Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: Millsite's "Daily Double" (1941)


The Millsite “Daily Double”

From the 1941 Sports Afield Fishing Annual comes this beautiful full page advertisement for the "new" Millsite Daily Double.


Almost forty years ago I was canoe camping with my fishing partner on an island twenty miles north of Chapleau, Ontario when a friend named Jim paddled in to spend a few days in camp. He was not a fisherman but he  brought along his Grandfather's tackle box, rod and reel with the intention of learning something about fishing. I had the job of looking over his supply of plugs and advising him on what he should use. Almost all of the plugs were 'second line' baits of dubious parentage and I saw nothing I had ever used. Though I had never seen one before, a frog colored Daily Double in his box looked enough like a Flatfish that I figured it was a good place to start. I was unfamiliar with the bait and truthfully thought that it was some sort of novelty lure that was designed to run at different depths depending on which end of the bait the line was attached to. I was not expecting too much in the way of results. I was right about the way it was supposed to work, but very wrong about its fishing catching abilities. Jim caught fish 'hand over fist' for three days before a large pike made off with his lure.
 
Fast forward forty years and the Millsite Daily Double has become a favorite of several well known collectors. The largest (in every sense of the term) Daily Double collector is Bill Hellmer (better known as “Bigfoot”) of Illinois. This is what Bill has to say about this ad:

“The lures and color numbers are all correct in the ad and are all in reference to musky size lures (700 series) as shown. The lures are made of Tenite Plastic, NEVER wood, as some people may like to think. The lures pictured are 4 inches in length and all have the double line tie, which allows the fisherman to run the lure shallow (2-3ft) or deep (5 ft+).  Usually the lures are marked under the chin with the words "deep" & "shallow" on opposite ends.

The twelve colors shown in this advertisement were the standards, however, other colors were also made and sold. Perch scale 704, solid black no #, 1/2 blk /whte (the newer 709), were a few.  And as with many lure manufacturers, "Saturday Specials"  appeared as well. As far as I know the Daily Doubles were introduced in 1941 and were not taken out of the catalog in any following years.  Along with the 700 series there was the 400 and 800 series. The 800 was considerd Bass and Pike size, while the 400 series was the spin or fly rod size at only 2 inches.
 
My first Daily Double, an orange one, came as a gift from my Uncle around 1955 (I was ten). He told me he was giving it to me because he never had a hit on it. My first cast (right in front of Uncle Floyd) produced a Largemouth Bass, and a big, 'Thank you Unc'. The look on his face was priceless."

 
Thanks Bill.  I can only add one thing to Bill's information: the darn thing does catch fish!



-- Bill Sonnett

3 comments:

Jan Miller said...

I am the Grand Daughter of Ralph Hall. He started with Millsite as a salesman and eventually bought the company and brought it out of debt. On other sites you see credit for the Daily Double to Mr. Whithey. But it was actually Ralph Hall who designed the lure. I have wooden models he used as test lures and a few of the Daily Doubles in my collection.

Jan Miller said...

I am the Grand Daughter of Ralph Hall. He started with Millsite as a salesman and eventually bought the company and brought it out of debt. On other sites you see credit for the Daily Double to Mr. Whithey. But it was actually Ralph Hall who designed the lure. I have wooden models he used as test lures and a few of the Daily Doubles in my collection

Jan Miller said...

I am the Grand Daughter of Ralph Hall. He started with Millsite as a salesman and eventually bought the company and brought it out of debt. On other sites you see credit for the Daily Double to Mr. Whithey. But it was actually Ralph Hall who designed the lure. I have wooden models he used as test lures and a few of the Daily Doubles in my collection.