The Springfield Armory
From the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War, the Armory at Springfield served as the principal U.S. Government site for the manufacture and storage of arms and ammunition.
During that time, the Armory invented many cutting edge technologies that launched a sophisticated network of manufacturers. Workers from the Armory left to found hundreds of firms throughout the region. Concentrated in the Connecticut River Valley, these companies ultimately produced sewing machines, automobiles, aircraft and a host of other products as well as guns, swords, and uniforms. The world’s first successful system of interchangeable parts, fed by interdependent companies, came to be known as the American System of Manufacturing.
The Armory played an outsized role in the generation of U.S. military might in the Civil War, wars of expansion, and both World Wars.
As a Federal employer, the Armory also pioneered in the employment of women and blacks in a skilled industrial setting.
The site includes primary source documents, images and oral histories from the Armory Archives and secondary source historical narratives. The site features dozens of interactive maps, manipulative activities, and videos, and includes curricula written by local teachers.
The Forge of Innovation website was created by the Springfield Armory National Historic Site in partnership with UMass Amherst Center for Educational Software Development, UMass Amherst Department of History, Emerging America, and local teachers.