James Heddon’s Sons Lures – Dowagiac, MI

James Heddon’s Sons Lures were made in Dowagiac, MI. The first commercially available lure was the “Dowagiac” Casting Bait. It’s now called the “Slopenose.” It was a white lure with a blue sloped nose and a red metal color. He received a patent for the lure on April 1, 1902. By 1905, Heddon was producing a number of different underwater minnow designs. You can tell the oldest models because they had three long flowing gill marks painted under the large glass eyes. The lures became famous because of their high quality and they caught fish. Early Heddon catalogs state that their minnows have 7 to 12 coats of special porcelain enamel and were guaranteed not to peel off or crack. Heddon continued to make glass-eyed wooden lures up until World War II. In the 1950’s and later, plastic lures were the most common design. The first lures pictured below are all very early models. The earliest lures had cup hardware and screw eyes for the hooks. Then came what is called L-rig, then 2-piece and finally surface rigged hook hardware. The following photos show some of the basic color patterns and the wide variety of body styles. James Heddon’s Sons lures are considered to be made by one of the early great lure makers.

After World War II, all lure manufacturers realized there was no need to continue to incorporate the little glass eyes into their wooden lures. First came little tack eyes and then simple painted eyes. In the 1950’s, plastic lures started to be the predominate lure type. Heddon’s venture into plastic lures started with what they called “Spook” lures. They were called “Spook” lures because you could see through them like a ghost.

James Heddon's Sons Lures

Uncommon HEDDON Lures and Catalog

HEDDON Dowagiac Minnows and Boxes

HEDDON No. 150 in Bar Perch Finish with Wooden Box

HEDDON No. 00 and No. 1001 Lures with White Boxes

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Dowagiac No. 0 Lure with Blue Border Box

HEDDON Dowagiac No. 150 Lure with Down Leaping Bass Box

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Dowagiac No. 150 and No. 200 Lures with Box

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Dowagiac No. 150 and No. 100 Lures in Silver Flitter Color

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Vamp Lures with Box

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Laguna Runt Lures with Boxes

HEDDON Punkinseed Lures with Box

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Lucky 13 Lure

James Heddon's Sons Lures

HEDDON Giant Vamp and Husky Flaptail Lures

HEDDON Lures in Strawberry Spot, Rainbow, Shiner Scale and Green Scale Lure Color Patterns

HEDDON Lure Collection

HEDDON Zara Spook Color Variations


1905 HEDDON Magazine Ad

Abbey & Imbrie 1907 Catalog Pages Showing HEDDON WOOD MINNOWS


1921 HEDDON Field & Stream Magazine Ad

1922 HEDDON Field & Stream Magazine Ads

Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: