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Louis Carpano was born in 1832, and in 1851, he entered the Clockmakers School in Cluses, Savoy (now Italy). After leaving school, he went to work in France and Switzerland. His first invention dates from 1860 and was an improved milling-machine for the carving of gears. He moved back to Cluses in 1868 and co-founded a company to produce and sell watch-gears, milling-machines and watchmaker’s tools. Louis’ nephew, Constant, was trained by his uncle took over the business in 1902. Louis lived in Turin (Italy) until his death in 1919.
Constant‘s son-in-law, Charles Pons, joined the family business, now called Carpono & Pons, and was the moving spirit in the company. In the 1930’s they worked with two fishing tackle manufacturers 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.
Léon Carpano and Charles Pons, astonished as they were by the success of their first models, soon decided to design and to market more versions of their reel, such as the “Salt Water”, the “Mitchell Cap” (Cap 54), the “Otomatic”, and the “Rapid”. In April 1957 a decision was reached to add a number to the name of each existing model and the first born “Mitchell” became “Mitchell 300″. In 1966, the birth of the 10,000,000th reel was celebrated and production reached an amazing number of 12,000 reels per day in 1970. No suprise that the the 20,000,000th reel was celebrated in 1971.
In 1974, Mitchell partnered with The Garcia Corporation, which was a dominant force in the fishing tackle market. But by 1980, these two brands would become independent and go their separate ways. In 1990, Johnson Worldwide Associates (JWA) bought the Mitchell Company. 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.
In 2000, Mitchell was purchased by Pure Fishing as part of the JWA fishing products acquisition. Mitchell continues to sell the Mitchell 300 reel, as well as adding new, innovative products to its successful fishing lineup.
Today, Mitchell is one of the proud brands of Pure Fishing, Inc. Pure Fishing is a global family of quality fishing tackle brands, offering a broad range of products that meet or exceed the needs of today’s anglers. Pure Fishing addresses the needs of anglers around the world with a strong portfolio of leading brands, including the Mitchell brand. We are dedicated to helping you have more fun and catch more fish.