Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Heddon "0" Minnow

This circa 1912 Heddon "0" Minnow is in one of my favorite Heddon colors. I am not alone, there are many collectors today that share my admiration for this color. I imagine this color, as well as “The New Superior Finish Minnow” flat surface and line effect body shape, attracted fishermen of the day to purchase them by the dozen! Seriously, what natural prey does this color mimic? Nicknamed “Strawberry Spot” by collectors, Heddon cataloged the coloration as White body, Red and Green decorations. Note that the front spinner is stamped “Heddon’s Dowagiac” while the rear spinner is not stamped.

Heddon had recently started stamping their spinners, as the side of the box states, “All Genuine Dowagiac Minnows have 'Heddon’s Dowagiac' Stamped on the Spinners." The red-bordered box is labeled "0" in the same red color, versus the usual product code stamping. I was told that in this era, Heddon was trying to decide what color to use on their boxes that would help attract more attention, and in the end sell more lures. They came out with a white border, blue border and red border box. Evidently, the red border was the winner, as that is the box that they stuck with, and even used in their brand name recognition in later advertising. Add the hand painted gill marks and life-like glass eyes to round out the details, and who wouldn’t want one, or two, or three? Before a lure can attract the attention of a fish, it must first attract the attention of the fisherman!

If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.

-- Elissa Ruddick

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