W D Chapman Antique Fishing Lures Page 2
had his first old fishing lure patent in 1866; Patent # 54,684 which is for a
detachable hook on a trolling spoon. This gives us insight to when officially
his fishing lure endeavors began. Yet I own a lure that was found a ship that
was sunk in 1865 "The Pewabic" and can be read about
here. So while a patent may have been
applied for and given in1866 he was obviously producing lures for sale in 1865.
did antique fishing lure maker W. D Chapman become the "Heddon" of 19th Century antique fishing lures? Was it
through his detailed craftsmanship, his attention to detail in pressing and
manufacturing of the lure? Was it a result of hard work and efforts of his horse bound
salesman and employees such as Daniel Steele, Charles Higgins, Joshua Salisbury,
Percival Salisbury, and Orzellous Weeks? We may never know, but what we do know and
can document through the use of patents for the lures, online forums, genealogy
sites, and antique fishing lure collectors, he did a good job.
William Dana Chapman died in 1909 and is
buried in Old Theresa Cemetery, which closes in era in fine fishing lure craftsmanship. However his
death leaves many questions unanswered. What was his connection with partner
John H. Carnige?
I later unearthed a little acorn of information about
WD CHAPMAN SONS & Co the large Rochester dealer in fishing tackle and spoon
bait announce that Mr John B Carnegie formerly partner and manager of their
Canadian business has been admitted as partner in their American firm to
take effect at once and the firm name will hereafter be as above Their
office and Bales room will be located at 121 State Street Rochester NY and
they have considerably increased their shipping facilities
So this may be when we see a difference in the Title
Chapman and Sons to Chapman Sons and Company. Could it also be the end of
the lures that were Stamped Brockville, Ontario?
Was it the fire in 1890 that sent him and his antique fishing
lure business to Rochester, or a
connection with one of the multitudes of family members; Cole, Snell, Alanson?
There is actually quite a bit of documentation for Chapman in certain eras, but
great voids about this antique lure maker in others. How and why did the sales
offices move to Rochester, to be ultimately consumed, bought, and represented by
Gibson and Woodworth of 121 State Street?
I could go
on for pages about Chapman himself his patents, for the reverse motion display
case, his patent for the bird cage spring, and myriad of notes, discussions and
thought on his lures, as there are over 25 standards models of lures and, that
is what my web site is about. Showing the family trees, maps of Theresa, the
history of Theresa itself, cemetery inscriptions, obituaries of family members
should there be an interest.
WD Chapman Lure Maker Says Good Bye 1893
Fishing Tackle Proves a Failure with WD Chapman ROCHESTER
NY Nov 13 1893
The failure of the fishing tackle
house of WD Chapman & Son precipitated the closing up of the jewelry store
of WD Chapman at Theresa Mr Chapman has been in business there for the last
forty years and much sympathy is felt for the old jeweler Mr Chapman has
made public the following statement; After struggling through a business
career of over fifty years bravely meeting financial depressions and
beginning at the bottom of the ladder after two disastrous fires I find
myself to day financially snowed under Having been extensively engaged in
the manufacturing of Fishing Tackle making and causing to be made Tons with
which to lure the finny tribe I find the business has failed and engulfed me
in my old age. But to my old friends and customers whom I have tried to
serve faithfully and well in more prosperous days I will say I am at the old
place with competent help to attend to fine watch work and repairing Goods
at order which will come cheaper to you than i if kept in stock WD CHAPMAN
I however will close with the statement
below that that when time permits I will continue to add to the lure and fishing tackle
topics that are geared towards Chapman, and how his antique fishing lures and efforts of yesteryear have
had a profound impact on antique fishing lure collectors of today.