Granville Medley reels were made for only a few years when he received his patents for an automatic fly reel and then for a free spool casting reel. Even though he was a dentist by trade, his interests were in mechanical design and the outdoor life. He was born in Kentucky on May 5, 1854. He attended the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and graduated with his doctoral degree in 1878. His first practice was in Baltimore, but he moved to Hopkinsville, KY in 1882 and practiced there. Granville was granted 8 patents in his life. Medley, the reel maker, had three of his patents related to fishing reel design. The free spool reel and automatic fly reel models were eventually produced. Granville Medley reels were very unique for there time.
The automatic fly reel was truly an innovative design. The patents for this reel were granted in 1892 and 1895 while Medley lived in Hopkinsville, KY. Medley’s “20th Century Kentucky Reel” included his November 26, 1901 free spool patent. The name implies he’s bringing the classic Kentucky reel into the next century. The 1901 patent was subsequently acquired by B.F. Meek & Sons and incorporated into their product line about 1915. The “Free Spool” feature and marking can be seen on a B.F. Meek & Sons No. 3 and Horton Mfg. Co. Meek No.’s 2, 3 and 4. The Horton Meek No. 6 also had the free spool feature. A letter written in 1945 by Mrs. Ora Medley to the owner of the reel below gives insight into Granville’s life. The letter can be seen at the bottom of this page. Dr. Medley died in Hopkinsville, KY on October 5, 1930 at the age of 76. Medley was one of the great Kentucky reel markers.
Medley Automatic Fly Reel Catalog with Meek and Medley Reels
“MEDLEY’S 20th CENTURY KENTUCKY REEL” No. 3
Unmarked MEDLEY Free Spool Reel
G.E. MEDLEY’S November 26, 1901 Patent
B.F. MEEK & SONS 1915 Catalog Page About MEDLEY’S Reel
MEDLEY’S Automatic Fly Reel
G.E. MEDLEY’S 1892 and 1895 Patents
MEDLEY REEL CO. Booklet For MEDLEY’S Automatic Fly Reel
To see information about Granville Medley, click on links below.
Ron Gast’s Article about Granville Medley and the Meek Free Spool Reel in the ORCA March 2018 Newsletter
Another Great Antique Vintage Fishing Tackle Website Link: