After many years of trying to find the “perfect” first version Mitchell, I finally found one several years ago in France. What you see here is a true first version with little if any internal gear wear. This reel has also been confirmed to be the first version by having studied 18 other first versions, over 40 second versions and over 100 third versions. The first two versions have the round anti-reverse but the third version has an angled one. Most of the other precise features of the truest first version set it far apart from the rest including no Made in France on the housing as you will see.
Please understand that the first version did not have any paint primer. For this reason you will not find one in good appearance unless they’ve been repainted. When you find one most of the paint will have fallen off. This is the main point to look for when trying to locate one. The “light” colored Rosewood Handle Knob also helps but many of these have long since deteriorated and replaced with round aluminum knobs. Trying to explain each tidbit of information is easier done by photographs with explanations attached to each.
LUBE PORT SCREW:
MAIN DRIVE GEAR:
Please understand this is not the Prototype. The term prototype by its own definition confirms this. Although Super Rare with all the original parts, I know of over 15 very much the same as this one. Unfortunately I’ve discovered many had been worked on and lost parts, especially the 3 small washers. Others were found to have been upgraded with new gearing. I’m sure there is an original prototype still out there somewhere! Due to a lot of books, articles and studies; I feel the prototype was first made circa 1937 and for the same reasons; this first version was first manufactured circa 1939.
We’ve also completed studies on the 2nd and 3rd versions which will follow later as time permits including dating each version along with their boxes. Please Contact Us with any questions and I always welcome constructive criticism if you feel I am wrong but respectfully ask you to prove your findings.