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