Object Record

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Object Name Reel, Fishing
Catalog Number 1981.4.6
Maker Benjamin C. Milam & Son; George W. Gayle & Son
Date 1885-1928
Material(s) Silver/Brass
Description This is an unassembled fishing reel with several surplus parts in a wooden box (Part A). There are a total of thirty-seven pieces, twenty-five are german silver while twelve are brass. There is a front and rear plate (Part B), six cover plates (Part C), seven pillars (Part D), a spool arbor (Part E), six main gears (Part F), a silver collar (Part G), one long rod (Part H), two drag buttons (Part I), a click and drag shoe (Part J), a balance handle (Part K), a drag spring (Part L ), a foot plate (Part M ), a reel seat (Part N ), three drag spring wedges (Part O), two pinions (Part P), and one other unidentified part (Part Q).
Notes This is part of a collection of the remaining finished and unfinished parts and equipment for the assembling of B.C. Milam & Son, Frankfort, Kentucky fishing reels purchased by George W. Gayle & Son (Frankfort) after John Milam's death in March 1928. Serial numbers range from 5277 to 11,848 spanning reel assembly years from 1885 to 1928.

From 1928 until his death in 1948, Clarence Gayle assembled and sold reels made from Milam parts; there is no outward or functional differences from these Gayle finished reels and earlier Milam reels. At Mr. Gayle's death the residual Milam parts were sold to W.G. Farmer, a Frankfort jeweler (Selberts) and a Lexington gunsmith, "who is said to have assembled two or three reels." (Frank Stewart)

Georgetown antique dealer, Donnie Wyatte, then purchased the collection from the Farmer estate selling it to the donor, Richard Burnett. Burnett gave the collection to the Kentucky Historical Society in December 1976.
Collection Richard M. Burnett Collection
People Gayle, Clarence
Gayle, George W.
Milam, Benjamin C.
Milam, John
Subjects Fishing
Fishing & hunting gear
Sporting goods
Sports
Sports equipment
Search Terms Benjamin C. Milam & Son Shop Collection
Gayle Reel Tool & Component Collection
Meek & Milam Fishing Reels
Physical Holder Kentucky Historical Society - KHS