We first read of “The Wolrd’s Biggest Piggy Bank” in Peter Unwin’s wonderful Hard Surface: In Search of the Canadian Road (2009, Key Porter).
We were prompted to write this post because we wondered just why would one want to create a roadside attraction establishing your community as home of the “world’s biggest piggy bank” ?
Turns out that the story is interesting though not nearly what I had anticipated.
Coleman is a Rocky Mountain community in southwest Alberta just across the border from B.C.. . It was formerly incorporated as a town prior to 1979 when it amalgamated with four other municipalities to form Crowsnest Pass.
Coleman is a mining town. Its origins date back to 1903 with the opening of a new coal mine operated by the International Coal and Coke Company. By 1908 it was the biggest town in the area. At its height it even boasted an opera house – a building that stood until 1948 when it was destroyed by fire.
In fact, there is a structure touted as a piggy bank. But it does not look like a “piggy” because it is, in fact, a mining train engine – a 36-inch (910 mm) gauge air driven thermos bottle mine locomotive.
So, while the public roadside “bank” in Coleman may be a piggy bank if one is elastic in defining a piggy bank, it is beyond dispute that there are larger similar “banks” elsewhere.
According to the folks at Guinness World Records, the largest piggy bank is 8.03 m (26 ft 4.3 in) long and 5.58 m (18 ft 3.7 in) tall and was achieved by Kreissparkasse Ludwigsburg (Germany), in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on 18 May 2015.
The piggy bank also had a circumference of 17.87 m (58 ft 7.5 in) and was 5.54 m (18 ft 2 in) wide. Money was inserted into the piggy bank using a small crane, carrying each coin to the slot one by one after inserting it into a smaller piggy bank at the bottom of the crane.
As for Coleman’s bank, some have now turned to refer to it as