Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Art of the Lures with Elissa Ruddick

What an ingenious invention Henry J. Welch had with his “Welch and Graves Protected Live Fish Bait” glass minnow tube. I mean, what could be better to fish with than the real thing? And to make it worth a fisherman’s money back in 1893, it was advertised as “One minnow lasts a day.”

Patented by Welch on January 3, 1893, the idea was that a fisherman could save money, time and hassle, by using the same minnow all day long. Evidently neither Welch nor Calvin V. Graves, who manufactured the lures, gave much thought about the minnow they so beautifully illustrated on the paper labels (6 BAIT), that adorned the bottom of the wooden boxes. The glass tubes came fully equipped with a leader line, swivel, three hooks and the cork to hold the minnow inside. The fisherman simply needed to provide one minnow. br>
Now put yourself in the minnow’s shoes, or should I say, GLASS PRISON! “Protected” live fish bait, “protected” live fish bait? What minnow in their right mind would want to be “protected?” Just think about being placed in a glass container, being cast out into the water, then being scared out of your wits every time a fish comes near, much less being swallowed up by one, then later by another, then by another and another! (I can hear the music from the movie Jaws playing.) It was every minnow’s nightmare I’m sure! Gosh, where the heck was P.E.T.A. back in 1893?! Yeah, I wish they were in the same place now as well …

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

-- Elissa Ruddick

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