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James William Young was born in Redditch in 1870 the son of a fishing reel maker. He was a natural innovator whose flare for design is believed to have been instrumental in the early development of the Aerial reel. At the age of 16 he had built the smallest, full working model, penny farthing bicycle in the world. This was a remarkable feat of engineering, especially considering the lack of tools available to him at the time. The bicycle consists of over 400 hand made parts.
In 1965 J.W Young was purchased by the American company Noris Shakespeare at which time the Young family were represented by Jim Young, the grandson of the original J.W Young. He had joined the company of J.W Young & Sons in 1960 and became a qualified engineer in 1964.
In 2001 J.W Young & Sons (Fishing Reels) Ltd. was acquired by Masterline International Ltd. and today all components are made in the UK, most of them being manufactured by Jim Young in his new workshops on the outskirts of Redditch. Although assembly is now carried out at the Masterline works in Tewkesbury, final inspection is carried out in person by Jim prior to personally signing a certificate that the reel conforms to his high standards.
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