In the early 1940's, Jack K. Smithwick worked as a salesman for the Friden Calculator Sales Agency. He was trying to come up with a way to attract new customers and promote the business. Today many businesses use give away ink pens with the company name on them. As a boy Jack had enjoyed carving fishing lures. He decided to use fishing lures as his give away novelty item. He would carve them and give them to clients and prospective clients. He would print his name and the company name on them.
Perhaps we have found one of those lures. Unfortunatly it has part of the name obscured. It is what will become a Top-N-Bottom Jack Sprat in 1947. The Jack Sprat is the 2nd lure he made along with the Top-N-Bottom lure.
I have seen his early lures with names like: Top-N-Bottom Jack Sprat, Top-N-Bottom Stud Duck, DEVELS Horse Floater, etc. But not a name like this. This appears to fit with the description of an novelty give away item using a lure that would later become one of his earliest lures when he founded his Smithwick and Sons lure company.
These pictures come to us courtsey of Claude McMorris in Denham Springs LA. We really appreciate has help in expanding our knowledge on Smithwick history.
Another early find. This time it does have the name Friden Calculator stamped on the lure. This lure will later become the Top-N-bottom Gandy Dancer when Jack Smithwick leaves Friden Calculator Co. and starts the Smithwick Lure Co. These pictures come from Claude McMorris. Thank You Claude.