John Albert Lundgren of Axtell, Nebraska, always loved hunting and by the age of 14 started making decoys. In 1935, when live call birds became illegal he set out to design high-quality full-bodied decoys of his own. His earliest, in the 1920s and 1930s, were Canada goose floaters crafted out of a wire and wood armature with a stretched canvas covering.
This design eventually developed into a full-bodied stick-up goose decoy formed of canvas and stuffed with straw that was then dipped in animal glue and hand-painted. Lundgren patented his design in 1941 and continued to make decoys out of his Axtell, and later Kearney, workshops until 1958, selling them in Nebraska and nationally through Abercrombie and Fitch in the 1940s.
–Deb Arenz, Senior Museum Curator
Reprinted with permission from the Nebraska State Historical Society’s blog. To read more fascinating features about Nebraska’s past, visit nebraskahistory.org.