Patent of February 14th is filed under the name of Smith and Wesson for a metallic cartridge repeating magazine pistol and rifle.
On April 3rd, No. 1 seven shot Smith & Wesson .22 caliber revolver is patented; it is manufactured until 1861.
Books for the partnership of Smith & Wesson are opened.
In April the partners rent a shop at 5 Market Street, Springfield Mass., from William L. Wilcox. First recorded income, October 1857, is $12 for a pistol, Serial No. 2 and $1 for cartridges sold to William Amadon, who kept a drug store in Springfield opposite the National Armory.
J. W. Storrs advances $500 to secure the New York agency. The shop employees commence working by the piece or as inside contractors instead of by the day. Three women join the ammunition department. Gold or silver plated frames, foliate engraving and ivory stocks are introduced.
Joseph M. Hall is made bookkeeper. He takes over for D.B. Wesson who kept the books of account for the first two years.
Besides having to deal with domestic competition, Smith & Wesson find their pistols being copied abroad, where they hold no patents.
Smith & Wesson completes a new plant on Stockbridge Street in Springfield. According to the 1860 Massachusetts Industry Census, Smith & Wesson now employs 40 males and 17 females.
Production of Model No.1, second issue, .32 rimfire starts and continues till 1868.
Employees at the factory number 154, including 14 women out of 36 workers in the ammunition department.
Horace Smith's son, Dexter, branches out as a partner in the firm of Smith, Hall & Farmer which takes over the ammunition department of Smith & Wesson.
The factory now has 300 employees and can finish as many pistols in a day. Smith & Wesson decides to send a representative to travel in the South and embarks on a modest advertising campaign. In Canada an appreciable demand for arms has arisen because of the Fenian troubles. The first advertisement ever published by Smith & Wesson appears in the Oshawa, Ontario, Vindicator of May 18, 1866.
Smith & Wesson also solicits European trade through an ornate exhibit at the Paris Exposition of 1867 and advertising in its official catalog. Distant markets as far away as Yokohama & South America also begin to develop. Smith & Wesson encourages foreign trade by allowing a 5% discount on all sales for export.
Charles A. King serves as superintendent of the S. & W. factory.
By far the largest amount of business transacted with any one customer is Smith & Wesson's series of contracts with the Russian Imperial Government.
Martin y Perez of Havana buys more than 1,000 "N.M. Russian" revolvers for the use of Spanish officials. Wexel & De Gress also export the model to Mexico, and sales are made through various agents in South America. Smith & Wesson seeks to interest the Turkish, Austrian, Prussian and Persian military and governments.
Walter H. Wesson, Daniel's oldest son, comes to work for the firm at the age of twenty-one as clerk and bookkeeper. He soon takes over routine correspondence.
W. & C. Scott & Sons of Birmingham becomes Smith & Wesson's agents in England, later they merge with P. Webley & Sons. Smith & Wesson's agents in Paris and Argentina stamp their names on revolvers to protect against fake copies being sold as S. & W. originals. Henry M. Morehous succeeds Charles King as superintendent. The No.3 revolver aquires the title of "American" to distinguish the regular from the Russian model. Horace Smith, at the age of sixty-five, sells his interest in Smith & Wesson to his partner D. B. Wesson, who becomes sole proprietor. Smith & Wesson discontinues the manufacture of the rimfire Nos. 1 and 1-1/2 and prepares to make automatic ejector models of smaller calibers less than .44 caliber.
Smith & Wesson produces decorated pistols of the American model which had been exhibited at the San Francisco Fair. An addition is built on the factory to obtain machinery space for the production of the .32 centerfire ejector.
About the time the factory ceases production of Nos. 1 & 1-1/2, Mexico and South America are flooded with imitations. (Some probably came from Belgium, but there were domestic copyists too.)
Completion of the Russian Government contracts, in January 1878, leaves Smith & Wesson free to start a new model .44 embodying all the improvements developed in the .38 and .32 calibers.
At the end of 1879 Smith & Wesson fills a special order from the Turkish Government for 5,000 pistols of the No.3 New Model in .44 rimfire. (These are the arms that comprise the "Turkish Model" as it is styled by collectors.) Production of revolving rifle starts.
First double action produced by Smith & Wesson is a .38 caliber.
Joe H. Wesson contracts to work for one year in the machine shop as a machinist and draftsman.
Walter H. Wesson made a partner in the firm.
Frank Wesson loses his life in a railroad accident, Joe Wesson becomes a partner in the firm.
Horace Smith dies on January 15th, in Springfield. First single shot .22 model is introduced.
Smith & Wesson manufactures a revolver for the .32 long cartridge.
Daniel B. Wesson dies on August 4th, at the age of eighty-one.
During World War 1, the U.S. purchases 153,311 of the justly famed Model-1917 side-swing revolver.
Smith & Wesson begins the manufacture of handcuffs and continues to make them up to 1940; and thereafter, they are reintroduced in 1952.
Smith & Wesson is incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts on December 20, 1922.
In September the company branches out into the manufacture of small water motors. The plant has 185,000 sq. ft.
Officers: Harold Wesson- President, D. B. Wesson- Vice President, F. H. Wesson- Treasurer, George Chapin- Clerk.
A truly target grade .32 cal. gun is put together in the late 1930s.
Plant located at Springfield with 185,000 sq.ft. of floor space has a production capacity of about 125,000 firearms per annum. Officers: President- Harold Wesson, Vice President & Treasurer- H. Wesson, Clerk-George P. Chapin, Sales Manager-David H. Murray and Service Department- F. H. Miller. Net assets, as of November 10, 1944- $890,708, with 500,000 shares of stock.
Officers: President- Carl R. Hellstrom, V. President & Treasurer Frank H. Wesson, Sales Manager- Harold 0. Austin, Assistant Plant Manager- Daniel B. Wesson.
Smith & Wesson is now controlled by Bangor Punta Alegre Sugar Corporation. The 200 acre site has 350,000 sq. ft. of floor space and on an adjacent 31 acre site, a 100,000 sq. ft. plant addition is under construction.
According to a March 1973 New York Times article, "Gun Industry", sales for Smith & Wesson are at $43.3 million and a net income of $8.3 million is realized.
As stated in Moody's Industrial Manual, Smith & Wesson is acquired by Lear-Siegler Inc., February 24, 1984.
The latest change in the company's ownership occurs in 1986. Smith & Wesson (handguns and handcuffs) is acquired by Gregor: Hutchings of F. H. Tomkins-PLC of United Kingdom for $113 million ($67 million English pounds). The consumer products division now encompasses the handguns, handcuffs and identi-kit system.