Leonard Rod Catalog H. Leonard, many emotions are kindled - awe, goosebumps, and eventually a curiosity about the age of the rod. To help satisfy that curiosity here follows a history of Hiram L. Leonard as it relates to his rod making career. This is correlated with the appropriate maker's stamping and other marks along with a time frame. Assigning a date in many cases, with the aid of old advertisements and notices, is not too difficult and there is very little guesswork involved.
Leonard, who was born inwas by profession a gunsmith. Living in Bangor, Maine, he worked sometimes for himself, and at Hl Leonard Rod Company for others. He loved fishing, and eventually built for himself a solid wood rod. In a letter dictated by him to one of his family, circahe stated he never intended Goodlife Company become a rod maker. Administration Of Company Law 2013 with his workmanship and unable to keep up with demand for rods of split cane construction, Bradford and Anthony asked Leonard if he could build this glued-up type of rod, and, if so, would he build such rods for them?
Hiram, confident he could easily build split cane, agreed to become their supplier. The first entry in the Bangor area Directories listing Leonard as rod maker occurs in the Directory. Whatever is the exact date of his venture into split cane rod making, it is thought that at the start, Hiram's total output was shipped to Bradford and Anthony and therefore was not likely to Hl Leonard Rod Company marked with Leonard's name, but rather the Bradford and Anthony name.
New York City with salmon rods. According to other sources, these rods, which were six and twelve strip, were being exported to England under the Clerk label. Calculating the man hours spent in completing a quality rod, times the numbers ordered by large wholesale firms, it seems unlikely that Leonard was given the opportunity to build and to begin to market rods under his own name.
Thus, it is probably after Hiram hired an assistant in and increased production that Hl Leonard Rod Company stamped his rods as being of his manufacture. The first of his maker's marks consisted of a narrow rectangle, each of its four corners a concave line. Inside the rectangle appears to the top "H.
Leonard" and centered below is "Maker. This rod, with the stamp appearing on the butt cap, is a three section, 12 foot trout fly rod. It is six strip, and rounded in the desiderative fashion of the time.
The butt tapers gently away from the rattan covered grip, which is located above the metal reel seat. All fittings are of the highest quality German silver. Significantly, the ferrules which are tenon also called doweled or spike are neither capped nor split. Guides are of the ring and keeper type with a tip-top that is a flat ring soldered to a small tapered tube.
The tip-top is not pinned but the ferrules and reel seat are. The ferrules, which compared to Leonard's later ones have to be considered primitive, but are informative for what they lack. They bear the Leonard hallmarks as to style and quality with the female reinforced at the top with a welt and the male shouldered, but there is not a hint - not the tiniest suggestion - of either of Leonard's two ferrule patents.
This indicates that his ferrule improvements and patents came later, so that this rod, with the unique primitive ferrules and the maker's mark, date to the early period in Leonard's career - somewhere around Hiram, who was granted only these two ferrule patents, stamped the issuance date of each of them at the top of the first female ferrule on every rod, a practice that the H.
Leonard Rod Co. Needless to say, locating one or both of these dates on the ferrule can help to establish time of manufacturing. The first of these patents was filed August 30,and issued October 26,No. It specified capping the Trion Trade Inc Company Profile ends of the ferrule - in effect closing them to prevent moisture permeating the rod. The second patent was filed April 17,and issued September 3,No.
It called for splitting the ferrule where it was wrapped on the rod, thereby reinforcing that point without detracting from the rod's elasticity. Allowing for some lead time preceding a public Zeller Motor Company North Platte, it is probable that Leonard's second maker's mark dates to the winter of At that time Hiram and his old client, the prestigious Andrew Clerk and Co.
Abbey and Imbrie were to be "sole agents" for Leonard, meaning they exclusively would distribute his rods. The first notice of the affiliation was buried in a publicity type statement in Forest an Stream, March 11, It read: "Mr.
Abbey and Imbrie of 48 Maiden Lane, who are his sole agents. The reel-mounting is to be of solid gold and silk thread and jeweled. The alliance with Abbey and Imbrie, for whatever reason, lasted less than two years. The estimated time of its termination is based on the fact that Hiram, who had not advertised directly for himself after Abbey and Imbrie became his "sole agents," suddenly in November of resumed buying ad space; and there was no mention in his ads of Abbey and Imbrie.
Abbey and Imbrie ceased to mention Leonard in their advertisements beginning in May of This author regretfully has not personally viewed the maker's stamp on rods dating to the Abbey and Imbrie period.
However, the notable Martin Keane reports that it reads in five lines, "H. Immediately following the split with Abbey and Imbrie the events in Hiram's rod career are hazy. Again, referring to his letter, he stated "In went in company with Mr. Hidder of Boston. Whatever the name is Hidder, Kidder or even Ridder the Boston Area Directories have no listing for a man with any such spelling; tracing Mr.
Hidder, therefore, has come to a dead end. Still one wonders; was Mr. Hidder a silent financial backer, or did the "in company" mean a working, "sole agents" type of partnership? Was there ever a maker's mark "Leonard-Hidder? However, there are good arguments for dating the addition of "Bangor, Maine" to the period Also, Leonard opened his own retail outlet in New York City, in October, ; he might have felt it good for business, or to build customer confidence to show the factory Hl Leonard Rod Company.
The angling public might have guessed at a connection between Leonard and Mills, when in FebruaryLeonard, in his ads, changed the New York City address from " Chambers St.
A public statement of the joining occurred roughly three weeks later, March 6,when the William Mills and Son ad in Forest and Stream without fanfare simply stated they were "sole agents" for H. Leonard's first maker's stamp indicating this alliance was a rectangle with scrolled sides, inside of which in five lines was printed: "H. Hl Leonard Rod Company the dates of both ferrule patents, another stamping can occur on rods with this "Mills-Sole Agents" mark.
It is found on salmon and tarpon rods fitted with a heavy locking reel seat. The seat is stamped "Pat. May 31, Patent Department's records has not revealed either such a patent date or such a patent issued to Leonard or Mills or assigned to either of them. The seat is not dissimilar to one patented by Henry Prichard sometimes spelled Pritchard November 30, Possible explanations of this puzzling patent date range from: the reel seat is based on Prichard's patent and the date of that is stamped incorrectly on the seat.
Someday this little mystery may be resolved. Exactly how long the Mills-Sole Agents mark lasted is not known nor is the precise lifespan of the two succeeding marks. Usually a change in a maker's mark would be reflected in the company's advertisements, for example an addition to the name of "and Co.
William Mills and Son ran ads without an indication of anything ever changing. In fact, into the mid to late 's, long after there had been two different wordings to the maker's stamp, William Mills and Son periodically continued to advertise as the "sole agent for H. L Leonard Rods. At any rate, it is believed that the second Leonard-Mills mark replaced that of "Sole Agents" circa Rumor has it that Hiram thereafter became dissatisfied with the new arrangement - maybe missing the Maine woods and the easy access to salmon fishing in the Penobscott River which flowed through Bangor, or maybe having a clash of values with Mills.
Whatever the case, once in Central Valley, Leonard began to sell portions of his interest in the business to Mills. The second mark reflects their increased ownership. He may or may not have been alive when William Mills and Son became, if not sole owners, the controlling ones - rumors vary. At this change of ownership the maker's stamp was also altered, although only as Gas Company In wording.
Mills, President. Tonkin or grips rattan vs. These are all valid dating tools, but there are always exceptions. For example, Leonard routinely advertised "rods made to order" - seemingly to pride himself in V Construction Company "special" rods for the customer. This practice means it is likely there is a four strip split cane rod dating long after the time one would expect. This Leonard story is stopped in the 's for beyond that time, to this author, is the period that is closer to current than to history.
It is hoped if some readers have additional documented data, they will share it, and help us all to learn the facts. The original Leonard stamp. As Mary Kelly noted in her article, the original stamp is quite narrow. Also noted was that Leonard was a gunsmith before he became a rod maker. Because it was customary at that time for gunsmiths to stamp their products on the rib, necessitating a narrow, flat die, one can conclude that the original Leonard stamp was created for his guns and then used for his rods simply because it was ready at hand.
Some may ask how Leonard could stamp a round butt cap with a flat die. The answer is that back then round metal fittings ferrules, slide bands, butt caps, etc. The butt swell and reel seat spacer are extensions of the butt blank without any other material spliced in; one can only wonder at the width of the strips!
Such a rod must have been one of Leonard's earliest. Kelly dates the reappearance at I have a 14 foot Leonard salmon rod which has the original stamp with the separate "Bangor, Me.
HL Leonard Fly Rods. Started by the godfather of the bamboo fly rod - Hiram Leonard - in the mid 19th century, the Leonard Rod Company would become the most recognizable rod company in history. The company was largely responsible for the development of the modern fly rod, and many other prominent rodmakers worked or got their start in the ...…
Hiram Lewis Leonard, (b.Sebec, Maine, June 23, 1831; d.Central Valley, New York 1907) was the founder of the H.L. Leonard Rod Company.He has been regarded as the father of the modern fly rod.He was also an adventurer, gunsmith, engineer and maker of musical instruments.…
(001) Low profile cotton cap with velcro adjustable back, H. L. Leonard Rod Co. logo embroidered on the front, "Fish A Classic" embroidered on the back. Choice of black, green, light blue, or bright pink. $25 each + shipping. Order/Inquiry (002) H.L. Leonard 1980's catalog, 8 1/2 x ……
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Leonard, H.L. -- Model 40H Bamboo Rod. $1,550.00 US. For sale here is a H.L. Leonard Model 40H bamboo rod. 8 feet in length with two sections and two tips for a 6wt line.…
This is the grave stone of H.L. Leonard who was the founder and owner of the H.L. Leonard rod Company for many years. He is buried in the Highland Mills cemetery, Highland Mills, New York, about two miles from the H.L. Leonard rod Company. This was the former home of H.L. Leonard rod Company as it appeared in December 2002.…
Below, the grave of Hiram L. Leonard, the founder of the HL Leonard Rod Company in Highland Mills, New York. Beneath this stone, lies the man who was the foundation of American Rodmaking, Hiram L. Leonard. Mr. Leonard began making rods around 1869 and his company continued operation, for many decades after his death, finally closing in 1985.…
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As bamboo popularity increased, the H. L. Lenard rod company started making machinery to produce cane/ bamboo fly rods. The first fly fishing rods were made from ash and lacewood, but in 1874 H.L. Leonard started to make bamboo rods exclusively until his death in 1907.…