Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Workday Wednesday: Starr Swords

  Because my ancestors were by and large farmers, I tend to forget that Connecticut had - and has - a wide variety of industries. In the 19th century, Connecticut was known for the military equipment to the American Army. Starr Swords, of Middletown, was among these suppliers.
   Nathaniel Starr produced his first swords in 1798. A former armorer for the Continental Army, he filled an order for 1000 cavalry sabers. The order was successful. A little over a decade later, he had an order for 10,000 swords. In response, he formally established a factory on Saddle Hill in Middletown. Starr and his factory would average five thousands swords a year for decades before switching to firearms. They ended production in 1845. The equipment was moved to government arsenals.
   Sadly, Starr has been largely forgotten - except by military memorabilia collectors. His swords and sabers are popular collectables. Their values vary widely, and an explanation is far beyond my skill level. However, if you have a Starr in your line, you may have research to do!

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