B.C. Milam Reels – Frankfort, KY

B.C. Milam reels were made starting in 1881 after he ended the reel business with B.F. Meek. He was a jeweler and watchsmith in Frankfurt, KY. He is credited, however, with being one of the earliest of the high quality Kentucky reel makers. Milam had started off in the reel making business in a partnership with B. F. Meek.  The earliest B.C. Milam reels do not have serial numbers. Ones made after 1883 were serialized. In 1890, he made his son, John W. Milam, a partner. Starting in 1896, the B.C. Milam reels were also marked
“The Frankfort, KY Reel.”

Benjamin Cave Milam was born in Frankfort, KY in 1821. Mr. Milam earned a lot of respect in Frankfort because of his accomplishments. He was Captain of a Calvary Company in the war with Mexico in 1846. At that time, he was only 25 years old. Later, he was mainly involved with his reel making business. He was also very active in the business community. He served two terms as a member of the Frankfort City Council and was later president of the Council and mayor pro tem. In 1893, he was elected president of the Deposit Bank of Frankfort. B.C. Milam died in 1903.

b c milam photo

B.C. MILAM Photo

milam made reels

Brass Reels made by B.C. MILAM

B.C. MILAM No. 3 Sterling Silver and Gold Reel

B.C. MILAM No. 1 Brass Reel

B.C. MILAM Fancy Brass No. 2 with German Silver Components

B.C. MILAM No. 2 Brass Reel Marking Variations

B.C. MILAM No. 3 Name Engraved, Circa 1879

B.C. MILAM No. 3 German Silver Reel

B.C. MILAM No. 3 German Silver Reel Variations

German Silver No. 4 Reel

B.C. Milam No. 6 German Silver Reel

B.C. Milam No. 3 and No. 6 Size Comparison

B.C. MILAM No. 12 Aluminum and German Silver Reel

bc milam catalog

B.C. Milam Catalog Page Circa 1885

To see a pdf file of a B.C. Milam Catalog, Click on the link below.

To see magazine articles written about the history of the Kentucky Reel, click on the links below.