At the westernmost point of the Great Lakes on the north shore of Lake Superior, Duluth is linked to the Atlantic Ocean 2,300 miles (3,700 km) away via the Great Lakes and Erie Canal/New York State Barge Canal or Saint Lawrence Seaway passages and is the Atlantic Ocean's westernmost deep-water port.
Native American tribes had occupied the Duluth area for thousands of years. The original inhabitants are believed to have been members of Paleo-Indian cultures, followed by the "Old Copper" people, who hunted with spear points and knives and fished with metal hooks. Around two thousand years ago, the Woodlands people, known for their burial mounds and pottery, occupied the area. They also cultivated wild rice, a crop that continues to be harvested today by Ojibwa tribes in the region and is often seen being sold in the area. The Sioux inhabited the region until the middle of the 17th century until the Ojibwa drove the Sioux out soon after 1654, when the "Chippewa" were forced from eastern seaboard areas by the Iroquois.
A famous site in Duluth, the Aerial Lift Bridge, spans the short canal into Duluth's harbor.
Duluth once fielded a National Football League team called the Kelleys (officially the Kelley Duluths after the Kelley-Duluth Hardware Store) from 1923–1925 and the Eskimos (officially Ernie Nevers' Eskimos after the early NFL great, their star player) from 1926-1927. The Eskimos were then sold and became the Orange Tornadoes (Orange, New Jersey). This bit of history became the basis for the 2008 George Clooney/Renee Zellweger movie, "Leatherheads".
This lure "company" was actually the result of one man, Wally Gauthier, making these lures in his garage in the late 1950s.
The spoon-lure features 3 carefully placed circular dents in the lure.
This unique metal diving lure was made in three differnt metals and was sold in the 1960s.
While some boxes have the address of Duluth, MN on it, most boxes are found with Superior, WI on it...just across the Aerial Bridge from Duluth.
I need to find out the history of these lures, as they appear to have been sold in several parts of the state, such as Mankato.
K & B Auto Parts / K & B Baits Co
Marshall Wells Hardware Co
While these lures were not manufactured in MN, they were sold here.
Marshell Wells was a large store and landmark in the area for many years.
The minnow pictured was made by Pfluegar and sold in the Marshall Wells box.
I know little about this lure, other than it was made in Duluth and was sold in a cyclinder or on a card. I assume it was made into the 1960's due to the use of a zip code on the card pictured.
This "springy" lure has a good action in the water, but I have only seen a few of these...so I don't think sales were high.
Zenith was part of Marshall Wells Hdwe, listed above.
This metal lure was made in the 1950s and advertised the gold color for clear and evening fishing...and the silver color for early morning and cloudy fishing.
Just an FYI, some time ago there was a lure collector that put these lures on a fake card and sold them as lures from the early 1900s. Don't be fooled!
The "Rocket" was a single hook spoon made for fishing on Lake Superior.
This simple hook assembly featured a Red Ball to attract the fish.
This company made spinners in the Cloquet / Duluth area, probably in the 1960s.
Silver Sinner Frozen Minnow Co
While technically not a lure, I had to show this box from a company that sold minnows by the dozen intended to be used for bait.
I like the side of the box that states "No minnow buckets to carry".
This is the most popular metal lure design in Minnesota. Each time I think no more with a different name will show up...I find yet another.
Fabricated Metal Products Co
The Brilliant Search Light Mf’g Co
This device was patented in 1916 by Rudolph C. Kruschke, but records show it was made before that time. This nearly 5 inch long device was used as a trolling guard for your hook, and was a “simple and efficient means for protecting the hook against foreign objects, such for instance as eelgrass, lily pads, snags and like objects when trolling…” I think the wooden box is especially cool as it has an illustration of the device and is printed in English and Spanish (on the back). Only a few examples of “The Perfect Weed Repeller” are known to exist, even though the pamphlet advertised they were “Sold By All Dealers Who Carry Fishing Tackle”. This paperwork also had illustrations of the device being used with some popular lures of the time, such as a wooden underwater minnow and a Rhodes Frog.
This box is very rare, especially with the original paperwork. The box also contained an ad for Michigan Dope insect repellent, which was sold by the same company. The ad shows two mosquitoes looking at the repellent and saying “This is the Dope that killed father”.
This company made two types of spoons, the "Fluted Arrowhead" and the "Arrowhead Wobbler".
I don't think this compnay is related to the company with the same name in Ely, MN.
This company was a distributor for some fishing tackle, such as these flies. They also distributed Heddon lures in their trademarked boxes.
From 1923 to 1927, this business owned a Professional Football team in MN...The Duluth Eskimos (The Duluth Kelleys).