Question re pre-Avalon Pflueger reel

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john elder
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Question re pre-Avalon Pflueger reel

Post by john elder »

Hi: I'm in the process of trying to bring this reel (Pflueger "Tuna Reel") back to life for a friend. When I broke it down, I noticed a number scrawled on the inside of the headstock (28)...I'm sure several of you are moaning "oh, no, not that question again!...at any rate, gotta ask...what does that # tell us about this reel? Is it particular to that line worker or does it say the reel was 28th in a series or what?!

that # is 28...for some reason, the board put a smiley face in there! je

The reel is cleaning up beautifully (pics later), but it is lacking both oil caps and the bushing is gone from the headstock...Looking for pics to verify, but based on conversations with Brian F, it is likely that the bushing is similar to the one in the tailstock. If anyone has other info or confirmation, would love to hear or further info on the reel, in general. I understand it would date to around 1905 or so. thanks in advance! je

Brian F.
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Numbers

Post by Brian F. »

John,
Later versions of this reel did have serial numbers. Bob Miller did an article for the Reel News a while back. I seem to recall him mentioning several other Pflueger reels (Supreme?) had hand written ones also, but may I may be wrong on that.

Forgot to mention another reel I have which is very similar to the Tuna. The Sea King, which is what this early Tuna reel may have ended up being renamed, has a stamped four digit serial number on the tailplate under the end cap. While that serial number is on the outside of the reel, there were other models with serial numbers hidden on the inside parts of the reels (the early Atlapacs, for instance).

Would make sense to me that that the # would be a simple or crude serial number or production number, considering it was their early attempt. I'm less likely to believe it indicates a production line person's individual stamp. Although there are parts on later Pflueger SW reels that are stamped with consistent markings, they don't seem to have relationship to a serial number (ie. "N" and "P" on Templar foot and handles respectively).

I'm sure there's more info our members can provide to add to or correct this.

Aloha,
Brian

GeigerNY
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Mystery Numbers

Post by GeigerNY »

John and Brian
I might as well wade into this discussion, most likely with a lot of useless information. This came up awhile back, which at that time lead me to start adding these numbers and location on the reel to my collection database. Unfortunately I started to keep track of these numbers after I had cleaned most of my reels, so I will not be opening them up again for another year to finish gathering the mystery number information. But so far the data tells me that they are2 and 3 digit numbers hand scribed usually, but in some cases stamped on the inside of the reel. I have found reels with the mystery number scribed in one place usually on the inside of the head plate but in other reels the same number in several location on the inside. This leads me to believe that it is not a parts number of some kind. I have so far found these numbers in Supremes, Dixie, Kihoga, Improved Round, Extra Fine Hard Rubber Round and other high end reels for there day. The only two common denominator I can see is that they are high-end reels for there day and all are from the 1920s and earlier. When I first noticed them in the Supremes I thought that perhaps they were keeping track of the number of times a cast was used, but I know longer think that is the case. Well anyway I don’t think I think that anymore but then again …….. Which leaves me with two thoughts on the reason behind these numbers. First, the people who put these reels together were craftsmen who were mostly likely beginning to feel the pressure of the assembly line type of manufacturing bearing down on them. For these craftsmen and those today who still work their craft and identify their work with a code or number, watch repair and pipeline welders just to name two that come to mind, this was a way to take pride in there skills. Secondly, I would think these reel builders probably worked on assembling more then one reel at a time at their bench, If that was the case then it could be away for them to keep track of the reel parts which they had already done the fit up on and did not want to mix and match. Well enough said about this and I am beginning to like my cast number theory again so I should end it here.
George Geiger

Brian F.
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Numbers

Post by Brian F. »

Thanks George, it's hazy but now I do seem to remember reading about this number thing. I like all the possibilities you mentioned, including the one about them being a production person's number (contrary to my first thought above). Why not on the reels? - the later green zebra boxes have individual inspection numbers and dates on their bottoms.

While you mention it, is it necessary to discard or do something to a mold after so many casts?

Aloha,
B

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john elder
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Post by john elder »

I really like the idea that the # represents a particular worker, like in my underwear...Inspector #12 ("they aren't Hanes Until I say they're Hanes!"). You figure that these early reels cost a bunch and if they come back with a problem, my guess is that the factory wanted to know where that reel had been...and on the other side of the coin, a good worker would be protected from blame for someone else's screw-up! Of course, that would mean that we should be able to find several reels with the same #s...if they are all different, it can't be that way!

GeigerNY
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Casting

Post by GeigerNY »

Brian
The only reason I can come up with as to why not on the outside of the reel is cost. I am assuming that by the time the reel parts reach the bench to be assembled they are in a nearly finished state. So it would require an additional step in the finishing process.
Yes molds need to be replaced or reworked after a certain number of castings are made. The frequency of replacement would entirely depend on the material used for the cast and for the mold. In the cast of the Supremes I would most certainly think that they used sand molds and they have a very short life. Using sand was a very popular and inexpensive way to make molds for metal casting at the time we are talking about here. Sand today is still used but I would think for only small operations and artistic casting. As for Bakelite it to can be poured into a mould to make a part not sure how the hard rubber parts are formed.
Either you were up very early or very late not sure which. George

GeigerNY
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Mystery Numbers

Post by GeigerNY »

John, exatly right a data base would show if numbers were being repeated and on what reels. My guess is that we would only see maybe 20 or 30 different numbers. Not sure it is a big enough or interesting enough mystery to go through all that. But I do have a reel here with the number 28 .
George

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Great discussion, Guys

Post by Reel Geezer »

This is the type of discussion that needs to be continued, and the data base you mention should be established. It would be a great start for a Reel News article.
FYI: I believe hard rubber was purchased in blocks and turned on lathes to make parts.

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