B C Milam & Son Reels – Frankfort, KY

B C Milam & Son reels were made from about 1890 to 1927. John W. Milam, Benjamin’s son, was made a partner in 1890 after he was an apprentice for 14 years. The first reels were marked in a straight line B.C. Milam & Son similar to that of John’s father Benjamin. Earlier, B.C. Milam had already incorporated the phrase “The Frankfort Kentucky Reel” in an arch above his name. The reels would later be marked B.C. Milam & Son under the arch. The most interesting of the B.C. Milam & Son reels are the ones with large jewels for the spool bearings. These are scarce variations of the reels that were made in later years by John. The B.C. Milam & Son reels were made until 1928 when John Milam passed away.

John Milam was born in Frankfort, KY in 1859. John attended the private school of J.W. Dodd in preparation for college, but left at the age of 17 to join his father’s business. He worked as an apprentice under his father and continued in the reel making business for about 52 years. Like his father, he was also a businessman and interested in the community. He was a Director in the National Branch Bank of Frankfort and president of the Frankfort Cemetery Company. He was treasurer of his church, past exalted ruler of Frankfort Lodge No. 530 and member of the Knights of Pythias.

B C Milam & Son reels were known for their high quality. The Milams were very proud of their reels and were always interested in showing off their craftsmanship. They took their reels to the World Expos around the modern world and received recognition and rewards. The two medals shown below are from a relative of Milam that are mentioned in the B.C Milam & Son Catalog.


B C Milam & Son no 2

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 2 German Silver Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 3 Jeweled German Silver Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 3 German Silver Reel

milam & son

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 3 German Silver Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 4 Jeweled German Silver Salmon Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 4 Jeweled Narrow Spool Tournament Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON No. 9 German Silver Reel

B.C. MILAM & SON 1900 Exposition Award Medal

B.C. MILAM & SON 1904 Exposition Award Medal

milam 1897 ad

B.C. MILAM & SON 1897 Ad

B.C. MILAM & SON Signs


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

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


Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Website Link:

https://luresnreels.com