Saturday, March 12, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The "New Pikie Minnow" Intro Ad (1920)

The “New Pikie Minnow” Introduction Ad

One of the great things about advertisements in trade magazines like this one the April 1920 Sporting Goods Dealer is that they are aimed at dealers and not fishermen. So they often provide information on the introduction of new baits or new finishes. This ad contains a small note along the top margin announcing to dealers that this ad is about to appear in “leading Sportsman” Magazines” the implication being that as dealers you'd better stock up for the coming demand. Indeed the ad, in only slightly altered form, did appear in several magazines in the following months. I am fairly sure that no one at the Creek Chub Bait Company had any idea that this bait was about to become one of the best selling plugs of all time!

There are two, somewhat obscure facts tucked away in this ad. First is the testimonial written by A.F. Sydenstricker dated October, 11 1919. I have been unable to find out why old A.F. (the only A.F Sydenstricker I was able to find was Absalom born in 1851) knew about or received these baits prior to their formal introduction. The second often overlooked item is the small mention that the bait was “also furnished White with Blue Head” This leads to a personal experience many years ago when I found in the field an “ intro” Pikie box marked “#701” and it contained the seldom seen first model blue headed Pikie with its typical translucent blue-green head and earliest type Pikie hardware. After some investigation it became obvious that the next two colors added to the Pikie (white head-black body and red head-white body) were numbered 702 and 703. The numbers corresponding to these four colors all appear on the Pikie “intro” box. The numbers were changed no later than 1925 to their more well known color designations.

-- Bill Sonnett

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