Rock Island Arsenal Museum, IL - JUL 2012


Rock Island Arsenal is our nation’s largest government owned and operated arsenal. 

Located on a 946-acre island in the Mississippi River between Illinois and Iowa. In 1969, the arsenal was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are several 1870’s brick buildings, the museum is located in one of them. 
When you first walk into the museum you are greeted by this magnificent stuff bird with a note (all in caps) written by a typewriter: 

Above is a model of Rock Island Arsenal’s early manufacturing complex and surrounding buildings. It consisted of ten stone shops, a water power plant, and homes for the officer’s.  It is believed to have been the model on display in the Government Building at the 1876 International Exhibition in Philadelphia.
Being an arsenal, there were several displays of weapons...all make on the island.
Fallen Comrades

This museum had the largest display of guns and rifles, across all periods of time…this wall display, was over 100 feet long and then turned the corner for another 30 feet.
 “The forerunners of the flintlock ignition system were invented simultaneously in Spain and Holland in the late 1500’s. The flintlock first appeared in France around 1610 and was widely adopted in Europe by 1650. It was the primary ignition system for weapons until the mid 1800’s.”
On the left is a standard issue World War I helmet and on the right is a Regimental dress helmet; the banner translates: “WITH GOD FOR KING AND FATHERLAND.”
Model 1917 helmet with patch-style camouflage
Gulf War: Bulgarian decontamination kit
“Wall guns filled the tactical gap between hand-held firearms and cannon. They were mounted on the tops of fortification walls by means of the yoke attached to the stock. The guns were then easily aimed in all directions despite their considerable weight. This example weighs 50 pounds. This wall gun was made around 1776 at Rappahannock Forge.”
On the horse below is a Model 1916 Artillery Harness manufactured at Rock Island.

TW on 75mm Pack Howitzer – Carriage M8E1 manufactured by Rock Island Arsenal:
They had an activity room where adults and children could try on cloths of the Civil War era as well as modern uniforms.


I have driven by this structure and thought it was part of the original fort:  
It’s actually a reproduction of part of Fort Armstrong (1816-1936):

Rock Island Arsenal has been an active manufacturer of military equipment since the 1880s and currently employs 6,000 people.