If you are a history buff traveling through Massachusetts, you must not miss a visit to the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.
Also known as the Springfield Armory, this place is where once stood one of the pillars of American warfare equipment. Between 1777 and 1968, this federal arsenal produced military firearms and weapons that served the soldiers of the country in all the battles and wars fought throughout the period.
Here are a few facts about the Springfield Armory National Historic Site before you visit it:
The Founding of the Springfield Armory
If you visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, you will get to stay in the same place where George Washington stood more than two centuries ago when he approved the site for the construction of a new armory for the revolutionary forces.
In 1777, just one year after the American Revolutionary War had started the revolting colonies needed a safe place where to manufacture their firearms. The small town of Springfield, MA was chosen because it is at the intersection of three rivers and four major, continent-crossing roads.
The Springfield Armory’s Role in the American Revolution
The Springfield Armory supported the patriot colonists throughout the American Revolutionary War. They established here the “Arsenal at Springfield,” which they used to manufacture and store cartridges, carriages, cannons, and muskets. Due to its excellent location, it soon became a major deposit of firearms and focal point for the revolutionary forces.
After the war ended, the Springfield Armory maintained and enhanced its important role in developing new military equipment. Some of the most used arms in the 19th century all across North America came from innovations in firearms at the Springfield Arsenal.
The Springfield Arsenal in the Civil War
For a short time during the American Civil War, the Springfield Armory became the only producer of arms for the government after the Harpers Ferry Armory was destructed.
Throughout the war, this establishment manufactured more than 276,000 firearms of advanced technology for that time and proved to be a significant advantage for the Union’s triumph over the Confederacy.
The assembly line that was used at the Springfield Arsenal in the Civil War became an inspiration for the American factories at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.
The Springfield Armory in the 20th Century
The Springfield Armory was a steady supplier of firearms for the American army during the two World Wars of the 20th century. One of the most important pieces of military equipment designed and producer here was the famous M1 rifle, which gained massive appraisal from prestigious generals like Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton, Jr.
The Springfield Armory Today
After the Second World War, most of the arms manufacturing industry passed to private companies, so in 1968, the Springfield Armory was considered an unnecessary production facility for the government.
Most of the arsenal became the Springfield Armory National Historic Site under the management of the National Park Service. Nowadays, it hosts a museum that displays its rich history and one of the largest collections of weaponry in the world.