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Facts About Springfield Armory: History, Locations, and Information

By    |   Monday, 27 Apr 2015 03:51 PM

The Springfield Armory was created in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1777 by order of George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, during the American Revolutionary War. The armory not only stored weapons, but manufactured ammunition and repaired weapons. The structure is now part of the National Park Service, which tells the impressive 174-year history of the munitions maker.

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Covering more than two blocks in the city, the armory also produced pistols and swords. From the musket to the “high-quality muzzle-loading Springfield rifle,” which kept the Union Army well-supplied during the Civil War.

“In the first half of the 1800's, the Armory successfully undertook the creation of modern mass manufacture of fully-interchangeable weapons,” the National Park Service website said. “The methods developed at the Armory formed the basis to the precision metals industry in the United States leading to mass production of bicycles, automobiles, aircraft not only nationally, but worldwide.”

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During World War II, the Springfield Armory, which is situated on the Connecticut River, employed over 14,000 men and women to produce the semi-automatic M-1 Garand Rifle, named for its inventor, John Garand, an engineer at Springfield Armory. Construction of a sister armory in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, began in 1799, but it was never as successful as the Springfield Armory and much of it was burned by Confederate forces during the Civil War, a National Park Service history page about Harper's Ferry said.

In 1968, almost two centuries after the Springfield Armory opened, Congress closed the armory. According to the National Park Foundation, on a spring morning, in 1968, “amid speeches and farewell addresses, the men and women of Springfield Armory bid each other goodbye as the Stars and Stripes were lowered for the last time.”

Elmer C. Ballance of Texas then stepped into the picture, registering the trademark of Springfield Armory for his company, LH Manufacturing, which produced firearms, according to PatrioticFirearms.com. Eventually, Ballance sold the company to the Reese family, who has operated Springfield Armory in Geneseo, Illinois, since 1974.

The original site of Springfield Armory became a National Historic Site in the 1970s and preserves its rich history through public access to museums, programs, collections, and other activities. Visitors are free to walk the grounds and tour the building, and to visit the museum, which includes a collection of the largest number of U.S. weapons worldwide. Visit the site's webpage for more information.

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

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The Springfield Armory was created in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1777 by order of George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, during the American Revolutionary War.
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2015-51-27
Monday, 27 Apr 2015 03:51 PM
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