Saturday, October 17, 2009

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett
The Holzapfel Mushroom Bait

From the the May 1912 issue of National Sportsman comes this seldom seen ad for the Holzapfel Mushroom Bait. It illustrates the many problems encountered in research.

The address is 132 W. Carr St. In Jackson, Michigan, Carr Street runs north and south and there are no numbers that would correspond to 132. After much effort it was discovered that there were two Carr Streets in Jackson in 1912 and that they both ran north and south but were located on the east and west sides of town. After East Carr St was renamed, West Carr became just plain Carr St. Then in the 1920's the street numbering system for most of the streets was changed. The problem was then attacked by searching for people in the surrounding area named Holzapfel. We finally located and elderly gentleman in a nearby town with the same name who was the nephew of the bait maker. He suggested that we contact Mr Holzapfel's daughter, but he could not remember her married name. Eventually he came up with an address and we were able to contact the oldest daughter and were given a great interview. The best possible outcome arrived when she was able to locate the original photo seen here. John Holzapfel stands on the left of the stringer of bass and on the right stands his neighbor from across the street, Mr Wiford,  It turns out that Mr Wiford is the inventor of the Croaker Bass Bait! For a more complete story of these two fishermen and their lures, see the article THE JACKSON TWO in the December 1992 issue of the NFLCC Magazine.

-- Bill Sonnett

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