This jaunty little canvas pouch with drawstring closure is a bank deposit bag, manufactured by Rifkin & Co.  It measures 10 inches tall (long?) and a little over 6 inches wide.  Lest you forget which bank you’re aiming for, it is printed with the name and image of the Farmers Banking and Trust Company of Montgomery County, Maryland.

Though three locations are given (Poolesville, Rockville and Kensington), the image shown is of the 1931 Farmers Bank building in Rockville, which is still standing (and is still in use as a bank, complete with fabulous 1930s lobby decor).  Farmers Bank was founded in Rockville in 1900; the slogan “Over FIFTY YEARS of Banking Service in Montgomery County” at the top of the bag gives us our dating clue for this particular item.  The original building was on the courthouse side of Commerce Lane (a.k.a. East Montgomery Avenue, or Courthouse Square), but when the 1931 “Gray Courthouse” was built, the bank moved across the street and erected a fancy new building.

This view of the corner of N. Washington St and E. Montgomery Ave, circa 1955, was taken from the front of the Gray Courthouse and shows the Farmers Bank at left, behind the town clock. 

As for the bag itself, the Rifkin Company is still in existence and still manufacturing bank deposit bags; I love a company with a good online corporate history.  This bag might seem flimsy compared to modern deposit bags, but the canvas is sturdy, and the cord closure – which seems newer than the bag, but appears to have the original (or at least vintage) plastic “R” caps on the ends – is heavy-duty, and not easily broken. 

This bag was donated to us several years ago by Arthur Green.  In a nice bit of continuity, the old Farmers Bank is now a . . . well, I’ve lost track of what bank it is actually, but it is where the Society does its banking today, and we walk our deposits down there ourselves.  (Though not in this bag, however amusing that might be.)

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