A.J. Stead made reels in the 1930’s that were constructed of German silver with Bakelite end plates. Stead was a Die Maker by profession. Making reels was a side job which was probably undertaken because of his love for fishing. The reel is aesthetically appealing with its amber colored handle knob and black star drag. The reels vary in size from a 6/0 to a 14/0. He even made a unique cradle style reel for the larger sizes. A.J. Stead is considered to be one of the great US reel makers.
Stead was born in Dundee, IL in 1886 and died in Los Angles, CA in 1945. He was only 59 years old when he died. The 1930 Federal Census shows his occupation as a Die Maker and he worked in a Tool Shop. The 1940 Federal Census still shows his occupation as a Die Maker, but he was working for a company called Technicolor Camera Co. His Draft Registration card shows a slightly different name for the company as Technicolor Motion Picture Corp.
A.J. STEAD 9/0 Size and 12/0 Size Cradle Reels
Above Photos by John Elder
A.J. STEAD 9/0 Size Reel with Nameplate
A.J. STEAD 9/0 Size Reel with Power Handle
Normal A.J. STEAD 9/0 Size Reel