Widely accepted by many to be the
"father" of the multiplying Kentucky reels in America, George
Snyder reels date back as far as the 1820's. Snyder, a
watchmaker and silversmith from Paris, Kentucky, began his reel
making sometime between 1813 and 1820 for his own personal use.
This example, from the Frank M.
Stewart III collection, is featured on page 16 of the book he
co-authored with Steve Vernon, labeled reel "E". The 1 13/16"
diameter, 1 7/8" wide spool reel features a 2 o'clock positioned
crank handle and rim mounted drag switch, with a foot attached
via three rivets. As noted in the book Fishing Reel Makers of
Kentucky, the reel sports a replaced click switch, with initials
"G S" inscribed, with the entire click mechanism likely
Documentation included in Mr.
Stewart's notes point out the reel was passed down from the
family of William Van Antwerp, contained in a wooden box with a
note in pencil inside the lid that reads "Mfd by Schneider (the
name was registered that way in the 1820 Paris, KY census) Paris
Ky - "This reel is to any son of yours who loves to
fish, and he is to hand down to posterity - Aunt Mandy Robinson
- Made 1830".
Examined by both Stewart and noted
Kentucky collector and historian Howard Fortune, his notes
include a statement by Mr. Fortune that this is in his opinion,
as well as Stewart's, that while some parts may be replacements,
this is a genuine Snyder made in Paris, KY, signed by both men.
The all brass reel with adjustable pivots and full length brass
foot is a true testament to the quality Kentucky reels are known
for, with a smooth turning spool and fully functional drag.
With very few known examples in
advanced collections, a truly rare provenanced Kentucky reel
from an important collection.