In 1824 the Erie Canal was completed, running through what is now downtown Ilion, New York. Eliphalet II decided to move his ironworks north from the gorge to the south bank of the canal, probably to take advantage of this efficient means of delivering Remington products. In 1832, less than four years after moving his establishment to the location alongside the canal, Remington built a large, frame factory building on a stone foundation. Soon thereafter, twenty workmen were busy making gun barrels and other metal goods.
Remington secured its first major military contract in 1845 to build 5,000 Model 1841 rifles for the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, 1,000 of these rifles were ultimately supplied with cast steel barrels.
Initially, the business was known as Remingtons. When Eliphalet Remington’s son, Philo, came of age in 1837, he joined his father’s business and the name was changed to E. Remington & Son. In 1839, son Samuel joined the business, followed by Eliphalet III in 1849. In 1856 the name of the firm became E. Remington & Sons. In honor of their father the name of the company was retained when the founder died in 1861, and continued until 1888 when the company became Remington Arms Company.
Credit: History of Herkimer County, New York, published by F.W. Beers & Company. Photo Credit (image in the background): Paul Goodwin
With the introduction of the Beals revolver, Remington began to position itself for the conflict to come between the North and South.
The stress of the Civil War must have been enormous on everyone, especially the proprietor, Eliphalet Remington II. On August 12, 1861, the founder of Remington Arms passed into gun making history. Photo Credit: Library of Congress
The Civil War officially ended in April 1865, and Remington’s vast manufacturing facility began making a great variety of firearms for hunters.
The Union Metallic Cartridge Company opens in Bridgeport, CT.
In the early 1870s, the Remingtons decided to expand the capacity of their armory in Ilion to begin manufacturing rimfire and centerfire ammunition for pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The potential profits from the sale of hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition could dwarf the profits made by manufacturing firearms. The temptation was just overwhelming, and so in early 1871 the Remingtons established a cartridge works in the upper story of the sewing machine building adjoining Main Street. By March 1871, the new concern employed ten men and fourteen women, who were turning out 30,000 cartridges daily.
Remington was the world’s first manufacturer of a practical typewriting machine in 1873; that venture went on to become a typewriter company that would be equaled by no other in America.
Photo credit: George Kass Collection
As America expanded westward, the appetite for firearms grew, providing new markets for Remington to expand into.
(Courtesy Remington Art Collection)
John M. Browning (1855 to 1926) began developmental work on an autoloading shotgun in 1892. Eventually he offered his design to Remington Arms Co., resulting in Remington’s first autoloading shotgun in 1905. This was to be the first of over 1,000,000 Remington Model 11 Autoloading Shotguns manufactured.
(Photo credit: Remington Archives Photo Collection)
The first production [Model 8] Remington Autoloading Repeating Rifles - No. 1 Standard Grade were ready for delivery in October 1906.
Remington began producing Enfield Pattern 14 rifles for a military contract with the British in 1915, shortly after World War I had broken out in Europe. Eventually, Remington factories were putting out over 1,000 completed Model 1914 rifles per day.
(Photo Credit: Remington Archives Photo Collection)
In mid-summer 1917, a decision was made by the U.S. War Department to supply the infantry with a small number of Colt Model 1911 autoloading pistols. America's love affair with the 1911 had begun.
By the mid-1920s, Remington offered a full variety of sporting arms and ammunition for hunting, gallery use, personal protection, and plinking. Sales in 1926 were over $18,000,000, and net earnings were $1,414,556. Sales for 1927 were even higher. The company’s output of sporting ammunition was the largest in the world.
1933 and the years that followed were important for Remington with several major acquisitions that included the Chamberlain Trap & Target Company, the Peters Ammunition Company and Parker shotguns.
Photo Credit: Paul Budde & James Walters
The infamous Barrow Gang spread terror across America in the mid-1930's. Among the many guns they carried, several were favorite Remingtons including Bonnie's famous Model 11 "whippet" shotgun.
At the beginning of 1940, Remington and its subsidiaries employed nearly 4,500 workers, and by year’s end 6,700 were employed on commercial and military projects.
During World War II, Remington manufactured 707,629 Model 1903A3 military rifles as well as thousands of shotguns and target rifles for America’s war effort.
The very beginning of the second half of the 20th century, 1950, was a milestone product year for Remington Arms Co. It introduced a new shotgun that would become the most successful single model in Remington history and the best-selling pump-action shotgun in firearms history, the Model 870 “Wingmaster.”
Known for his signature 10-gallon hat and revered for his shooting prowess, Elmer Keith was a long-time contributor to Guns & Ammo and yearly guest at the Remington writer seminars. Among his many accomplishments were the development of the .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum and .44 Magnum cartridges.
In October 1959, a Remington field representative, Tom Frye, used two weeks of his vacation to brake a fifty-two-year-old shooting record. Alternately using three Remington Nylon 66 rifles, Frye shot at and hit all but six of 100,010 wooden blocks that were tossed in the air by his assistant.
For decades, the Remington Custom Shop has been turning out high quality rifles and shotguns. Now they've added handguns and the custom options you can choose from are almost unlimited.
If one had to choose the milestone year that began the ascendance of Remington Arms Co. to the pinnacle it achieved in the firearms industry, it would probably be 1962. That was the year the Model 700 bolt-action rifle was introduced.
Introduced in 1963, few firearms have revolutionized shooting the way the Remington Model 1100 has influenced shotgunning and hunting. It's no wonder that millions of these guns have been sold.
Accurized Model 700's were prized by snipers during the Vietnam War while the 870 and 1100 also saw action.
Of all the knives produced by Remington during its cutlery business era, the famous “Bullet” knives were the best remembered and most collectible. They were instantly recognizable by the nickel silver cartridge shield on the handle.
Remington revolutionized the autoloading shotgun market with the introduction of the VersaMax
After eight decades of not having a pistol in their line, Remington introduced the bold, new 1911 R1
Remington introduced the Model 783 bolt-action rifle; a rugged "working man’s" model.
After 200 years of delivering great products, sportsmen in the know understand that Remington Country is a real place in real time, no matter if you’re a hunter, shooter, fisherman, or simply someone who enjoys the outdoors.
See more exciting facts and video on Remington’s Bicentennial pageVIEW PAGE
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