Lowrance Red Box Lo-K-Tor. Photo Earl Schmidt.

A couple days ago we published an ad for the Lowrance Little Green Box. Well, we received a comment from a gentleman named Earl Schmidt regarding that post and he had some interesting information to share. Seems that Earl has been using Lowrance products since before the Little Green Box. In fact, it’s predecessor, the Little Red Box, is what Earl started out using. He was kind enough to send us some pictures, thoughts and early ads of these units.

Here’s the information Earl provided regarding the Red Box vs. the Green Box.

“Many think the Green Box Lo-K-Tor was the first fish finder made by Lowrance Corp. of Oklahoma.  However, the Red Box predated the famous Green Box but information is hard to find about the Red Box Lo-K-Tors.

“The Red Box Lo-K-Tors may have come out in 1957 and the Green Boxes came later.  The Red Box was assembled in Joplin, MO during those early years. Then in the 1960s, Lowrance moved its operation to Oklahoma.”

Here are some other comments Earl added:

  • The transducer and cable were larger for the Red Box than for the subsequent Green Box.
  • The transducer shape and its options also changed over the years it was produced.
  • The transducer cable screwed into the Red Box unit instead of plugging in as with the Green Box.
  • The Red Box battery case screwed shut instead of snapping shut.
  • The batteries in the Red Box were placed in vertically, not horizontally as in the Green Box.
  • The face of the Red Box was glass and its depth scale was 80 feet.
  • Circuit board, bulb and general electronics greatly changed from the Red box to the Green Box.
  • The green decal and drawing on the Red Box “Fish Lo-K-Tor” was used in major ad campaigns starting in late 1950s.
  • I believe the red box circuit boards were made in Calif. with Germanium Transistors by Allied?  But the Lo-K-Tors were assembled and each one individually tested in a lake in MO. 

Below are more pictures of Earl’s Red Box and some vintage Lowrance ads. Click on the pictures for a larger view you can read.