This is the 1st style box Ocean City used for its mid priced and economy saltwater reels. It has a straight colored wide line through the middle and pictures of the Ocean City free spool reel at all 4 corners. Its a very beautiful box with lots of character. They used this style box from about 1924 to 1929. There are no catalogs that have been found for this time period so figuring an exact year for the reel would be impossible. I do have an ad from 1930 that shows the "New Chelsea" model so this reel box must predate that.
These slant line boxes are what I would call the 2nd type of Ocean City saltwater boxes. They were for the mid priced and economy reels and were used from about 1930 to 1934. I love these picture boxes and that they put the price on the box helps us narrow down the year of our reel even further. Ocean city used a different premium box for their high priced reels during this time and really throughout the life of the company. This Bay City No 112 box is from 1934. We know this because in 1934 the reel cost $6.00 and this box is marked as such , the cost of the reel in 1933 was only $5.00. In 1935 the Bay City model still cost $6.00 but the free spool lever changed to the new automatic flip down design.
This Ocean City Free Spool No 101 reel box is from 1934 or possibly 1935. The 1935 catalog was packed inside but maybe the reel was sold in late 1934 and the next years catalog was included. This build style and box would have been used from 1933 to maybe 1935. With a quick glance the reel and description was an exact match in the catalog. 2 pictures below.
This is the 3rd style reel box and was available from 1935 to 1937. It changed from a large centered reel pic on the front to a smaller reel pic in the lower left corner. At least it still had a picture of the reel and included a lot of information. This Brigantine box below is from 1935 or 1936. In 1937 the Brigantine changed to a 4 pillar reel with an open top construction, this reel is the old style 3 pillar build.
This Bay City box would have housed a reel from 1935 to 1937. In 1938 several changes to the Bay City and several other models occurred. Most notable was the addition of a medallion with the reel name stamped in a round silver disc at the 12 o'clock position of the head plate. Changes to the Bay City seamed to occur every few years and acquiring a full set would be challenging.
This is the 4th style Ocean City box. The ocean blue box and attractive fish logo would be hard to miss on the store shelves. They lasted from possibly 1937 (the first mention of the new slogan "Fish with reels by Ocean City" appears in the 1937 catalog). But for now we will say 1938 to 1942, up until the U.S. involvement in World War II. This St. Lucie is from 1938. Since it has the genuine Tenite handle grasp and the fact that it doesn't have the new feature from 1939 that allows oiling from the outside narrows it down to that time period.
Premium Boxes - Leather Bound.
Some versions of the OC salt water reels were sold in these gorgeous leatherete boxes in 1939-1940.
Premium Box - Wooden
These wood boxes are scarce and have only been seen for the No.609 9/0 Big Game reel.
Ocean City Fly Reel boxes
Ocean City had several box designs for their fly reels. The box below is the earliest design and housed a reel called the Sturdibilt Wanita Trout Reel and is very rare. Dates to about 1923. Ocean City's first fly reel and one of its original offerings.