Norwich has been a center for American made guns since the end of the 1700’s due to its abundance of natural resources and close proximity to large cities like New York and Boston. However, the production did not exceed the individual shops of gunsmiths until the 1840’s when railways and steamboats made transporting the weapons much quicker and easier.
Prior to the 1840’s most of the iron in Norwich went into producing anchors and canons for the colonial navy. As the industrial revolution hit Norwich in the 1840’s the production of firearms increased rapidly. One of the main catalysts of this was Ethan Allen, who, with his brother in law, moved their company to Norwich and kick started the firearms legacy of this Connecticut city.