Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Voices from the Past: A Fishing Lure Tragedy & Mystery

The following blurb from The Cumberland Evening Times dated 11 February 1955 is both a sad story and a bit of a mystery. It details the grisly demise of a fishing lure maker, but the mystery is what exactly is the Chamberlain Spoon? Has anyone seen one before? I sure would like to know what one looks like...

Friends Collect Funds To Bury Fish Lure Expert

ST. MICHAELS, Md. Friends have begun collecting a fund to pay for the funeral of Joseph Ennels Muse Chamberlain, a fishing lure expert who killed himself yesterday. County Medical Examiner Louis A. Welty said Chamberlain shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber rifle.

The 69-year-old Chamberlain gained fame in the fishing world in 1939 after fashioning the Chamberlain spoon, a lure which proved tremendously effective with bluefish. He also invented and patented the first spoon used for trolling.

At one time, he operated a shop here to manufacture spoons, but he gave up the business after a scrape with the government over taxes. Friends believed he made, and lost, a small fortune.

Chamberlain continued to earn a living by making spoons and buck-tail lures, but never again in large quantities. He left no immediate survivors.

-- Dr. Todd

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The water is back, the carp and barbel populations are buoyant but the bass catches have been depressed in the extreme. On a water where twenty fish in a day was once the norm, one or two fish is now a good return. Where you could once fish poppers and have bass inspect all day long, it’s now rare to see a single, mature fish inspect a surface lure in a week. Evidently, some mature bass have survived. The odd three and four- pounder is still taken and there are fractionally more fish caught in the one to two pound category. There are also huge numbers of bass fry in the margins – more than anybody can ever remember seeing before. This, too, is surely a good sign.



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