June 28, 2016 Springfield, MA & Hartford, CT

We left the campground in Accord, New York and drove to Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  The campground was full and crowded and we were thankful to be placed in one of the few satellite TV friendly sites.  We can tell the northeast is going to be a big challenge to find satellite TV friendly sites among all the beautiful trees.
20160628_131622Our stop in Sturbridge was related to Bill’s interest in guns and radios.  On Tuesday we made the drive to nearby Springfield, Massachusetts to tour the Springfield Armory.  For almost two centuries this place overlooking the Colorado River was an important place for the development and manufacture of arms for American soldiers.  It started as a place where skilled craftsmen built piece by piece one flintlock musket at a time into a center pioneering mass production techniques into finally an institute famous for weapon research and development.
In 1777 a major arsenal was established here after early Revolutionary War battles in the northern states showed the need for a place to store weapons and ammunition that was within reach of the American troops but out of British hands.  A smaller armory for the south was built at Harper’s Ferry but destroyed during the Civil War.   In 1795 the Springfield Armory began weapon production.
20160628_145612In 1891 The Experimental Department was established at the Springfield Armory with the job of examining and developing all subsequent U.S. rifle designs.  In 1936 the Armory began mass production of the first successful semi-automatic rifle to be put in military service, the M1 rifle designed by John Garand.  During WWI the Armory produced over 265,000 bolt-action Model 1903 rifles for American troops.  It is still considered one of the most accurate weapons ever made.  The installation of mass production machinery in the early 1930’s allows for the manufacture of 3.5 million M1 rifles through 1945.  20160628_145547 It was deemed by General George S. Patton to be “the greatest battle implement ever devised”.  In 1943 the workforce at the Armory totaled 13,500 employees, of which 43% were women.20160628_150038
In 1964 the Defense Department decided that private suppliers could provide necessary weapons and in 1968 the Armory was closed.  In 1960 this “Arsenal of Freedom” was designated a national historic landmark and in 1974 Congress named it the Springfield Armory National Historic Site.
20160630_110658On Thursday we drove into Windsor, Connecticut so Bill could tour the Vintage Radio and Communication Museum of Connecticut.  The museum showed the history of electric communication and how it has changed our lives over the years, including radios, records and television.20160630_11080520160630_11090320160630_11124720160630_11192120160630_11203320160630_12061120160630_11150720160630_11243920160630_11250320160630_11294520160630_11302920160630_113155
20160630_102414We were quite surprised to find a lobster roll on the McDonalds menu in Connecticut so Bill couldn’t resist having one for lunch.  He said it was quite good.
20160630_152536We then made the short drive to Hartford, passing the state capitol building, so Bill could tour the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) headquarters.  He enjoyed visiting with some fellow amateur radio enthusiasts.20160630_141231


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