Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett
From the May 1914 pages of The Outers Book comes this ad for Lane's Automatic Minnow. Incredible as it seems, this small metal bait had a mechanical mechanism inside that made the fins move as the tail-shaped rear propeller turned during the retrieve. This is a very rare bait for at least two reasons. The first is the price. $1.75 would buy a basic fishing outfit in 1914 or a near lifetime supply of live minnows. The second reason I believe can be surmised from the fact that of the few examples that are found, many are broken or missing parts. When one takes a close look at this beautiful and seemingly delicate little bait, it is hard to imagine that it would survive many encounters with an angry pike or bass. I would like to ask the author of this advertisement what is meant by the statement, "Makes 100 per cent catches"
-- Bill Sonnett