Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Tessier Everready Gaff Springloaded Fish Hook, by Alex Pawlina

This week we are honored to have an article about a rare spring-loaded fish hook, written by a fellow collector who actually worked in the factory where the hook was made!

The Tessier Everready Gaff

by Alex Pawlina

As a high school student forty or so years ago, I took a part time summer job at a local factory in Worcester, MA. My duties were listed as"general factory help", in the newspaper ad, and I performed a varied schedule of running machinery, and silk screening first aid boxes with the various logos, to be sold to area  fire and police departments.
 This company, called "Handy Pad Inc." had been in business for a good deal of time, and also made the components for these kits. I also ran machinery that "auto-claved" ( sterilized) the bandages and tourniquets. Mr. Joseph Tessier was an inventor and hand polished a 8" hunk of glass to make a telescope that I saw there many years ago. The crossbow he made using a Model T spring was also there. He  supplied first aid kits to our troops during that war. His son, Mr. Russ Tessier ran this business, that had been around since WWII. 
NOW, the great stuff..! In my roaming around in this large 2 story factory, in an unused portion of this building, I saw a custom "wire forming" machine, and was intrigued with its intricacies. Under this piece of defunct machinery, were dozens of mechanical hooks, laying on the floor. Always a fisherman, I asked if I may have a few, and was told, "take whatever you want. They've been there for years" I did!! Some had celluloid packaging.

Tessier Hook in Closed Position

Tessier Hook in Open Position

I gave all but two to my Dad, also a fisherman...He gave them to friends.  The one I DID have with the packaging, has long since disintegrated. You see the pic of the last in my possession, as I had given the other to a member on Joe's board, who sadly passed a couple of weeks later.
I'm glad to be able to share this story with all that read it.

Many thanks to Alex for sending this our way, and to Jeff Kieny for encouraging him to do so. More information on the Tessier Hook can be found in Jeff's great book Patented Hooks, Harnesses & Bait-Holders, available by clicking here. We need more articles like this, so if anyone would like to submit a short piece, please do so!

-- Dr. Todd

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