The importance of this Hardy Patent cannot be emphasised enough. This development was for what we now refer to as the full bail arm. It automatically picked up the line when the handle was turned.
The Patent lasted until 1948 where an extension was granted covering the war years for a further 6 years. The competitors were left stranded in development terms, still producing the old finger pick up bail system reel.
In John Drewett’s excellent book ‘Hardy Brothers: the Masters, The Men and Their Reels’ the Patent drawings are shown underneath two of the Hardy prototype models, one full bail, one half bail.
That got me thinking, so I dug out my old glossy pictures of my collection in the early days, 30 years ago and yes, I had one.
Shown here on a 1980’s green carpet is the actual reel. If you look closely enough you can see ‘Hardy Pat’ stamped on the side of the foot
I certainly didn’t realise at the time its importance to the collectors. Talking to JD many years later it became apparent that it was a very important reel and so it was traded to the right home for something else I wanted.
For Hardy Bros. this was the start of the Altex range which is commercially very different in shape and ran in various forms until 1966
The importance of brushing up on the reference material available cannot be understated or undervalued.
If you don’t have a copy of JD’s book, get one! Many of the Hardy oddball, prototype, low production and failed retail models are in it. I find myself referring to it constantly for the wealth of information it contains.