Frederic Malleson got his start as a reel maker working with John Conroy who started making reels around 1830. Malleson began working with Conroy sometime in the mid 1870s. By then Conroy had not only taken on Malleson as a partner but also a fellow named Thomas Bissett. The reels made during the mid-1870s until Malleon's departure from the company around 1881 were marked CONROY, BISSETT & MALLESON. Malleson set up shop in Brooklyn, New York around 1881 and made reels of his own design and marked with his own name for several years.