L. (Ed) Wisor
is well known for his unique, patented,
compact slate turkey call. His round
slate call is 2 1/2" high by
2" in diameter and is manufactured
in a unique two-piece method. The
top slate part fits snugly over the
bottom peg part providing a compact
call that can easily be slipped into
a pocket and taken into the woods.
made his first calls in 1962 and filed
for a patent on April 16, 1963. Ed
made about 40 calls in the beginning
that were glued together using three
parts for the top slate half and three
parts for the bottom peg half. He
then switched to the one piece construction
for both the slate and peg parts of
the call. His very first calls did
not have a label but instead were
stamped with a rubber stamp. His very
first labeled calls were given a silver
label with "Patent Pending"
printed on them. Subsequent calls
had a yellow label with the "Patent
Pending" printed on them.
received the patent for his call on
Sept. 28, 1965. Soon after receiving
the patent, he was approached by the
Penn's Woods company who had an interest
in selling the calls.
Piper of Penn's Woods wanted to sell
the "E. L. Wisor"
call under the name "Roger
Latham Slate". Ed was greatly
in favor of this idea because he really
appreciated the effort that Roger
Latham put into restoring the wild
turkey and thought it would be an
honor to sell his call under that
name with the Penn's Woods company.
Many of the pioneers of the wild turkey
restoration effort, like Roger Latham,
are under appreciated and this was
his way of recognizing Mr. Latham's
Woods began purchasing and selling
the "Roger Latham Slate"
call in the fall of 1965. The Penn's
Woods orders kept E. L. and his family
very busy. If he got a large order
in, it was often a family affair to
get the calls made in time with his
wife helping out by gluing on the
pieces of slate. During this time
period, most of the wood pieces for
the Roger Latham Slate were contracted
out to other manufacturers. Ed simply
did not have the time to do a full-time
job and complete the Penn's Woods
orders on time. Instead, he let others
help machine the wood pieces and he
assembled and finished the calls.
for Penn's Woods averaged about 4,000
calls a year from 1965 to 1984 with
a total of about 90,000 calls made.
There was also a limited edition of
1,995 "Classic Edition"
calls made from walnut in 1991.
to make calls under his own name during
the period he was wholesaling calls
to Penn's Woods. After he received
the patent, he used a yellow label
on his calls with the patent number
printed on it. This label was available
from somewhere around 1966 to about
1968. Many of these labels had problems
sticking to the call which prompted
Ed to change the labels again. The
next labels were silver again but
this time with the patent number on
them and they were available from
about 1968 to 1995. He began stamping
the date inside the calls during this
period but it is not known exactly
which year this started.The final
series of his calls had brown labels
and were dated from 1995 to 2000.
of the calls sold under the "E.
L. Wisor" name were mahogany
and the calls wholesaled to the Penn's
Woods company were mainly maple and
birch with a limited number of mahogany
and walnut calls. A small number of
the Silver Label calls were made from
maple. The calls were were made with
just a sanded surface and did not
have a finish on them since any type
of oil or finish would have a tendency
to get on the slate, ruining its sound.
L. retired in 2000 and stopped selling
his calls commercially. Throughout
his career, Ed estimated he produced
around 16,000 calls with his name
on them. He has recently produced
a limited edition of seven calls with
custom artwork to commemorate the
anniversary of his callmaking in 1999.
Throughout the years before 1999,
he also personalized about 50 calls
which were mainly given as gifts to
friends and family members.
currently producing signed, limited
edition calls, some with artwork,
from the calls left in his stockroom.
These are generally being auctioned
off on Ebay so keep an eye out for
like to thank Ed for taking the time
to tell me the story of his call making
career and helping me with this article.
-- Rob Ramsdale)