Johan (John Sr.) Pepper and Wife
Here's a photo of the Pepper who started the family in the tackle business. He first worked for John McHarg and began making rods in the slow times. Next he formed "Hook, Pepper and Co." (Mc Harg provided money as a silent partner). Then in the early 1890's he formed the "John Pepper & Sons" company. Later Joe and John Jr. split off - each to form his own company. The third brother Wilhelm Frederick (Fred) stayed in the rod business with his father. Farther details are in my book "The Peppers of Rome, NY"
Very Early Pepper Catalog
Here is the earliest known Pepper Catalog. Estimated date is 1888 and lists many rods of all types.
1904 Pepper Catalog
This 1904 catalog is the earliest known Pepper lure catalog. To the best of my knowledge the three catalogs shown here (and one partial from about 1915) are the only early Pepper catalogs known. If you should be aware of another please contact me. According to ads in the early 1900's Pepper would send a catalog if reader would request one and send a stamp. This catalog has never been found to my knowledge and again, if you know of one please contact me.
1909 Pepper Catalog
This catalog is undated but shows the patent for the Roamer (1908) and says the Canadian patent is pending. The Canadian patent was issued in 1909. This catalog features many more lures than the 1904 catalog and also includes rods (made by other family members).
Two in One Fish Reel
This is an extremely rare Pepper reel with very few (less than five) known. It was patented by John Pepper Jan. 22, 1907 and is unique in that it combines a single action fly reel and an automatic fly . This reel was named the "Rome Two in One Fish Reel". If you have seen this reel - besides this one - I would love to hear about it. John also patented another reel the same day that appears to be an automatic reel only. At least one of this version has appeared.
Pepper also sold flies and in fact submitted an application for a patent on a least one. I do not believe the patent was ever issued.This fly uses a similar name as one of Pepper's lures.
New Trout Fly
This is another example of a Pepper fly.
Double Hook Trout Fly
The top fly in this photo is a "Double Hook Trout Fly". From the collection of Robert Halsted.
Floating Trout Fly Box
This is the only known example of a Pepper fly box. Should you know of another please contact me.
Detachable Frog Hook
This is a very unusual Pepper item. I've not seen another example but off the card there would be no way to identify as no previous publication (before Jeff Kieny's book) carried a picture of this item.
This is a set of printer blocks used to make early Pepper advertising. Most are copper and wood with a few aluminum and wood.
Here are a couple Pepper bamboo rods which were made by a different Pepper company from the lure company.
Salesman's Sample Rod Eye Case
This briefcase style salesman's sample case was used in selling eyes to the trade. Eyes were sold by a different Pepper company than the lure company.
Rod Eye Counter Display
This rod eye counter display was used in retail tackle departments.
Pepper Wood Net
Pepper wood nets were made and marketed by another Pepper company other than the lure company. The net company remained in business until the late 1990's although no longer owned by the Pepper family.
Pepper Aluminum Net
This is one of the last nets marketed by the Pepper net company.
Pepper Copper Line
Copper line was marketed by one of the other Pepper companies.