Bronson Production Reels – Page 2 – Invader to Wolverine

Bronson Production Reels – Page 2 – Invader to Wolverine

Bronson “Invader” No.2600 Reel

The original Bronson No.2600 “Invader” was first introduced in the 1938 catalog. It would only sell through 1941, becoming just another casualty of WWII. These were jeweled, level-winding reels with the A-B-L knob on the face plate. The first photo below shows the reel in the earlier yellow Art Deco box. The later black Bronson box, used starting in 1940 or 1941, is shown in the second photo. These can be a tough find in nice condition, especially in the scarce boxes. The ad shown is from the 1940 catalog.
A later uncatalogued all-metal “tear drop” version, shown in the last four photos, was made sometime in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. These should be considered scarce.

Bronson “Invader” No.26 Reel

  The Bronson No.26 “Invader” was introduced in the 1964 catalog. Bronson marked the face of this free spool reel with either the “Bronson” or “J.A. Coxe” brand names (see the J.A. Coxe reels on a different page on this site), even though both reels were identical. We’re not sure if one came before the other, but the last listing for the No.26 was in True Temper’s 1971 catalog, several years after TT purchased Bronson. Both reels are highly desired by collectors. There was also a “trade” version made for the Montgomery Ward & Co., called the  Hawthorne No.60-6316, which was virtually identical except for the color (see pictures of the Wards Hawthrone on the “Bronson Trade Reel”  link). They should be considered scarce, especially the Ward’s version. Boxed reel pictures below are courtesy of Paula Sandholdt.

Bronson “Junior” No.2700 Reel

The No.2700 “Junior” was a 60 yd. single action side mount utility reel that first shows up in our 1929 catalog, selling by the dozen only, but we’re not sure when it was first introduced. It would sell at least through 1935…for 15 to 20 cents! Described as a “reel for the boy”, they had holes drilled in the feet so that it could be fastened to a pole with nails. Few of these have survived and we’ve only seen the single example shown below, courtesy of Jim Shottenham. The 1934 catalog listing is also shown below.

Bronson “Lashless” No.1700 and No.1700-A Reels

  The first Bronson “Lashless” model was the No.1700, introduced in 1940. It was the first Bronson model to come equipped with the “new” tail plate-mounted tension control (A-B-L) knob, a feature that would be seen on many Bronson models for the next 30 years or more. An example can be seen in the first three photos. The tension control on this earliest model, from 1940-1941, was not removable. After the war, it was redesigned so that it could be removed for servicing and this version is shown in photos #5 and #6. The tail plate of both versions are shown below in photo #4, for comparison. The last photo shows what is believed to be the rare “Intro” box. It is the only example of that box that we’ve ever seen. The reel would be fitted with an aluminum spool shortly after WWII, although it would still be referred to as the No.1700 through the 1954 catalog.
Sometime after 1954, the Lashless would come with a stronger aluminum spool and be re-designated the No.1700-A. An example is shown in photo #7. They would only sell for a few more years, gone from catalogs by 1959.

Bronson “Lashless” No.1710 Reel

The No.1710 “Lashless” was a lightweight, green anodized aluminum version of the No.1700. It was introduced in the 1951 catalog and would sell into the mid 1950’s. A nice example is shown below with the original box.

Bronson “Levelite” No.752 Reel (See The “Meisselbach-Catucci” Section)

Bronson “Lion” No.1800 and No.2900 Reels

  The No.1800 “Lion” is another model believed to be a member of Bronson’s original lineup in the early 1920’s. This level-winding reel would sell virtually unchanged through 1933. It would be found in the maroon box until 1929. After 1929, it was housed in the Art Deco box shown in the first photo. The No.2900 “Lion” is simply the Anti-Backlash version of the No.1800. They were available from the early 1920’s until 1932.

 Bronson “Lion” No.1900 and No.3400 Reels

The No.1900 and the No.3400 “Lion” models were the jeweled versions of the No.1800 listed above. This model was known as the No.3400 from the mid-1920’s through 1930. In 1931, for whatever reason(s), the model number was changed to No.1900. It would sell through 1933. Both versions can be seen below, with the later “Art Deco” box. The earliest boxes would have been the maroon style.

Bronson “Master” No.3000 Reel

  Believed to be a member of Bronson’s original reel lineup in the early 1920’s, the No.3000 “Master Reel” would sell through 1930. These were aluminum cast, with what Bronson called “Duraluminum”. This is a “take-apart” model, that can be disassembled for servicing by unscrewing the three thumbscrews by hand. These can be rather difficult to find in nice condition, as the aluminum side plates and spools did not hold up well. The maroon box would house the reel through 1929. The Art Deco box in the last photo was used for this reel in 1930. Pictures are courtesy of Mark Williams.

Bronson “Master” No.3100 Reel (With A-B-L Control)

  The No.3100 “Master” was the A-B-L-equipped version of the No.3000 above and is believed to have been introduced around the same time. It was the same as the regular “take-apart” model above, but it would have the A-B-L bar at the level-wind (missing on the example below) and the tension adjusting screw on the face plate. It would also make its last appearance in the 1930 catalog. These are a tough find for the collector.

Bronson “Mercury” No.2550 (First Version, Geometric Design)

  The first version of the No.2550 “Mercury” is believed to have been introduced in 1938. It is grouped in the 1938 catalog with all the other models that were “new” for that year. The possibility exists it was offered earlier than 1938, as no Bronson catalogs for 1936 or 1937 have ever surfaced and we have seen a couple of these marked with “37” under the foot (for 1937). These are stamped on the side plates with what Bronson called “an attractive geometric design”. This first version would sell through 1940 and is much harder to find than the second version with the fishing scene. The yellow Art Deco box shown below was used throughout the production of this first version.

Bronson “Mercury” No.2550 (Second Version, Fishing Scene)

  This next version shown below, with the engraved fishing scene, was first seen in the 1941 catalog. They would be produced in staggering numbers. At one time Bronson was producing up to 9,000 reels a day, with its 300 employees, and a lot of them were probably this particular reel. There were two varieties of this reel. The earliest, with the jeweled oil caps that served as the bearing adjustment, was produced through 1949. Starting in 1950, the design was changed to include the Lashless-style A-B-L control on the tail plate and a chromed oil cap on the face plate. The ad shown below is from our 1941 Bronson catalog.

Bronson “Mercury” No.2551 (Narrow Spool)

  The narrow spool No.2551 “Mercury” made its only appearance in Bronson’s 1941 catalog.  Both the rare reel and catalog listing are shown below.
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