Granted patent number #413,774 on 10/29/1889, Charles M. Clinton of Ithaca, New York claimed to have made an improvement in "Reels for Fishing Rods". That improvement was clearly based on the original design of Dr. Alonzo Fowler and his Gem reel. The most notable change from Fowler's reel to Clinton's reel was the material used, with Clinton choosing German silver, certainly a less fragile commodity than the hard rubber used by Fowler. A second feature of Clinton's reel was the hollow stud used as an oil reservoir for lubrication. Finally, the exposed click of Fowler's Improved Gem reel has now been covered as part of Clinton's improvements.
Listed and sold by Abercrombie & Fitch as late as 1910, these reels were also offered with an all aluminum spool. According to research done by Jim Brown¹, the company of Treman, King & Co. out of Ithaca purchased the rights to Clinton's reel and may have produced the aluminum spool version. Charles M. Clinton passed away in 1909.
¹ Information from "A Treasury of Reels" by Jim Brown, ISBN#0-9625111-0-2
The ad below for the Clinton Reel comes from a 1910 Abercrombie & Fitch Co. catalog.
I'm always interested in adding reels to my collection. If you have a reel you'd like to discuss, trade or sell please feel free to e-mail me at Jim@sidemountreels.com