In 1917 Al Foss Oriental Wigglers were available in two sizes. The Hook was molded into the body (as seen here) the first year. The metal pin was designed to hold a porkrind strip. Photo Bill Sonnett.

We had a discussion a while back when someone ventured the opinion that the first plastic-bodied fishing lures were made in the very late 1920s.  My first example of an earlier plastic-bodied lure is the subject of a write-up seen here from the April 1917 issue of National Sportsman Magazine.

Introduced in 1917, the second year Al Foss offered lures, the Oriental Wiggler was an immediate success and was still being made in the 1950 s.  The material was celluloid plastic which was the first synthetic plastic material, developed in the 1860s and 1870.  “Celluloid” plastic was registered by that name in 1870.

A 1917 write-up for the Al Foss Oriental Wiggler. The body was made from one of the first plastics, celluloid, with a O'Shaughnessy hook molded into the plastic body. It can also be said that this bait may be one of the first buzzbaits if reeled fast on the surface.

The Nifty Minne, made by Joseph M. Ness Co., was available with a clear celluloid plastic tube a few years before as seen in this 1915 ad from Field and Stream.  It could be argued that both lures relied on something other than the celluloid portion of the lure to make them work.

A 1915 ad for the Joseph M. Ness Company's Nifty Minne. The Nifty Minne featured a celluloid tube where a live or dead minnow was placed inside. The bait came with spinners fore and aft and was allowed to sink before being retrieved. Today this bait would mimmic a a Spy Bait.

In the case of the Nifty Minne, a live or dead minnow was placed inside the celluloid tube and a strip of porkrind in the case of the Oriental Wiggler.  After reading this someone may come up with earlier examples of “plastic” lures.  As I’ve said before, there is very little that is actually “new” in the field of fishing lures.