Invented popular Civil War repeating rifle
Born—Manchester, Conn., J tine 20, 1833 Died—Hartford, Conn., Jan. 14, 1922
Christopher M. Spencer contributed important inventions to many fields. From earlv youth he
was associated with manufacturing. He quit school at the age of 14 and entered the shop of the Cheney silk mills in Manchester. In 1853 he went to Rochester and worked in a tool-building and locomotive shop to broaden his experience: then to the Colt armor}' at Hartford, and finally back to the Cheney mills. Here lie obtained his first patent, for an automatic silk-winding machine.
Ever sincc boyhood Spcnccr had had a passion for firearms, and lie worked long and hard to pcrfcct a repeating rifle. He succccdcd in this endeavor, and on Mar. 6. 1S60, obtained a patent for a 7-shot repeating arm with a tubular magazine in the stock. During the Civil War 200,000 Spcnccr rifles and carbines arc believed to have been used in the field, and the soldiers who used them called it the finest gun in the service.
At the close of the War, Spencer went to Amherst. Mass.. and was associated with Charles Billings in the Roper Arms Co. Unsuccessful in this venture, Spcnccr returned to Hartford and founded the Billings & Spcnccr Co. for the manufacture of drop forgings. He returned briefly to the manufacture of guns in 18S2 when he organized a firm to manufacture a shotgun he had developed, but once again failed.
Outside the firearms field Spencer made a great name for himself in industrial design. He invented a screwmaking machine featuring an automatic turret lathe in 1S7>, and his work in drop forging is said to have done more for the art than that of anyone else, particularly in regard to the accuracy and application of the process. His machine screw operations and his automatic lathe-business prospered and consumed his entire attention until his death. —Harold L. Peterson
Was this article helpful?
Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.