The Archimedian Reel holds a special place in the history of Side-Mount reels, pre-dating anything of known manufacture in the United States by 10 years or more, having a "registered design" that dates back to April 25th, 1848. The British patents were not offically numbered until the Act of 1852, therefore this great little reel was assigned a "non-ornamental registered design" number 1426 - used to protect the intellectual property and purely aesthetic elements of any item, in this case Skinner's reel. Frederick Skinner, of Hall Carr Place, Sheffield, was wise to protect his invention. And while this is pure conjecture on my part, I feel strongly that Skinner's reel influenced at least one or more reel makers in the US, making its way to the States through one of many tackle houses importing reels from the UK during the mid 19th century. The notable design features that eventually found their way to US made reels include a perforated spool, or in this case spool flanges, and the subject of this web site, the horizontal mounting, or side-mount reel foot. Perhaps Morgan James and/or William Billinghurst held a Skinner reel and went to work on expanding or improving on its design - I guess we'll never know for certain, but I certainly think its plausible. The Skinner reel is as you would imagine, a rare little reel, found in various sizes and materials, such as nickel silver and brass, all with iron parts used for the frame and foot. I am aware of one reel with a solid, non-perforated spool, with most others all having the same basic design.
1848 Skinner Reel
Skinner Reel Foot
I'm always interested in adding reels to my collection. If you have a reel you'd like to discuss, trade or sell please feel free to e-mail me at Jim@sidemountreels.com