Old and New, Magazines are Great!


As a consumer of MidWest Outdoors, you obviously love to read as I do. And being hooked on fishing history, it’s also a pleasure to read old magazines, too. Old and new, magazines are great!

Recently, Maurice called to see if I wanted some old fishing and hunting publications. Anticipating their arrival, and not sure what old means to many people, it was a pleasant surprise to see prices on the magazines in the box—5, 10 and 25 cents—and dates as early as the 1920s and 30s.

Over the next several days, the ads and articles took me back in time and far away from planned chores. In a June 1929 issue of Outdoor America, ads included a half-page one for Al Foss lures, with a photograph of H.O. Bassett of St. Petersburg, Florida and a 14-pound largemouth “Grandpa bass,” taken after a 15-minute fight on their Shimmy Wiggler.



This issue also included illustrated promotions for South Bend Bait Company lures “New for 1929,” a Creek Chub headline shouted, “Again—The Pikie Gets First Prize,” and illustrated the 7-pound, 11-1/2-ounce smallmouth taken on the old reliable “Pikie Minnow” by Fred P. Jameson from Summit Lake, Washington that won their first prize. Their New Wigl-Y-Rind bait was also introduced.

An ad offered, “Send for Heddon’s FREE Fishing Chart Tells HOW! plus their new 1929 catalog.” Jamison of Chicago, (Bill Cullerton’s Grandfather), proclaimed, “Catch Bigger Fish with Weedless Lures.” Their Shannon Weedmaster Twin Spinner and Weedless Coaxer were featured.

Boats included steel, Acme folding, kayaks and canoes by Thompson and Haskell, along with a number of reel manufacturers. Other articles on casting tournaments, and kids’ adventures including river trips on their crude rafts, were consumed with great joy.

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A 1933 magazine advertised, “A New Spear That Shoots Like a Pistol, the Go Devil by the Auto-Spear Co,” 406 Vanderburgh Bldg., Minneapolis. It cost $5 postpaid, and was for winter fishermen!

An ad in a 10-cent National Sportsman magazine advertised the Bass-Bug Spinner No. 700 by Bill DeWitt Bait’s Division of the Shoe Form Co., Inc., of Auburn, New York for 30 cents. It looks a lot like the 1897 Welch & Graves American Combination Spinner made in 1897 by the company who made the first Glass Minnow Tube lures.

It’s great to live vicariously through these photographs, illustrations and writing. But I’m glad to be living now.



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