Thursday, February 4, 2016
Here’s An Inside Look At 150 Years Of History At Winchester
Like all good stories, the 150-year tale of Winchester began with the doubt and uncertainty of a new world.
In 1856, 46-year-old Oliver Winchester, a former dry goods businessman and clothing manufacturer, was the majority stockholder of the failing Volcanic Repeating Arms Company in Norwich, Connecticut. Volcanic had been founded by two men named Smith and Wesson, but by the time the company ran out of steam, the pair had gone on to start over with a new joint venture to build revolvers.
When Volcanic’s line of firearms using a revolutionary but imperfect self-contained cartridge struggled to keep the company solvent, Winchester bought out the assets of the company, moved everything down to the coast in New Haven and began operating as the New Haven Arms Company in 1857.
Employed at Volcanic at the time of the move was Benjamin Tyler Henry. Henry was hired as the plant superintendent at New Haven Arms and continued working on a design using a new self-contained cartridge that would, in 1860, become known as the Henry repeating rifle. The ground-breaking, breech-loading, .44-caliber rimfire, lever-action Henry rifle served in the hands of Union troops during the American Civil War and is perhaps most infamous for its use by the Sioux and Cheyenne, who wiped out the 7th Cavalry troopers of Gen. George Armstrong Custer in 1876.
Read the rest of this amazing history here