Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Photo Essay on Ans. B. Decker Boxes, by Tim Clancy

Today we are all fortunate to have a guest author here on the blog, Tim Clancy. You may remember Tim from his very interesting essay on his Lang's experience. Here, he illuminates one of his passions: Ans. B. Decker history.

Ans. B. Decker and his father and three brothers were all well known fishing guides on Lake Hopatcong, a huge resort beginning in the early 1880's and they were guiding and fishing artificial baits that early.  I personally believe that all early aluminum prop rotaries (Harkauf, Jacob Mick, Manhattan, etc) are likely of Decker manufacturer and just marketed by the other.  I don't think it was until the big companies like Heddon, Pflueger & Shakespeare, started copying his baits that he made a big point of promoting his name.

Here is a chronological listing of the known Decker boxes:

Most common of the Decker boxes, the Yellow folded picture box was used from 1915 until company ended in the mid 1930's

Brown Label Picture Box used from 1913-15

Both size Decker Grand Prize Bait (AKA Loving Cup Box) boxes, used in 1912 only

Recently found and earliest Decker Box known, possibly as early as 1907

Previously thought to be the earliest Decker box, dates from 1910 & 1911

Comparison of the two early Decker Blue Boxes. Larger Patent Applied for w/ Lake Hopatcong address is the earliest I'm aware of and predates 1910

Six different Decker boxes

All dates determined from various advertisements in early outdoor magazines and tackle catalogs.

One known box I don't have and would pay dearly for is the Decker Troller Box (it's about the size of an Al Foss early Tin).  Also don't know how the Decker Wobbler spoon was marketed, but I suspect on a card, would step up for that one also. 

I would also like to know from your bloggers if anyone else has an example of earliest box.  I knew this one was there for several years and never pursued it because I said I have the blue white label box, don't need another. Ran into the guy at a local auction and asked "does your box say Brooklyn or Lake Hopatcong on it?" He didn't remember and sent me a pic...and it was [soon] in my collection looking out on Lake Hopatcong with all it's siblings.

My many thanks to Tim for this most informative and interesting photo essay! I'd like to encourage anyone else who'd like to share information to drop me a note.

-- Dr. Todd

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