Antique Lures


Heddon c. 1908 Wood box model 100 & 150 fishing lures

Wood box Heddon lures, and especially the underwater minnows, are from an extremely interesting period of the Heddon history. The era c. 1908-1910 is similar to the Shakespeare history in that there was great competition between the major lure companies and apparently everyone was trying to out do the other. Quality was greatly appreciated and the lures show that concern. Up until 1910, Heddon, Shakespeare, and Pflueger were all using wood boxes.

Pictured below in the first photo frame are:

According to Bill Sonnett's article " 8 years of Heddon hardware", the 1908 100 and 150 bluntnose in green crackleback were the only Heddon lures seen in the 1908 Sears-Roebuck catalog. Sales by Sears may account for the large number of these lures still in existence.

Click on any photo to enlarge it

First, three 100's all 1908 vintage "bluntnose" body style in various colors (rainbow; white with silver flitter; and green/brown back with yellow belly) which would be consistent with later type "IV" and "V" wood boxes.


Next are four 150's c. 1908 bluntnose's in various colors (rainbow; slate/white; green crackleback; and gold), all are one belly weight and consistent with lures you would expect to find in the later type IV and V wood boxes.

hblntnose.jpg (180004 bytes)


A Heddon 159A, with unmarked props, hand painted gill marks, cup rigged, single belly weight, blunt nose, color: (A) old bar perch or yellow perch, (later bar perch has leaning vertical stripes). The wood box is a type IV

1908 Hardware and features

Cup rig: One of the earliest types of hook hardware used and typical of Heddon baits made prior to 1916-1917. There is an eye screw in the center of the cup which holds the hook. The cup was to have prevented the hook from hitting the lure body and protected the wood. There are several variations of the earliest types, but the more common type found on the 1908 version is pictured below.

Props: Cup rig underwater minnows can have two types of props: unmarked (No Name On Prop) which dates them prior to 1915-1917, and (Name On Prop), which dates them after 1915-1917 when the name Heddon Dowagiac was stamped on the front prop.

Heddon made a gradual change to L-rig during the 1915-1917 time range, so it is possible to find NOP lures with cup rig. Apparently they wanted to use up the last cup rig lures and placed the new marked props on the older cup rig lures. Where wood box lures are concerned, there should be no name on the prop!


The 1907 Heddon catalog lists the following colors were available in the 150 that year:

  • Fancy Back (green crackleback)
  • Rainbow
  • White (slate and white)
  • Aluminum (blue grey)
  • Red (solid to blended)
  • Yellow (brownish green on top, yellow belly)
  • Gold (greenish gold)
  • Fancy Sienna-Yellow

You should look at the chart on Heddon 150 colors to track and check the introduction and disappearance of various colors by Heddon.

Body styles: Body shapes ranged from the earliest 1904-1906 with a high forehead and two or three belly weights, to the later 1908-1910 slimmer bodies with only one belly weight. The most common is the later single belly weight. The typical 1908 wood box model lure is blunt nosed!

Below is a picture, from Riley Smith's collection, of a high forehead five hook model with long sweeping gill marks. This is NOT the body type that would be found in the type IV or V wood box, but rather the earlier onway slide top wood boxes marked The "New" Dowagiac Minnow.

Boxes: There are four versions of the wood box. Type I, II, III, IV, and V. Type I, II, and III are consistent with the two and three belly weight model lure bodies.

Type IV and V wood boxes are consistent with the 1908-1910 blunt nose model lures.

Earliest cup rig models c.1902-1904 generally came in white cardboard boxes with a picture or writing on the top of the box. As of 1904 they used both wood boxes and cardboard depending on the minnow until the wood box only in the 1908-1910 era.

Wood boxes are generally thought to have been used from 1904-1910.  After that time a new cardboard box was used: The Pinetree box and the blue border down leaping Bass box, then came the various red border down leaping Bass boxes.

Below are three variations of the nomenclature found on the end of the type IV and V wood boxes.

Return to Heddon lure Index

Be sure to see the examples of the pre-1920 Heddon lure collection on this site



Have lures or reels you want  to sell?   Contact Gabby Talkington:  Contact information

Lure and Lure Box Prices We Pay


 Table of Contents  |   Search on this site  |   Home page

 Advanced Articles & Knowledge

This website is copyrighted 1997- 2011.  All rights reserved.  No image or content from this website may be used on any other website without written permission.  For any questions: Contact