Early twentieth century fishing lure manufacturers had no shortage of strange ideas about what might make a fish strike and what might make a fisherman buy a lure. Some vintage fishing lures were bristling with up to 5 sets of treble hooks, fancy glass eyes, moving legs on frogs and other innovations. Most of them make some sense: more hooks may mean more chances to snag a striking fish and realistic eyes might fool a fish, or at least fool a fisherman, but I came across an old lure recently that had an odd description in the listing title on eBay:
It is a Heddon Dowagiac model 210 surface lure with “toilet seat hardware.” What kind of hardware, I wondered? I had to click through to the listing and find out. Sure enough, this lure looks as if it was trying to swim through a small toilet seat headfirst and got stuck!
A cupped face on a lure and cupped bobbers are features that are still used to help create a splash on the surface when the lure is retrieved, and they work. A splash is attractive to predators and will often cue them to strike where a lure not creating a disturbance on the surface will not. This early approach to making a splash appears to me less effective than simply cupping the front of the lure, but it is interesting and oddly attractive and has a funny name. Those attributes are more than enough to make it very attractive to antique lure collectors!