Remington Agricultural Works

Source:  "History of Herkimer County, N.Y.," F. W. Beers & Co., New York, 1879, pages 164-168

The manufacture of agricultural implements was commenced in the armory in 1856.  As in the case of the armory, this business had a small beginning.  The first article manufactured was a cultivator tooth.  This was a new design, and in its working qualities was superior to anything of the kind which had preceded it.  It was made from one piece of steel, with a cylindrical shank, very strong and light.  The excellence of this, like that of the original gun barrel, was at once recognized, and it became a universal favorite.  Many thousands were sold during the first year, and the sales soon amounted to seventy-five thousand in a single season.  The second year the manufacture of shovel plow blades was commenced.  Of these several varieties in size and form were made, and the number sold amounted to many thousands annually.  In 1877 one firm ordered seventy thousand of these articles.

About the time when the manufacture of these blades was commenced the practicability of steel plows began to be discussed.  In the following year a single plow was made.  This was tested at the N. Y. State fair, and decided to be a complete success.  The manufacture of a number of sizes of these plows was at once entered upon, and the demand for them increased so rapidly that it became evident to the proprietors that greater facilities were required to enable them to meet this demand.  Hitherto these articles had been made in one of the armory buildings, and the power and machinery of this had been used in their manufacture.  This pressing necessity for increased facilities led to the erection of the present mammoth Agricultural Works.  Here are manufactured an almost endless variety of agricultural implements.  The plows made here find a market in all parts of the United States, Canada, South America, Egypt and Russia.  Here are also manufactured mowing machines, reapers, wheel rakes, steel garden rakes, cultivators, patent horse hoes, shovel plows, field and garden hoes of every size and form, and, indeed, almost every kind of agricultural implement.  Recently the manufacture of shovels has been added.  These are made from single pieces of steel, and in strength and lightness are superior to any others manufactured.  The manufacture of hay, straw, manure and spading forks has been added within the last year.

The success of these works, as well as that of the armory, is due in a great measure to the determination on the part of the Remingtons to manufacture only the best of implements and arms, and to keep fully up with or to lead in the improvements of the times.  In accordance with this determination no expense has been spared.  The best material has been used, and the most skillful workmen employed; and these extensive works and the large and flourishing village which has come into existence by reason of their location here are the result.

The buildings of these works are three in number.  The main building is a brick structure three hundred feet in length by fifty in breadth, with three stories besides the basement.  This building contains the machine shop, the wood department, the grinding and polishing shop, and the department for handling hoes, forks, etc.  The engine and boiler house attached to this building is also built of brick, sixty-six by seventy-three and a half feet.  This contains a double engine of one hundred and fifty horse power.  The foundry is a stone building two hundred by sixty-four feet.  The forge shop is of brick and has a length of two hundred and sixty-four and a breadth of forty-five feet.  Sixty feet of the length of this is two stories in height.  The remainder has but one story.

Three hundred and seventy-five men are required to run these works to their full capacity.  With such an array of hands and the vast machinery of this establishment, the amount of work it is capable of turning out is of course immense.

Back to Remington Family and Works of Ilion: Table of Contents

Last Updated: 1/23/01

Copyright © 2001 Lisa Slaski
All Rights Reserved.