Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mystery solved on "Zero Hour Bomb Co." reel

Advertisement that Mike found
No sooner did I ask readers if they knew anything about the old Zebco reel hanging in our dining room than Mike Miller sent me an e-mail. Mike is actually our closest neighbour at camp. He has the cabin that is "hidden" in the trees right across the narrows.
The reel is the Model 22, manufactured in 1953 by the Zero Hour Bomb Company which later changed its name to Zebco.
 Model 22 with thumbing brake
It was actually the second model the company produced. The first was called the Standard and looked very similar.
The Zero Hour Bomb Company started in Tulsa, OK, in 1932. It made electric bombs used in oil drilling. In 1947 a Texas watchmaker named R.D. Hull invented the world's first fishing reel guaranteed not to backlash and took his idea to Zero Hour. The first spincast reel rolled off the assembly line in 1949. The first Zebco 33, with the push-button back used today, appeared in 1954.
The company changed its name to Zebco in 1956 after a friend of President Dwight Eisenhower sent him a reel and White House security threw the parcel into a tub of water when they saw it came from Zero Hour Bomb Company.
The company came out with a redesigned Model 33 in 2004 to celebrate the reel's 50th anniversary and an all-new design for its 60th anniversary in 2014.
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