Saturday, January 9, 2010

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

The Wise Sportsman Jim Dandy

The Wise Sportsman Company introduced the "Jim Dandy" in 1915 after acquiring the rights from the inventor Henry Schillinger of Paw Paw Michigan. If you look at this ad from the August 1915 issue of Outers Book, you will notice that the face of the plug is hollowed out completely to the front edges of the bait. The following year the face of the bait had changed as illustrated in the 1916 advertisement show here. The patent drawing illustrates a bait that is much more like the 1915 illustration. My guess is that when mass production began it proved just too expensive and time consuming to hollow out the entire asymmetrical face of the lure. Shown here in the photo is an example of each style. In my experience, 1915 examples are much harder to find than the moderately common models that follow. I'm not sure when it happened but the Wise Sportsman Company sold the rights to this lure to Shakespeare. Shakespeare examples are very tough to find and do not have the unique wire hook holders that are always seen on earlier models. Every Shakespeare example of this bait I have ever seen with one exception was painted black with a bit of white and red trim. The bait was obviously not a success for Shakespeare and as they then owned the rights to the name "Jim Dandy" they went on to use it for an entire line of their less expensive baits.

-- Bill Sonnett

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