• View of Springfield Armory overlooking the city of Springfield, 1855

    Springfield Armory

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

History & Culture

The Forge of Innovation

On a chill Spring morning in 1968, amid speeches and farewell addresses, the men and women of Springfield Armory bid each other goodbye as the 'Stars and Stripes' were lowered for the last time. After nearly two centuries of continuous production of rifles and muskets used by America's armed forces in every war in the nation's history, the armory closed its gates and fell silent. Begun as a major arsenal under the authority of General George Washington early in the Revolutionary War, the first national armory began manufacturing muskets in 1794. Within decades, Springfield Armory had perfected pioneering manufacturing methods that were critical to American industrialization. Reopened in 1978 as the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, the original 1840's arsenal houses the world's largest collection of historic American military firearms. Year-round public programs, exhibits, and special events are hosted on the grounds of the National Historic Landmark.

 

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Main Arsenal at Springfield Armory NHS. Photo (c) James Langone

Springfield Arsenal, a military supply depot, was sited by General Henry Knox, and approved by General George Washington in 1777. The arsenal became known as Springfield Armory in 1794 when on-site small arms manufacturing was approved by President Washington. More...