B.C. Milam & Son Kentucky Fishing Reels

B.C. Milam & Son Kentucky Fishing Reels

B.C. Milam & Son - Frankfort, KY

Benjamin C. Milam made his son, John W. Milam, a partner in 1890. Reels made between 1896 and 1903 incorporated the phrase "The Frankfort Kentucky Reel" in an arch above the B.C. Milam name. The reels would later be marked B.C. Milam & Son. The most interesting of the B.C. Milam & Son reels are the ones with large jewels for the spool bearings. These are scarce variations of the reels. The B.C. Milam & Son reels were made until 1928 when John Milam passed away.

John Milam was born in Frankfort, KY in 1859. John attended the private school of J.W. Dodd in preparation for college, but left at the age of 17 to join his father's business. He worked as an apprentice under his father and continued in the reel making business for about 52 years. Like his father, he was also a businessman and interested in the community. He was a Director in the National Branch Bank of Frankfort and president of the Frankfort Cemetery Company. He was treasurer of his church, past exalted ruler of Frankfort Lodge No. 530 and member of the Knights of Pythias.

B.C. Milam & Son were very proud of their reels and were always interested in showing off their craftsmanship. They took their reels to the World Expos around the modern world and received recognition and rewards. The two medals below are from a relative of Milam that are mentioned in the B.C Milam & Son Catalog.

The B.C. MILAM & SON No. 2 Reel, circa 1910

The B.C. MILAM & SON Full Jeweled No. 3 Reel, circa 1902

The B.C. MILAM & SON No. 3 Reel, circa 1910

The B.C. MILAM & SON No. 4 Tournament Reel, circa 1910

The B.C. MILAM & SON No. 4 Salmon Reel, circa 1910

B.C. MILAM & SON 1900 Catalog Pages

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 9 Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON 1897 Ad

B.C. MILAM & SON 1903 Ad in "Outing" Magazine

B.C. MILAM & SON 1907 Ad

B.C. MILAM & SON 1905 Catalog Page

The B.C. MILAM & SON Medal from the 1900 World Expo in Paris

The B.C. MILAM & SON Medal from the 1904 World Expo in St. Louis

The B.C. MILAM & Son Sign from Their Shop

The B.C. MILAM & Son Advertising Sign, circa 1902

To see B.C. Milam & Son short and long Catalogs, click on the links below.

Link to B.C. Milam & Son short Catalog

Link to B.C. Milam & Son long Catalog

To see high quality digitized history of the Kentucky Reel on Google Books website, click on the links below.

Outing Magazine, Dr. Henshall's Evolution of the Kentucky Reel, Dec. 1900

Forrest and Stream Magazine, Interview with J. L. Sage, Jan. 1915

Forrest and Stream Magazine, Dr. Henshall's More About The Kentucky Reel, Feb. 1915

For any questions about vintage antique fishing reels, lures or tackle, please feel free to Email or Call me. I always like to talk about old tackle.

Remember, I'm always buying old vintage fishing lures and reels!

Email me at: ron@luresnreels.com or Call or Text me at: 407-496-7940


Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

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