Springfield Armory - Springfield, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 06.556 W 072° 34.667
18T E 700264 N 4664747
Quick Description: The Springfield Armory history and innovations are well documented in the book, "Forge of Innovation: An Industrial History of the Springfield Armory, 1794-1968."
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 9/17/2011 4:27:48 PM
Waymark Code: WMCKJX
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Bryan
Views: 2

Long Description:
In Springfield, uphill from the downtown section, is the Springfield Armory. The armory has several books written about it. This one, titled, Forge of Innovation: An Industrial History of the Springfield Armory, 1794-1968, is likely the most exhaustive account of the armory.

The book is written by several people (listed below), and published by Eastern National, in 2008 and reprinted in 2009. Eastern National is a publisher for the National Park Service. It was previously published as a report, entitled Conservative Innovators and Military Small Arms: An Industrial History of the Springfield Armory, 1794-1968. This books has 364 pages, including the index.

The book has ten chapters plus extensive notes and an index. The first chapter is an 'overview' of the history of the Armory. This is, as far as I have gone, so far. The remaining chapters take specific aspects of the history, including discussions of the Springfield products, gages and interchangeable manufacture, geographical influences on the development of the complex, mechanization, and research and development.

The Springfield Armory has a very important place in the development of industry in America. The opening statement in the book is as follows:

Sprinfield Armory has an almost legendary status in American history for many years. It is usually associated with two major accomplishments: design and production of the most important shoulder arms used by the United States Army from the 1790s to the 1960s; and early 19th century innovations in interchangeable manufacture of complex metal and wood products, and in organziation of factory production. It is rarely associated with manufacturing innovations made after the Civil War, although its twentieth century production of high-quality magazine and semi-automatic rifles won enduring places in the hearts of infantry veterans and gun collectors...We contradict or at least qualify some of the conventional wisdom about the Armory's largely unwritten history, such as...the idea that the Armory's work after the Civil War is of little interest to industrial historians..."

The book continues in the next section:

The Armory made five major types of shoulder arms between 1795 and 1963. Single-shot, smoothbore flinlock muskets, based on late 18th century French models, were the earliest and longest-made...,smoothbore muskets...breechloading rifles...repeating rifles (including the Krag rifle)... and the semi- and selective fire full- automatic rifle that included the M1 and M14.
There is still much of the Springfield Armory remaining at two locations. One is the original Armory on State and Federal Streets and the other is at a string of dammed ponds to the south. At the State Street location, most of the buildings have been converted to either the Springfield Techncial Community College or the college's Technical Business Park. There is one building where the Springfield Armory Museum is location, run by the National Park Service. This is where you can purchase the book. The museum is WELL worth the visit and helps illustrate topics covered in the book. The shops by the ponds, about 2 miles south of the first location, are privately owned and are visible from the road but are generally not accessible.

Link to the NPS site for the Springfield Armory:
Visit Site
ISBN Number: 9781590911006

Author(s): Michael S. Raber, Patrick M. Malone, Robert B. Gordon, and Carolyn C. Cooper

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Facedances visited Springfield Armory - Springfield, MA 10/7/2011 Facedances visited it