Wednesday, December 14, 2011

52 Trade Houses Part 37: James G. Barry Co. of Chicago

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Over the course of the next year, we'll be detailing the history of 52 companies that sold branded fishing tackle. 52 trade houses in 52 weeks -- some obscure, some famous, and all available exclusively here on the Fishing for History Blog! If you have any items from the week's entry you'd like to share with us, please send it my way and I'll make sure it makes it on the blog.

For a discussion of what exactly trade tackle is, Click Here. Enjoy the 52 for 52!

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Trade House Tackle, Part 37:

James G. Barry Co. of Chicago

Chicago James G. Barry Co. is a rather obscure fishing tackle trade house. It's founder James Barry was a cutlery man and this is what the firm was originally founded as.

In 1913 the company was advertising from 434 S. Dearborn Street in Downtown Chicago, and was selling "Hardware cutlery, shaving material, sporting goods, toilet preparations" and was sharpening razors and grinding and repairing edge tools. The following ad came from a 1913 edition of The Advocate: America's Jewish Journal.

In 1919, the firm was recommended in The American Artisan as a razor sharpening company located at 36 South Clark Street. It was still in business in 1925, when he was listed at 86 South Clark Street, but not in 1930.

So what we have is a small cutlery company that decided to expand into sporting goods in the 1910s. Probably selling tackle to locals to use on vacation or down on the lakefront, any marked items from companies like this are exceedingly rare.

The only piece of fishing tackle I've ever seen was stamped with the company's address on the back side. It is an early pre-1925 South Bend Cast-Oreno spool and is exceptionally rare.

The numerous small companies like Jas. G. Barry Co. deserve to be remembered for their not insignificant contribution to the tackle world.

-- Dr. Todd

1 comment:

John Etchieson said...

Todd: I always enjoy reading your articles on the Trade House Tackle, and in particular this most recent article concerning the Jas. G. Barry Company which included the images of my very rare South Bend Cast-Oreno line spool. Thanks for helping me to spread the story regarding this one of a kind line spool and the small company behind it.