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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Springfield in Hampden County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Main Arsenal

 
 
Springfield Armory Main Arsenal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 18, 2008
1. Springfield Armory Main Arsenal Marker
Inscription. The massive Main Arsenal (199 by 69 feet) was constructed between 1847 and 1850, during Col. James W. Ripley's tenure as commanding officer of Springfield Armory. With its dominating location, the Main Arsenal became the symbol of the Armory and was incorporated into the cit seal when Springfield became a city in 1852.
In the hundreds of years since they entered the language, the terms "armory" and "arsenal" have had varied -- and often interchangeable-- meanings. When Congress established Springfield Armory in 1794, weapons were manufactured in an "armory and stored in an "arsenal." This distinction was maintained at Springfield, but was not applied consistently elsewhere.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 42° 6.455′ N, 72° 34.896′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Massachusetts, in Hampden County. Marker can be reached from State Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is near the front of the Main Arsenal Building beside the one way road that loops around Armory Square. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield MA 01105, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Master Armorer's House (within shouting distance of this marker);
Main Arsenal Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
2. Main Arsenal Marker Detail
Commanding Officer's House (within shouting distance of this marker); Hay Road (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Armory Fence (about 500 feet away); Gen. Henry Knox Trail (about 700 feet away); Shays’ Rebellion (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Gen. Henry Knox Trail (approx. 1.8 miles away); Hessian Encampment (approx. 1.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Springfield.
 
Regarding Main Arsenal. Springfield Armory National Historic Site preserves a facility significant to both the production of military small arms and the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. In 1777, General George Washington chose the small village of Springfield as the site of the first United States arsenal to keep weapons and ammunition safe from the British. Over the next 190 years, the armory grew into one of the most important facilities for the production of military small arms in the world.
 
Also see . . .  National Park Service Website for the Springfield Armory
Main Arsenal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
3. Main Arsenal Marker
The marker is in the foreground beside the sidewalk.
. (Submitted on June 10, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
 
Additional keywords. Springfield Armory arsenal Blanchard lathe
 
Categories. Military
 
The Springfield Armory Main Arsenal Building image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
4. The Springfield Armory Main Arsenal Building
Springfield Armory National Historic Site preserves a facility significant to both the production of military small arms and the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. In 1777, General George Washington chose the small village of Springfield as the site of the first United States arsenal to keep weapons and ammunition safe from the British. Over the next 190 years, the armory grew into one of the most important facilities for the production of military small arms in the world. In 1968, Springfield Armory was closed in a cost-saving effort resulting in U.S. military reliance on private contractors ever since.
Springfield Armory Main Arsenal image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
5. Springfield Armory Main Arsenal
This is the back side of the building which faces away from Armory Square.
"Organ of Muskets" image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
6. "Organ of Muskets"
The double gun rack housing the Springfield US M1861 rifle muskets in the Museum is the sole survivor of 36 built in the early 1830's. U.S. RIFLE-MUSKET MODEL 1861 PERCUSSION .58 Manufactured by Springfield Armory, Springfield, Ma. in 1862 - Standard Model 1861 percussion rifle-musket. The bright finish lock plate is flat, bevelled and inletted into the stock to bevel height, and is about 5-3/8 inches long by 1-1/4 inches wide. Oil finish walnut stock is 52-1/2 inches long. Barrel is 40 inches long, finished bright and rifled with 3 grooves, making one turn in 6 feet. All furniture is iron, polished bright, with three flat bands held by band springs seated in front of the bands. The upper sling swivel is riveted to the middle band; the lower swivel to the front of the triggerguard bow. The bright, swelled end, cup-tipped ramrod has a channeled swell near the end of the fore-cap, to retain the ramrod in the stock. Weapon was test fired but never issued. This is one of 645 retained in arms rack popularly referred to as "Organ." Excellent condition. Approximately 265,129 Model 1861 rifle muskets were produced at the Springfield Armory between January 1, 1861 and December 31, 1863.
The Blanchard Lathe image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, June 8, 2010
7. The Blanchard Lathe
The only surviving Blanchard stock-making replicating “lathe”, built 1822, seen in the Museum at Springfield Armory National Historic Site Thomas Blanchard invented the acentric lathe in 1820, which allowed the standardization and machining of irregular shaped objects.The so-called Blanchard lathe [actually, it’s a shaper since the cutter is a rotating wheel] works much like a modern key-cutting machine with a stock blank [a rough gunstock form] in place of the key blank. The “Blanchard lathe” is one of the great inventions on the road to America’s industrialization.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 905 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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