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1917–1918 The United States Joins the Fight

Samuel Frazier Pryor (1865–1934)

Samuel Frazier Pryor.

In 1913 Samuel (Sam) Frazier Pryor arrived in Greenwich with his family to start a new career managing the Rockefeller family's railroad business and monitoring Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co.; in 1914 he became its General Manager and Vice President.

Remington Rifle Works, Bridgeport, CT, c. 1915. Reproduction of postcard. Courtesy Remington Society of America.

At the time this plant was said to be the largest factory in the world, boasting one million square feet.

The start of the Great War—and the extraordinary battlefield losses of weapons that outstripped the Allies supplies and their ability to produce—brought orders to Remington for rifles and ammunition. A company known for its well-crafted sporting guns quickly changed to a modern manufacturer of military arms with over five plants in five states. In 1914 and 1915 they were awarded eight contracts—three British, three Imperial Russian and two French—for a total of 2,850,000 guns.

By the end of the War, Remington Arms had produced over 50% of all American rifles used by U.S. troops and its affiliate, Union Metallic Cartridge Co., had produced over 50% of all small arms ammunition used by the U.S. and the Allies.

Locally, Sam served as treasurer of the Greenwich Home Gardens Association, the town's major food drive for the War.