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How Were Metallized Fishing Lures From 1910 Made

"Fishing Lure Collectibles"

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Ok here's one for the old timers out there!

I collect antique fishing lures, one of the most interesting lures out there from the era 1910 to 1930's were 'metallized minnows'. These wonderful 5 hook and 3 hook wooden lures were metallized. Companies that made them were Pflueger in Akron OH and Heddon in Michigan. Nickel is the top finish coat - copper is observed under the nickel.

My question is, let's say its 1910, what was used back then to activate the wood blank? I have asked here at work, and one technical gentlemen told me it was most likely silver nitrate reduced with formaldehyde, followed up by copper cyanide plate, and then the final nickel plate. Note that some were 'shiny finish' and some were 'matte finish'.

I'd love to obtain some knowledge from 'old timers' who may know how this was done, I'm a member of the NFLCC (National Fishing Lure Collectors Club) and an article for our bimonthly magazine would be well received.

Ok senior platers - do you have any input here?

Thanks and all the best,

Mark Andrus
hobbyist - Cleveland, Ohio

It's a silver nitrate in a clear lacquer solution painted onto the piece then dried.- To The eyehooks on each end attach copper wire to make the bottom and top hooks and then you paint the hooks, wires and all with the silver nitrate in the clear lacquer solution so it will get a good contact. Then hang a small wait on the bottom wire so the wooden lure does not float then put in air acid copper and plate eight hours or long enough to get enough material to polish . Polish then Nickel plate. The reason it was not chrome plated is chrome plating did not exist until 1931.

S. Neel
chrome plater - Yuba City, California

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