Another model made in the 1930’s for the Montague Rod & Reel Co. These jeweled level-winding models were equipped with a early plastic or hard rubber head plate spacer and swirled handle grips. These are a tough find.
“Montague Rapidan” by Bronson
These were made for Montague Rod & Reel Co., Like the “Trail” model below, this too looks to be made in the mid 1930’s, but is of a lower grade. It does have the A-B-L switch on the face plate and the anti-backlash control bar at the level-wind. Pictures are courtesy of Arne Soland.
“Montague Trail” by Bronson
This is the first reel that we have seen made by Bronson for the Montague Rod & Reel Co., built sometime in the early to mid 1930’s. Believed to be made of nickel silver, with a satin chrome finish, brown marbled head and tail plate spacers, green crank knobs and the early hexagon jeweled end caps with no fluting. Reel is similar to the Bronson “Blue Heron”, with the spool brake on the face plate that looks like a clicker button. A high-grade reel in every respect and a tough find for the collector. Pictures courtesy of Arne Soland.
Montgomery Ward & Co. Models by Bronson – See “Wards”
“National Crown Quality” by Bronson
This was another of example among several models supplied to and sold exclusively by Edward K. Tryon Co. of Philadelphia, who owned the trademarked “Crown” brand name. These were first produced in the late 1920’s and were very similar to the Bronson “Lion”. These should be considered scarce. Ad picture is courtesy of Jim Garrett and Skip Brooks.
“New Yorker Special” No.1880 by Bronson
This popular take-apart level-wind was produced by Bronson during the 30’s and early 40’s. It’s virtually identical to Bronson’s No.3000 “Master” reel from their regular line-up. Removing the three thumbscrews on the front completely disassembles the reel for servicing. These were supplied to and sold through Horrocks-Ibbotson Co. and perhaps other retailers and wholesalers, as well. A very nice example is shown below, from the collection Duane Johnson of Wisconsin. The last photo shows the catalog listing from Horrocks-Ibbotson’s 1940 catalog.
“Noah’s Super” by Bronson
This pre-war level-wind, with the engraved “wave designs” like those seen on Bronson’s Commander models, was produced for any number of retailers or wholesalers across the country. This is the only example we have seen so far, so these should be considered at least somewhat scarce.
“Northwestern” by Bronson
The “Northwestern” was sold through Gambles Hardware and Auto Supply of St. Louis Park, Minn. Comes with engraved side plates of “fishing scenes”, the A-B-L switch on the faceplate and beautiful teal colored crank knobs. This is a rather tough find for a post-war model, especially with the original picture box, shown below.
“Notangle” Model 750 by Bronson (see Eppinger, Lou J.)
“Olympian” No.94 by Bronson
This 1950’s red anodized aluminum A-B-L reel could have been sold by any number of retailers. Other than the color, these were just about the same as Bronson’s No.2200 “Green Hornet”. The scarce box is shown below. Tough reel to find, too.
“Oxford” by Bronson
These were sold by The W. Bingham Co., likely around the mid to late 1930’s. The reel is similar to the early Bronson Veterans. A higher-grade reel, with jeweled oil caps, A-B-L control and engraved head cap.
The “Packard” Series For Marshall Wells Hardware Co. by Bronson
There are currently twelve known models of the “Packard” series of economy level-winding reels produced by Bronson for and sold exclusively by Marshall Wells Hardware Co. of Duluth, Minn., from the late 1930’s until just after WWII. Many, if not all, were sold under the “Big Bill Tackle” product line owned by Marshall Wells. Below is an original full-page ad from Marshall Wells for the “Packard” series. Also shown, from the same 1939 catalog, is a dealer merchandiser “reel stand” for the whole Packard line.
“Packard” No.3517AA by Bronson
This was the highest-grade Packard offered (at $6.70). Came equipped with what was called “Control-Bilt” synchronized anti-backlash control, the function of which was never really explained in the ad. Until an actual example surfaces, the original ad is the best we can do. These have to be considered quite scarce.
“Packard” No.3517A by Bronson
One of twelve different “Packard” models known that were supplied by Bronson, all starting with “3517”. This No.3517A level-wind, with jeweled caps and A-B-L switch, is believed to be the earliest example. We know the “Packards” were sold through Marshall Wells Hardware Co. of Duluth, Minn., under their “Big Bill Tackle” brand name.
“Packard” No.3517B by Bronson
This was the plain chromium plated A.B.L. version of the engraved “B2” below. We’ve yet to see an actual example.
“Packard” No.3517B2 by Bronson
These were built and supplied to Marshall Wells Hardware Co., likely in the late 1930’s to WWII. They were very similar to numerous other Bronson models, with the engraved Art Deco “leaf” design and jeweled caps, but with no A-B-L switch. This engraved “B2” version is not shown in the 1939 catalog. Reel donated by Donald Van Busekom.
“Packard” No.3517C by Bronson
This example of the Packard level-wind was jeweled, had the A.B.L. control on the face plate and came equipped with a pillared foot. The foot is stamped with the 1939 code date. This is the only example we have seen to date, courtesy of ORCA member Arne Soland. These have to be considered rare. Click on the photo to see the entire image.
“Packard” No.3517D by Bronson
Another version of the “Packard”, with plain side plates and stamped foot, but it does have the A-B-L switch.
“Packard” No.3517E by Bronson
This was a jeweled pillared-foot level-wind version, an example of which can be seen below.
“Packard” No.3517F by Bronson
Just found, in the original “Big Bill Tackle” box.
“Packard” No.3517G & H by Bronson
No actual example of the No.3517G lower grade chromium-plated version has surfaced yet. Has to be considered scarce.
The No.3517H was the same as above, except it nickel-plated and without the Dual Pawl.
“Packard” No.3517K by Bronson
This was the super-economy Bakelite version of the “Packard” series, selling for $1.10. Still a scarce reel we haven’t seen yet.
“Packard” No.3517O by Bronson
Here is a version of the “Packard” that is nearly identical to the common Bronson “Mercury”, right down to the same engraved “fishing scene”. This jeweled, A-B-L level-wind was sold by Marshall Wells Hardware Co. either just before and/or just after WWII and is probably one of the last produced. The photos were taken from an eBay post, courtesy of Sue Otto.
“Paul Bunyan” No.100 by Bronson
These were produced for and sold exclusively by the Paul Bunyan Bait Company of Minneapolis, Minn. A jeweled level-wind that was likely produced just before or just after the war. The scarce original box is shown below.
“Paul Bunyan” No.99 by Bronson
Another model produced for the Paul Bunyan Bait Company, this an economy level-winding model very similar to the “Altoona” from Bronson’s regular line of reels. It is shown below with the seldom seen original box.
“Paul Bunyan” No.66 By Bronson
This was a little higher-grade version produced for Paul Bunyan Bait Co. This post-war level-wind was equipped with the Lashless-style A.B.L. switch on the tail plate, a nice plastic head plate spacer and Paul Bunyan himself engraved on the face plate. A tough reel to find. A rather nice example is shown below, with original box and instructions.
“Pelican” by Bronson
Yet another model sold by Western Auto Supply. This was a mid 1930’s economy model very similar to the Bronson Comet. The original box is shown below.
“Pikie” No.2525 by Bronson
The “Pikie” was sold through the W. Bingham Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. These jeweled models were produced by Bronson from the late 1930’s until WWII. Shown below is the seldom seen box.
“Powell” by Bronson
A very early and desirable trade reel for Thomas E Wilson & Co. (Later known as Wilson Sporting Goods.) It was likely first offered in the mid to late 1920’s and is similar to the Bronson Modern No.100, with the main exception of being a “thumbscrew take-apart” version. Ad photo is from a 1925 Thomas E. Wilson catalog, courtesy of Jim Garrett and Skip Brooks.
“Red River” Model V 7345 by Bronson
Another trade reel supplied by Bronson to Western Auto Supply. There are two versions of the “Red River” model. The first version, shown in the first four photos (along with the original box), was their higher-end model made before the war. It had the jeweled end caps, the A-B-L knob on the head plate and red handle grips. These can be found with and without a model #.
The second variety was a less expensive version, made after WWII. It has white crank knobs, a fixed head plate end cap and the Lashless-style spool tension knob on the tail plate. The original box for this version is also shown below. Reel with the white crank knobs was donated by Jonathan P. Kring.
“Red Wing” by Bronson
Very similar to the “Red River” model shown above, but with the anti-backlash bar and without the pillared foot. Although this is the only example we have seen, it’s believed this was also produced by Bronson for Western Auto Supply.
“Reelezy” by Bronson
The “Reelezy” was another Bronson-built model sold by the Edward K. Tryon Co. of Philadelphia. First offered in the mid 1920’s, this reel is unusual because it is a regular Bronson No.500 “Modern” (still stamped underneath with the regular Bronson Reel Co. markings) simply re-branded with the “Reelezy” name. Has the A-B-L bar at the level-wind and the adjusting screw on the face plate. These should be considered scarce. Shown is the 1925 Tryon catalog listing, courtesy of Jim Garrett and Skip Brooks.
“Revelation” by Bronson
This model is yet another example supplied for sale through Western Auto Supply Co. It is easily the highest-grade model that Bronson ever produced for them. This lightweight unnumbered version is equipped with aluminum side plates & spool, fluted hexagonal jeweled oil caps and an A-B-L adjustment on the face plate. It weighs in at 6.4 oz. The foot is stamped with the “38” date code (for 1938). This is the only example we have ever seen and should be considered very scarce.
“Revelation” No.V7004 by Bronson
This post-war model was an economy reel which was also produced for Western Auto Supply. Has nice matching spacer and crank knobs, as well as the “Lashless” style anti-backlash control. The engraved face plate is similar to that seen on some Great Lakes reels. We’ve seen two different examples, both of which are shown below.
“Revelation” No.7346 by Bronson
Another “Revelation” model sold through Western Auto Supply Co., from the late 1950’s into the 1960’s. These are virtually the same as a Bronson “Symbol” No.4700, with the only difference being that the pillars and foot are also anodized green. Equipped with the Lashless-style A-B-L switch on the tail plate, plastic head plate spacer with matching handle grips, arbor and aluminum spool. These are a tough find for the collector. Pics courtesy of Dylan Eldridge.
“Rex” – See Abbey & Imbrie “Rex” by Bronson
“Rocket” by Bronson
Now believed to be the earliest model that Bronson ever supplied to Montgomery Ward & Co. These were produced in the early 1930’s, at the same time Bronson started supplying Sears, Roebuck & Co. and in the same style as Bronson’s “Commander” from their regular lineup. Photos of a beautiful example, with the rare original box, can be seen below. Photos courtesy of Mark Williams.