Regarding the mystery "Rat Man Medal" Pete Smith asked about,
Allen Berman writes:
"I have not done any research on this but I must say it does recall the famous saying, "Are you a man or a mouse?"
So perhaps the answer to "Is that a rat or a mouse?" is "mouse".
Turns out to be a great guess.
Jeffry Johnson writes:
"It appears to be a variant of the Eddie Cantor Strike Me Pink Movie Advertising Token."
Jeffry passed along a link to this online listing.
1936 Eddie Cantor "Strike Me Pink" Movie Token Aluminum Diameter 27mm, Strike Me Pink is a 1936 American musical comedy film directed by Norman Taurog, starring Eddie Cantor and Ethel Merman, and produced by Samuel Goldwyn., this piece was part of the Lenard Babin collection of tokens, medals, militaria.
Jeffry also found an excellent reference on the site of the Queensland Numismatic Society.
In any ‘batch' of loose numismatic material you find the odd item. This item is a ‘spinner' or ‘decision maker' with a man on one side and a mouse on the other. As an advertising piece its aim is to be kept, used, and thus ‘advertise' the particular show.
The particular topic of this piece is an American actor Eddie Cantor in a movie called ‘Strike Me Pink'.
‘Strike Me Pink' was his last movie made for Samuel Goldwyn and was made in 1936. The story as outlined on www.imdb.com actually includes a coin as above. In the story Eddie has mail ordered a book titled
Man or Mouse: What Are You? accompanied with a record and a coin that has a man on one side and a mouse on the other. Eddie must continue to flip the coin until it comes up a man.
The ‘flipper' is in aluminium and was made by AMOR, which is the Sydney Company W.J. AMOR. It is likely that the token was made for the Australian/ New Zealand release of the movie as an advertising piece.
Thanks, everyone. Nice work! So it's a form of "flipper" token inspired by the 1936 movie.
Pete Smith adds:
"I agree with the concept that it is an "Are You a Man or a Mouse" flipper medal. I suspect that the version without lettering predates the movie advertising piece."
Interesting thought - that's quite plausible. One of these could have been the author's inspiration. But can we prove the pieces predated the book?
Interesting tidbit: Author Clarence Budington Kelland wrote "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" the same year.
Jeffry Johnson's links:
1936 Eddie Cantor Strike Me Pink Movie Advertising Token
ARE YOU MAN OR MOUSE?
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 30, 2022 : Query: Mystery Rat Man Medal
Wayne Homren, Editor
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