Ken Vick brought my attention to a recent eBay auction that featured some lures from the American Tackle Co. of Corpus Christi (1959-1960). Am-Tac lures were made by Dick Svertz, a tool-and-die maker from Corpus Christi who apparently made many of the molds for the other Corpus Christi companies. I emailed the lister, who turned out to be a familiar name--Ramón-Singer, a painter who specializes in watercolors of fishing lures. He very graciously allowed me to repost the neat information he had listed in this auction:
Thought I would add some information about Richard "Dick" Svertz. I spoke with one of his two sons last year by phone. Don told me that his father Dick was a tool and die maker that invented injection molding, the double hook eye, and styrofoam. He held a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Chicago. Dick left Chicago because it was too cold for him [so he moved] to Corpus Christi where he had a tool and die shop.
It was in this shop that he designed and made many of the molds as well as the lures for the local lure companies. He did work for Doug English, Anton Stettner, Fred Nichols--both his plastic perch and plastic shrimps, as well as the Mightey Mite out of Shreveport. He and his two sons designed their own line of lures and their tackle company was called American Tackle or Am-Tac.
Their lures were well made, did not leak, and caught fish. Air guns were used by three women who sprayed the lures by hand into an aluminum sleeve. The two boys worked around the shop and helped with making the lures. The Svertz's left Corpus Christi and moved to Houston where they had a tool and die shop called Metal Plastics Inc. on Balkin Drive. They [continued making lures] and made the Mr. Champ out of brass, the Dixie Spoon, and the Little Lou [which was] a black lure with silver body, which was drawn by a woman and made by Dick, [just] to name a few. The shop was sold in the 1980's, lure molds and all. Some of the Am- Tac lures can be seen at the Corpus Christi Museum.
Don gave me a fishing story about his dad as well. He said his dad was "a stubborn" fisherman who fished off of a certain flat rock on a jetty on the Corpus Christi Bay. He used a lemon rod and fished the windward side with live finger mullets. This was his favorite fishing spot and way to fish.
Many thanks to Ramón-Singer for allowing us to post this neat information, and I'll be featuring him sometime soon in an article of his own, as his artwork is really cool.
-- Dr. Todd, still trying to educate the world on the coolness of Texas Lures.
UPDATE #1 to UPDATE #2
Gerald Garrett has visited the Corpus Christi Museum of Science & Industry and took these great photos of their exhibit showing an Am-Tack Dealer Display case:
Thanks Gerry for sharing this with everyone!
-- Dr. Todd