Riley Haskell minnow lures patented back on September 20, 1859 are what he is know for today. He was an Ohio Gunsmith that made mostly rifles and sights. The Riley Haskell minnow lures were the first minnow shaped lure to be patented and, hence, one of the most desirable lure for collectors today. The copper and brass lure came in four lengths of 3-1/2, 4-1/2, 6 and 10 inches. The larger lures are scarcer than the smaller ones. Some of the lures have have tiny impressions like scales and some lures are smooth. The smaller lures are stamped “R. Haskell” and the larger ones are stamped “Riley Haskell.” His patent gives the details of his invention. The inside of the metal body had cork in the top and lead in the bottom. This was intended to keep the lure vertical in the water. Riley Haskell died on June 24, 1882 in Mentor, OH. The Haskell Minnow is considered to be one of the great collectible lures.
The R. HASKELL 6 Inch Musky Minnow, Painesville, OH, circa 1859
The R. HASKELL 3-1/2 Inch Minnow, Painesville, OH, circa 1859
The R. HASKELL Minnow with Scale Pattern
The R. HASKELL Minnow Patent
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: