A.F. Meisselbach reels were simple, useful reels at first. August Frederich Meisselbach received the patent for his first reel on February 23, 1886. It was for a nickel plated brass flat reel named the “Amateur”. Then came the “Expert” in 1888 and then the “Featherlight” in 1895. Meisselbach didn’t start making multiplying geared reels until 1902. That’s when he introduced his German silver and hard rubber reel. It was sold by Abbey & Imbrie and marked “4 to 1”. The reel had an automatic click that, when engaged, operated only when the line was played outward. In 1903 he introduced the “TAKE-APART” marked reels and in 1906 the “TRI-PART” marked reels. The “Free Spool” Surf reel was introduced in 1911 and was made up until 1932. The “Neptune” reel was made from 1911 thru 1917 and the “Triton” reel was made from 1918 thru 1925. August Meisselbach died in 1927.
The A.F. Meisselbach reels the Takapart and Tripart reels are the ones usually found by collectors. They were made for over 20 years up until 1930. The scarcest for the early Tripart reels is the 3-screw model. It was sold for only one year in 1907. It differs from the regular Tripart reel in that the head plate is held on with three screws rather than a threaded ring. There was also a 2-screw model. The highest quality of the Takapart reels were the German silver No. 600 series of reels made between 1913 and 1919. The 685 De Luxe was the top of the line with free-spool and sapphire jeweled bearings. Meisselbach also made a 700 series of German silver Triparts similar to the Takaparts. All the German silver Takapart and Tripart reels are scarce and sought after by collectors.
In 1917, Meisselbach sold the company and name to Heineman & Bro. of New York. They continued to make the reels with the Meisselbach name on them in Newark. Then, the manufacturing was moved to Elyria, OH in 1921. In 1922, Meisselbach introduced the “OKEH” line of reels. These were their first level-wind reels. Meisselbach reels are considered to be one of the great early reels made in the USA.
The MEISSELBACH First Takapart Model, Circa 1902
The MEISSELBACH FREE-SPOOL “Takapart De-Luxe” 685, Circa 1915
The MEISSELBACH German Silver “Takapart” No. 680, Circa 1915
The MEISSELBACH 3-Screw “Tri-part”, Circa 1907
The MEISSELBACH German Silver Salt Water Reel, Circa 1914
The MEISSELBACH “Tripart” No. 580
The MEISSELBACH “Symplopart” No. 252
The MEISSELBACH “Symploreel” No. 255
The MEISSELBACH-CATUCCI “Symploreel” No. 256
The MEISSELBACH-CATUCCI “Symploreel” No. 257
The MEISSELBACH “Neptune” , Circa 1922
The MEISSELBACH “Triton” , Circa 1922
The MEISSELBACH “Sea Line” , Circa 1931
The MEISSELBACH “OKeh” No. 620, Circa 1930
The MEISSELBACH “OKeh” No. 625, Circa 1930
The MEISSELBACH “Featherlight No. 250” , Circa 1910
The 1907 Abbey & Imbrie Catalog Image of MEISSELBACH Takapart Reel
1907 MEISSELBACH 2-Screw “Tri-Part” Reel Ad
The 1909 Catalog Image of MEISSELBACH Fly Reels
MEISSELBACH-CATUCCI Gear Hobbing Machine Ad in Dec. 29, 1910 “American Machinist” Magazine
To see a copy of the 1914 A.F. Meisselbach & Bro. Catalog, click on the link below.
To see a 1910 “American Machinist” Magazine article on the Dies and Manufacturing used to make the Meisselbach Takapart reel, click on the link below.
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Link: