In 1909 Percy Wadham & Percy Scott patented the Meteor reel suitable for a wide variety of angling. Manufactured and marketed by the Dreadnought Casting Reel Co. Isle of Wight and so far, I have identified 14 variations of the reel.
This one is number 3 and stamped with PATENT APPLIED FOR would date it at 1908. What many people do not know is what this had to do with Dingley and Hardy Bros.
Hardy Bros. threatened to take legal action against Wadham & Scott as they believed that the pair had infringed their patent 28413 of 1896. This patent covered the working of the Silex reel, generally thought to have been invented by Dingley whilst at Hardy’s.
What Wadham & Scott had done on the Meteor was to use a lever to put the reel into free spool and added a brake. By utilising the lever with a brake it infringed the patent for the Silex reel.
It was at the best a tenuous claim but Wadham & Scott obviously under threat from one of the world’s largest and most litigious companies buckled.
A settlement was arranged and they were allowed to use the 1896 patent provided they paid 6d for every reel made, hence the number stamping on the foot of the Meteor reel.
In return Hardy would use patents 18212 and 28413 on their reels and in particularly the new reel they were working on the Silex No2.
The idea of the check being disengaged by the same lever that operated the brake. They paid Wadham & Scott 6d for every Silex No2 made. We know that Dingley was being paid 6d for every Silex No 1 made.
With his future earning curtailed this could be the reason that Dingley left Hardy Bros? and started on his own?