Matching Serial Number stickers started being placed on each box’s outer brown paper shipping wrap somewhere within this time period.
Unfortunately almost all of these wrappers have been discarded but several have been found and documented, still in their original factory state.
Dating Mitchell Reels is easy if you have the right tools and here it is; the Original Mitchell Reel Dating Guide by Wallace Carney of the Mitchell Reel Museum!
Though most vintage Mitchell reels have oval shape bodies; my purpose for identifying these reels as Egg-Shape is very simple.
Other artifacts and celebrations also documented dates.
These are from a continuing spreadsheet study I originally did and self-published in January 2006 called Mitchell ~ Rebirth of a Legend.
The highest number found with this prefix on a 4th version was #C92525.1984 = P 1985 = Q 1986 = R 1987 = S 1988 = T (The last of the serial numbers.Mitchell closed the factory in 1988/89) 1989 = T (New Old Stock Parts were used to make limited quantities of Mitchell reels that were still being hand assembled in France) 1990 = No serial numbers with few exceptions such as the Mitchell 300 PRO Anniversary that has been documented as one model still being assembled in France however; most models are now being manufactured in Taiwan.The first two versions did not have serial numbers at all and the beginning of the 3rd version also did not have numbers.Keeping this in mind: – 1946/49 No Serial Numbers but various stamps on foot but in 1949/52 Serial Numbers first begin within the 3rd version release.To distinguish these from the common Level-Wind gearing they installed a red anodized Handle Knob.The lowest serial number found to date is #A07127 and the highest is #A07324 with two others in between.This makes it very easy to date these reels by just the serial number letter prefix.These started in 1971 with the letter “A” prefix and so on.Gaps between the serial numbers I give are ones I’ve not found and documented.Therefor these gaps in serial numbers could be the years before or after. The first four versions of the 300 called “The Mitchell” at the time did not have the 300/301 model number engraved.The breakdown of these years are: 1949/50 – SN “A” Prefix began within 3rd Versions with the lowest serial number I’ve found being #A02558 however; a new discovery was made in 2008 by Jan Haanstra, a well known Mitchell Collector in Holland, a unique 3rd Version with very unique Cross-Wind Gears!It has now been fully documented that Mitchell first introduced the Cross-Wind gearing in 1949/50.1953 – SN 40779 to 203519 1954 – SN 235985 to 617792 1955 – SN 624001 to 1004270 SN 624001 was the earliest 1959 – SN 2282964 to 2959786 1960 – SN 3067452 to 3579119 1961 – SN 3616448 to 4218719 1962 – SN 4267369 to 4870499 1963 – SN 4918411 to 5494100 1964 – SN 5546867 to 5953668 1965 – SN 5996632 to 6579351 1966 – SN 6656941 to 7276825 1967 – SN 7282575 to 7895887 1968 – SN 7959216 to 8570524 SN 7959216 was the earliest I’ve found.