The Mitchell 300 is as much an American institution as the Louisville Slugger.
Too bad it was built by a Frenchman.
Yes, we owe the Mitchell, and all other spinning reels for that matter, to a young French watchmaker named Maurice Jacquemin.
Jacquemin and his brother Mitchel were avid anglers in the Avre valley of France in the years after World War II. Mitchel asked his brother, an engineer, to design a reel that would hold and retrieve line without tangling, and cast a lure great distances with precision.
Jacquemin started working on the project in 1946, and two years later after much trial and error, he unveiled his new "spinning" reel. The device caught on quickly and changed fishing forever. More than 30-million Mitchell 300s have been sold around the world.
The Mitchell Factory ran on a fiscal year and not on a calender year. Their fiscal or accounting year was from September 1st through August 31st. Each year the factory would close down for the entire month of August and they would go on Holiday. Everyone except those who came to the factory to make tool and dye changes to the assembly line that is.
For this reason several things occured including the fact that you will never find any Mitchell reel made in August. It also created a dating problem as they would restart on September 1st and stop production on July 30th of the following year so the dates overlapped a calender year.
Open Faced Spinning reel Pre History
The Collectors International Guided tour