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Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates and preserves the site of our Nation’s first armory, established in 1794. Managed with the Commonwealth of MA, Springfield Technical Community College and the National Park Service, it is the home of the world’s largest historic American military firearms collection.
In 1777, General George Washington created a major arsenal for the Continental Army in Springfield on the crest of a hill overlooking the Connecticut River. On this site, Congress formed the arsenal into Springfield Armory in 1794. From then, until 1968, it carried out the shoulder arms manufacturing, storage, repair, and testing and development functions assigned by the United States Army. In doing so, it stimulated technological innovation, encouraged improved manufacturing processes, and fostered increased use of laborsaving machines. All of this had a lasting impact on American industry and exerted a profound influence over the city of Springfield and on the nation.The Armory site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962. In 1968, in a controversial economy measure, the Defense Department closed the Armory. A major portion of the site was then converted for use as Springfield Technical Community College and the Springfield Armory Museum, housing America’s most extensive collections of historic United States military arms, was moved to the original 1847 Main Arsenal. A few years later, Congress established Armory Square as the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.
- Melanie Hankins
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