This ad appeared in the January, 1941 issue of The Detroit Sportsman. No fishing trip would be complete without some of these Bred Stixs. After all, they'll make your beer taste better and, I presume, put hair on your chest too.
This weeks letterhead feature starts out with an example from a Carlisle, Penn. Watchmaker & Jeweler. Its heading is Line & Line Watchmakers & Jewelers.
Even though its heading is not that of a tackle company, the letter's content and the accompanying material make this interesting. The letter is addressed to the Airex Division of Lionel Corporation (which is crossed out with a pen) and is dated July 20 ,1964.
This letter was a request for an overhaul of an Airex Bache Brown Masterreel Model 3 spinning fishing reel. It describes the issues which need attention. The letter is signed by Henry Line. Handwritten at the bottom of the letter are the words "P.S. Send reel in with this copy to my attention and we shall repair. Thank you, Mrs. Lombardi".
This letterhead would not tell much of a story on its own. Fortunately, it was found with other paper work that captured the final transition of Airex Tackle.
Those who collect Airex would be able to surmise by the date on the letter why the words Airex Division of Lionel is crossed out. For 1964 was the year when Feurer Bros. took over the Airex line from its former owner Lionel Corporation.
Apparently this letter addressed to Airex was forwarded to the company's new owners Feurer Bros. It was then returned to the sender with an offer to repair the reel in question. Upon returning the letter, Feurer Bros. included one of their catalogs, a price list and a Service dept. letterhead with an offer to accept trade-ins on their new reels. These paper items are a great snapshot of the Airex line's transition from Lionel to Feurer Bros.
I wonder if Watchmaker Henry Line of Carlisle, Penn. was comforted knowing his treasured reel would be repaired by fellow watchmakers, rather than folks at a company best known for making toy trains.
This weeks feature is from Tycoon Tackle Incorporated, Miami, Florida dated July 2, 1937. I love the graphics on this one. A wonderful fishing scene of a boat, an offshore angler seated in a fishing chair, bent rod in hand, fighting a large Billfish. I can almost taste the salt air.
The content of this letter is fairly plain. South Bend Bait Company's Ivar Hennings was trying to get in touch with Tycoon's founder Mr. O'Brien. It is one of many examples of how correspondence between tackle companies took place back then. The following is a brief history of Tycoon Tackle by Tim O'Brien. Tim is the son of Tycoon Tackle founder Frank M. O'Brien.
Tycoon Tackle was one of those stories that can be considered "a typical American success story" because it did not begin with someone’s visions of greatness. The company's founder, Frank M. O'Brien, Jr., had an idea, and a dream. to make a better fishing rod than was then available. He was not concerned about competition or the odds of success; he simply wanted to make a product, period! O'Brien designed and tested the products himself, he listened to what the great anglers of the day liked and disliked about existing fishing rods, and he consulted with the skippers and crews to glean their perspectives of what worked well and what did not. He was never afraid to modify or alter the product line as necessity dictated. In time, names like The Martuna, The Bimini King, The H.R.H., The Scion, and others became synonymous with catching big fish and orders were placed by anglers from all over the world. In the end, he overcame the odds and the company grew to be a giant in an industry that today is one of the leading generators of revenue and income in the world. Through testing, perseverance, and hard work he achieved his goal. And in time, this angler and his little Tycoon Tackle Company rose to prominence in the sportsman’s world to the point where at one time its products held more than ninety-five percent of all the “Big-Game” world record fish that were caught. Along the way, this company helped win a world war, impacted the commercial fish packing industry, was a pioneer in plastic injection molding, and set the standard for excellence in production, innovation, safety, and quality.
I'd like to give Tim a big thanks for providing us with this wonderful history of his Father's company. For a more in depth look at Tycoon Tackle, Check out Tim O'Brien's book, The Tycoon Tackle Story. It is available here by by clicking here.
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