Located in Detroit, MI, Mason's Decoy Factory was in operation from 1896-1924. Mason decoys are the most commonly known of the machine made "Vintage Period" decoys.
Mason's factory offered five grades of decoys -- The highest grade was the "Premier" which had finely carved bill details, including a carved nail at the tip. These decoys had two piece hollow bodies, flat bottoms and glass eyes. They were very beautifully painted.
The second grade offered was called the "Challenge." These decoys generally were made with solid bodies. Bill carving was not as detailed as with the "Premier" grade and a painted black dot was used to indicate the nail at the tip of the bill. The overall painting of the "Challenge" grade decoy was good.
The third grade offered was the "Standard" or "Detroit" grade. It had no bill carving at all, was smaller than the "Premier" or "Challenge" grades and all details were represented by paint. The "Standard" grade did have glass eyes.
The fourth grade was basically the "Standard" grade but with tack eyes, and was called the "#2 Tack Eye."
The final grade was the "Standard" grade with painted eyes, and was known as "#3 Painted Eye". It was the most economical of the Mason decoys. The Mason's Factory also did special orders.