and has it valued at $3,000 (If you could only find one!! And, I’ve been looking)

Penny Bank Collector book

Some, like this Cast Iron Kaiser Bank, have interesting stories to tell. The story went down in history as “The Pig War” that never happened.

Some of this KAISER WILHELM PIG BANK information comes out of the Penny Bank Post at “Still Bank Club Of America”    

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