Tuesday, December 22, 2015

1920 Bristol Steel Fishing Rods Catalog on CD


I was really thrilled when I found this catalog because I am a collector of all things made by the Horton Manufacturing Company of Bristol, Connecticut.

I've decided share this marvelous catalog by creating a pdf copy of all 42 pages and with a digitally enhanced cover.

They are being offered for $11.95 each -- including S&H -- at http://www.cowboyup.com/Bristol.html

Just use the Buy Now button at the bottom of the link.

The CD has 176.6 MB of PDF files for Bristol Steel Fishing Rods, Meek and Blue Grass Reels and Kingfisher Silk Fishing Lines.


Horton Mfg. Co. makers of Bristol Steel Rods

The Horton Manufacturing Company, of Bristol, CT was a successful manufacturer and dealer of quality fishing tackle from the late 1880s to the 1950s.

The business was started in 1887, when Everett Horton, a Bristol mechanic, patented a fishing rod of telescoping steel tubes.  The rod was lightweight and compact, and the steel tubes protected the line from tangling and snagging on branches while hiking to a favorite fishing hole.

Within a short time frame The Horton Manufacturing Company located in Bristol, CT and began producing a complete line of steel fishing rods.  They offered everything from delicate fly rods to hefty deep sea rods.


Horton Mfg. and Meek Reels

On Monday, August 14, 1916, the Bristol Press newspaper reported on page one:

"General Manager Charles R. Riley and Secretary Towndsend G. Treadway of the Horton Manufacturing Company returned this noon from Louisville, Kentucky from a business trip which is very important to this city.  While at that place on Saturday, the purchase of the B. F. Meek Company, manufacturers of fishing reels, by the Horton Manufacturing Company was completed."

So, in 1916, the Horton Mfg. Co. went from having no fishing reels in their catalog to being the manufacturer of the most famous fishing reels in America.


E. J. Martin's Sons and Kingfisher Fishing Lines

In 1920, the Horton Mfg. Co. acquired the E. J. Martin's Sons firm, of Kingfisher Brand Silk Fishing Line fame.



Horton Mfg. Co. Marketing and Advertising

Some of the most beautifully illustrated postcards, calendars, and catalogs offered by any fishing tackle company were created by the Horton Manufacturing Co, for their Bristol Steel Rods.

In the early 20th century three of America's finest sporting illustrators -- N. C. Wyeth, Oliver Kemp and Philip R. Goodwin -- were commissioned to do paintings for their calendars, catalogs and other marketing materials.

I have been fortunate enough to obtain a c1920 Bristol Catalog with a cover illustration by Philip R. Goodwin.  The best part of the catalog is that it was late enough to include not only Bristol Steel Rods, but also Meek Blue Grass Reels, and Kingfisher Silk Fishing Lines.

These rare, early catalogs are extremely collectible, offer a vast amount of information, and fetch fairly high prices in the collector market.

My Bristol Steel Fishing Rods Catalog dates c1920


I've scanned the entire catalog and converted the pages to pdf files then burned them to a CD:

My catalog is undated, however the Horton Mfg. Co. acquired Kingfisher Silk Fishing Lines in 1920, and Philip R. Goodwin painted the cover image in 1920.

The original catalog is 9 7/8" w x 7 1/4" h, and has 41 numbered pages along with 3 cover pages.

I have carefully restored the Cover and its Philip R. Goodwin image.

This catalog is a great find because it has all the Bristol Steels Fishing Rods available at the time, and also includes Meek and Blue Grass Reels, as well as the newly acquired Kingfisher Fishing Lines.

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