Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Heddon Lures
User avatar
Marrakai
Guru
Guru
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:14 pm
Location: Darwin, Northern Territory
Contact:

Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by Marrakai » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:28 am

Gentlemen:
(and Ladies...!)
I have an early Heddon River Runt Spook Floater with marvellous 2-piece hardware that is just starting to show early signs of shrinkage. At first glance it looks OK but closer inspection reveals a slight constriction around the body behind the head, and the 'tail' has deformed just enough to lift the hardware away from the lure body. It is also imperceptibly 'flattened' laterally.
Runt_Tenite.jpg
My question is: how fast does the early Spook plastic (Tenite?) break down? Can I expect this lure to be stuffed in a year? ...five years? Ten?
Does it stop shrinking at some point, or will it keep breaking down until eventually shrivelled up completely?
Also, is there an environmental condition that may prolong its life? Warmer or cooler ambient temperature? Humid or dry? Is UV-light a culprit, from fleuro lights? Exposure to aerosol solvents?

Are there any other steps I can take to preserve the plastic? The missus reckons I should wipe it down with Armour-All.... Image


I intend to do a thorough web search on this when I get time, but meanwhile any info or advice you can offer would be appreciated.


Actually, from a Heddon Lure-collecting perspective, it would be kinda cool to have a couple of shrunken Runts in the display case, but I'd really rather keep my ailing example intact for as long as possible.

BTW, I 'borrowed' these pics from the web to illustrate the eventual tragic end-point. Sad, hey!
Heddon_Tenite_1.jpg
Heddon_Tenite_2.jpg
Heddon_Tenite_5.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Marrakai
Australia's Top End

Image

barra king
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:40 pm

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by barra king » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:42 am

I heard heat is the main culprit with this material (over a long time at normal room temps is enough to eventually destroy it self).Im not sure where i read this but storing in a fridge stops this problem in its tracks.Cant recall the actual temperature but im sure it was just normal fridge temps ( around 7 deg c ?).if i find more info on this ill post it. thumbsupsmilie

oldfish
Expert
Expert
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:02 am
Location: Murray River,Nthn Vic

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by oldfish » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:26 am

The early Wm. Southam Bellbrooks must also have been made from this Tenite stuff.

Twice I have opened a cardboard Southam box only to find crumbs of plastic in there with metal hardware bits loose among it.Still in the lure shape

it had all taken place inside the closed box.

UV wouldn't penetrate though may have started a self-perpetuating process when lures were out at one time.Heat probably the culprit?

Did both companies change their formula later,or were there just bad batches?

Actually I have always wondered could the Southam lures really have been made in Australia? The hardware, at least, looks as if it came from the same

place making the Heddon stuff.

Thanks,Marrakai,up till now I had always thought it was only the Bellbrooks with this problem.

Cheers,Jim

User avatar
fishaholiclures
Master
Master
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Brisbane, QUeensland

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by fishaholiclures » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:38 pm

Hi Guys,
I have seen several cases of tenitedeadus in my quest for the River Runt Yellow Shore set. According to my Heddon bible "Heddon Plastic Lures" by Russell E Lewis, it is a problem not restricted to Heddon, but several brands who got on the early plastic lure path, Millsite & Arbogast suffered the same problem early on.

The reason was the unstable nature of Tenite.
"Tenite is a cellulosic thermoplastic first created in 1929 for use in the manufacture of consumer goods. It is manufactured by Eastman Chemicals, using softwood as a raw material." there is an interesting article on the process here..
http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Trees-Into-Plastic.htm

Heddon started using Tenite in 1932 and switched to the more durable Tenite 2 in 1943.

This fits with your lure marrakai, as it has the 2pce 'Flap Rig' hardware which was generally in use between 1933-43.

As for the Bellbrook, I haven't seen mention of the same problem with them. I would have thought they would have been made from Tenite 2 or similar as they were (as far as I know) made in the post WW2 era IE late 50's early 60's.

Cheers Brad
I know what I know, the rest is simply details
acta non verba

simons rat
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 10:32 pm

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by simons rat » Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:48 pm

I really like the look of that shrunken runt.

It's got a weird organic / natural look to it.

It must be bad when one of you pride and joy self destructs.

Cheers,

S

User avatar
fishaholiclures
Master
Master
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Brisbane, QUeensland

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by fishaholiclures » Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:29 pm

Steve,
You have to feel for the blokes in the US who rat through the estate sales and find an early Heddon River Runt box and open it to find an ounce of granules, powder and a few metal fittings. -duh

I once bought a bunch of lures from the states and there was a badly shrunken, malnourished runt in there, I retrieved the metalwork quite easily, it crumbled to bits between thumb and forefinger lol

Brad
I know what I know, the rest is simply details
acta non verba

oldfish
Expert
Expert
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 8:02 am
Location: Murray River,Nthn Vic

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by oldfish » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:06 pm

Brad,

First mention of the Bellbrook is in a new product review in Outdoors and Fishing Oct 1949,mistakenly called The Bellrock Lure,price not yet determined

so I would assume ordered but not yet received. First issue of Anglers' Digest in Sept 1950 has an ad for the Floater and Sinker at 10/6 each,the Midget and

Deep Diver added in Sept 1951.

Still wonder if Bill Southam may possibly have been importing old leftover Spook bodies to get those early crumblers.We'll probably never know.

Cheers,Jim

User avatar
fishaholiclures
Master
Master
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Brisbane, QUeensland

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by fishaholiclures » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:26 pm

Jim, Thanks for that tidbit, most helpful bowsmilie I can add some dates to my database clapclap
As you say who would know about the Heddon/Southam relationship. Much has been said about the similarity between the shapes and hardware before, so maybe there was something??? I guess we might find out one day.

Cheers Brad
I know what I know, the rest is simply details
acta non verba

User avatar
Marrakai
Guru
Guru
Posts: 507
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:14 pm
Location: Darwin, Northern Territory
Contact:

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by Marrakai » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:35 pm

One thing I look for in the Bellbrooks is the noticeably heavier screws holding the hardware to the lure body.

My recollection is that Bill Southam did this deliberately, and promoted it accordingly at the time, because our Aussie fighting fish were tearing the hardware off the imports! (..both ABU Hi-Lo and River Runts. ...and the L&S swaybacks).

Knowing now that Bellbrooks were made from ~1950, and the imports didn't turn up in serious numbers till the early to mid 1960s, I'm wondering if the very early Bellbrooks had the heavier screws? Anyone got a known 1950s Bellbrook to compare?
Marrakai
Australia's Top End

Image

User avatar
fishaholiclures
Master
Master
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: Brisbane, QUeensland

Re: Early Spook Deterioration Rate

Post by fishaholiclures » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:52 pm

Just had a look at all mine, heavier screws than the Heddons, and I have no idea of exact date on mine, the screws on the swaybacks are the same size as the wobblers I have.

Brad
I know what I know, the rest is simply details
acta non verba

Post Reply

Return to “James Heddon”