Tight Lines Tuesday Line Blocks
by John Etchieson
Tight Lines Tuesday Line Blocks; 133 years ago in 1884 a fisherman was just as likely to find his fishing lines to be packaged on a wooden frame, called a “line block”, as he was to find them wrapped onto a round wooden spool since those had only been introduced 5 years earlier in 1879. One of the earliest known brands of fishing lines on a 19th century “line block” is this rare example of an Empire City Braid Company – long staple cotton braided line with a simple paper label depicting the image of a fish and which is still intact on this unused fishing line that has become both stained and darkened with age. The Empire City Braid Company was not actually a real company, but rather a “house brand” name that was made up and used solely for marketing purposes by the New York City fishing tackle firm known as the Abbey and Imbrie Company which had been formed by the partnership of L. H. Abbey and C. F. Imbrie in 1875. Finding a fishing “line block” from 1884 is indeed a rare find today, but finding one that has never been used and still has its original fishing line with label is a true tackle treasure for any collector of antique fishing tackle to find.
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