Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

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Reelman2
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Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by Reelman2 »

I recently acquired a Meek & Milam reel that has numbers on all the individual parts instead of dots. Even the half handle and pinion gear have a number on them. Were the dots and numbers used inter-changeably or was one used in a different time period than the other. If so, which came first and does it help in dating the reel.
Collect mostly Ky style reels; Meek, Heddon, Horton, Pflueger Redifor and Worth, etc.

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Mike N
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by Mike N »

Great reel. That looks like a question Betty and Don or Ron G. can answer.

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RonG
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by RonG »

Can you post photos of the front plate showing "Meek & Milam."

bettybarr
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by bettybarr »

Those dots are called “witness marks”. They were used by Meek/Milam to indicate which reel the various parts went with. They were used on the earlier reels when all of the parts were handmade. He or they could make them in batches and then match up the parts according to whether they had 1, 2 or 3 (etc) dots. A great article that discusses this in detail is in the Cleaning and Restoration Book by Jim Hardman in the “Methods for the Restoration of Parts”. I wish I could be in that Frankfort shop for just one day.
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Steve
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by Steve »

I wish I could be in that Frankfort shop for just one day.
If you can manage to do that, it's probably better to avoid Sundays.

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bettybarr
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by bettybarr »

More on witness marks - dots or numbers used to match parts made in batches.
But using them to date a reel? Not that we know of,
We just got off an ORCA conference call and posed the question to the Board. They could not answer that either. Oh to be in that shop —-
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kyreels
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by kyreels »

Although there was no definitive answer in the discussion, I do think it is an answer that could be determined by examining more examples. I think a good guess is that the dots were earlier, and that numbers referencing lots (versions, models, design groups) followed. We all noted that BF Meek later used numbers widely for models he or his shop was directly engaged in. Anyone viewing this thread that has Meek & Milam examples might post their updates and help to inform the group.
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Paul M
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Re: Dots Versus Numbers on Meek & Milam reels

Post by Paul M »

My only Meek & Milam is a No3 with dot and has a 5 under the foot. Pics were posted about 5 years ago, here.
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