From Blacksmith to Rijlemaker
Although born at Sufficld, Conn., . most of Remington's life was spent in central New York State, where his parents moved when he was about 6 years old. Here he grew up, helping his father with both the farming and the general blacksm¡thing and mcchanical work which he performed for the community. Like most boys. Remington wanted a rifle of his own, and when he was 16 he dccided to test the skill he had acquired as a blacksmith by forging a gun barrel out of scrap iron from the family'shop. So well did he perform this task that the gunsmith to whom he took the barrel for finishing cncouraged him to go home and make more.
These first barrels were the beginning of Remington's career as a firearms manufacturer. His reputation as an excellent workman spread, and orders for his barrels came in conr tinually increasing numbers. Gradually he added equipment, and by 1828 he was making complete guns. By that time also Remington had recognized the advantages of a location on the new Erie Canal which had opened in 1825, and he purchased a tract of land along that waterway. A community known first as Remington's Corners quickly sprang up around his shops, but at his insistence the name was later changed to Ilion. In 1845 he assumed an unfinished government contract for model 1841 rifles, and in 1846-47 purchased the complete gun finishing equipment of Ames & Co. Thereafter he obtained contracts for more rifles, Jcnks carbines, and Maynard locks. In 1859 he brought out his revolver which soon won popular approval for its strong frame and simplicity of design. With the coming of the Civil War new and larger contracts for arms and increased demands from individuals brought still greater expansion to the armory, but Remington died before the new shops were completed, and the business passed to his three sons. —Harold L. Peterson.
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