To what do I refer? Well, I’ll tell ye!
This week in some tackle we bought was a stunning Modernite Pixie Bakelite reel by the Modern Arms Company lurking in the bottom of the bag.
Now, Bakelite reels are a little shunned by collectors including the famous Allcock Aerialite which is NOT Bakelite but Phenolic Resin compressed under tons of pressure to look like Bakelite.
The Modern Arms Company established 1923 in Fenchurch St London, later moving to Widmore, Bromley in Kent. In 1928 they became a Limited Company and their address also listed Redditch as their Works. In 1947 they were a Listed Exhibitor at the British Industries Fair. “Manufacturers of Fishing Rods, Reels and all Tackle. Sporting Guns, Air Guns, Air Pistols and Ammunition, Educational Drawing Equipment, Fishing Tackle. (Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. F.1806).”
The tackle we will find is varied. The little fishing man with a trilby hat is often seen as the logo with no name to identify, so now you know! Having installed a factory rod plane machine, the split-cane rods gave way to fibreglass, then hollow glass, and as far as I know they ceased trading in the 1970s. A shame, as the products were well built, well designed for the job and not overly pricey either.
I digress. The reel, the Modernite Pixie is a stunner, brown/black mottled Bakelite with nickel-plated fittings indicates a rust free approach and may be for light sea or harbour pier fishing. This is a 4” wide-drum version, has a ‘Silex action’ side check lever, works like new and here we are 50 years on and the reel still looks new too.
Not of great value, £30-40 I suppose, but a relic of fine British engineering and another trader lost to progress.
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