In 1874 Orvis were granted a patent on May 12th 1874. These reels have become very collectible but many people think they are all the same. Well they look similar but how do you know what model is what? The answer lies in the method of construction of the reel
The first model has the patent details scratched on the foot. Additionally the pillars were riveted and there was no rear bearing cap.
This second model has the same riveted pillars but with a bearing cap with the patent details.
This third model saw a change with the rivets being replaced by screws and the bearing cap with a screw and the patent details on the backplate.
The forth and final model change saw an on/off check fitted
Charles Orvis introduced the reel in 1874 and was listed in their catalogues till some time around 1920 when it was discontinued. The example with the Berlin 1880 International Fisheries Exhibition is the second model and helps to date when this particular model was introduced. The Berlin exhibition was the first time that the reel was shown in Europe.
Angling auctions will sell this lot, 18, at the 3rd October 2020 sale.
A quick note regarding the introduction of a reproduction model, the way to differentiate between an original and the reproduction is in the handle. The reproduction handle faces the hinges whereas in the original it is the handle arm. Compare this image with the first one.
I would like to thank Mike Nogay for his help in identifying the models. More information can be found on the ORCA website