Old Fishing lure Maker John Mann Tea and Spice Tin


Old Fishing Lure make John Mann engraved pocket watch

John mann old fishing lure

John H Mann Lures Continued

His first patent for a fishing lure was granted Sept. 26, 1871 for a trolling spoon which we as collectors have dubbed the shield, from its obvious resemblance to one. This early piece was offered up in 5 sizes, with five separate numbers which correlated to the corresponding sizes.  I personally have yet to discern the relationship of the number to the size of the lure on most of his baits, with the exception obvious, the scale of the smaller the number thus the smaller the bait. 

     His most significant patent for a lure  was on Nov. 21, 1871 (No. 121,182) for the Improvement in Trolling Spoons. This was the advent of the glass bead or washer as its called being placed on the shaft of the lure between the washer and the spoon. This was done to lessen friction during the rotation, and as well as to diffract the light from the spoon. All of Mann's lures were equipped with this clear glass bead. Another significant design on the shaft was the controller as its called, a single strand of metal looped from the spoon around the shaft to held the lure in a fixed position while rotating.  

     Another very distinguishing tell tale sign of a Mann lure, is the hooks. All of Mann's lures are the use of his "Japanned" double hooks (With the exception of the fly rod lures and the oval hook-spoons). these hooks are covered in a Blackened enamel made in the orient. This process seems to even today keep these 130 year old hooks still bright and shinny. These were wrapped in two different flavors, with feathers and or red cloth which is indicative to the early metal lure makers.

     Mann had 6 different types of lures, and approximately  6 different types of markings. All Mann's I have come across are thus marked, and or patents placed on them. In the Mann gallery below you will see examples of them in their different sizes and the corresponding patents. These lures were offered in Silver, Brass, Copper, and Nickel. 

     The Shield Lure

     Perfect Revolving Lure  (Heart)

     Improved Trolling Lure  (Egg/Tear Drop)

     Oval Single Hook Lure (Hook-Spoon)

     Oval Double japanned Hooks Lure (Egg)

     Kidney Lure

Most of the old fishing lures made by John H Mann of Syracuse Ny can be viewed in the Lure Gallery below. I have a good representation of his lure line up. I certainly hope you've enjoyed this section on John Mann and please remember if you have old fishing lures, boxes or catalogs you think we could use in our collection visit the contact page above.