This manufacturing company was established in 1851 to create a single, non-firearm-related product. Out of the inventions created during the industrial revolution, that product had one of the largest impacts on American lives.
During the Civil War, the company took a somewhat surprising turn. Realizing that the system of mass production developed by Samuel Colt to produce his repeating pistol lent itself seamlessly to their product, they found that with just a few minor modifications they were able to produce firearms just as easily as their own product. So they soon found themselves in the business of manufacturing wartime armaments. They could make guns faster than the enemy could destroy them.
In the latter half of the 1900s, while still selling their original product, the company began to diversify and moved into the aerospace and defense industries. They eventually became one of the biggest contractors to service the U.S. Department of Defense during the Cold War.
Do you know the manufacturer whose name is now inextricably linked to the war effort? How many of this rare 1911 model exist? Click here to get the answers, and to get a downloadable high-resolution pdf of this long sought-after firearm, from the annals of the NRA National Firearms Museum.