Saturday, January 29, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: G.M. Skinner (1905)

In March, 1905 The National Sportsman ran the following ad for the "Skinner's New Casting Spoon."

Already this spinner was over three decades old, but the company (which by now was being exclusively distributed by H.A. Whittemore of Boston) continued to use very old catalog cuts to advertise the spinner. This ad uses the image first developed after the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, when Skinner won a First Prize for its display and lures. This same catalog cut, and advertising copy, was used until the 1920s.

It is interesting to watch these sell on eBay. Sellers who tout this is a an "1893" spinner usually get more money per item, despite having no ability to tell if it was a ca. 1920 spinner or a ca. 1893 item. Regardless, they are sufficiently abundant, even on the card and in the envelope, so that any metal collector should be able to find one without much trouble.

Since G.M. Skinner sold over 100,000,000 spoon hooks in the over 100 years it was manufactured, it has to go down as one of the greatest lures ever made.

Rumor has it that Steve Hay's long-awaited history of Skinner will be available in the near future.

-- Bill Sonnett

No comments: