Are there EARLIER 1st Era Goodwin Granger Rods out there?

April 2020

100 years ago this month, Goodwin Granger & Co. ran their first advertisements with images depicting an actual rod. Prior to that, (April 1919 – March 1920) Granger ads contained very simple text with an illustration of a fisherman. (You can view the complete collection of Goodwin Granger ads here.)

To date, this is the earliest image that we have of any Granger rod. It comes from the April 1920 issue of Outdoor Life.

April 1920 Outdoor Life Ad
April 1920 Outdoor Life Ad

 

It is widely believed that the earliest Granger rods had reel seats like the one on this 1st Era Special:

Goodwin Granger 1st Era Special 9050
Goodwin Granger 1st Era Special 9050
Goodwin Granger 1st Era Special 9050
Goodwin Granger 1st Era Special 9050

Visual Comparison

The reel seat shown on the April 1920 Granger advertisement above, appears much different than that of the “earliest” known Special. The reel seat from the Special actually matches perfectly with the rods depicted in the NEXT series of ads beginning in April 1921.

April 1921 Outdoor Life Ad
April 1921 Outdoor Life Ad

 

The Controversy

Let’s take a closer look at the zoomed in reel seats from different examples of the same first photo ads (all from April 1920 to March 1921).

Early-Reel-Seats_SM
Early Reel Seats from 6 different Granger ads (1920-1021)

You’ll notice the reel seat shaft appears like it may be slotted. This is debatable since the photo is a series of half-tone dots and it may just be a reflection… or slots/rails. What is not debatable is the size of the elongated hooded end cap. Compare this reel seat with the one on the “earliest” Granger Special above, and there is a clear difference.

 

Possible Explanation

Looking at JUST the advertisements (remember, we don’t have photo catalogs prior to 1923), We may have not yet seen a Granger rod that dates prior to April 1921. None of the known first era rods in prominent Granger collections exhibit a reel seat that resembles anything close to the ones in those first photo ads.

Perhaps these are from the very early days when Goodwin Granger was building rods and selling them out of the Granger Brothers Mercantile.

Do you have an early Granger Rod with a reel seat that resembles those in the 1920’s ads above?  Please contact us immediately if you do.

Please post a comment below if you have any further information that may shed some light on this subject. We’d appreciate hearing from you.

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