It's easy to
confuse early Pflueger underwater minnows with Shakespeare minnows unless you
know the difference in the hardware and cross section shape of the bodies.
In the c.
1905-1910 era, the Pflueger and Shakespeare companies were both using a gem clip
"see-through" hook hanger hardware attachment. Eventually, the two companies
went to court over the patent for the gem clip and Shakespeare won that battle.
Pflueger switched to the "Neverfail" hardware (named after the Neverfail
minnow), and Shakespeare switched to flat plate hardware about the same time.
After 1910 Pflueger was using only Neverfail hardware and Shakespeare was using
the flat plate see-through hanger.
For the sake
of argument, let's just concentrate on 1910. In the three hook minnows, the
difference between the Pflueger and Shakespeare is easy to spot. Pflueger used a
much smaller see-through cup. Shakespeare a larger cup.
supplied many contract companies with the smaller cup minnows for repackaging
with their own label. An example of this would be the "Ketch-em Wooden Minnow"
from the Simmons Hardware Company.
Shakespeare's three hook minnow has a different shaped body which allowed for
the larger cup. Pflueger's three hook gem clip minnows are round bodied and
Shakespeare bodies are elliptical shaped with flatter sides.
Monarch bodies are triangular when viewed front the nose. Three hook and five
hook Monarchs both display this feature when viewed from the nose. The cup size
is not definitive for the Monarch's because they used the larger cup and
see-through gem clip hanger with the larger body. Both the Monarch and the
Neverfail minnows were offered in 1910 with gem clip hardware. The difference in
the two is the shape of the body: triangular vs. round.
five hook gem clip hardware Neverfail underwater minnows also have the round
body, but the cups are the larger variety.
noticeable difference in the two types of gem clip hardware used in the Pflueger
and Shakespeare is the actual clip is slightly smaller in the Pflueger as well
as the smaller cup in the three hook models.
photos to enlarge
body Pflueger with gem clip see-through hardware and a small cup
Shakespeare shaped body with gem clip see-through hardware and larger cup.
Pflueger Monarch with gem clip see-through hardware and larger cups
Pflueger Metalized Minnow with gem clip see-through hardware and larger