Fred Arbogast Jitterbug ad from the January 1947 issue of Sports Afield.

I can’t help it, I am an Arbogast ad junky, especially when it comes to the early color ads.  A lot of the ads I run across are primarily black and white and if they have any color in them it’s only of the baits themselves.  But today in Fred Arbogast Jitterbug 1947, we have a full color ad featuring three anglers, four Jitterbugs, and their story.

As we’ve talked about before, Arbogast out advertised all his competitors in his day.  In fact, this magazine alone had four Arbogast ads in it compared to the single ads placed by all the other companies.  His ads nearly always were of his customers holding big strings of bass or pike and there was always the story of how the fish were caught and what on.

This ad was no different.

In this ad are two guides and another angler with a hefty string of bass.  The ad states that Julius Thompson and Pete Louviere were crack Louisiana marsh guides.  The other angler was Frank Kelley.  All the fish shown are said to be in the four- to six-pound class and as Kelley stated, came “exploding from the bottom to gobble up my Frog Jitterbug!”

The color image of the anglers is an anomaly in ads of the day.  Color film was just getting affordable and color ads were a lot more expensive than the standard black and white of the day.  But, I guess Arbogast figured since they sent the image in color, why not use it with one of their color Jitterbug ads.

If the image of the Jitterbugs seems familiar, you’re right.  BFA writer David Smith wrote a piece using this same Jitterbug image back earlier this month.  But this image is much brighter than the image used in the ad he presented.  Most likely due to fading in the magazine it was scanned from.

The ad also features a paragraph about sending for a free catalog.  All his ads of the day had this offer and because of that, you’d think that vintage Arbogast catalogs would be easy to come by.  Not so.  Catalogs other than the small ones that came in the lure packages are as rare as hen’s teeth.  I feel lucky to have gotten the 1950 catalog we presented back in May of this year.

This ad was placed in the January 1947 issue of Sports Afield, nine months before Arbogast’s death on October 26, 1947.  Through 1947, Fred Arbogast baits continued their standard ad campaign with multiple ads in every hunting and fishing magazine of the day.  After his death, though, ads were cut back drastically as his wife had to figure out how to run the business.  You’re hard pressed to find more than one ad in a magazine after 1947.