Another short lived lure in the Heddon product line was the Series 50 “Artistic” Minnow." Introduced in 1907 and gone by 1909, the catalog described it as follows: “As the name implies, this is an 'Artistic' Minnow, being the finest artificial minnow production the Heddon factory has ever produced. It is regulation casting weight size 1/2 ounce, and an extra attachment comes with each Minnow to give additional casting weight if desired. Length of body 1-3/4 inches. This little lure has been very successfully used on a heavy fly rod. Packed one each in strong and handsome pasteboard box.”
I must agree with the catalog description of the handsome pasteboard box, because I think it, too, is handsome, as are the rest of its contents. The introductory boxes are sure hard to find in good condition, as the maroon coloring bled onto the top, side and end labels of the box, as well as onto the instruction paper tucked inside the box, when they met up with any amount of moisture. I can’t think of a time when I have been fishing that I didn’t get water on my hands! The minnows and weight-buoys were small, so the boxes that held them were also designed small. The only issue would be getting the detailed instruction paper folded up small enough to fit inside. Not only was the weight-buoy used to give the bait additional weight for casting, but the instruction paper also states that, “the weight-buoy has a buoyant tendency in the water and should be used when the minnow is employed in very shallow water where the angler does not wish the bait to sink too readily.” The minnows came in two colors, Fancy Sienna Yellow and Bright Gold body with Greenish cast back. All of the metal parts were gold plated with the exception of the (as the catalog states) “special long shank, hollow-point treble hook, which is hung at the rear in a handsome tri-colored buck-tail and feather tying.” Hey, there’s that word handsome again!
Everything about the Artistic Minnow and all else that accompanies it is artistic to me, what about you?
If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.
-- Elissa Ruddick