Ocean City Mfg. Co.
The Ocean City Manufacturing Company was incorporated in Philadelphia, PA
in 1923. The company was a major manufacturer of fishing reels for the next
40 years or so. They were known for quality factory salt water reels and
inexpensive baitcasting and fly reels. Their reels are of moderate interest
to collectors. They apparently purchased many reel designs from the A. F.
Meisselbach Mfg. Co., when the Newark, NJ factory closed and produced them
under the Hermos label.
NOTE: I DO NOT COLLECT OCEAN CITY REELS, OTHER THAN THOSE SHOWN HERE, AND
HAVE NO INFORMATION ABOUT OTHER MODELS.
Some of the reels I have gathered into my collection, purely because I
found them interesting, include the following.
||Ocean City Free Spool Surf Reel.
This was the first reel manufactured by Ocean City, probably coming
out in 1922-23. It is a handsome reel of German silver and Bakelite.
It is about 200-250 yard size.
||E-Z-2-Part. This was the first
baitcasting reel produced by Ocean City, coming out in 1924. It was
gone by the 1930s. This is a take-apart reel with tube frame. The end
plates unscrew from the frame.
||Striker. The Striker came out in
1926 and was the 2nd baitcaster in the lineup. It was the first level
winding reel produced by Ocean City. It was also a tube frame, with
Bakelite end plates. This reel is not very common and a good OC
||Wanita. When this fly reel first
appeared in 1924, it was a rather handsome blued cast aluminum reel
with bone handle. It remained in the lineup for many years and
degenerated into a painted inexpensive model. Many early reels are
found marked "Sturdi-bilt Wanita". These reels were apparently made
||Fortescue. This attractive German
Silver surf casting reel was produced in many different materials and
for several retailers under different names. It was a nicely made reel
that came out in 1925s and lasted until World War II. Some of
the variations are shown in the next photo.
||Fortescue Variations. From bottom
left: Crown Quality Belmar; Abbey & Imbrie Tide Runner; Sea Girt; A &
I Sea Bright; and the original Fortescue. Other variations not
pictured include: Congress Anglesea, Folsom, Wilson Sea Girt, and
||Hermos #1. This is a nice nickel
plated brass trolling reel, a duplicate of the Meisselbach Amateur #1,
and was produced until the mid-1930s.
||Hermos #16. This reel appears to
be the most common of the Hermos reels. It is an upright trolling
reel, and is a copy of the scarce Meisselbach #16. The reel is usually
marked "Pat. Ap'd For", which I assume is for the square line guide
mounted on the foot.
||Hermos-Expert #22. This is a copy
of the Meisselbach Expert #22. It appears as shown in brass, but also
in nickel plated and black versions. All Hermos reels seem to be
stamped only "HERMOS REEL" or "HERMOS REEL CO."
||Hermos-Expert #33. This reel is a
copy of the rare Meisselbach Expert #33. Just as with the Meisselbach
version, it is one of the harder Hermos reels to find. It is a very
sturdy upright trolling reel.
||Hermos salt water multipliers.
These two reels were apparently original designs by Ocean City. The
top one is a nickel plated light salt water reel of 200 yard size. The
bottom is a nickel plated and Bakelite reel with protective rims. Both
reels use the Ocean City spider washer under the rear bearing cap.
|These reels are under
rated and a nice collection could be put together for minimal dollars.
However, some of their larger salt water models are in some demand by
big game reel collectors. The Ocean City Balboa is a very fine big game
reel that is the equal to the products of the finest makers.