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Old 11-10-2010, 06:02 PM
dpd3672 dpd3672 is offline
 
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Default Carbine, Garand, and 1911 Manufacturers, where are they today?

(many thanks to Wikipedia and Google for this information, and in advance for any information added later by CMP forum lurkers!)
So what happened to the companies that made the M1 Carbine during World War 2? I was curious, so I did a little research. Then my research was corrected by those who knew more (thank you, by the way). What I came up with was this:

Winchester - The company that originally grew out of a venture between Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson (yes, that Smith & Wesson), owned mostly by clothes maker Oliver Winchester, went bankrupt in 1931. It was bought by the Olin corporation and rebounded, producing both the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine during WW2. Post WW2, as costs of manufacturing guns increased, they modified their designs in 1964 to be cheaper to produce (and in the opinion of many, of significantly lower quality), and continued to falter, when it became apparent to senior management that Winchester could not compete profitably in the open market. The company, after a bitter strike, was sold to its employees in 1980. It again found itself in bankruptcy 9 years later. It was bought by a French holding company, then sold to the Belgian Herstal Group, which also owns the FN and Browning brands. Winchester closed it's New Haven, CT plant in early 2006, after 140 years of operation, and discontinued it's most popular designs, the M70 and M94 rifles, and the M1300 shotgun. Later in 2006, it was decided to produce the rifles again. It's still producing its iconic rifles and shotguns today, although some are made overseas.

Inland - Combined with Fisher Guide, then folded into Delphi. Delphi was spun off of GM and exists now as an independent company, selling automotive components, medical instruments, and HVAC products for commercial and residential buildings, among other interests.

Underwood - Absorbed by Olivetti between 1959 and 1963, the Underwood name was last seen on typewriters sold in Spain in the 1980s.

Quality H.M.C. - Liquidated and assets sold sometime after the war (?) In 1944 and 1945, they were apparently involved in the production of components for the University of Chicago manufacturing products used in nuclear fission experiments, and the production of nuclear fuel cores, "canning uranium slugs." The word "Manhattan" is tossed around in DoE documents, not sure if this means they were involved in the Manhattan Project or just a coincidence. Their headquarters, on Ravenswood Ave in Chicago were at one time used by Marden Manufacturing, a maker of officer furniture, and is now pricey loft condominiums.

Irwin Pedersen, Grand Rapids, Saginaw Gear - IP production was absorbed into Saginaw Gear. Saginaw Gear sold this week (11/2010) to a Chinese parent company. It is now known as Nexteer.

National Postal Meter - Changed its name to Commercial Controls at the end of the war and produced a handful of carbines with this receiver stamp. Shortly after, changed name to Rochester Defense, and was aquired by Fridan Inc, a calculator manufacturer in 1956. Singer Sewing Machine Company purchased Fredan in 1963. Ironically, Singer produced 1911s for the US government as part of the war effort, and was a subcontractor of M1 Carbine parts. National Postal Meter also made bombtail and bombnose fuses, mortar and artillery fuses and spare parts for Springfield rifles during the war. Commercial Controls (NPM) was acquired by Friden, Inc. (calculators) in 1956. The Rochester Division of Friden which formerly was Commercial Controls made small business systems including automatic typewriters and paper tape punch and readers. These products had a lot of mechanisms which put the mechanical expertise from the past to good use. Friden was acquired by The Singer company in 1963. At some point the name changed to Singer Business Machines. In 1976 this subsidiary of Singer folded.

I.B.M. - Founded in 1896 and still in business and thriving after over 100 years. Now a producer of computers and peripherals, with an active research and development operation. I'm typing this on a Lenovo laptop, which was IBM's line of personal computers before it was spun off of a few years back!

Standard Products - Standard Products was founded around 1930 By Dr. James Sims Reid. He was a physician turned inventor and his first automotive invention was an improved gas cap for automobiles which he marketed thru his own Easy-on-Cap Co which he sold to Eaton Axle Co. His experiments with steel tape led to patents for flexible window channels to ease the opening and closing of automobile windows. The company branched out to other automotive products. During WWII Standard Products received a contract to produce M-1 Carbines. By 1954, all cars made in the U.S. contained at least one of Standard's products, and some had as many as fifty. In 1962, James R. Reid, jr. assumed control of the company from his father and ushered it through a period of continued expansion that lasted into the 1990s. In 1996, the company's sales reached $1.08 billion. In 1997, James S. Reid, jr. was replaced by Ronald L. Roudebush as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the company. In 1999, Findlay, Ohio-based tire maker Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. purchased Standard Products for $757.4 million in stock and an assumption of Standard's debt. A combination of manufacturing and licensing arrangements has allowed Standard Products to be involved with almost every automobile on the road. Its products appear on more than 100 car, van, and light truck models manufactured worldwide.

Rock Ola - still going strong, still making juke boxes and other novelty type machines (and if you balk at the cost of a Rockola Carbine, take a look at the price of their Jukeboxes!).

And for the Garand guys, a much simpler project, since all the companies are still more or less around, DBA under the same names:

Winchester - see above.

Springfield Armory - Built on a site selected by none other than George Washington, the Springfield Armory was established in 1777 to build arms for the Revolutionary War. It was the primary manufacturer of weapons for the US military until World War I, when commercial manufacturers assisted with production on a large scale, including Winchester, Remington, and others. The Garand was developed at the Springfield Armory, and produced there throughout World War 2. The last significant weapon developed there was the Garand's "offspring," the M14 Rifle. The Springfield Armory, after almost 200 years of continuous operation, was closed down permanently in 1968. It still exists as a National Historic Site, overseen by the National Park Service, and also is home to Springfield Technical Community College.

Harrington and Richardson Arms - Founded in 1871, it went out of business in 1986. The original factory was torn down. In 1991, a new HRA was incorporated, manufacturing guns using the original H&R designs. This new company was sold to Marlin in 2000, who was sold to Remington in 2007. H&R and Remington now share corporate offices, and the new H&R is still producing guns.

International Harvester Company - Founded in 1902 by J.P. Morgan, with his purchase of Cyrus McCormick's and several smaller companies, he combined them to form IHC. Primarily a manufacturer of agricultural machines, tractors, and farm equipment, they also manufactured school buses and consumer vehicles, like the IH Scout, similar to the Jeep Cherokee, made until 1980. Financial difficulties resulted in the company being "parted out" in the mid 1980s, with the IH name and tractor division being sold to Case, who still sells tractors under the "Case IH" name plate. The bulk of the company lives on as Navistar International Company.

By popular request, the 1911 and 1911A1 Pistols (and I once again ask those more knowledgable to correct any errors in the thread and I'll update info in OP):

WWI Manufacturers (1911):

Colt - Founded in 1836 by Sam Colt, the company has manufactured arguably the two most recognizable handguns in history, the Single Action Army and the 1911 pistol, both in .45 caliber. By focusing on military contracts, rather than innovations in design, Colt remained very successful until the 1980s, when the adoption of the Beretta 92 (aka the NATO M9) hurt sales of the 1911 pistols to consumers, and union problems in the form of a 4 year strike and resulting quality control problems led to Colt's M16 contract going to FN. Colt was sold and in 1992, and after some new designs failed commercially, declared bankruptcy. In 1999, Colt discontinued production of all double action revolvers, choosing to focus on the 1911 pistol and M16 variants. Since the early 1990s, Colt has been persevering, despite a glut of competitors selling clones of their best selling products, the 1911 pistol and the M16 rifle.

Remington-UMC - Formed in 1912 when Remington Arms (founded in 1816) was combined with the Union Metallic Cartridge Co. Remington was purchased by DuPont during the Depression, and shortly after acquired the Peters Cartridge Company. In 1993, DuPont sold off Remington to an investment company. In 2007, Remington was sold again, and late in that year, Remington purchased Marlin and Harrington & Richardson. Remington is still in business, producing guns, ammunition and other products.

Springfield Armory - See information in Carbine section above.

North American Arms Co - Incorporated in 1918, this company leased production facilities from the Ross Rifle company to fulfil a contract to produce 1911 pistols for the US Government. The war ended and the contract was cancelled before any pistols could be delivered, although approximately 100 samples were produced. These are among the most rare of USGI 1911 pistols. I couldn't find what became of this company, other than they're NOT the company currently DBA North American Arms (the mini-revolver company). Perhaps, like Irwin Pederson, they were formed for the sole purpose of fulfilling the 1911 contract?

WWII Manufacturers (1911A1):

Colt - See above

Ithaca - Founded in 1880, the Ithaca Gun Company is best known for their shotguns. The company was family owned and controlled, until 1967, when it was sold. In 1979, the company filed for bankruptcy. It was sold and moved several times before it was aquired by its current owner in 2007, and moved its production facilities to Sandusky, Ohio. It continues to produce shotguns as of this date.

Remington-Rand - See "Remington" section under WWI (1911) above. Remington Rand was the typewriter division of Remington Arms from 1927 to 1955. They were also famous for manufacturing the UNIVAC line of mainframe computers and Remington's line of electric razors. They were acquired by Sperry in 1955, which in turn merged with Burroughs in 1986 to form Unisys, a computer company. The electric razor division was sold off in 1979 to Victor Kiam, who produced a series of commercials claiming, "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company!" In 2003, he sold the company (I guess he decided to grow a beard) to Rayovac, now known as Spectrum Brands.

Union Switch and Signal - Founded in 1881 as a producer of signalling equipment for the railroads, they were bought by Ansaldo, Inc, a railroad equipment manufacturer.

Singer Sewing Machine Co - Founded in 1851, it's still a producing sewing machines.

Last edited by dpd3672; 11-15-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-10-2010, 06:04 PM
beardog beardog is offline
 
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I think Quality was liquidated and assets sold off?
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:10 PM
FTD1167 FTD1167 is offline
 
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You left out Rockola...
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:17 PM
dpd3672 dpd3672 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beardog View Post
I think Quality was liquidated and assets sold off?
Thanks, added to OP until I hear otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FTD1167 View Post
You left out Rockola...
D'OH! How could I forget...fixed.
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  #5  
Old 11-10-2010, 07:29 PM
J.R.2009 J.R.2009 is offline
 
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A really neat thread. Never thought about it till now.
Thanks.
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Home of the FREE Carbine Club Newsletter Index raeed4@comcast.net
I do NOT have newsletters to sell! ONLY our INDEX of what is in each issue. To get the issues see the link for the Carbine collectors Club.
http://www.uscarbinecal30.com/

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  #6  
Old 11-10-2010, 07:59 PM
dpd3672 dpd3672 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R.2009 View Post
A really neat thread. Never thought about it till now.
Thanks.
Recent news reports about Saginaw Gear being sold to the Chinese got me wondering what state the other manufacturers were in. Some of the information was easy to find, some a little more difficult, and I could find NOTHING about NPM or SP, probably because they're such generic company names Google has too many hits. I might fiddle with this in my spare time and see if I can turn it into an article to be posted somewhere.

Last edited by dpd3672; 11-10-2010 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:05 PM
Greggos Greggos is offline
 
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Saginaw Gear gone to the Chinese... You'd think some news service would have picked up on that. Then again, there's enough bad economic news here in Detroit.
Glad I got an SG carbine when I did.

Same company that built a wicked three speed trans in a '69 Nova 350 that I owned for awhile(?)

Sad nonetheless.
And BTW: Great thread, surprised no one else thought of it.

Last edited by Greggos; 11-10-2010 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:12 PM
Boiler_81 Boiler_81 is offline
 
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There is a bit about National Postal Meter in this pdf: http://www.rochester.lib.ny.us/~roch...2004/v66i1.pdf
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:19 PM
Boiler_81 Boiler_81 is offline
 
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http://www.davismilitaria.com/M1%20C...al%20Meter.htm
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:21 PM
WIN 342 WIN 342 is offline
 
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WRA makes most of thier lever action rifles in Japan now. FN still makes some of thier hunting rifles in SC. Its too bad.
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