William Shakespeare, Jr. Co. Reels - Kalamazoo, MI
The William Shakespeare, Jr. Company was one of the longest operating companies of the now
classic reel makers. On October 5, 1897, William Shakespeare, Jr. was granted his
first patent for his now famous reel with a twin worm gear level winding mechanism.
This patent was followed in the next few years by a number of patents improving features
on his reels. In 1903, Shakespeare and Walter Marhoff co-patented the thumb
wheel rim click.
They would work together until Marhoff received his reel patent in 1907 and assigned
it to his own company, The Marhoff Reel Co. The reel was eventually incorporated
into The Shakespeare line. In 1915 the company name was changed to the Shakespeare
Company. Shakespeare continued to make a wide range of fishing reels, rods, lures
and tackle for many years.
They were also involved in the World War II effort and made bomb sights.
The first reels sold by the William Shakespeare, Jr. Co. were
the Standard reel and the Style "C" twin screw level wind reel.
Both reels are marked "Hand Made". The Style "C" was silver plated. The
twin screw reel was shown in the 1907 catalog as being offered in the Style "A"
and Style "B". The "A" was German silver and the "B" was nickel plated brass.
All three Style reels are serialized. Also listed in this catalog were the Universal, Favorite, Alamo, Service,
Marquette, Standard and German silver Professional. Beginning in 1910, the model
number on the bottom of the reel foot indicated the year the reel was made. This
year marking continued up until 1931. The marking then went to a dual letter code which
signified the year made. Using the table below as the key, a reel marked Model HE was made in 1936.
This key was used up until 1977 when the company was sold.
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. STYLE C Reel, circa 1900
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. STANDARD Reel, circa 1900
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. Model A Reel, circa 1910
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. Style B Reel, circa 1910
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. STANDARD PROFESSIONAL Reel, Model 1910
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. STANDARD PROFESSIONAL Reel, Model 1912
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. PERFECT Reel, Model 1912
The WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. INTRINSIC Reel, Model 1912
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY PROFESSIONAL Reel, Model 1919
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY MARHOFF Reel, Model 1922
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY STANDARD Reel, Model 1922
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, ABBEY & IMBRIE AMAWALK Reel
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY PROFESSIONAL Reel, Model 1924
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY IDEAL Reel, Model 1924
The SHAKESPEARE COMPANY TOURNAMENT Reel, Model 1922
SHAKESPEARE COMPANY STANDARD PROFESSIONAL FREE-SPOOL Reel, Model 26
SHAKESPEARE COMPANY TOURNAMENT FREE-SPOOL Reel, Model 26
SHAKESPEARE HERCULES 200 Yard Reel
SHAKESPEARE Reel Made For LOU EPPINGER CO., Model 25 N
SHAKESPEARE Ad in 1901 RECREATION Magazine
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, JR. COMPANY 1902 Catalog
1905 SHAKESPEARE Magazine Ad
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