Saturday, April 24, 2010

Deconstructing Old Ads with Bill Sonnett

The 1903 Harkauf Minnow

The first time I saw this ad was looking through a April 1903 copy of Outdoor Life magazine while at Warren Platt's house. I was struck immediately with the fact that Heddon was still laboring with the ungainly Dowagiac Underwater in the spring of 1903 and here was this beautiful, small wooden minnow being offered by Harry Kauffman & Co in Philadelphia ( not exactly in the middle of "plug alley"). It has a unique three-bladed spinner on the front and the earlier versions have painted eyes. When I see a minnow from this early date that is this small (most are under 3 inches in length) I ask myself what kind of tackle was available to cast such a light bait. I'm sure most were used as trolling baits. It is also the only early minnow I can recall being touted as good for perch!

-- Bill Sonnett

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