Carter's Bestever, Dunks and American Display Company

Indianapolis, Indiana

The Carter-Dunks lures emerged from two companies that originated separately and later merged their product lines together. Milt Dunkelberger owned American Display and was selling and making lures in the early 1920s. It is believed Dunkelberger ultimately bought or absorbed the Carter's company in the early 1930s. This company's products can be labeled Dunk's, Carters, or Carter-Dunk's. They are interesting and very collectible, as are their many varieties of lure boxes.

Click on photos to enlarge

This is the typical  Carter's Bestever plug. Made without eyes, and finished in vivid, electric colors, they were popular among the array of diving bass plugs available in the early and mid 1920s. The picture boxes were very well done. The paperwork inside describes several sizes and finishes.

dunk2.jpg (33984 bytes)

This is the Dunk's version of the lure shown above. Notice this bait has glass eyes. The catalog inside folds out to be very large and includes a host of rods, reels, decoys, gaffs and other sporting paraphernalia offered by the America Display Company.

dunk4.jpg (31701 bytes)

This is my favorite Dunk's bait, and one of my favorite all time baits. The wooden lure has a spring loaded head that can be rotated to make the lure dive or skitter on the surface. The Dubble Header was patented in 1932. The wooden head models are rare. Most have metal heads. Check out the graphics on this very neat "intro" box that was made only for a year or so.

dunk3.jpg (49555 bytes)

This is the Dunk's Pike lure, a long, almost musky-sized glass eye bait. it's basically a large version of the Bestever plug. The foldout flyer inside mentions an even larger version for muskellonge. Bet it came in a really great box. Maybe we'll find one someday!

dunk1.jpg (39743 bytes)

This is the Dunk's Swimalure, in "yellowjacket" finish. It is one of the more unusual baits from this company. Note the green box, which was used in the later years of Dunk's lure manufacture. The paperwork folds out to almost a small poster size.

DunksSwimalure.jpg (208079 bytes)

E-mail mrlurebox at

Return to the Lure Index page

We Buy Antique Lures!