J.F. & B. F. Meek Kentucky Fishing Reels

J.F. & B.F. Meek Kentucky Fishing Reels

J.F. & B.F. Meek - Frankfort, KY

Jonathan F. Meek was a jeweler and watch smith in Frankfort, KY. He specialized in making jewelry and repairing watches. The Meek name first appeared on Kentucky reels in the late 1830's. In 1839, Jonathan formed a partnership with his brother Benjamin as his apprentice. They made reels marked "J.F. & B.F. Meek" from about 1839 to 1852.

The earliest reels are simply marked with the Meek name and city in which they were made - Frankfort, KY. Later reels were also marked with a reel size like No. 2, No. 3, etc. The reel size indicated the reel's line capacity. The larger the number, the larger the reel. Another apprentice with the Meeks was Benjamin C. Milam. He was hired in 1848. At this time, the company name was J.F. Meek & Co. In 1852 the company failed and J.F. Meek moved to Louisville. B.F. Meek stayed in Frankfort and with B.C. Milam formed a new company "Meek & Milam."

All Meek fishing reels are collectable and those marked "J.F. & B.F. Meek"  are very rare.

The J.F. & B.F. MEEK Sterling Silver NO. 6 Reel, circa 1850

The J.F. & B.F. MEEK NO. 1 Reel, circa 1845

The J.F. & B.F. MEEK Brass NO. 1 Reel, circa 1845

The J.F. & B.F. MEEK NO. 2 Reel, circa 1845

The 3 Screw J.F. & B.F. MEEK NO. 2 Reel, circa 1845

Photo of this Meek Reel by Doug Carpenter

A Pocket Watch Containing J.F. & B.F. MEEK Advertising Insert Inside Case

To see an interview with B.F. Meek contained in the April 13, 1895 Frankfort Roundabout Newspaper, click on the link below.

Link to B.F. Meek Interview in 1895 Frankfort Roundabout Newspaper

To see magazine articles written about the history of the Kentucky Reel, click on the links below.

Outing Magazine, "Evolution of the Kentucky Reel", by Dr. James A. Henshall, Dec. 1900

Forrest and Stream Magazine, "History of the Kentucky Reel", Interview with J. L. Sage, Jan. 1915

Forrest and Stream Magazine, "More About The Kentucky Reel", Dr. James A. Henshall, Feb. 1915

Field & Stream, "The Kentucky Reel", by Robert Lincoln Page, March, 1930

Field & Stream, "My Old Kentucky Reel", by A.J. McClane, January, 1953

For any questions about vintage antique fishing reels, lures or tackle, please feel free to Email or Call me. I always like to talk about old tackle.

Remember, I'm always buying old vintage fishing lures and reels!

Email me at: ron@luresnreels.com or Call or Text me at: 407-496-7940


Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

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