Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Voices from the Past: Pflueger Courts the Local Druggist (1906)

Today and tomorrow, we will be relating some small pieces of Pflueger history. Today, we look at how Pflueger worked to court the humblest of tackle merchants -- the small town druggist. In this fascinating article from the March 1906 issue of National Druggist magazine, a very verbose editor for this trade publication extolls the plus side of stocking Pflueger's cheapest line of tackle -- the "O" line.

Fishing Tackle a Profitable Side Line

As quality is the keystone of satisfaction, so is satisfaction the keystone of increased patronage, and the dealer who makes the former his rule finds the latter a constant quantity. Experience has taught the druggist that fishing paraphernalia is not an exception, and that the connoisseur no more than the humblest follower of Isaac Walton knows and appreciates quality and "sticks to" and indulges deep-seated affection for the dealer who shares his enthusiasm and supplies his wants in that particular. The Enterprise Manufacturing Co. of Akron, O. has shown the druggiest how fishing goods can be converted into a handsome revenue, accessory to the drug business, and the quality of their goods has "clinched" the patronage of customers who has used them, from the very start. The immense plant of the Enterprise Manufacturing Co. produces a variety of goods that is nowhere equalled. Their factory has been owned and operated by the Pfluegers for twenty-five years, and enjoys the proud distinction of being the best-equipped and most extensive plant in the country for the manufacture of fishing tackle.

Fishing reels of all kinds and qualities are made for fresh and salt water -- of brass, nickel and hard rubber. Fish hooks, that until recent years were purchased largely in Europe, are now made with improved machinery, and acknowledged much superior in quality to the goods heretofore imported from abroad, resulting in an immense export trade along those lines. Spoons, baits and spinners, flies, leaders, and sneers, phantom minnows, lead sinkers, rubber baits and insects, fishing floats, and a multitude of other goods, all bear the imprint of quality and skillful manufacture, and each and every article goes out of the factory a symbol of perfection. Beginning with their cheapest line, No. 0, being all complete with float, hook, sinker, etc., retailing at 5, 10, 15, and 25 cents, respectively. It is possible to get anything in this line the trade may want, including twisted cotton line, braided cotton and braided linen, cable silk, plain and water-proof. These goods are put up in an especially attractive manner and have proven banner sellers with the drugstore trade.

Briefly told, the goods of the Enterprise Manufacturing Co., of which their new catalogue, No. F 24, lists several thousand of items, are an exemplification of perfect mastery of the business, and reflect great credit upon the makers, whose skillfulness and earnestness to excel has attained that degree of excellence in quality that warrants and deserves the name by which they are so favorably known in the trade. The Enterprise Manufacturing Co. will send their large new catalogue, No. F 24, prepaid, to any druggist desiring their name.

Pflueger didn't get to be the biggest by only courting huge merchants. With tens of thousands of druggists across the country, the majority of them stocking fishing tackle (and a good many of them getting tackle from Pflueger), this was a profitable market for Enterprise to get in to.

-- Dr. Todd

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