The pre-1920 Heddon lure and box

1903 - 1904 four-hook Heddon Slopenose Lures

 

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C. 1903 - 1904 four hook Slopenose lures with

' Translucent ' red color collar

When I first saw this Heddon lure, I assumed there was a problem because the collar didn't have what I wrongly assumed to be normal dark red paint.  Turns out many of the early slopenose lures had thin, translucent red paint on the collar and it is normal.  The other color variation would be an orange color and the more 'normal' dark lipstick red with the paint slopped over onto the body of the lure.  In conversations with a collector who has a number of the early slopenose lures as well as the rim less cup models, I was told that the paint is not always slopped over on to the body and that is the case with this lure.

 

The collar has one pin on the underside of the lure.

 

The other identifying paint trait is the lack of varnish on the stark all white body, which is normal prior to the time when varnish was applied about c. 1905.

 

The cups are rimmed, with gold wash as is the tail cap.  The nose, hook, and tail eye-screw  hardware is brass.  The nose line tie is circular and small, not tear drop shaped as is found on later lures.

 

The hooks are unplated and very small.

 

 

 

 

Personal correspondence notes on Heddon Experts from other collectors:

The same thing can be said of all 1902-1903 slopes two or four hooks. The line tie is a very small brass screw eye that is round not teardrop shaped. As far as paint on the collar, it was put on by hand after the lure was assembled and usually is slopped over onto the white portion of the body. The collar being aluminum, did not hold the paint well and I'm sure that fisherman added their own on occasion. There is a great deal of variety in the exact color of paint used on the collars of slopes, some is almost orange, some translucent red and most a solid bright red. The period 1902-1903 is a period of fast paced and numerous changes and slopenoses are no exception. I have noticed the earliest slopes, rimless cups and those that follow in 1902 have a shallow channel cut around the body of the bait that the collar locks into.

The odd thing is that the translucent paint shows up over and over again during the entire production run of slopes through 1910. The Bait in these pictures is not from 1902 or 1903 but rather 1904 or 1905. The earlier ones have a much different shape to their bodies and appear to be thinner and longer. The picture on the slopenose box lid is the first engraving of the rimless cup 4-hooker and it is an exact likeness of that bait as accurate as a photo. I owned the best rimless cup 4-hookerever found and it was dead on with the picture.

Above is the stage three - translucent red friction collar, gold washed cups and cap with dull whitewash paint.  It's the one right after the rimless cup.

The earliest slopes & Underwaters had very dull, whitewash paint with no varnish. These earlier Slopes also had the translucent - candy apple looking paint on the collar. The two lures pictures of are like textbook - The tiny line tie, belly hook way back, short snout, gold washed cup & tail cap with translucent red collar and whitewash like paint with no varnish is the early 02 style although it looks like a one pin which would probably make it early 03. It would go in the oak leaf box marked "Dowagiac" No. 2.
 
The big line tie and dark red painted collar is an 05 and later version depending on the length of the lure. It has the typical shiny paint with varnish and would go in the straight line box marked "Dowagiac Expert" probably with WHITE.

When looking at a white wash Slope you have to keep in mind that the last stage Underwater was the first era to have the shiny white  paint with varnish and you have to keep in mind when the last Underwater was manufactured. It wasn't in 1904

Heddon Slopenose remarks from various long-term Heddon collectors:

When looking at a white wash Slope you have to keep in mind that the last stage Underwater was the first era to have the shiny white  paint with varnish and you have to keep in mind when the last Underwater was manufactured. It wasn't in 1904.

The same thing can be said of all 1902-1903 slopes two or four hooks. The line tie is a very small brass screw eye that is round not teardrop shaped. As far a paint on the collar, it was put on by hand after the lure was assembled and usually is slopped over onto the white portion of the body. The collar being aluminum, did not hold the paint well and I;m sure that fisherman added their own on occasion. There is a great deal of variety in the exact color of paint used on the collars of slopes, some is almost orange, some translucent red and most a solid bright red. The period 1902-1903 is a period of fast paced and numerous changes and slopenoses are no exception. I have noticed the earliest slopes, rimless cups and those that follow in 1902 have a shallow channel cut around the body of the bait that the collar locks into.

The lure looks just fine and is not unusual in any sense. The odd thing is that the translucent paint shows up over and over again during the entire production run of slopes through 1910. The Bait in these pictures is not from 1902 or 1903 but rather 1904 or 1905. The earlier ones have a much different shape to their bodies and appear to be thinner and longer. The picture on the box lid is the first engraving of the rimless cup 4-hooker and it is an exact likeness of that bait as accurate as a photo. I owned the best rimless cup 4-hooker ever found and it was dead on with the picture.

The earliest slopes & Underwaters had very dull, whitewash paint with no varnish. These earlier Slopes also had the transluscent - candy apple looking paint on the collar. The two lures you sent me pictures of are like textbook - The tiny line tie, belly hook way back, short snout, gold washed cup & tail cap with translucent red collar and whitewash like paint with no varnish is the early 02 style although it looks like a one pin which would probably make it early 03. It would go in the oak leaf box marked "Dowagiac" No. 2.
 
The big line tie and dark red painted collar is an 05 and later version depending on the length of the lure. It has the typical shiney paint with varnish and would go in the straight line box marked "Dowagiac Expert" probably with WHITE.
 

 

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