Established in 1794 by President George Washington, the Springfield Armory closed in 1968 after 175 years of continuous production of rifles and muskets.
In front of the museum is a large grassy area surround by several large old brick buildings, resembling many of the old Army Posts I have visited.
The museum is listed as the home to the world’s largest collection of American military firearms. However, the bulk of the collection is not open to the public, only small samples can be seen in display cases such as this one:This armory was responsible for numerous technological innovations which were of global importance...methods of manufacturing invented here were critical to American and World industrialization.
Have you ever seen the older style machines that make a key by copying your current key?Thomas Blanchard, in 1819 invented this type of lath process, only on a larger scale, for making wooden rifle stocks.
He is also credited with the development of an assembly line using interchangeable parts, which was the beginning of mass production.Other innovations such as the modern business practice of hourly wages also began at this site.
I caught this biker couple, stopping to get their picture taken in period costumes.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called this image of a musket rack an “Organ of Muskets” in his poem “The Arsenal at Springfield.”This Bell was used to alert employee at the Water Shops, that the machinery was about to be powered up.
Last Years if the ArmoryWhile driving around town, I found a very interesting building that I knew had to have a very interesting history.
It was over a city block large and I could tell it was very old. It took me several weeks including online and library searches before I found someone at Smith & Wesson who could identify the property as The Water Shops.
This was a secondary location to the main Armory, a mile away, where the heavy metal forging and machining was done, as well as gun stock shaping.
In the above picture you can see the water running through the property.
On the below Image you see the tallest section of the bell tower is gone.
I also found an interesting building near my hotel which was the original State Armory.
Build in 1895, it is also on the National Registry of Historic Places.
It was damaged in the 2011, by a tornado.
I hope someday, it gets restored.