Meek & Milam Kentucky Fishing Reels

Meek & Milam Kentucky Fishing Reels

Meek & Milam - Frankfort, KY

Meek & Milam reels were made under the partnership of B.F. Meek and B.C. Milam. Benjamin C. Milam was a jeweler and watchsmith by trade in Frankfurt, KY. He is credited, however, with being one of the earliest of the high quality Kentucky reel makers. Reels that bear the Meek & Milam name were made by Milam from about 1853 to 1881. During this time, Meek was in charge of the watchmaking and jewelry portion of the business. The earliest Meek & Milam reels have numbered screws that match the screw hole number stamped in the reel's headplate. In 1881, Milam broke off the relationship with Mr. Meek and began making reels under the name B.C. Milam. B.F. Meek also began making his own line of reels at this time.

Later Milam History - The earliest B.C. Milam marked reels do not have serial numbers. Ones made after 1883 were serialized. He continued marking them this way until 1890 when he made his son, John Milam, a partner and they were marked B.C. Milam & Son. Reels made between 1896 and 1903 also 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.



The MEEK & MILAM German Silver NO. 1 Numbered Screw Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM Brass NO. 1 Numbered Screw Reel, circa 1860


Comparison of MEEK & MILAM NO. 1 Numbered Screw Reels, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 3 Numbered Screw Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM Brass NO. 3 Reel, circa 1868


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 3 Numbered Screw Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 2 Brass Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 2 Numbered Screw Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 2 Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 4 Reel, circa 1860


The MEEK & MILAM NO. 2 and B.C. MILAM NO. 2 Reels


The MEEK & MILAM Brass NO. 3 Reel, circa 1863


The MEEK & MILAM Brass NO. 2 Reel, circa 1870


The MEEK & MILAM Brass NO. 2 Reel, circa 1870


The MEEK & MILAM Brass NO. 5 Reel, circa 1870


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

Thanks!

Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

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