OBJECT HISTORY: Mepps Fishing Lure

The classic Mepps fishing lure the Aglia, was invented in France in the 1930s and patented in 1938. (Mepps is a French acronym for Manufacturier d’ Engins de Precision pour Peches Sportives, translated as “Manufacture of Precision Equipment for Sport Fishing”.) It was introduced to northern Wisconsin, and to the U.S., by a G.I. returning from France.…

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Read more about the article OBJECT HISTORY: Vulcan Bowling Pin
Vulcan Bowling Pin. Photo credited to Joe Hermolin.

OBJECT HISTORY: Vulcan Bowling Pin

This bowling pin was produced by the Vulcan Corporation in Antigo, Wisconsin, sometime in the late 1950s after Vulcan had introduced its patented “Nyl-Tuf Supreme” plastic coating (as indicated by the pin’s red label).

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Mepps Lures: The Antigo Connection

A chance encounter of an American G.I. in France after World War II with a local fisherman led to the development of a major industry in Antigo, Wisconsin and put Antigo on the sports fishing map. Frank Velek discovered a fishing lure…

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Read more about the article Bowling in Japan
Bowling featured on this 1964 cover of a special issue of Life Magazine devoted to Japan. Click to enlarge.

Bowling in Japan

In 1964, a representative of Japanese company Sanko Trading visited the Vulcan Corporation, a bowling-pin manufacturer based in Antigo, Wisconsin. Sanko was seeking a deal for exclusive rights to import bowling pins to Japan. At the time, Vulcan didn’t think much of the…

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Read more about the article The Vulcan Corporation
Inspecting pins coming off the Vulcan assembly line, 1954. Photograph courtesy of the Langlade County Historical Society.

The Vulcan Corporation

The Vulcan Corporation was founded in 1909 in Ohio as a manufacturer of wooden shoe lasts. The business really took off once they developed a new shoe last turning lathe. In 1919, Vulcan started a plant in Crandon, Wisconsin, which made “rough-turned”—or unfinished—lasts.…

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Read more about the article An Immigrant Family in Rural Wisconsin
European immigrants boarding a steamer to the United States. Harper’s Weekly, November 7, 1874.

An Immigrant Family in Rural Wisconsin

Rose Mary Drab was born in southeastern Langlade County on April 23 of 1913. Her family had settled there the year before on a small farm south of Antigo. Originally named Drabowski, Rose Mary’s parents left Hungary for Chicago a few years…

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