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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Got an Education about Stevens Firearms (Read 2902 times)
John Boy
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #15 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 10:44am
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The Savage website states merely the well-known fact that Stevens (presumably the "J. Stevens" reorganization of 1916) was purchased in 1920.  How does that clarify the nature of Westinghouse's involvement?

Any change in ownership of real property would have to be recorded in the local county Real Property Dept.

There was no recording by deed and transfer of J Stevens Arms Company real property in the early 1920's ... it was done by Savage buying all the outstanding stock of J Stevens... same as if Warren Buffet bought all the stock of Coke a Cola

To wit... Early in 1920 Savage acquired all of the outstanding stock of J Stevens and became sole owners and operators of the Company.  For the next 16 years Stevens operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of Savage.  On January 2, 1936, Stevens Arms was wholly absorbed and made a division of Savage Arms Company
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #16 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 11:24am
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coljimmy wrote on Apr 1st, 2019 at 9:14pm:
This may be throwing the proverbial skunk into the tent, but here goes:  On a parallel note, Hopkins and Allen made a bid for making Belgian M-1889 Mauser rifles with a too low bid, and lost their shirt on the deal, they shut down their bread and butter products and were in bankruptcy by 1917, and some sort of a war production board took over.  The same Westinghouse branch managed the financial affairs, and production was turned over to Marlin which had ties to the Westinghouse people.  One story was that the plant made M-1917 BARs, which I have never seen, but the Texas Military Forces Museum in Austin has a Colt "potato digger" machine gun with a Marlin roll stamp that looks bad, but shoots good.  Marlin bought the H&A machinery in 1921.

Both Stevens and H&A made good barrels, so the government could not let that pass when we needed good rifled products.  I was not aware until today that the same Westinghouse division was involved in Stevens also.  The Stevens name survived, and the Hopkins & Allen name re-emerged when George Numrich bought it from Marlin, for a few under-hammer rifles.

James Hays


Jimmy,
What ties did Marlin have with Westinghouse? I've been a Marlin collector for 45 years and haven't heard of any ties with Westinghouse? Marlin did have close ties with Rockwell and they owned Marlin during WWI. But never heard mention of Westinghouse?
Knew Bill Brophy (Marlin's historian) and he never mentioned Westinghouse to me, nor did he mention them in his book on Marlin history.

LarryLee,
Since Westinghouse was covering up War profiteering, I'm pretty sure they'd want a fire to be as small as possible, just avoid such attention. They likely tossed those records into one of their heat treating ovens, and the only sign outside the plant would be a little smoke from the stack off the oven.
  

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Redsetter
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #17 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 11:40am
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marlinguy wrote on Apr 2nd, 2019 at 11:24am:
LarryLee,
Since Westinghouse was covering up War profiteering, I'm pretty sure they'd want a fire to be as small as possible, just avoid such attention. They likely tossed those records into one of their heat treating ovens, and the only sign outside the plant would be a little smoke from the stack off the oven.


True, but if they intended to claim "accidental destruction" as the reason these records could not be shown to congressional investigators, it would have been very careless not to make some (phony) report to document the alleged "accident." 

And if this occurred during the Nye investigations, the decision would have been made by the current owner, Savage, not Westinghouse.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #18 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 12:38pm
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There's no reason they needed to make the fire look like an accident, as in they caught fire in a storeroom, or building. All they had to say was "Oops!" and tell the government committee some lacky was destroying meaningless documents and accidentally burned the records along with all the other records. Which would account for all Stevens records being destroyed.
Had they only destroyed the Wartime records, it would be suspicious. But by destroying everything, it looks less suspicious, and easier to explain as an accidental destruction by an employee who didn't know any better.
I've always wondered if the company had not been covering up their shenanigans, we might have records for Stevens rifles today. Their destruction of everything, to cover up War crimes cost collectors dearly.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #19 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 12:45pm
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Redsetter wrote on Apr 2nd, 2019 at 11:40am:
And if this occurred during the Nye investigations, the decision would have been made by the current owner, Savage, not Westinghouse.


What you missed was the fact that the people in management were the same people who were in charge during Westinghouse's period. So it isn't relevant to whether Stevens, Westinghouse, or Savage was in ownership when the records were destroyed. The same people were there, and still could be subject to government charges if the records were found.
The only thing that changed from various periods was ownership. So I doubt Savage was going to be charged, but Savage management at Stevens held over form the Westinghouse years was certainly going to be charged.
  

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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #20 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 1:25pm
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It seems to me that a search of government records of the Nye commission, might answer some questions. I don't know where or how to look or, even if it would take FOI request to do it. There might even be some verbiage about ownership.

I'm sure some money flowed from Westinghouse, around congress, at the time and even the report might be tainted around wrong doing, regarding what actually happen but, it might supply some clues.

Frank
  

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John Boy
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #21 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 2:39pm
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Wouldn't it be a thrill if an ancestor of one of the Stevens employee's found the records stored in an attic of his house? If so, the finder has something better than cash in the bank for the firearms community Grin
  

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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #22 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 2:56pm
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frnkeore wrote on Apr 2nd, 2019 at 1:25pm:
It seems to me that a search of government records of the Nye commission, might answer some questions. I don't know where or how to look or, even if it would take FOI request to do it.


No FOI request needed--which seldom work anyway unless they're submitted by a lawyer.

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Quite a bit of this was posted here about a yr ago.  What I remember was that the reason given for not halting production of Nagants sooner was that most of the parts needed to assemble complete rifles had already been fabricated, so a sudden halt to production would mean thousands of unfinished, hence useless, rifles on the government's hands.
  
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #23 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 5:30pm
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The congressional records are available and searchable online for the Nye investigation, I found them the last time this came up and honestly it was pretty boring, without much usable information.

The Chicopee Falls Historical society had better or at last more entertaining information.


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The history of the J. Stevens Arms Co., written in 1942, addressed what happened: "Many of the Russian Nagant rifles were never delivered because of distrust following the assassination of Czar Nicholas and his family, and the fanatical Bolshevik Revolution in 1917."

The history of the Westinghouse Co. claims that the surplus weapons were sold to the British. When the war ended, military arms glutted the world market and manufacturers unloaded surplus into the black market, frequently selling to the highest bidder.

The U.S. Congress launched several inquiries into wartime profiteering as well as an investigation of the companies' close ties to the czarist government.

In Chicopee Falls, a major fire destroyed most of the wartime records of the Stevens company immediately following word that congressional staffers were coming to Western Massachusetts. Several company executives were relocated, and that was just about the time the baron and baroness of Chicopee Falls left for greener pastures.
  
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #24 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 6:19pm
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Dellet wrote on Apr 2nd, 2019 at 5:30pm:
The congressional records are available and searchable online for the Nye investigation, I found them the last time this came up and honestly it was pretty boring, without much usable information.


That's how I read the part of the report concerned with the Russian contract; there's FAR more to it, of course.  The part that I read, maybe 20 pages, was worth the trouble, I thought.

I see now the previous link I found is just a summary, but here's Part 1 of the whole show, several volumes in total:

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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #25 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 9:27pm
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If I had those records, I'd burn 'em myself just keep hearing all these 'facts' stated without much evidence. Especially from the folks that say statements need to have bibliographical backing.
  

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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #26 - Apr 2nd, 2019 at 10:41pm
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lot's of opinions and assumptions, some from one who thinks his are fact.


  

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marlinguy
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #27 - Apr 3rd, 2019 at 11:55am
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Any real estate or commercial sales records of J Stevens Arms wont exist, or be found. In 1896 when Joshua Stevens retired he sold the company to an investment group lead by Page, the company's chief accountant. Page continued to run the company for the investors, but it was a publicly owned company then, and not privately owned as it was under Stevens.
So Westinghouse simply bought a majority of shares from those investors to gain control/ownership of Stevens in 1915/16 time frame. Once they owned the major shares in Stevens, they held them throughout WWI and like other companies sold off the majority interest after the War.
Marlin went through the same thing with Rockwell Corporation buying Marlin shares from John Marlin's two sons. They ran Marlin through the end of WWI and then sold it to the men who ran the company after WWI. They ran Marlin until 1922 when it went into receivership and Frank Kenna bought it out of bankruptcy court. Kenna family ran Marlin until Remington bought it about a decade ago.
These war profiteers saw the money to be made by owning gun companies during WWI, but had no interest in sporting rifle manufacture, as there were no huge profits to be made on sporting rifles like there was with government contracts.
  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #28 - Apr 3rd, 2019 at 3:20pm
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A very well reasoned and supported reply, Vall.

But it does bring up a question, at least for me.  It's my understanding that most of the buildings for the main Stevens factory still stand.  If so, does Savage own them and, presumably, the property they stand on?

Bill Lawrence
  
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Re: Got an Education about Stevens Firearms
Reply #29 - Apr 3rd, 2019 at 4:30pm
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It's my understanding that most of the buildings for the main Stevens factory still stand.  If so, does Savage own them and, presumably, the property they stand on?
When Savage took Stevens from a Subsidiary to a Division of Savage ... means J Stevens became Stevens Savage - ergo they own the building along with the outstanding shares they bought.  Bill: Add the equipment and who it was sold to or kept by Savage - I don't have  clue
« Last Edit: Apr 3rd, 2019 at 4:59pm by John Boy »  

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