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The Heddon Museum

·         Located in the former Heddon factory at 414 West St. in Dowagiac MI., the over 3000 sq. ft. Heddon Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Heddon family's many contributions to the fishing tackle industry, as well as the city of Dowagiac.


·         The Heddon family's many activities are chronicled, including James' bee keeping and weekly newspaper publishing, his son Will's 1891 parachute jump from a balloon, his second son Charles's National Amateur Billiard Championship in 1918 and his funding and publishing of a the Dowagiac Daily News, which is still being published today.


·         The center piece of the families many accomplishments, and of the museum, is the James Heddon's Sons Co., at one time the worlds largest manufacturer of fishing tackle. From its inception in 1902 until its departure from Dowagiac in 1984, the company made not only fishing tackle but many other items including golf club shafts, ski poles and violin bows as well as box kites and radio antennae for the military during WWII. All and more are on display.


·         Over 1800 Heddon lures, 170 reels, 265 rods and many dealer and prototype items are on display, including an original James Heddon frog, one of the most sought after of all collector lures.


·         The Heddon Aviation Company played an important role in the early history of commercial aviation in the United States and several models of their famous "flying fish" airplanes are on display.


Description: Narrow horizontal


One of many Heddon Lure boards showing 410 different cataloged lures.


Heddon Basser display


Heddon Museum display of miscellaneous items.


Heddon Aviation Company Display



I Need Help from Fishing tackle collectors with paper products:


I am putting out this plea for information. Some of you may know that for years, I have been working on a Heddon research book. It has a working title of “Everything Ever in a Heddon Catalog from 1902-1984…and a little bit more.”

So far I have probably 97% of the research done: over 1000 pages and that includes room for pictures. As near as I can tell, there will be Volume One-Lures, Volume Two- Dealer Items and Volume Three- Rods, Reels and Line. I see the book as having a hard cover, glossy pages and nice photo reproduction. It is mostly scans of the pictures in the catalogs. I will use real photos where no catalog pictures exist and also to fill in blank spaces.


As of this time Volume One is nearly all edited and almost ready for print at 600 pages. I have over 2000 scans for this volume alone and I still need to take about 100 pictures in the museum for items with no cataloged pictures and for filler, if needed. Once it is “all ready” then I will find a publisher.


I AM STILL MISSING DEALER INFORMATION, A FEW CATALOG COVERS AND SOME ADS TO MAKE THIS BOOK COMPLETE. There are some items I have copies of, but they are not good enough for printing in the book [and I can’t remember who gave me the b/w copies], so I am looking for originals on the list below.



New Goods for 1926 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1930 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1935 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1936 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1937 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1938 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1939 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1940 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1941 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1950 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1952 or it may say “New Tackle for …”

New Goods for 1956 or it may say “New Tackle for …”


Need ALL PAGES OF THE 1968 Trade Catalog:



Need Cover pictures only Of Regular Catalogs- Not Dealer Covers.

1925 regular

1927 regular

1929 regular


Need Small Size Catalogs cover pictures:

1949 ?

1963-68 [I have a 1969]- I don’t know if there are any after 1969.


Need full Page Scans Of the originals listed below…I cannot use a copy of a copy:

1904 V, L & A cat-.page 402

1904 Standart Bros Ltd. page 6

1908 color or b/w pictures from any catalog [except I have 1908 ABBEY & Imbrie]

Mar-1-08 Hibbard, Spencer & Bartlet in color page 2134E

Need the date verified on Bullard & Gormley Co. catalog pages 38 & 39 and a good scan.

1920 catalog of any kind with color or b/w pictures of Heddon lures [except have 1920 Abbey & Imbrie]


Heddon catalog inserts:

1933 catalog insert: ”7 lures for 6”

1951 catalog inserts –invitation and order blank only

1952 catalog – Lou Caine sport fish book insert only

1953 catalog inserts–invitation and order blank only

1954 catalog inserts –invitation only

1955 catalog inserts –invitation and order blank only


If you could:

Scan it at 300DPI and it needs to be saved to the .Tif extension: If you have any problems with this,

please let me know and I can help you.

If you do not have the capabilities to scan or you do not want to take the time, please let me know and I

could borrow the item and do the scanning myself.…or sell it to me for the Museum library,

Take a good [at least 8 megapixels] photograph /non shiny white background and email it to me

Take a good [at least 8 megapixels] photograph/non shiny white background and mail it to me.


I will give credit with your name under the photo/scan…or not if you wish…please tell me which you want.


Please contact me first to make sure I haven’t already received the information before you go to the trouble to scan and send.


Thank you all for your time and help. Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated so this can be the best research book made. If you know of anyone who is not a NFLCC member, please pass this on.


Joan Lyons, Heddon Museum co-curator


P.S. Please don’t ask me “When will the book be done”…I’ve never done this before. I’m trying to work on it as much as I can…and there is A LOT to organize and make sure it is RIGHT.