T.H. Bate Reels – New York, NY

T.H. Bate reels were made starting in 1859. They have a long history starting in 1822 with the founders Thomas and James Bate. The company was founded under the name T. & J. Bate and were involved with fish hook and needle manufacturing. The company name changed to Thos. Bate in 1836, to T. & T. H. Bate in 1843, to Thos. H. Bate in 1853 and then to T. H. Bate & Co. in 1859. William Mills was made a partner at this time. Later, Thomas Bate Mills, grandson of James Bate (the original founder of the business) was in charge of the company when the name was finally changed to Wm. Mills & Son in 1875. Like a lot of the New York fishing tackle supply businesses, they did not make all of their reels. T.H. Bate reels are considered to be sold by one of the great New York fishing tackle dealers.

Company History from William Mills & Son Catalog

T.H. BATE Size 3 Brass Reel

T. H. BATE & CO. German Silver Reel, Circa 1860

T. H. BATE & CO. German Silver Reel, Circa 1860

T. H. BATE & CO. Ball Handle Brass Reel, Circa 1870


THOS. H. BATE Ad in 1858 New York City Directory

THOMAS H. BATE Article in 1859 New York Merchants’ Guide


T.H. BATE & Co. Ad in 1860 New York City Directory


T.H. BATE & Co. Ad in 1871 “Fur, Fin and Feather: Game Laws” Book


Charles De Saxe 1855 Serpentine Lure Patent Assigned to THOMAS H. BATE

To Pages of the reels in the 1867 Thomas H. Bate & Co. Catalog, click on the link below.