Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett
The Origins of the Shakespeare Minnow
At the behest of Dudley Murphy, I spent nine years researching an article for the NFLCC Magazine on the beginnings of Shakespeare in the wooden minnow business. This also necessitated thorough research into the history's of Fred Rhodes and his uncle Jay Rhodes and their wooden minnow inventions which eventually became the property of William Shakespeare. That article appeared in the December 1999 issue of the NFLCC Magazine. Only one question that nagged me for those nine years was not answered to everyone's satisfaction: Did the Kalamazoo Minnow (known to collectors as the "Kalamazoo String Minnow) actually have the hooks strung on string, or on wire as so many had been found in the field? I always felt having "restrung" three of them myself, that the wires were simply fisherman's solutions to what had shown itself to be a very difficult task. But without proof, I had to hedge in my article. Within a couple of months of the article's appearance my friend and very accomplished researcher Jerry Martin sent me this ad and the accompanying write up that he discovered in the May 1904 issue of Sports Afield. Needless to say the debate was settled one and for all.
-- Bill Sonnett