Fred D. Divine

  Utica, New York

View Picture #2

  This rod is one of my prouder possessions.  Numerous collectors know about and covet their Divine rods - made by the Divine Rod Company.  This one was made by Fred.

 Quoting from A.J. Campbell,

"On quality trout rods, the nickel-silver version was marked "F. D. Divine, Maker, Utica, N.Y.", along with the [December 1, 1885] patent date.  Any lucky collector who finds this marking can be assured that the rod was actually built by Fred himself."


    Fred Divine was issued two rod related patents.

Patent #

Issue Date Title
331,380 December 1, 1885 Reel Holder and Fastening for Fishing Rods
476,370 June 7, 1892 Fishing Rod [Twisted Bamboo Rod Sections]

  The 1885 reel seat patent was not exactly earth shattering and apparently didn't work that well.  The patent was issued for the addition of a raised rib in the reel seat tube and a matching crimp in the reel seat band so that it would remain aligned with the rib on the reel seat.

  The 1892 patent was really unique.  Divine came up with the idea of uniformly twisting the entire bamboo rod section after all 6 pieces had been glued together - in order to strengthen and stiffen the blank.  I haven't seen one yet, but the patent drawing is a fascinating one:

  Fred Divine died as the result of a tragic accident.  He had built a new rod manufacturing facility in 1898, equipped with the newest lathes and presses, all of which were powered by an overhead belt driven system.  During the afternoon of March 16, 1900, he was inspecting the  overhead after a fire and accidentally got his longcoat caught in the giant belt system.  He was reported to have been hauled through the feed six or seven times at belt speeds of 500 rpm.  Per his obituary in the Utica Daily Press,  he remained conscious throughout the night until his death the next morning.  "He realized his condition, and his only concern was not for himself, but for his wife and mother, and the anguish his death would cause them."

  He was 44.


Copyright 2002-2009
Thomas C Kerr
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Tom Kerr