May 23, 2009
the 1910 census lists Leander J Russell occupation (foreman assembling repeating guns). The transcriber couldn’t read so listed him as working in a printing shop. Totally incorrect. I blew it up many percent to read correctly. By 1920 census he is listed as no occupation (retired)? Born in Nov 1848 he is now near 72. Don
The 1915 New Haven Directory lists him as “Foreman W.R.A.Co.” The next New Haven directory I can find is from 1919 and only lists his address and no occupation. So I would gather he retired sometime between 1915-1918.
WACA #8783 - Checkout my Reloading Tool Survey!
April 15, 2005
July 17, 2012
Yes, I agree about Heere although I believe he was already working in the Assembly Room prior to that.
WACA Life Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire
December 30, 2011
There’s an article in the Spring 2018 magazine about TE Addis written by Henry Brewer, along with the story of Addis in Mexico from the Winchester Record. Not sure about the production figures given, but this is how Brewer described Russell joining Winchester (at the end). The short biography of Mason in the Summer 2022 magazine also lists Mason as joining Winchester in 1882:
Notwithstanding all of his peculiarities, Colonel Addis was a man to be liked. He was a large factor in the growth of the Winchester Co. and was respected as such. When it was impossible to make the production of guns equal the sales in the early part of 1881, it seemed necessary to make a change in superintendents to speed production. Colonel Addis, who was in the confidence of Mr. Converse and Mr. Bennett, said to them “I know where the man is you want; if you can get him, he will fix you all right.” He was told to go and get him. The man he sought was in Belchertown, Mass. His name was Jefferson M. Clough. He had been with E. Remington and Sons at Ilion, New York, for sixteen years, during twelve of those years as superintendent. They had the same difficulties as to production and he had increased their output from 150 rifles a day to 1,200. Colonel Addis said to him “I have come for you.” Mr. Clough refused to consider the proposition at first because, as he said, he had retired from gunmaking to the farm on which he was born and which his father had left him. Colonel Addis declined to accept “No” as an answer and on the third day Mr. Clough said “Yes,” but with the proviso that he was to be superintendent in fact as well as in name. There were several divisions of the shop whose heads had been more or less independent. John Gardner, with his cartridge work was one, but they had to come into line.
When Mr. Clough came to New Haven the gun production was 200 guns per day and the Company was selling 300 to 400 per day. In the spring of 1882, Mr. Clough sent for William Mason, who had been with E. Remington but was then at Colt’s in Hartford. Mr. Mason became the Master Mechanic and many of our machines and mechanical devices were the product of his ingenuity and inventiveness. He also did much in the development of new guns and the improvement of old guns. “Bill” Mason was one of the finest men that ever lived. Mr. Bennett said of him when he died “There is a man.” Mr. Clough had difficulties in getting the needed production through Mr. Munson who was in charge of the assembly work. (There were a number of men in the assembly room who had periodical attacks of “Malaria.”) Clough sent to Ilion for Leander J. Russell. “Russ” came in 1882. Teamwork brought production in ten years to an average of 1,200 guns a day without any large increase in the time or machinery.
Here’s an interesting record for a Model 1895 that eventually went to Heere in assembly:
Rifle, 40/72, Octagon, Plain,
received: July 11, 1904, to Heere, received: Dec. 11, 1912, Musket, 30-06 Rim, N.R.A., Not stamped, shipped: Dec. 11, 1912, #497770.