Named after Manitou Lake, a favorite nearby lake to its inventors’ home town of Rochester, Indiana, the “Manitou Minnow” was granted a patent on September 26, 1905. Simon K. Bailey and George A. Elliott, the inventors, were also business partners in a sporting goods store in Rochester where the lure was marketed. The Manitou came packaged in a two piece cardboard box along with a little brass wrench and instruction sheet showing how to use the wrench to assemble the lure, and as the box lid implies, to also use to “take down” the lure to prevent tangled hooks. The five hook 3-3/4” fish shaped lures have been found in the following colors; Solid Red, Dark Green with White Belly, and Light Green with White Belly. The lure was short lived, as its design too closely resembled the Fred Rhodes 1904 patent, so to keep from getting sued for patent infringement, Bailey and Elliott ceased making and selling their lure.
I can’t help but wonder just how many marital fights this thing caused. As I gaze into the box and look at the contents inside, I can almost hear a distant voice yelling, “Where did you put my little lure wrench?!”
If you have any questions/comments, Elissa Ruddick can be reached at elissaruddick AT aol DOT com.
-- Elissa Ruddick