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Arms Makers in the Community, by Fred Kerson

Guide Entry to 89.01.06:

This unit examines the role the armsmaker, 1780-1880, played with regards to the community. The types of firearms from Matchlock to Wheellock, Flintlock and Percussion are explored briefly so the reader will have some idea of what these people were making. Emphasis will be on the arms plant of Colonel Sam Colt in Hartford, Connecticut: How he worked with people to make a success of the Hartford plant, and how he did not work with others to make a failure of the London factory. This paper shows the difference between the attitudes of America and Europe. It has early experiments in the interchanging of manufactured parts, and the formation of newer forms of firearms ignition. Firearms have an art form, where beautiful engravings can be applied. The art of the engraver is shown in illustration. The names of some of the world’s greatest engravers are listed. A section for the students is also included. This includes a basic introduction of the antique firearm, its development, why it should be studied and not neglected for all time.

(Recommended for History, grades 7-9)

Key Words

Connecticut History Arms Made Hartford American Technology Weapons American Communities

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