SJ Meyer Manhattan Lure
The SJ Meyer Manhattan Lure is one of those antique fishing lures we haven’t found too much information about. There is an estimated 10 year time frame that this lure is being attributed to 1910-1920. This antique fishing lure made of wood is typical of the rotary head style of lures we attribute to makers such as Ans B Decker. Where by the front section of this 2 piece lure rotates upon retrieval. The Manhattan has the rounded prop very similar to Decker’s.
The Manhattan fishing lure has been found with two different and distinctive hooks hardware retainers or rigs. The earliest is thought to have been the staple rigged, and the later such as the antique lure shown in the Gallery below uses a screw eye and cup combination. The lure has also been found with a keel attached to the lower or back half of the lure. The lures have been found with both single hooks and the use of treble hooks.
There are 3 sizes to the Manhattan antique lures, all being housed in a somewhat similar style box. The Number 1 measuring in at 2 3/4″ the 2 measures 3 1/4″ and the size 3 measures 3 3/4″ in length.
The 5 colors available were:
White Body with Red Head
Yellow with Gold Spots (Shown in Gallery Below)
Long time collector Bill Sonnet adds: “The name “Manhatten” is the trade name for the SJ Meyers, This is no different that “Meadow Brook” J C Higgens” etc for other large distributors. S J Meyers did not manufacture their own lures but had other outfits make them for them with changes over time. In the case of this floating bait it started out as a Jacob Mick bait cc 1905. The same bait was sold early on by Harkauf. I have fished that bait and it has a tendency to role over as the head rotated and the hooks which were originally on staples and split rings easily tangled with each other which I am sure led to better hook hardware as seen here and at one time a metal fin in the main body of the bait to prevent it rolling over. They were sold for many years and they do catch fish!
The hardest boxes to find are the earliest ones that Jacob Mick sold himself under the name “the Patterson” for Patterson New Jersey where he lived. Recently someone found a Patterson box and put a picture on Joes. There are very few Patterson boxes known. I have never seen a Patterson Underwater box.
First is 1905 ad for Jacob Mick next an original Jacob Mick Patterson box that was over-labeled with a Manhattan label. Next is a March 1922 S J Meyers ad from Sporting goods Journal with both baits pictured from photographs still showing the staple and split ring hardware. Last The Manhattan Underwater with original box.
Below are some images Bill sent to go along with the above information:
You can view the Harkauf / Mick Plug info here Harkauf Jacob Mick Rotary Head Lure
The antique lure box states:
“The Manhattan Lure”
Cast near Lily Pads and Stumps and along shore where bass usually abound. By slow reeling you get more strikes. Always strike your fish as soon as it strikes the Bait. Oiling the tube helps the Bait revolve freely.