Remington, Eliphalet

Remington, Eliphalet

(ĭlĭf`əlĭt), 1793–1861, American inventor, gunsmith, and arms manufacturer, b. Suffield, Conn. Trained in blacksmithing, he turned to gunsmithing at an early age. With his father he founded a firearms firm at Ilion, N.Y., and took over the firm upon his father's death (1828). He supplied the U.S. army with rifles in the Mexican War. In 1856 the business was expanded to include the manufacture of agricultural implements. His son, Philo Remington, 1816–89, b. Litchfield, Herkimer co., N.Y., directed the business during the Civil War, when the firm held many government contracts. The Remington firm later supplied the armies of several European countries with breech-loading rifles. In 1870 it began making sewing machines, and in 1873 Philo Remington became interested in the manufacturing of typewriters. The first Remington typewriter was exhibited in 1876 at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia.

Bibliography

See A. Hatch, Remington Arms in American History (1956).

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Remington, Eliphalet

(1793–1861) manufacturer; born in Suffield, Conn. He stayed on his father's farm even after marriage. In 1816 the family removed to Herkimer County, N.Y., where the father built a water-powered forge to make agricultural tools. Eliphalet made rifle barrels, a task at which he became highly skilled. By his father's death in 1828, the Remingtons' reputation for excellence was established and Eliphalet built a factory in upstate New York in what was called Remington's Corners (now Ilion). Business grew; he purchased the machinery and contracts from Ames Co., in Springfield, Mass. (1845) and in 1847 introduced the Remington pistol. With his three sons the factory expanded to produce agricultural implements in 1856. The Civil War had just brought a great demand for Remington firearms when Eliphalet died. Son Philo Remington (1816–89) became president and reorganized the business, separating out the gun manufacturary (E. Remington & Sons) in 1865. Expansions included sewing machines (1870) and typewriters (1873), but in 1887 the company had retrenched, selling off all factories except those making firearms.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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