Medley's 20th Century Kentucky Fishing Reels

Granville Medley reels

Medley's Kentucky Reels

Granville Medley's 20th Century Kentucky Reel, Medley Reel Co.  - Hopkinsville and Gracey, KY

Medley's Kentucky reels were made for only a few years when he received his patents for an automatic fly reel and then for a free spool casting reel. Even though he was a dentist by trade, his interests were in mechanical design and the outdoor life. He was born in Kentucky on May 5, 1854. He attended the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and graduated with his doctoral degree in 1878. His first practice was in Baltimore, but he moved to Hopkinsville, KY in 1882 and practiced there. Granville was granted 8 patents in his life. Medley, the reel maker, had three of his patents related to fishing reel design. The free spool reel and automatic fly reel models were eventually produced. Granville Medley reels were very unique for there time.

The automatic fly reel was truly an innovative design. The patents for this reel were granted in 1892 and 1895 while Medley lived in Hopkinsville, KY. Medley's "20th Century Kentucky Reel" included his November 26, 1901 free spool patent. The name implies he's bringing the classic Kentucky reel into the next century. The 1901 patent was subsequently acquired by B.F. Meek & Sons and incorporated into their product line about 1915. The "Free Spool" feature and marking can be seen on a B.F. Meek & Sons No. 3 and Horton Mfg. Co. Meek No.'s 2, 3 and 4. The Horton Meek No. 6 also had the free spool feature. A letter written in 1945 by Mrs. Ora Medley to the owner of the reel below gives insight into Granville's life. The letter can be seen at the bottom of this page. Dr. Medley died in Hopkinsville, KY on October 5, 1930 at the age of 76. Medley was one of the great Kentucky reel markers.



Granville Medley reels

The B.F. MEEK & SONS and MEDLEY Free-Spool Reels


Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels

The MEDLEY'S 20th CENTURY KENTUCKY REEL, circa 1902


Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels

Unmarked MEDLEY Automatic Free Spool Reel


Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels

The MEDLEY AUTOMATIC REEL, circa 1897

Granville Medley reels Granville Medley reels

The MEDLEY AUTOMATIC REEL, circa 1897

(Photos of the this Medley Automatic Fly Reel courtesy of Bill Graves)

catalog catalog catalog catalog

THE MEDLEY REEL CO. Catalog, circa 1895


G.E. MEDLEY 1892 and 1895 Fly Reel Patents

patent patent patent

G.E. MEDLEY 1892 and 1895 Fly Reel Patents


ad ad

Classified Ads in the April and October 1886 "Semi-Weekly Southern Kentucky" Newspaper


patent

DR. G.E. MEDLEY Patent Description in the 1916 B.F. Meek & Sons Catalog


patent patent patent

G.E. MEDLEY November 26, 1901 Patent


Mrs. Ora Medley's Letter to Medley Reel Owner

Link to PDF file of Mrs. Medley's Letter


Ron Gast Article about Granville Medley and the Meek Free Spool Reel in ORCA March 2018 Newsletter

Link to PDF file of Ron Gast's Article on Medley


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

Thanks!

Ron Gast

Orlando, FL

Link to Another Great Antique Tackle Website

Link to My Facebook Page

Back to the Top of the Page

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE

Copyright  ©  1997 -  2021 Ronald W. Gast. All rights reserved.