Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Art of the Lure with Elissa Ruddick: The Viking Frog

Although little is known about the Viking Frog, thankfully the box top and patent give us a fairly short, but decent history. Oscar Christensen, a shoe repair man, whose shop was located in the front of his home at 320 Robert St. in Saint Paul, Minnesota, applied for a patent for his Viking Frog on Aug. 1, 1935. Patent number 2,047,768 was granted to Christianson for “The Look-Alive Bait” on July 14, 1936. The size of the patented lure is 4-1/2” in length, although a few 3-1/2” non-jointed leg versions have been found. It is not known if the smaller ones were actually made by Oscar, or possibly by other family members, but the similarities to the patented lure seem to be unmistakable. Oscar must have used items from his shoe repair business, such as the leather for the rear feet, as well as the little nails that were used on the underside to hold on the rear legs and on the sides to hold on the front hooks, that also doubled as front legs. Some had single hooks attached inside each front quadrant of the rear legs, making them four hook versions, while others had a single hook protruding from the center rear of the body, making them three hook versions. The rear legs were designed to spread out and back in while being retrieved, mimicking the natural action of a real live frog.

I don’t know if the Viking Frog turned out to be a fish catching bait, or a novelty, but from the company name on the box top, it looks like Oscar had it covered either way!

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

— Elissa Ruddick

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