The southwestern Massachusetts town of Spring-field, on the Connecticut River, first became an important weapons center during the American Revolution (1775–83) when a sizeable arsenal was built there in 1777. The town was considered to be ideally situated— close to two major overland routes and on a strategic waterway, but far enough inland from the Atlantic Ocean to be defensible. Springfield had been the site of a militia training field since the 1600s; during the war, the Continental Army added barracks and storehouses, which held muskets, cannons, and other weapons. The new republic continued to keep arms at the site after the war was over. In 1794 a U.S. Armory was established at Springfield; it was one of two federal arsenals personally selected by President George Washington (1789–96); the other was Harpers Ferry, in present-day West Virginia.
In 1795 musket manufacturing began at Spring-field, with forty workers producing 245 muskets per month. Soon Springfield became a center for innovation in arms production. In 1819 American inventor Thomas Blanchard (1788–1864), who worked at the armory for five years, developed a lathe (a machine for shaping metal) that allowed for the mass production of rifle stocks. During the Industrial Revolution the Spring-field Armory focused on mass production of interchangeable parts, which had the advantage of being replaceable (in case of malfunction) on the battlefield.
In 1903 the Springfield rifle was approved for production. Nicknamed the "Springfield Model '03" (the gun was marked with 'M1903'), it soon became standard issue for U.S. Army troops. The model was improved in 1906 to accommodate new ammunition; the resulting model, called the Springfield .30-06, was one of the most reliable and accurate military firearms in history. By the time World War I (1914–18) began, the armory had manufactured just over 840,000 Spring-field rifles; during the war, it made another 265,000.
The Massachusetts city, which was incorporated in 1641, remained home to the weapons facility until 1974. Another milestone in the history of the armory was the 1786–87 siege by rebel leader Daniel Shays (1747?–1825) during the so-called Shays Rebellion. Just downstream from Springfield, American inventor Samuel Colt (1814–62) opened an armory in 1853 at Hartford, Connecticut, where he utilized 1,400 machine tools to revolutionize the manufacture of small arms.
See also: American System of Manufactures, Colt's Manufacturing, Harpers Ferry Armory, Harpers Ferry Raid, Industrial Revolution, Massachusetts, Shays' Rebellion
"Springfield Armory." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/springfield-armory
"Springfield Armory." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Retrieved March 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/springfield-armory
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.