James Deally was a locksmith that made locks and keys. His company was James Deally
& Co. and he received a patent for a door key on May 29, 1860.
He later on in his life made fishing reels from
about 1894 until 1902. In the Louisville City Directories, he his
listed alongside B.F. Meek as Fishing Reel Manufacturers. He had the mechanical ability and realized the market
for high quality reels. His earliest reels were not
marked with the size number. Later, he followed the style of his fellow
Kentucky reel makers and marked a size number on the reels. The reels have
been found with both ivory and buffalo horn handle knobs.
All of his reels are high quality and made of
nickel silver. His reels are considered scarce and desirable by
collectors. The reels have been found in sizes varying from the
typical No. 3 size to the large No. 12 size.
The J. DEALLY Reels, circa 1895
The J. DEALLY No. 3 Reel, circa 1895
The J. DEALLY Reel No. 3 Size Reel, circa 1895
The J. DEALLY Reel No. 10 Reel, circa 1901
To see high quality digitized history of the Kentucky Reel on
Google Books website, click on the links below.