Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:30 PM
Nice flies, and the hooks are cool! Wish I could afford them.
I recently had the privilege at the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, to view, handle, (while wearing white gloves), and photograph 24 of the original 32 plates from Mary Orvis Marbury's 1892 book, Favorite Flies and Their Histories. The other eight plates are out on loan.
Once at home, I downloaded these photos and then made macros of each individual fly. This is being done for the reseach of my current book project, a tier-friendly volume of these patterns, plus at least 100 more, includng some never published. Out of 291 patterns in Marbury's book, all are on blind-eye hooks, except for twelve of the fifteen dry flies of Frederick M. Halford on Plate V. One dozen flies are on eyed hooks, out of 291.
One year later, Mary Orvis Marbury made a large display as part of the Orvis Company exibition for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Many of the same flies from her book, one year later, are shown on eyed hooks, in all the categories; trout flies, hackles, lake flies, bass flies, salmon flies. I have photos of many of these as well, there may be 20% or more on eyed hooks. One could deduct that this was the period where the transition began from blind-eye to eyed hooks, though we anglers and fly tiers were resistant to change, how weird is that?
The hooks you posted with the square bend are Sneck hooks; some of the flies in the Display and from the original Marbury plates are dressed on Sneck hooks, usually with a gut snell.
It's all very interesting, thanks for posting the photos!