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?
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.
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
The autumn sale scheduled for 3rd October 2020 will take place but will be on-line bidding only. They have made arrangements for viewing and it will take place the week before on Saturday 26th September 09.00-18.00. Sunday viewing will be from 09.00-15.00. The venue will be the Crossfield Hall Romsey. The current Government guidelines will be observed with a maximum limitation of 25 people viewing at one time.
You will have to register your contact details and face masks will have to be worn on site and social distancing of 2m will be compulsory Hand sanitisers and disposable gloves will be available.
The auctioneers will be more than willing to provide additional information and images prior to the sale but this service will not be available after 20th of September. This sale is the March 28th one that has been held over and that catalogue is valid.
The Milward-Bartleet Overseas reel was without the tension brake prior to 1926. .The Milward-Bartleet Overseas reel, manufactured and wholesaled by Milward-Bartleet in the 1920’s and through to the 1930’s. It was sold in three sizes 5, 6 and 7 inches. In 1926 they introduced a “Breaknut Tension adjuster”. This, fitted to the front of the reel, was adjusted by the finger and thumb of the prominent hand.
We occasionally see these reels being offered at auction but if I am honest that is not very often. The example shown is in near mint condition, fitted with line that has never been used.
The old David Slater factory in Newark was acquired by Milward and added to their expanding Milward-Bartleet brand. A similar example was sold a few years back at Angling Auctions.
An antique fishing reel/winch retailed by Ustonson with a reversible handle, 3 1/2 inch diameter, all brass engraved ‘Ustonson Maker to His Majesty Temple Bar London’. Mullock’s will sell this reel at their forthcoming auction. The knurled retaining disc handle allows the handle to be reversed for storage. The foot is perforated and it has a raised check housing. This dates the reel at pre 1837. King George IV granted the Royal Warrant in 1824 to Maria Ustonson and continued by King William IV. In 1837 William died and Queen Victoria ascended to the throne.
Queen Victoria continued with the Royal Warrant, however there is no evidence that she fished. Her husband Prince Albert certainly did fish . I have seen and handled many examples of rods carrying his Royal Warrant for Fishing Tackle which was held by G Little. Many people have questioned if Ustonson made these reels and I for one do not believe they did.
Following the appearance of these images on our Facebook Group there has been considerable interest in who actually made the reel. It is has been suggested that the reel was made by others. My own suggestion is James Haywood another has suggested Hero the London tackle maker. One thing is for certain that if an antique Ustonson fishing reel is up for auction it is certainly worth more than an unnamed example by the same maker.
This “intriguing” reel will be sold at Mullock’s next auction along with other sporting goods. The auction is on-line only but the auctioneers will be more than willing to provide more images and condition reports if required
We have started a Facebook group together with an Instagram page for Antique and Vintage fishing tackle. The Facebook group, Antique Fishing Tackle is for items of tackle that are 100 plus years old. It’s an open group and anyone can post, once they have requested to join.
The Instagram page is Antique_vintage_fishing_tackle and the idea is to have new items posted regularly. In addition to the facebook page items posted here do not have to be over 100 years old.
You will find the join buttons on the right hand side of the page, just click and follow.
Men of Trent will give a history of the Nottingham wooden fishing reel from it’s early beginnings. The book will pinpoint the various developments from the early bush reels, the strap backs, star backs and centre pins.
It will endeavour to help the reader understand this fascinating area of tackle collecting helping to identify the mundane run of the mill from the rare, and consequently valuable stars.