Saturday, March 9, 2013


This weekend inaugurate a new feature here on the blog, about a subject near and dear to my house: letterheads! I love fishing tackle ephemera, and so every Saturday we'll feature a new letterhead along with a brief discussion about the artwork and the content.

This week we are featuring a 1929 South Bend Bait Company letterhead featuring Louis Paeth's iconic artwork "Fish and Feel Fit." It's a colorful and interesting letterhead (I wonder if Paeth also drew the black-and-white line art in the corners). The content is pretty bland, although the fact that they printed and distributed 250,000 copies of their 1929 catalog is of real interest. Additionally, the fact that retailers could use the wholesale catalog to procure tackle for their customers was an interesting touch.

-- Dr. Todd


Scott said...

Dr. Todd, do you collect these? Is this an item of ephemera from your collection? I would love to get involved in something like this.

I find it interesting that so many people give South Bend such a hard time when they have such a rich history and are responsible for getting many who are now baby boomers interested in fishing - providing their very first gear.

Teal said...

No I don't own this one -- but I strongly encourage you to get involved in collecting ephemera. An easy way to do it is to try and collect a copy from all the major companies, or pick one company like South Bend and try to get as many different letterheads as you can.

I do collect ephemera and agree that South Bend is very much underappreciated -- they made a lot of really good tackle for a long time!