It may seem like we’re doing a lot of old advertisements here on the Bass Fishing Archives lately and we realize that. The fact of the matter, though, is one way to track where we’ve been and what we’ve done over the course of our history is to look at these ads. The ad featured in today’s post is just that – a look back into our history with respect to sonar and how we used the technology to assist us in finding fish.
Anyone who fishes knows the name Lowrance. Carl Lowrance along with his sons Darrell and Arlen arguably developed the first sonar specifically for the use of sportfishing in 1957. Before that if anglers wanted to know the depth of an area they used a rope with a weight attached to it. The development of the Fish Lo-K-Tor – or Little Green Box as it was also known – revolutionized the art of offshore angling.
In this ad from 1962 there are a couple of things to notice. First off look at the name of the company Lowrance Electronics Manufacturing Company (LEMCO). It’s not the familiar name Lowrance Electronics Incorporated (LEI) that we know today. Also, look and see where the company is located, Joplin, Missouri – not Tulsa Oklahoma. Lowrance moved from Joplin to Tulsa in 1967.
The ad also states that the unit (model 505) cost the angler $124.50. In 2013 money that would be about $1000.00. That makes you wonder how many people in the early days of sportfishing could actually afford one of these units and also brings to light how expensive today’s units are in comparison. I also didn’t know there was more than one model of the old Green Box – as this ad implies.
The ad also shows two othrr products that LEMCO sold at the time. The first being a book titled “The Facts of Electronic Fishing.” I’ve never seen this book but you can bet it’s high on my “want” list now.
The other interesting part of this ad is Lowrance’s Porta-Sound unit designed for hunters. It’s not hard to imagine a company based out of the Heartland would delve into the hunting industry with a device that could call in game. How long did they sell equipment targeting hunters and when did they stop manufacturing the device?
Reports state that Lowrance sold more than one million Green Boxes in their first 25 years of business. I can proudly say I was one of those people who bought one and to this day wish I hadn’t sold it.
So when was your first experience with the Little Green Box? Did you own one prior to this 1962 ad? Did you own a model other than the one shown in this ad? If so, please let us know by making a comment.