One of my favorite reel companies is the A.B. Hendryx Co. of New Haven, Connecticut.
This nice excerpt is from the 1893 Sportsman's Directory and Year Book edited by C.P. Goldey and has a great little blurb about the Hendryx company:
The reels manufactured by the A. B. Hendryx Co., New Haven, Conn., have many valuable features, which have made for them a very large sale throughout the country; This Company are large manufacturers, having plenty of capital, and every facility for turning out reels of the finest quality. Their catalogue is very complete and should be in the hands of every sportsman.
The following snippet is from The New England States, an encyclopedia of manufacturing companies on the East Coast (dated 1897).
The Andrew B. Hendryx Co., manufacturers of metal goods, is one of the largest industries of its kind in the United States. Their factory plant is located at Nos. 18 to 20 Audubon Street, where nearly five hundred operatives find employment. The company was incorporated October 1, 1889, with a capital of $125,000. The firm manufacturers bird-cages, fishing reels, chains, and wire picture cord.
That's a lot of employees! And they weren't done expanding. As reprinted in The Foundry (1897):
The Andrew B. Hendryx Company, of New Haven, Ct., had added a complete bronze and brass foundry to its Audubon worked, and purchased the entire plant of Messrs. Henry E. Preiss and Son. The company is prepared to supply bronze, brass, aluminum, and white metal castings.
Earlier they had been a major exhibitor at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893. Here is a brief description of the exhibit:
The Andrew B. Hendryx Company, of New Haven, Conn., lent 211 reels, representing all grades of their workmanship, and mounted and labeled them in handsome cases at their own expense. This exhibit was so arranged as to show all parts of the reel from the outside, as well as the separate pieces used in reel construction.
And finally, the following blurb comes from Outing Magazine from July, 1890.
A good reel often prevents the loss of a good fish, hence fishermen are constantly on the lookout for a good article. Reels made by the Andrew B. Hendryx Company, New Haven, Conn., are well received and give great satisfaction. They are well made and reliable, as may be gleaned from the following letter, printed by the Andrew B. Hendryx Company:
Pertona, Pa., February 20. 1890. A. B. Hendryx Company:
Gentlemen—I received the reel ordered (No. 2906 P) on the 17th inst., and was well satisfied with my investment. I do not think that it would have been possible for me to have purchased a reel as good as the one you sent for less than $2. In the future, in ordering reels I shall always purchase from you.
Charles H. Wright.
Lots more to learn about Hendryx history, and we'll return to that one day soon!