The Paramount represents the 2nd highest grade in the Phillipson bamboo rod line. The catalog describes it as: “A very high grade angler’s model, perfectly staggered nodes matched for color and balance for the expert’s taste.”
This “51” Paramount is in Excellent+ all-original condition. The “51” rods were marked as a reminder to Mrs. Granger and Agnes Marshall who reportedly told him, “You won’t last five years on your own.” In Phillipson’s 5th year in business—1951—Bill had some rods of each model marked “51” as a subtle way of saying, “It’s been five years, and I’m still here.” According to the employees this was an inside joke and that is why the “51” marked rods were never cataloged.”
Narrow Phillipson patented elliptical cork grip. Brown & black anodized aluminum locking reel seat. Hard drawn 18% nickel silver ferrules. Varnish is incredibly brilliant and may have had a light overcoat in the distant past. Perfection chrome stripper guide and tip tops. Stainless steel snake guides. Wrapped with black & white jasper silk thread tipped with gold and black. Includes original bag and original Phillipson tube (95% label) with cap.
The 1951 Catalog (pictured below) shows the Phillipson Paramount 7′ – 3oz as one of eight models offered that year. Also available in 7.5′, 8′, 8.5′, 8.5′ DFS, 9′, 9′-6oz and 9.5′ lengths.
ABOUT THE PHILLIPSON PARAMOUNT
The Paramount is the second-highest grade in the Phillipson line. It was introduced in 1947 and remained in the lineup until the early 1950’s when the the bamboo embargo had a dramatic effect on the availability of Tonkin Cane.
As introduced in the 1947 -1948 Catalog, “A very high grade angler’s model, perfectly matched for color and balance to the expert’s taste.” Each Paramount has the “exclusive Phillipson natural grip (patent pending)”—aka the Elliptical grip. Bait casting rods were also available in the Paramount grade.
Beginning in 1947, the first Paramounts were outfitted with “brown plastic and metal locking reel seats”. Ferrules were 18% nickel silver. Perfection chrome plated butt guide and tip tops. Tungsten steel snake guides. Wrapped in the finest silk “black and white jasper tipped with gold, black and gold”. Packed in cloth and aluminum case.
The Paramount was unchanged according to the 1949 Catalog, however, the 1950 Catalog announces a significant change from a brown plastic reel seat to “brown anodized aluminum locking reel seat”—a change that saved a tremendous amount of weight.
As noted in the 1951 Catalog, the wraps on all Paramounts were simplified to “black and white jasper thread tipped with gold and black”. Also announced was the switch from tungsten steel line guides to stainless steel. This year marks the 5th year in business where rods were inked with a “51” after the grade name.
Paramounts from the 1952 Catalog remained the same as 1951. This was the final last year that varnished bamboo rods were listed in the catalogs, however, Phillipson continued to supply its dealers into 1954 until inventories were exhausted.
PHILLIPSON ADVERTISING IN THE EARLY 1950’S
Phillipson Rod and Tackle Co. ads in the early 1950’s followed a similar format the previous era, however there was one major change… The reel seats on the illustrated rods show the change from plastic to the “new all-metal ‘no-rock’ locking type reel seat”. This is also evidenced in the 1950 Catalog where 3 grades (Premium, Paramount and Powr Pakt) are listed with new aluminum reel seats.
This phase also represents a significant transition in rod design for Phillipson. With the weight savings derived from the reel seat swap, Bill Phillipson was able to add more power to the rods for the same overall weight. The earlier rods with plastic reel seats possess thinner tapers, whereas rods with the aluminum reel seats have enhanced swells in the butt section for added power.
Early 1950’s ads list the Phillipson address as High Street, Denver, Colorado.