Ithaca Gun Company

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Ithaca Gun Company
Type Private
Industry Firearms
Predecessor(s) W.H. Baker Company
Founded Ithaca, New York, United States (1880 (1880))
Founder(s) Leroy Smith and William Henry Baker
Headquarters Upper Sandusky, Ohio, U.S.
Area served Global
Key people David Dlubak
Products Shotguns and Rifles
Parent Ithaca Acquisition, Inc
Website www.ithacagun.com

The Ithaca Gun Company is a manufacturer of shotguns and rifles originally established in Ithaca, New York in 1880.

History[edit]

Over the years, Ithaca made numerous firearms, most notably the Ithaca 37 shotgun.

Production[edit]

Ithaca became famous for building firearms based on expired patents owned by Remington Arms (in 1989, Remington purchased a design from Ithaca, the Mag-10 shotgun, which they produced as the SP-10). Ithaca also produced the M1911 pistol during World War II and the M3 Grease Gun during Korean War, both for the United States military. Its 12-gauge shotguns were the standard used by the Los Angeles Police Department and New York Police Department, and even sold to the Royal Thai Army in the early 1980s to arm farmers against communist infiltrators.[1] Its hunting shotguns were known for their fine decorative work, typically waterfowl or hunting dogs.[2]

Ithaca Gun Co. - Annie Oakley gun, 1916

Around 1877, Leroy Smith went into business with William Henry Baker. They moved the W.H. Baker Company, which manufactured double- and triple-barreled shotguns, from Center Lisle, New York to Syracuse.[3] In 1883, Baker, Smith, and several partners moved to Ithaca and established the original Ithaca Gun Company.[4] The company was responsible for much of the early industry of Tompkins County, especially during World War I and World War II,[5] and counted among its later patrons John Philip Sousa and Annie Oakley.[6]

Lefever guns[edit]

The Lefever Arms Company (1883–1916) was a manufacturer of guns in Syracuse, New York founded by Daniel Myron LeFever (1835–1906) who was an American gun maker, popularly known as "Uncle Dan LeFever". He is best known as the inventor of the hammerless shotgun, first introduced in 1878. The company was in the business of gun manufacture until 1916 when they were incorporated with Ithaca Gun Company in Ithaca, New York who continued with the LeFever gun production until 1921.[7]

Fall creek[edit]

The original factory was located in the Fall Creek neighborhood of the city, on a slope later known as Gun Hill, where the nearby waterfall supplied the main source of energy for the plant. In later years, the company came under criticism regarding environmental pollution of Fall Creek, especially by lead, which led to a Superfund remediation effort. Various plans to demolish the derelict plant and to redevelop the land failed over the years, on account of the cost of remediation and community objection to construction proposals. The factory was condemned in March 2006 and only the smokestack presently remains. An apartment project has been proposed for the site, and has been built.[8]

Reorganization[edit]

The company was controlled by the Smith family until 1967, when it was sold to a Colorado company which later became General Recreation, Inc. General Recreation encountered financial problems in the late 1970s, selling off all its subsidiaries except Ithaca Gun. After a failed attempt to move manufacturing to Colorado, it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in December 1978, shuttering the plant on December 20 for several months.[9] General Recreation filed for bankruptcy a second time in September 1985.[10]

In 1987, new owners Ithaca Acquisition, Inc. moved manufacturing to King Ferry, New York. In 2005, it received a $150,000 development loan from Cayuga County,[11] and in May of that year moved to larger facilities in Auburn.[12] After being unable to facilitate an operational manufacturing facility in Auburn, the owners sold all of Ithaca's assets, trademarks, and manufacturing rights to the Marshalls from Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The physical goods were relocated to Floyd Marshall's 30+ years tool and die shop where all prints, programs, and processing were converted to CNC machine tools. Unable to secure state or local financing assistance with the startup conversion, the Marshalls were forced to sell the company in the best interest of the company's name and its people.[13] Dave Dlubak purchased the company in June 2007, and it continues to operate in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. It has undergone a revamp with newer manufacturing equipment, and still employs many of the people from Floyd Marshall's original staff.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Associate Press (June 30, 1982). "Ithaca Gun Co. Has Thai Order". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Johnson, Kirk (October 15, 2000). "Ithaca Journal; Sweet Fishing and a Gorgeous Gorge, if You Don't Mind All That Old Lead". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Snyder, Walter (1999). The Ithaca Gun Company. Southern Pines: Cook & Uline. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-9629469-2-9. 
  4. ^ "Historical Overview of the Ithaca Gun Company". Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  5. ^ O'Toole, Molly (November 28, 2007). "Gun Factory Building Has Hazardous History". Cornell Daily Sun. 
  6. ^ Gleason, Anne (November 30, 2005). "125-year-old company sold off at auction". The Auburn Citizen. 
  7. ^ Recent Trade Developments. The Horseless Age - Volume 37, E. P. Ingersoll, New York. N.Y., - June 15, 1916. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ O'Toole, Molly (November 30, 2007). "Clean-up, Construction to Rejuvenate Ithaca Gun Site". Cornell Daily Sun. 
  9. ^ Heff, Alan (January 23, 1979), "Sickler Named President of the Ithaca Gun Company", Cornell Daily Sun 
  10. ^ UPI (September 5, 1985), "Ithaca Gun, Parent Firm to Reorganize", Schenectady Gazette: 8 
  11. ^ Broach, Louse Hoffman (June 23, 2005). "Ithaca Gun loses buyer, closes its doors". The Auburn Citizen. 
  12. ^ Broach, Louise Hoffman (May 6, 2005). "Ithaca Gun reloads in Auburn". The Auburn Citizen. 
  13. ^ Ithaca Gun Company, 2013 Catalog, Page 4 (The Ithaca Gun Company: A Brief History) Retrieved 2013-09-01

External links[edit]