SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Long before the mid-19th century founding of Smith & Wesson, the Springfield Armory enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of rifles since 1794.
Springfield Armory was where the founder of Smith and Wesson got his start as a teenager making the iconic Springfield rifles, an industry that lasted from 1794 until 1968, when it become Springfield Technical Community College.
Alex Mackenzie, Springfield Armory Museum Curator told 22News, “Well the story really starts in the revolutionary war when the countrry was founded and a lot of their firearms that were used by the continental army came from France and 20 years later they were starting to wear out.”
The rest is history for all to see how the Springfield Armory on more than 100 acres was to become America’s premier rifle maker for the next 150 years.
“World war two alone was nearly 14,000 workers working here 24 hours a day, 1000’s and 1000’s of the community working at the Springfield Armory”, said Mackenzie.
43 percent of that Springfield Armory work force were women, the rifles were designed as well as manufactured by Springfield residents. This is the proud story Curator Alex Mackenzie relays to more than 30,000 Springfield Armory Museum visitors each year.
The armory from 1968 to 1994 performed such a valued function for the nation-it became what it is now a national historic site encouraging all to visit.