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Zebco, Zero Hour Bomb Company

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (18 items)

    I consider myself lucky to have gotten this reel but my wife was not so happy. This Zebco was manufactured on 13 may, 1949 till 31 Dec, 1949 by the Zero Hour Bomb Company. The reel is in good shape and works very smoothly. I plan to fish with it at least once this summer just to be able to say I fished with Zebco's first reel. I have a Zebco rod to put the reel on. Also, this reel was being built on my birthday, same year.

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    1. john kistler, 12 years ago
      How did you determine the date of manufacture of this reel? I just bought one that looks about the same except for the line retreiving disk is white. The box looks like yours but the paper work in the box is for a model super zebco 22.
      Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated..thanks John
    2. finchave finchave, 12 years ago
      The date for this reel was given to me by none other than That-Zebco-Guy, Dick Braun who is a Zebco collector. Look at the reels front cover. If it says Super Zebco Model 22 then it's a model 22. If it only says Zebco, then take the front cover off and check again the color of the spinner head. Are you sure it isn't tan? If so this reel was made in 1953 to 1954 and would be the third reel made by Zebco. I have the Super Zebco 22 but the spinner head is not white, it's a dull metal color. Once you know for sure which reel you have you will then know if you have the right box. Take some photos (include the spinner head) and post on this site. Hope this helps.
    3. Peter Laehr, 12 years ago
      I have been collecting the zero hour bomb co. reels for some time. I have been told different stories on these reels. I understand that the first one had a black spinner and the box had no price on it. It was made from May 1949 thru Dec. 1949. The next was the red spinner. Made from 1950 thru 1952. The box price was 17.50. Then the tan spinner from 1953 thru 1955. The box price was 12.50. Is this info correct??? If not, were can I find the right info. Any help is welcome
    4. Allen Jones, 12 years ago
      I too have a Zebco Standard 1A. If you look at the Zebco Site it will tell you that the first three made were the 1A, 1B and 1C. 1A was first manufactured in May of 1949 until 1951 and was noted by its red spinner head. 1B in 1952, noted by it black spinner head and 1C, 1953 through 1955 had the tan spinner head. Unfortunately I do not have the box for it as it was given to me by my grandfather. But I still use the reel and actually caught a Walleye with it this Memorial Day weekend.
    5. Dick Braun, 12 years ago
      Karl T. White wrote a book titled "Zebco "The Family Reel" the first 30 years. In it he used a coding system that linked the picture of a model reel to the verbage written in the book. Picture 1A went with what was written about the reel and so on. 3 different spinnerhead colors hense 3 different pictures and write-ups, 1A,1B,1C. In regards to the Zero Hour reel if you remove the back cover of the reel you'll see some numbers molded into the body of the reel, These are NOT anything more than a part number and it was used to tell which cavity in the mold that part came out of. If there was a part problem they would know which mold to look at to make the needed repair. In the book the Zebco 33 is listed as 4A through 4F, this numbering system has nothing to do with Zebco the company, they just copied it out of Karls book.
      To Post #3, The price of the tan spinnerhead was also $17.50 until 1954 when Zebco lowered it to $12.50 in order to sell off remaining stock that they had in the warehouse to get ready for the New model 33 that was introduced in late 1954 early 1955. You know that you've got one of the last models produced of the Zero hour bomb co. reel if the price on the box is the $12.50 instead of the standard pricing of $17.50. In all of my years of collecting the zebco reels I've only ever seen one of the Zero Hour Bomb Co. boxes that didn't have a price marked on it. It may or may not be a 1 of a kind, but I will bet that it was one of the 1st boxes done for the showing of the reel at trade shows as they (Zebco) may not have settled on the pricing of the reel as yet.
      Now once and for all, per the 1st President of Zebco after it was sold in 1950, he never saw a black spinnerhead on a Zero Hour Bomb Co. reel when he was on the assembly line out in the factory. He used the red spinnerhead and the numbered box (stamped in the box top lid on the inside to track how many were produced that 1st year of new ownership and also it tracked were a shippment lot of the reels went to, ie. which part of the country, again if there was a problem that arose with the reel they would know when they were produced and what part of the country they were shipped to for distrubition. I hope this clears up some of the misunderstandings that are out there floating around. By the way the red spinnerhead and the numbered boxes were only used 1 year. Sincerely : Dick Braun, that-zebco-guy
    6. Dick Braun, 12 years ago
      One additional note: Karl White had the order of color in his book in error as he listed tan, red, black. In faulty research for a couple of years I thought it was red, black, tan. I'm the one who got Zebco to change it to what it show on their site now. I have sent Zebco the facts that I was wrong and also sent the proof that the correct order of color is Black, then Red and lastly Tan. I'm still waiting for them to correct it on their site to settle and stop the confusion about which color was 1st. I'm sorry for any confusion that I have caused fellow collector's, and I hope this helps.
      Dick Braun
    7. finchave finchave, 12 years ago
      Dick, thanks for the 5 and 6 postings. To Allen Jones, the 1A, 1B and the 1C is nothing but a reference code to the reels with the black, red and tan spinner head. Hope the above postings helped. Thanks again Dick.
    8. finchave finchave, 12 years ago
      A box with no paper work came with the reel (black spinner head) I bought. There is no price marked on this box. I'm pretty sure you know were this reel came from Dick and I'd never part with it. Sooner or later my son will have my collection and hope he can continue to add to it. And someday he can pass it down.
    9. Jerry, 12 years ago
      Hello, I have read thru these posts because I too have a Zero Hour Bomb Co reel. It has the red spinnerhead, the $17.50 price marking on the box, and also a number 26253 stamped inside the lid of the box. If Mr. Braun is still reading this, is it safe to say this reel was produced in 1950? That's the way I understood from the posts. It's really interesting to learn some of this reel history, thanks to everyone for the information.
    10. finchave finchave, 12 years ago
      Hi Jerry, Yes your safe to say your reel was made in 1950/1952. The number you found inside the box is a serial number for that reel. This number allowed Zebco to track production and the location of where a group of serial numbers were shipped to, as in what part of the country. Have fun collecting..........
    11. jeff lenz, 12 years ago
      i have a new condtion in the box with zebco instructions and a paper that shows how to install line,spinner color is red #on box lid is 54143 can you tell me more about this reel ?
    12. John Buxbaum, 12 years ago
      I have a working reel with a tan spinner (no box). Was told by someone at Zebco that having a patent number made it a later model, and because mine is stamped patent pending, it is an older model. Is anyone familiar with this reel before it was patented?
    13. Peter Laehr, 12 years ago
      Thank you Dick Braun!!!! We can finally put this to rest about the color order.
      With my collection through the years I have only got 1 box with no price and 1 box with 12.50 all the rest were 17.50. You are well informed on this and I take it as final say on the subject.
    14. finchave finchave, 11 years ago
      Thanks officialfuel, Harland and BELLIN68.
    15. Bowfishingrocks Bowfishingrocks, 11 years ago
      Just found a Zebco Manufactured by Zero Hour Bomb Company in the bottom of a box at an estate auction. It has never been used and has serial number 168907 on box lid and $17.50 on box. Spinner color is tan. I use Zebco 33 fishing reels on river all the time because I can beat them up and they just keep working. But after reading articles above I am wondering if this is a rare reel that I may want to save new in box. Where can I get an estimated value of this reel.
    16. finchave finchave, 11 years ago
      Hi Bowfishingrocks, This was the last of three Standards made by Zero Hour Bomb Company. Your reel having the tan spinner head would be the cheapest of the three. The red spinner head would cost more than the tan and the reel with the black spinner head would bring you the most dollars. I think the best way to get a value on your reel is search eBay for your reel and see what it brings at auction. And remember, if the box and papers are with the reel, it's worth more. Me, I wouldn't use it or sell it, display it in my guy room.
    17. Dustyjoe, 9 years ago
      I have 1 black, 2 red, and 3 tan spinner head Standards. I just got a rough box and nice paper from a friend and the lid # is 128,665 price $17.50. Then I have a NIB Tan spinner head Standard reel in a Box with no # in the lid that looks like tape was placed over the price and then pulled off. The last boxed reel is a Tan one that I bought on eBay years ago and the lid has # 190,309. Then I have 1 of each without a box and a Red one that needs both covers. It is still special to me because I bought it at a yard sale form an old teacher of mine who is no longer with us who was a real nice guy. I want to thank Dick Braun for his info and can you tell me what years are those #'s from ?
    18. rickyracer49, 9 years ago
      Still looking for a price for a standard with bow.Can anybody help?
    19. rickyracer49, 9 years ago
      So not bow but original box for standard

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