Old Fishing Lure Henry Loftie Lure History Page 2
Henry's first lure patent No. 390,028 was
granted Sept 25, 1888. His use of a three pronged or triangular weed deflector
on the front Fig. 6 on the patent and a wire weed guard over the tri-pronged
hook figures 4, 5, 6.
One of his
more notable antique fishing lure patents was granted December 31, 1889. Patent
number 418,200, the Gang Spoon, was a lure which contained a myriad of
different shaped spinners (5) as he refers to them as fliers in his patent. You
can see two of the five examples in the lure gallery, one is at the bottom left
of this page. Also in the Lure Media section under catalogs you can see an
actual advertisement from the 1897 Rueben Woods Son company. This lure was
offered in seven sizes; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. As noted in the catalog the picture
shows size 3 with one being the smallest for orientation. I am uncertain of the
relationship between the size numbers noted and how it relates to the lure
itself. My hunch would be that the size correlates to the length of the shaft of
which the spinners are attached, seeing how in the catalog they refer to number
7 for Lake trout and muskellunge.
also created a fly rod lure version which can be seen in the Rueben Wood's
catalog as well, labeled the Monroe fly Spinner. I have seen a few variations of
this fly set up, one which contained one gang flier and a smaller fly rod size
of the Loftie blade shown in the gallery.
his longest lasting impression and mystery in and on the lure world comes into
the picture August 30, 1892 when he was granted lure patent number 481,652. This
patent was for a trolling blade, lure, with the ability to interchange or swap
out the blades. by providing a locking clasp on the shaft and a simple hole in
the spoon, Loftie has appealed to the fishing lure community in a way which will
make this lure appear in some form or fashion for the next 100 years though not
resembling in looks, it was concept.... This lure was offered in a wide array of
sizes and combinations with the gang. In the catalog its referred to as the
"Woods Jokers" and were available either in a flat or plain finish or hammered.
The lures were also available in Nickel, Brass or Copper and in two sizes.
Why did I
say this lasted for such a long time? Whether it was through the purchase of
the hammered pattern plate or from the infringement/deal for or on the rights to
the patent (by Pflueger or Harlow) itself for the next 15 or so years you can
and will find his lures. Normally the spoon will be without the hole to help
better decipher its origin. however late 90's catalogs show this lure with
Harlows name and use of the same type printing block of the specified hammered
Carter's book 19th Century Fishing Lures he shows the Woods Joker ad in
conjecture and speculation with John Harlow; I believe based on his extensive
amount knowledge and research of pre 1900's materials he may be right. And, also
notes it might be Loftie as well. (Here in lies a lot of mystery and scuttlebutt
among metal collectors and the relationship between Loftie, Pflueger, and Harlow
) Is it Loftie, is it Harlow, is it Pflueger I wish I had the answer or the
facts to help educate us even more. But, unfortunately my assertion and thoughts
are just as much of a guess as anyone else's.
made a few other assortments of blades over the years, some of which I have seen
and others I have been able to purchase and can be viewed in the galleries.
In the next few years after this patent was received,
Henry Loftie exited the lure world forever. Leaving his mark and works for us,
the antique fishing lure collectors to enjoy and be somewhat mystified by his
eccentricity business dealings and his exit of the lure industry.
Henry Loftie Antique