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Remington Arms History: How One of the Biggest Firearms Brands Came To Be

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 04:41 PM

Remington Arms is America's oldest still-operating firearm manufacturer. Since Eliphalet Remington II built his first flintlock rifle in 1816, the company has created many weapons and other products throughout its history of facilitating American shooting sports, hunting and defense.

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Eliphalet Remington II's Homemade Rifle

Remington was born in 1793, and made his first rifle in his early 20s for a shooting match. He finished second, but the success of the rifle and barrel impressed his fellow contestants. They soon started ordering guns from the young man, according to Remington's company history page.

A Family Business
Eliphalet Remington II created his first flintlock barrel on his father's blacksmith forge in New York. The father and son moved their operations near to the then newly-constructed Erie Canal in Ilion, N.Y. Eliphalet renamed his company E. Remington and Son when Philo Remington joined the firm in 1839. Six years later, it became E. Remington and Sons, when Samuel and Eliphalet III joined as well.

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The Erie Canal and Remington's early success in the growth of the area helped develop Herkimer County.

Sewing Machines and Typewriters
Philo Remington expanded into sewing machines and typewriters after the Civil War. The Remington Standard 2 typewriter was one of the first to be mass produced and sold in the United States. It had the modern “qwerty” keyboard and a shift key for capital letters.

The most remarkable aspect of the model, according to The Typewriter Museum, is the fact it looks so familiar to modern typewriter and even computer users.

Sewing machines, cash registers, pocket knives and household utensils would also eventually be made under the Remington name. The cash register business was spun off in 1931 as National Cash Register, better known as the still-operating NCR.

Remington Partners with DuPont

The US government asked Remington to partner with DuPont to build and operate five new ammunition plants for the World War II effort. After the war, Remington continued to work with the military and DuPont on defense contracts. DuPont increased its holdings in the company until it bought Remington completely in 1980, according to DuPont's webpage of its history.

Current Ownership
DuPont operated Remington as a wholly owned subsidiary until 1993, when it spun the firearms and ammunition company off to focus on biomaterials research. RACI Acquisitions, owned by the investment firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice, later sold the company to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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