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E. Remington and Sons (1816-1896) was a manufacturer of firearms and typewriters. Founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington in Ilion, New York, on March 1, 1873 it started manufacturing the first commercial typewriter.

Contents

History

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Becoming "E. Remington & Sons"

In August 1816, then 22 year old Eliphalet Remington II would forge his first rifle barrel. His initial experiment would prove a success, and the young blacksmith proceeded to make others to meet the growing demand for sporting rifles in the Mohawk Valley. With the completion of the Erie Canal, connecting Buffalo with Albany, commerce in the Mohawk Valley expanded remarkably. To meet the increased demand for rifle barrels, in 1828 the Remingtons moved their forge and foundry from its rural setting to 100 acres (0.4 km²) of land they had purchased astride the canal and abutting the Mohawk River near a town then called Morgan's Landing (later Ilion), New York. The move coincided with the elder Eliphalet's death, and Eliphalet II assumed control of the business.

In 1839 Eliphalet was joined by his eldest son, Philo Remington (to make the business "E. Remington & Son"), and in 1845 his second son, Samuel, also joined the company, afterwards called "E. Remington & Sons". Remington's third son, Eliphalet III, would later join the company as well.

During this period, the Remingtons specialized almost exclusively in the manufacture of rifle barrels. These barrels, marked with the distinctive "REMINGTON" stamp near their breeches, were recognized for their quality and reasonable price. Many, if not most, of the independent gunsmiths in the Mohawk Valley purchased completed (but not rifled) barrels from Remington and assembled them into firearms custom ordered by their customers. As demand increased, the Remingtons added other parts to their inventory, first percussion locks made in Birmingham, England but marked with their stamp "REMINGTON", and later sets of brass gun furniture, including trigger guards, butt plates, and patch boxes. After 1846, first martial longarm and then revolver production dominated the company's workforce.

Remington supplied the U.S. Army with rifles in the Mexican-American War (1846 to 1848). In 1847, Remington supplied the U.S. Navy with its first breech-loading rifle. In 1856 the business was expanded to include the manufacture of agricultural implements. Upon Eliphalet's death in 1861, his son, Philo, took over the firm during the Civil War, and diversified the product line to include sewing machines (manufactured from 1870 to 1894) and typewriters (1873), both of which were exhibited at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876.

Remington's typewriter

In 1867 Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel Lewis invented another typewriter. The Sholes and Glidden typewriter was the first device that allowed an operator to type substantially faster than a person could write by hand. The patent (U.S. 79,265) was sold for $12,000 to Densmore and Yost, who made an agreement with E. Remington and Sons (then famous as a manufacturer of sewing machines), to commercialize what was known as the Sholes and Glidden Type-Writer. Remington started production of their first typewriter on March 1, 1873 in Ilion, New York. The Type-Writer introduced the QWERTY, designed by Sholes, and the success of the follow-up Remington No. 2 of 1878 – the first typewriter to include both upper and lower case letters via a shift key – led to the popularity of the QWERTY layout.[1][2]

Successor companies

Remington Arms

E. Remington and Sons changed its name to "Remington Arms". The Remington Arms Company supplied a large proportion of the small arms used by the United States government in the Civil War (1861 to 1865) and in World War I (U.S. involvement 1917 to 1918) and World War II (U.S. involvement 1941 to 1945). Remington in addition was one of the most successful gun manufacturers in the world arms trade between 1867 and 1900, specifically through the export of the Remington Rolling Block action rifle. This single shot, large caliber Blackpowder cartridge rifle was exported in the millions all over the world, including shipments to France, Egypt, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Argentina, Mexico and the Papal States.

Remington Typewriter Company

In 1886, E. Remington and Sons sold its typewriter business to the Standard Typewriter Manufacturing Company, Inc. Included were the rights to use the Remington name. "Standard Typewriter" changed its name in 1902 to "Remington Typewriter Company". This company merged in 1927 with "Rand Kardex Company" to form "Remington Rand", which continued to manufacture office equipment and later became a major computer company, as well as manufacturing electric razors.

References


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