Eliaphalet Remington founded E. Remington & Sons in 1816 in Ilion, New York. Eliaphalet grew up in a farming community where his father worked as a blacksmith with a desire to grow his business by also smithing rifle barrels. Eliaphalet learned how to make barrels during a visit to a major manufacturer of rifle barrels and returned ready to grow the family business. He built a flintlock rifle after he returned from his trip and took the rifle with him to a shooting match. He didn’t win the target competition, but he did win the business of several competitors who liked his rifle and placed orders for their own. The Remington rifle business was born.
E. Remington & Sons innovated and expanded throughout the 19th Century. The company relocated to some property closer to the Erie Canal, and even today part of this site continues to be occupied by the Ilion firearms plant. The company incorporated in 1865 and introduced their famous rolling block rifle. The Remington company branched out into the manufacture of typewriters in 1873, but sold this business in 1886 under the name Remington Rand. It eventually became Sperry Rand. In 1888 Marcellus Hartley and partners acquired E. Remington & Sons. They reorganized the business and renamed it the Remington Arms Company.
Remington merged with the Union Metallic Cartridge Company in 1912 to form Remington UMC. Not many years later they constructed a new plant in Ilion, New York which continues to operate to this day. During WWI, Remington had contracts to produce M1907-15 Berthier rifles for France, Enfield rifles for Britain, and 1891 Mosin-Nagant rifles
for Russia. Remington developed and manufactured M1917 Enfield rifles as well as the Pedersen Device, an innovation for the M1917 that allowed it to fire short .30 caliber rifle cartridges in semi-automatic mode.
Remington expanded their product line in the 1920's with diverse items of interest to a wider audience. For example, they started producing and selling cutlery including pocket knives, hunting knives, and household utensils. They also sold cash registers. Remington started selling clothing with company logo patches at this time. This grew into their popular line of clothing and accessories for hunting and casual wear.
DuPont bought a controlling portion of Remington’s stock during the Great Depression. Remington acquired soon after three other companies: Chamberlain Trap & Target; Peters Cartridge; and Parker Shotgun.
The U.S. Government requested Remington to establish an ordinance plant in 1940. They located the plant in Independence, MO and called it Lake City. Remington opened a total of five plants in the early years of WWII. They manufactured their iconic M1903 Springfield bolt action rifle during this time chambered for the .30-06.
Remington in 1950 introduced one of the most popular shotguns ever made, the Remington Model 870 “Wingmaster,” a 12 gauge pump action shotgun. Remington expanded into other markets during the 50’s by acquiring the Mall Tool Company. They added power equipment to their product line including chainsaws, and other electric, pneumatic and gas powered tools.
Through the 1960’s, Remington introduced the plastic shotgun shell and their Model 1100 autoloading shotgun. They released the Model 700 bolt action rifle in 1962. They partnered with companies in Mexico to manufacture ammunition and partnered with companies in Germany to distribute power tools.
Remington expanded aggressively in the 70’s and opened facilities in Arkansas, Georgia and New York. In the 80’s, they reversed the aggressive course they had been following in the 70's, and restructured and downsized. They sold the Lake City Plant to the Olin Corporation, and relocated corporate headquarters to Wilmington, DE.
Remington grew into other markets again in the 90’s, but the focus was on their core community of firearms enthusiasts. They opened the Remington Shooting School in Ilion, New York and began manufacturing safes for firearms. They also produced accessories for the in-line black powder business and began increasing their role in promoting safety and protection within the sport shooting industry. They discontinued their apparel line and transferred headquarters to North Carolina.
Remington recently returned to manufacturing handguns with their M1911 clone chambered in .45 ACP. They also manufacture and sell their R-15 and R-25 rifles inspired by the AR-15. They have broadened their markets to include a television series, products for domestic security and their Model 887 Nitro Mag series of shotguns.