Newly Discovered Wright & McGill Catalogs

A New Understanding of Early Wright & McGill Catalogs

We know from existing evidence that Wright & McGill purchased Granger Rods in 1946, but did not have rods available for purchase until “late” 1947—most likely around September 1947 according to ads from that time period.

All previously published W&M documentation, depicts the “first catalog” from 1947 showing a full-bleed photo of actor Dennis Morgan on the cover. It turns out that there are at least 4 separate catalogs (that we currently know of) that use the Dennis Morgan photo for the cover. So which Dennis Morgan catalog is actually the first one?

The catalog that we have thus far believed to be the “first catalog” is shown here:

Early 1948 WM Catalog Cover SM

It turns out, that this is actually a W&M catalog from 1948 or as late as 1949.  How can we be sure if there are no copyright or published dates on these early catalogs?  The Champion grade was offered in the first year from Wright & McGill, but is not present in any of the W&M catalogs with the FULL-BLEED cover photo of Dennis Morgan.

An earlier catalog has been discovered—that hasn’t been published until now—that contains the same Dennis Morgan cover photo, only not as a full-bleed image. The photo is inset into the cover with 2 red lines and descriptive text below. This cover possesses a unique design compared to the later catalogs in that: 1) the masthead does not include the name “Wright & McGill”, 2) the Granger script is white—not red, and 3) the fonts used for “Fishing Rods” are completely different typefaces.

The “New” 1947 Wright & McGill Catalog

Most importantly, this “new” 1947 catalog contains the Champion grade rod on page 10.  See below…

 

1947 WM Catalog Cover SM
“NEW” 1947 WM Catalog Cover
1947 WM Catalog pg10
1947 WM Catalog pg10
1947 WM Catalog Back Cover
1947 WM Catalog Back Cover

 

The Two – 1948 Wright & McGill Catalogs

Next in line are two catalogs from 1948. These catalogs are nearly identical except for the way that each declares: “All prices subject to change without notice.” The earliest 1948 catalog only states this on the back cover. The later printing states it at the bottom of each product page. Both 1948 Catalogs have 16 pages.

The Stream & Lake grade was introduced as a replacement to the Champion grade in 1948 and appears on page 10 in these catalogs.  See below…

Early 1948 WM Catalog Cover
Early 1948 WM Catalog Cover
Early 1948 WM Catalog pg10
Early 1948 WM Catalog pg10
Early 1948 WM Catalog Back Cover
Early 1948 WM Catalog Back Cover

 

 

1948 WM Catalog Cover SM
1948 WM Catalog Cover
1948 WM Catalog pg10
1948 WM Catalog pg10
1948 WM Catalog Back Cover
1948 WM Catalog Back Cover

The 1949 Wright & McGill Catalog

The final Dennis Morgan cover catalog is from 1949. This catalog is easily distinguished between the others since it has 20 pages instead of 16.  The 4 extra pages offer details about each of the Casting Rods that were available by grade.

 

1949 WM Catalog Cover SM
1949 WM Catalog Cover
1949 WM Catalog Back Cover
1949 WM Catalog Back Cover
1949 WM Catalog pg10
1949 WM Catalog pg10

 

So now we now have 4 catalogs that illustrate the early years of Wright & McGill. These important pieces of history shine more light on the rods that we enjoy using.  Follow the links below for more detailed specifications of these catalogs:

Please post a comment below if you find this kind of article interesting. We’d appreciate hearing from you.

Also, if you have any additional documentation that helps add to (or contradicts) this story, please contact us.

 

 

Creating a Living Record

Many exceptional books have been written over the years about Goodwin Granger, Wright & McGill and Bill Phillipson. This site leans heavily on the the work and dedication of those great authors and historians including Dick Spurr, Michael Sinclair, Donald Phillipson, Lee McGill, Martin Keene, and AJ Campbell.

But even the most-researched work is limited to what’s known about the subject matter at the time of printing. As new information is uncovered, Finecane will serve as a living record of Colorado’s finest historical bamboo rod makers. Our aim is to create a community of enthusiasts around these great rodmakers by sharing exceptional examples and reference materials so we can all learn from and contribute to this ever-growing resource.

Thank you,
The Finecane Team