About Keeling
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About Keeling

Fred C. Keeling was born in the 1870's in Rockford, Illinois. He started making the "Expert" minnow in 1914, a business he took over from the J. L Clark. The company was located at 118 Water Street, Rockford, Illinois. He continued to make lures until 1938.

He had homes in both the Land-O-Lakes & St John's River area. In fact he named one of his early lures the St. John Wiggler.

The Depression of the twenties and some hard times that followed, he offered his company to the Heddon Co, in 1937 without success. He died a year later. James, Fred's brother, sold the company to H&I in 1938.

Fred Keeling was very creative and had to compete with the larger, and better known lure makers. He used the same body for several different lures, as you will see by looking at the examples I have shown.

Many of his lures can be easily identified by the patented keel. The keel was first used around 1919 and was marked "Pat. App'd for" and after 1920 the keel was marked "Pat. Jul 6 1920".

The paint quality of Keeling lures in the early years varied widely. In the later years the paint quality was fair, at best. This was mainly because he did not primer the lure before putting on the finish coat. It is difficult to find older Keeling lures with good paint, and if you do, consider yourself fortunate.

During the early years, from 1914 to 1919 he produced the following known lures.
bullet Expert Minnow
bullet220
bulletRed Wing
bullet King Bee Wiggler
bullet Tom Thumb Wiggler
bullet St John Wiggler
bullet Slim Tom

1920 to 1924 (Known as the Tom Thumb era) he produced the following known lures.
bulletColor Chart For Keeling Toms
bulletBaby Tom
bulletLittle Tom
bulletPike Tom
bulletBig Tom
bulletSurface Tom
bulletLong Tom
bulletMusky Tom
bulletGeneral Tom
bulletTorpedo
bulletMetal

Production Years 1925 to 1927
bulletBear Cat
bulletSurface Expert
bulletScout
bulletTip Top
bulletHICO
bulletCrawfish
bulletFrogs
bulletMice
bulletFish Tails

Production Years 1928 thru Early 1930's
bulletBass Kee-Wig
bulletBaby and Pike Kee-Wig
bulletMusky Kee-Wig
bulletSurf Kee-Wig
bulletFlapper
bulletTrout Kee-Wig

Production Years Early 1930's to 1938
bulletSpinnered Surface Lures
bulletSurface Lures
bulletBottle Nose
bulletMisc and Unknown

Misc information about Keeling
bulletKeeling Boxes
bulletKeeling Literature

 

 

To Order:
Please confirm availability of item(s) and shipping costs either by phone or email before sending payment. I will accept a money order, bank check or personal check. If payment is made by personal check please allow 7-10 days for shipment otherwise shipment will be next day. I am NOT setup to accept credit cards directly. However, I do accept payment through PayPal but prefer a check or money order because of the PayPal fees. My PayPal account ID is mageg@msn.com. My phone # is 215-956-0993 and my email address is mageg@msn.com. I normally use the USPS Priority Shipping. Shipping costs will depend on weight and the destination zip code. Some of the longer 1 piece rods may have an 'oversized' shipping charge.

Contact Information:
Earl Grant
538 Fisher Lane
Warminster, Pa 18974
email - mageg@msn.com
(215) 956-0993

Copyright 2001-2016 [Earl's Antique Tackle]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/22/1
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