Saturday, January 1, 2011

Deconstructing Old Ads: The Bronson "Reel-O-Mine"

The Bronson “Reel-O-Mine”

Today's ad comes from the April 1934 issue of Outdoor Life. I must admit that the first casting reel I ever picked up and tried was my Dad's “Bronson Lashless.” He was at work and I proved on that first cast that the reel did not live up to its name. After reeling in the line over an impossible backlash, I spent the day waiting for my dad's return and preparing to “Face the Music” over my unauthorized adventure.

Bronson is known among reel collectors as a company who made a lot cheap and mid-grade reels along with many “reels for the trade” for such stores as Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, Western Auto etc. I was somewhat surprised to see that they had produced this high quality reel that cost $25. I was even more surprised to see that they picked 1934 to do it. This time period was in the depths of the Great Depression and few folks could even dream of spending $25 on a casting reel. My curiosity led me to question long-time Bronson Reel collector Dave O'Rourke as to the scarcity of this reel. As I suspected he told me that he had only seen this reel advertised in 1934 and that it was extremely scarce. He prizes his two examples very much and asked me to mention how grateful he was to fellow collector Arne Soland for providing him with the best example in his collection.

-- Bill Sonnett

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