Frank Fullilove “Crown” Reels – Owenton, KY

The Frank Fullilove “Crown” reels are his most well known accomplishment. He was a jeweler in Owenton, KY and sold his reels out of his store. It is not know exactly when he started making his reels, but he received a patent for them on March 14, 1905. Perhaps he felt he needed to patent his reel to protect its design features. There is evidence that he had already been making the reel for a number of years. It is interesting to note that none of the early Kentucky reel makers patented their reels. Granville Medley was the only other Kentucky reel maker to patent his reel. The Frank Fullilove “Crown” reels were made of nickel silver and had an ivory knob. Fullilove only made one known reel model and named it “Crown”. Perhaps he did so because he felt it was fit for a king. I agree. The Crown reel did come either with or without jeweled bearings. A note of caution for anyone trying to take off the crank handle. The nut holding the handle on has left-handed threads. The Crown is one of the great reels made by the Kentucky reel makers.

regular reel

The FRANK FULLILOVE “CROWN” Reel, circa 1903

The Jeweled FRANK FULLILOVE “CROWN” Reel, circa 1893

The Fancy FRANK FULLILOVE “CROWN” Reel, circa 1900

handle threads

The FRANK FULLILOVE Right Hand Crank Handle and Cap Nut Left Hand Threads

inside reel

The FRANK FULLILOVE “CROWN” Head Plate Inside View

fullilove patent


grave marker


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

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