Remington 200 Years

Yes, We Can Bring Eliphalet Home!

The Remington Centennial Trophy

Celebrating 200 Years of Remington Arms

By Aileen Carney Sweeney
October 2016



History of the Statue

Village Commissions Creation of Statue

In 1916, the Village of Ilion commissioned an artist to create a statue as part of the Remington 100th year celebration. Albin Polasek, the sculptor, was awarded the commission and he sculpted, first in clay, his conception of the making of the first Remington gun.

From Polaseks' model, bronze statues were made and presented by the citizens of Ilion… "To the Organized Militia of the United States, for Perpetual Competition."

These statues were sent to the national capitols of each state. The intention was that these would be used in competitions, each year, by the National Guard companies and awarded "for proficiency in marksmanship."

Eliphalet Remington 1916 Centennial Statue
Eliphalet Remington
1916 Centennial Statue
Photos courtesy of Roy Marcot, President of the Remington Society of America
Eliphalet Remington 1916 Centennial Statue
Eliphalet Remington
1916 Centennial Statue

"The model may also be reproduced in other ways. It is safe to say that no more fitting and graceful tribute has ever been paid the shooting sport in this country than the giving of these statues. "

The sculpture has been the inspiration for the official seals of the Village of Ilion and the Ilion Central School District. The seal appeared on numerous high school yearbooks.

Where is the Statue?

The Remington Arms Company, in Ilion has two of these statues. One is on display in the Remington, Ilion NY, museum and the other is in the 2016 Remington Arms traveling exhibit. The example in the museum has about two inches of the rifle barrel broken off.

The Village of Ilion, regretably, does not own a copy of the statue at all!


A Large Copy of Statue Planned

Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics - Life-sized statue reference
Popular Mechanics - Large Copy of Statue reference

Mr. Roy Marcot, President of the Remington Society of America, graciously provided a great deal of information about the statue. Above is an image, from a Popular Mechanics article, that indicated a large copy of the statue was supposed to be erected in the Village of Ilion. Wouldn't it be grand if there really was a life-sized copy of the Eliphalet Remington Centennial statue in Ilion?

Colliers Magazine - August 19, 1916 - Remington Centennial Statue
Colliers Magazine - August 19, 1916

Text from Colliers Magazine

On August 29, 30 and 31, the city of Ilion, New York, with a notable attendance of visiting business men and State and National Officials, will celebrate the One Hundredth Anniversary of Remington Arms.

It was in 1816 that Eliphalet Remington, at his father's anvil in Ilion, started the first gun-making business in America.

Remington thus laid the foundations of the whole firearms industry of the United States.

The Remington Arms Union Metallic Cartridge Company are now the largest makers of arms and ammunition in the world.

Its trademark - the Red Ball Mark of Remingotn UMC, is the Sign of Sportsmen's Headquarters in every town.

But more than this, every firearm made in this country, under whatever name or trademark, largely owes its inpiration to Eliphalet Remington.

The sport of every hunter, target shot or trap shooter, whether he shoots Remington UMC or some other standard make, depends in some degree on the Remington traditions and principles.

As a fitting tribute to "The Father of American Gun-making," this spirited portrait statue of Eliphalet Remington will be unveiled at Ilion during the celebration.

From the original statue, bronze replicas are now being cast to be presented by the citizens of Ilion to the National Guard of every State in the Union, as a perpetual trophy to be awarded each year to the Company showing the highest proficiency in marksmanship.

The Remington Arms Union Metalic Cartridge Co.
Largest Manufacturers of Firearms and Ammunition in the World
Woolworth Building, New York


The Artist - Albin Polasek

Artist - Ablin Polasek working on the Remington statue
Artist - Ablin Polasek working on the Remington statue

Albin Polasek was born in Moravia on February 14, 1879. When he was 22 years old, he emigrated to the United States and began his forma art training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He became a US citizen in 1909. In 1916, The Village of Ilion commissioned Polasek to create a sculpture of Eliphalet Remington. Polasek died in Winter Park, Florida in 1965 and was buried beside his first wife, in Winter Park's Palm Cemetery. His own work, the 12th Station of the Cross (1939), is his cemetery monument.


Remington Centennial statue molds
Remington Centennial statue molds

Remington Centennial statue molds
Remington Centennial statue molds


Where are the 48 Statues?

Can the Village of Ilion obtain a statue too?

One statue has been on display at the Headquarters of the The Kentucky National Guard since 1974. The Kentucky National Guard museum noted a special thanks to Roy Marcot, of the Remington Arms Museum and the Remington Society for information and photographs provided for their article and which he also graciously shared with me for this story.

The Albin Polasek Museum collection has a copy of the 27inch high, 40 pound statue.

Another copy of the statue, misakenly identified as Daniel Boone, sold at auction in 2001. The Remington Arms owns at least two copies; one is on display in the Ilion Remington Arms Museum.

The statue was offered at Arcadja Auctions. The presale estimate for this piece was estimated at $20,000-$25,000 when it was listed on Antique Helper auction Oct 27, 2012 Lot Number 199 Indianapolis. It was available again on Antique Helper - Mar 7, 2015 Lot Number 23 Indianapolis.

The auction description information included that the statue had been in private hands for 50 years, and made one of only five known examples in existence. The sculpture was 27"H and mounted on 8 1/2" wood base. The plaque on each stated:

'Presented by Citizens of Ilion, New York to Organized Militia of the U.S. for Perpetual Competition.'

The description also included the identity of the foundry stamp on the base of the statue. The statue was produced at Roman Bronze Works in NYC. It was the first foundry to specialize exclusively in the technique of casting using the lost-wax method. This was the same process used to create the Centennial Trophy.

This foundry was also used by artist Frederic Remington. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Blog, for a 2014 year exhibit, The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925 stated that Frederic Remington, around 1900, moved his model of the "The Broncho Buster" to Roman Bronze Works foundry. He used the same method for casting in the lost-wax method.


How Can Alumni Bring Eliphalet Home?

Officials at The Remington Arms Company, in Ilion NY, have tentativley agreed to allow their museum copy of the statue to be 3D scanned so that the statue can be returned to the Village of Ilion.

Carolina Bronze Compnay Statue
Carolina Bronze Company Statue

The Answer - 3D Laser Scanning

The Carolina Bronze Company

In April 2016, I contacted the The Carolina Bronze Company which is located in Seagrove, South Carolina. The owners very graciously answered my questions about the technology and process involved. Using 3d technology, the statue can be reproduced and it also could be enlarged to a life-sized statue. The client owns the digital file for reproduction purposes. Because the statue was commissioned by the Village of Ilion, if there were any copyright issues, the village would own it because it was a work for hire.

How do they do it?

"With our state of the art scanning equipment, high detail scans are converted to code. Foam enlargements are carved on our CNC machine. Digitally driven enlargements are a very efficient and extremely precise way of enlarging your model to its full commissioned size. These foam armatures are covered in a thin coating of oil based clay. The sculptor then finishes the final detail, and we resume the work with the traditional mold and casting steps of the process. We can also use this technology to reduce a sculpture in size. Sculptors also have the option of bringing in a digital file that can be created directly in foam, with the normal process continuing from there."

Frederic Remington Museum Shows How

The Laran Bronze Company

Once the name of the foundry that produced the Remington Centennial statue was discovered, it was only a few google searches away to find that the Frederich Remington museum, in Ogdensburg, NY, also used 3d laser scanning to reproduce and offer for sale copies of two of Frederic Remington sculptures.

Laura Foster, Director/Curator of the Frederich Remington museum, provided me with the name of the foundry that cast the Frederich Remington statues offered for sale. Their casting is done at lost wax art foundry which is located in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Laran Bronze Company also uses a 3D scanner which can capture high levels of detail in an artist's maquette or original sculpture which can be enlarged or reduced to any size.

Frederich Remington museum statue reproductions
Frederich Remington museum statue reproductions

The Frederic Remington Museum, in Ogdensburg, NY, ​offers two​ reproductions of Frederic Remington sculptures, 'The Broncho Buster' and 'The Rattlesnake'. The reproductions are produced from digital scans of two of the original casts. Those reproductions are ​available only through Frederic Remington Museum, and are marked ​with the the museum name and the cast number.

The famous Frederic Remington scultpure, The Broncho Buster, is offered for sale at various prices depending upon the size and base used.


How Much Would It Cost?

Who Could Finance This Campaign to Bring Eliphalet Home?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Village of Ilion, hometown of the Remington Arms, could finally obtain their own copy of the historic, Albin Polasek, Eliphalet Remington Centennial statue to proudly display in the village?

How exciting would it be if the Village of Ilion finally had the life-sized monument of the statue that was planned to be erected in the Village of Ilion?

An estimate to reproduce one 27" statue, plaque and wooden base, that perhaps could permanently displayed in the Ilion Free Public Library, is about $8,000. The scan provides enough quality such that exact sized reproductions could be made from the scan. Once the process is completed, the file can be used to reproduct the 27 inch statue and the estimate for those reproductions would be about $3,000. The benefit to this option is that the libary would own the digital file and would be able to reproduce the statue to future fund the Ilion Public Library Foundation! Thinking BIG, the estimate to produce a life-sized six foot monument on a stone base, to erect in the Village of Ilion, which was in the original plans but never realized, would be rougly $52,000.

Do you know of a local organization or 501c3 organization, created to accept tax deductible donations, gifts, bequests and memorials as well as grants, which could handle the financial accounting for this effort? Please pass along any suggestions.

This article is just offering suggestions, in the hopes that others might be as enthusiastic about achieving this goal. Perhaps it will inspire alumni to at least begin the process (during this historic 200th Anniversary Year of the founding of America's Oldest Gun Manufacturer - The Remington Arms) to 'Bring Eliphalet Home'.

Official Seal of the Ilion Central School District - Eliphalet Remington

Let's Bring Eliphalet Home!


References Cited

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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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Modified November 8, 2016

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