Howban of Mosley, Birmingham prototype?

A long way travelled from its birthplace, this Howban of Mosley, Birmingham reel came to us from a collector customer friend in Scotland.

Approximately 50% larger than the normal smaller Howban models, it’s unnamed and features a different spool and locking nut arrangement. Other than being on steroids it has all the Howban features right down to the red handles.

It would be easy to claim this as a prototype of the full production model. It’s fully working and retail-ready but unnamed. The question is, are there any others about? Date wise, I suggest c.1950 is in the ballpark.

No patent details or markings are obvious so I conclude, it’s pre-production or perhaps a factory knock-up that never quite made it all the way.

What do you think? I’d love to see images of any others in collections to disprove my theory, and a box or leaflet would be a real boost. Click here for more details.