1973 Eliphalet Remington
Eliphalet Remington
Born October 28, 1793
Suffield, Conn.
Died August 12, 1861
Ilion, NY

The Remington Centennial

100 Years of Remington Arms


By Aileen Carney Sweeney
October 2015



The Remington Bicentennial

"History is made by what is made in Ilion" - The Surrendered

Remington Centennial - 1916
Remington Centennial Book Cover - 1916

The year 2016 will mark the 200th year for the celebration of the Remington Arms Company. A three-day gala was held in 1916 to celebrate the Centennial. Many important dignitaries came to Ilion during that event including, General Hugh Lenox Scott, the Chief of Staff, United States Army, Charles H. Whitman, NY Governor, Senator (later President) Warren G. Harding and Congressman Homer P. Snyder.

In 1923, The 50th Anniversary of the Remington Typewriter ceremony was attended by Ex-Governor Frank O. Lowden, of Illinois, Mr. Owen D. Young, Chairman of Board, General Electric Company, Henry Harper Benedict, Founder of the Typewriter Industry, Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York and Christopher Latham Sholes IV and Elizabeth Latham Sholes, Great Grandchildren of Christopher Latham Sholes.

The year 2016 will be an election year. It is anticipated that many dignitaries and politicians would want to attend a Remington Bicentennial Celebration.

Did you know that Actor Tom Hanks is a huge fan of typewriters? He created the Hanx Writer App which allows emulating using a typewriter on an iPad or iPhone. Tom Hanks should be invited to Remington Bicentennial, in Ilion, too!

In preparation for this gala, Ilion alumni are working with Village of Ilion officials to clean up the village. The Ilion Citizens Codes Committee has been meeting with the Village Board and Ilion's Codes Enforcement Officer to address property issues in the village. The committee is composed of Ilion residents, including a former member of the Board of Education, Ilion Trustees, retired and current faculty members and other Ilion alumni.

Please join us at our next meeting, Monday October 19, 6:30 pm at the Ilion Public Library. Codes Enforcement is everyone's responsibility: firemen, policemen, DPW staff, village employees and residents.

Let's clean up Ilion for the BIG CELEBRATION in 2016!


The Remington Centennial Celebration

Held over three days
August 29-31 1916

Remington Centennial Book Cover - 1916
Remington Centennial Book Cover - 1916

"And in the village, in the shadow of one of the gigantic Remington arms factories, there will be parades and pageants, speeches and spectacles, games and various other forms of entertainment, all to bring back to the present generation a glimpse of the progress of one hundred years..." - Source "The Remington Celebration" published in 1916 in The Game Breeder by Dwight Williams Huntington.

Remington Centennial Parade  - 1916
Remington Centennial Parade - 1916

Remington Centennial Parade  - 1916
Remington Centennial Parade - 1916


The Village of Ilion Commissioned Statue

Albin Polasek Sculpture - 1916

Polasek Bronze Statue of Eliphalet Remington - 1916
Image courtesy of Library of Congress Prints and Photographs

The 1916 Centennial Commission of the Village of Ilion commissioned the sculptor, Albin Polasek to produce a statue of the company's founder, Eliphalet Remington II. Bronze statues were made from the clay original and one was sent to the Adjutant General of each state from the Village of Ilion.

The Remington Centennial Tropy is featured on the Kentucky state National Guard eMuseum web site, with many more images of this rare and beautiful statue.

This 200th year will be a once-in-a-lifetime event!

If you would like to see a HUGE celebration in 2016, let the Mayor of Ilion know by sending an email to ilion@ilionny.com.


The Birth of the Remington Company

Keeping America Free and Untied

Remington Arms Company
Remington Arms Company
Source Britannica Concise Encyclopedia

Eliphalet Remington was the son of a blacksmith. He grew up on his father's farm in Litchfield, NY, where he made his first barrel in 1816. He built a large arms factory, in 1828, in Ilion, NY. He and his three sons, Eliphalet Jr., Philo and Samuel Remington, were featured on the Remington Centennial Book Cover in 1916.

The Remington Arms Company made small arms for the U.S. government during the American Civil War, The Spanish American War, World War I and World War II.

Remington engineers were also instrumental in The Atomic Age. Remington Arms engineer, John Brand, joined the Manhattan Project, in 1943, while working at the Ilion, plant.

"From the start of the project, I had experienced a mixture of feelings about and reactions to our work: the challenge of this amazing new science and technology, the share in making history, the fear of failure, the hope for success. I went home that night with a feeling of great pride in what had been accomplished. Mine had been one of the lesser roles, but I was proud of what I had done for the war effort. I was confident the bomb would bring an early end to the war and for that I was thankful."


The Remington Typewriter Works
The Remington Typewriter Works

The Remington Typewriter

Christopher Latham Sholes, along with Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule, was granted a patent for a typewriter in 1868. Sholes sold his rights to the typewriter, for $12,000, to the Remington Arms Company in 1873. The company developed the machine that was marketed as the Remington Typewriter.

The typewriter contributed to the explosion of the Information Revolution. Remington typewriters dominated the worldwide office-equipment market. The keyboard you are using today was first manufactured, here, in Ilion, NY!


Remington and Ilion Schools

All Ilionites have a tie to Remington

Hanx Writer - Ilion Alumni Letter to Tom Hanks

Remington is embedded in Ilion school history.

The first typing classes in Ilion were held using Remington Typewriters.

The last elementary school built, in Ilion, was named after Remington.

Ilion alumni, family members and ancestors worked at Remington Arms, Remington Typewriter Works, and Remington Rand.

The Remington Arms Company is America's oldest gun manufacturer and is still located in Ilion, NY.


Ilion's Contribution to History

The following items were extracted from Herkimer County at 200.

This book was published by the Herkimer County Historical Society in 1992, 400 North Main Street, Herkimer, New York 13350.

1816 - Eliphalet Remington established gunsmith forge business in the Ilion Gorge.

1828 - Eliphalet Remington moved the business to a point where Steele Creek met the Erie Canal.

1873 - Philo Remington, Eliphalet's son, moved the business towards the Information Age by manufacturing the first typewriter, called the Remington Number 1. It was improved with the new model, the Remington Number 2.

1878 - Remington employees, Lucian Crandall and Byron Brooks made the addition of lowercase letters to the typewriter possible, with their design of a shiftkey mechanism for the Remington Number 2. Thereafter, Remington typewriters dominated the worldwide office-equipment market.

"The Remington 2 (the name Remington 1 was used for the latest Sholes & Glidden model) was fitted with a number of improvements to the original S&G design that would last a century. The qwerty keyboard had been designed by Sholes himself, but new to the keyboard was the 'shift' key, that literally shifted the carriage to the front in order to type capitals. And a 'shift' key is what we still call it on our computer keyboards today." - The Virtual Typewriter Museum.

1928 - James Rand merged the Remington Typewriter Company with nine other firms, forming Remington Rand.

1935 - Remington Rand begins manufacturing key punches, tabulators, card sorters, and interpreters in Ilion, resulting in 4,000 jobs in the early 1950's.

1952 - Remington Rand begins manufacturing computers with a product called UNIVAC. see Unisys History Newsletter. Volume 1, Number 1 September 1992

1955 - Remington Rand merged with the Sperry Corporation, forming Sperry Rand.

1963 - The first production unit of the Univac 1004 computer rolled off the manufacturing line in Ilion, New York. This was the most commercially successful punch card computer in the history of the Remington and Univac organizations. All of the production activities for the Univac 60/120 series of computers was transferred to the manufacturing site in Ilion, New York.

1964 - Several Univac employees formed Mohawk Data Sciences (MDS) which manufactured a machine that permitted operators to put source data directly on magnetic tape, skipping the card reader. Its success was phenomenal.

1967 - George Cogar, left MDS and formed Cogar Information Systems which made an "intelligent terminal", the forerunner of the personal computer.

There were many other items manufactured by Remington and a few other samples include fire trucks, farm equipment, bicylcles and sewing machines.

References Cited

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October 9, 2015

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