(Heddon started use of brass cup rig hardware)
The earliest wood
boxes are the Type I and type II, which were used in 1904.
Type III wood boxes
were used around 1905, had two belly wt. minnows with brass hardware.
white and picture boxes begin during this time.
(Heddon Double blue line white box, start nickel plated cup rig hardware)
The white box with
the double line at the border of the box was in use from 1906 until 1911.
Only cup rig, no name on prop lures found in this box.
Type IV wood boxes
were in use 1905-6
Type V wood boxes
were in used from 1907 until possibly as late as 1910.
1912-1914 (Heddon Down leaping Bass, ‘Name stamped on the spinners’, Name on
prop starts 1912, continue Cup rig)
In 1912-13, The
Pine Tree, Blue border, and white border boxes were in use for one or two
years. Name on prop starts in 1912 with cup rig lures.
The red border down
leaping bass box was first used in 1912 to 1915. These boxes will have
“stamped on the spinners” on the sides of the boxes and ‘Heddon’s Dowagiac
game fish minnow’ on the top.
(Heddon L-rig officially introduced)
(Stamped on the metal, Name on prop, L-rig)
The red border down
leaping bass box with ‘stamped on the metal’ and still has ‘Heddon’s Dowagiac
game fish minnow’ and in use from 1915 to 1920.
The last of the
‘Game fish minnow’ boxes have folded ends, Stamped on the Metal on the sides,
is’nt spelled wrong, and were used during 1920 to 1924.
1924 (Genuine Heddon down leaping Bass starts)
The ‘Genuine’ down
leaping Bass Heddon Dowagiac minnow red border boxes are from 1924 to 1927.
(Genuine Up leaping Bass appears)
The ‘Genuine’ up
leaping Bass started in 1927 until 1930.
Heddon lure distinctive features of the hook hardware
|The earliest c.1905
Heddon hardware is a shallow cup made of brass with an eye screw in the
center of the cup. The props would be unmarked.
|Nickel plated cup
hardware with an eye screw in the middle of the cup is typical of the
1906-1912 era. This hardware would be consistent with the unmarked
|After 1912 and into
the 1930's, Heddon used the L-rig hardware has a screw showing outside the
nickel plated cup.
The earliest props (Figure 1) are unmarked and
consistent with the cup rig hardware. The later post 1912 props are
all marked with the words "Heddon" and "Dowagiac" on the prop.
Fig. 1: plain prop,
Fig. 2: marked
Identifying Heddon lures can be made much easier if you know the types of
hardware and the time period they were used.
hardware typical of Heddon
baits made prior to 1914. The earliest cups were made of brass and
the later were nickel plated. There were variations in the early years
with rim anatomy and variations (flat rim cup dates prior
raised rim cup dates to 1908 and later)
detailed in the NFLCC article "Eight Years of Heddon Hardware" by Bill Sonnett.
Note: there are some
later cup rigged Heddon lures which are stenciled 'Heddon' on the
belly. The body style is slim. The lure was made approximately
during 1930-33. Heddon begin putting the stencil 'Heddon' on
lures approximately 1927 and somewhere between 1930-33 they used the cup rig
again for a VERY short time.
Cup rig underwater
minnows can have two types of props: unmarked (No Name On Prop) which dates
them prior to 1912; and Name On Prop, which dates them after 1912 when the
name Heddon Dowagiac was stamped on the front and rear prop. Heddon made a
gradual change to L-rig during the 1914-1915 time range, so it is possible to
find NOP lures with cup rig (lures fitting this criteria date from
1912 through 1915-ish) .
Apparently they wanted to use up the last cup rig lures and placed the new
marked props on the older cup rig lures.
Personal notes from 1991 article on '8 Years of Heddon Hardware' published
in the Premier Issue of the NFLCC Magazine:
cups were used on 100's and 150's until the conversion to L-rig sometime
refers to No Name On Prop spinners used on 100,150, 175,300's during
1904 to 1912.
Only the 400 and
450 used 'Killer' props for the whole life time of their production.
In 1912, all
lures featured "Dowagiac" on the spinners.
The shift to
'fat body' 100's occurred in 1910.
gill marks on 100's were gone by 1905.
1907 100's can
have one large or two belly weights, slim body, low-rimmed hardware,
tiny nose washer, and nickel-plated hardware.
The 1911 #100 is
a fat body style.
1912 is the year
NOP (name on prop) became standard.
first cataloged in 1914 on
the Dummy Double. . The hook screw has an arm for an attachment screw which
comes out of the cup and onto the body. Earliest L-rig is single
hump, later two hump L-rig seen after 1914.
Generally only Name On Prop.
made in two pieces
and the toilet seat shape gives it the name. This hardware was in use during
1927 to 1936.
Name On Prop.