L.A. Kiefer reels were made on the 1880’s and their unique high quality design features make them to be one of the early great reels made in the USA. Louis A. Kiefer was born in Miami, OH in 1843 to his Bavarian parents Louis F. and Mary Kiefer. He was taken in as a partner in his father’s business of watch and clock making. The company name was L.F. Kiefer & Son. Louis maintained the company even after his father’s death in 1896 up through the 1920’s.
Louis received two patents for the Kiefer reel on August 23, 1881 and then on February 21, 1882. The first patent was for a free-spool feature. The second patent was for a removable foot that was meant to be permanently attached to the fishing rod. The reel was removed from the foot by depressing a spring loaded lock and rotating it 90 degrees. One of the problems seen with these reels is that the foot could be separated from the reel and possibly lost. To remedy this, it looks like later versions of the reel had a permanently attached foot. Louis died on June 23, 1938 in Indianapolis, IN.
The L A KIEFER Reel
The LOUIS A. KIEFER 1881 and 1882 Patents