Winchester Arms Co.
New Haven, Connecticut
Firearms, Knives, Sporting Gear, Planes, Other
Directory of American Toolmakers Information
WINCHESTER and variations
In 1848, Walter Hunt devised a self-propelling bullet, the predecessor of modern cartridge propelled rounds. His business venture focusing on this invention led to the formation of Volcanic Repeating Arms Co., incorporated in 1855 by forty different backers. This company gave rise to several other arms companies, including Smith & Wesson--in fact, it was largely due to the withdrawal of Smith and Wesson that the company floundered, failed, and was eventually bought out by Oliver Fisher Winchester in 1866. The first rifle produced by the company was called the 1866, and was wildly received. Enjoying success with both military and private contracts, Winchester's company wisely planned for post-war production in the 1920's and expanded from firearms to cutlery, all manner of sporting goods and a variety of household tools such as hammers and screwdrivers. Along with the Marbles Co., it is among the most collectable of all American 20th century toolmakers. Their tools are occasionally recovered by the Liberty Tool Co. and then quickly slip out the door of the tool store.
Williamson, H.F. (1952). Winchester the gun that won the west. Washington, DC.