Léon Carpano and Charles Pons of Carpono & Pons, an Italian company, worked with two fishing tackle manufacturers in the 1930’s to refine their round reel designs. They created the first prototype open-faced spinning reel in the latter part of the 1930s and a patent was granted in 1950 for this new reel design. The true origin of the name Mitchell remains mysterious–Although Carpano & Pons had the intention to name their first reel “Michel”, they discovered this name was already used and patented so they gave the reel an American sounding name that was very in vogue at the time. In April 1957 a decision was reached to add a number to the name of each existing model and the Mitchell reel became the famous Mitchell 300. In 1990 the company moved its headquarters and R&D to Marignier, France, where it is still located today. Since its introduction in the late 1940s, nearly 30 million Mitchell 300 reels have been sold worldwide.