Eli Whitney Armory, West of Whitney Avenue, Armory Street, Hamden, New Haven County, CT
Armory Street Vicinity, Hamden, CT
Find maps of Hamden, CT
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER CT-2
Significance: Location of the musket factory of Eli Whitney, an important contributor to the development of the American System of Manufacturing. It was here that Whitney attempted a system of production that combined both the functional division of labor and the use of power-driven machinery.
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
1. View from East Rock
2. West side of Mill River
3. View from northwest
4. Excavation of the 1798 raceway
5. Excavation of the 1860 armory building
6. South View of Whitneyville in Hamden, 1836 by John Warner Barber Photocopied from John Warner Barber, Connecticut Historical Collections (New Haven, 1856), p. 220. 'The engraving... shows the appearance of the little village of Whitneyville, as seen from a few rods south, on the New Haven road.' (Barber, p. 219). The right fork, with Ithiel Town's truss, carries the New Haven & Hartford Turnpike, the left the Cheshire Turnpike. The factory is on the right, the village on the left.
8. Town of Hamden, 1852. Photocopied from a photostatic detail in the collection of the Hamden Historical Society, Hamden, Connecticut. From R. Whiteford, 'Map of the County of New Haven, Connecticut' (New Haven, 1852). Shown are 'Witney's [sic] Armory,' 'Whitney's Marine Clock F[actory],' and 'Whitney' s Pistol F[actory].'
9. Town of Hamden, 1868 Map detail photocopied from F. W. Beers, et al., Atlas of New Haven County, Connecticut (New York, 1868), p. 25. Shows the newly created Lake Whitney and, one quarter mile south of the armory, a 'Rifle Factory.'
10. Whitney Arms Company, Van Slyck steel engraving, 1880 Photocopied from Charles B. Norton, American Inventions and Improvements in Breech-Loading Small Arms (Springfield, Mass., 1880), p. 154 The engraving does not seem to have been included in the earlier 1872 edition. This is probably the single most widely copied view of the Whitney Arms Company works, and it is without doubt the most accurate. Compare with site plan, photo CT-2-13.
11. Whitney's Armory, Near New Haven, Ct., 1842 Photocopied from a woodcut in Henry Howe, Memoirs of the Most Eminent American Mechanics (New York, 1842), p. 124. The best early view of the filing shop and its raceway. See footnote 58.
12. Mill River and Lake Whitney Dam, c.1900 Photocopied from a print from a glass negative, NHCHSL.
13. Site plan, 1900 Photocopied from a blueprint, 'Appraisal of Water Power and Real Estate at Whitneyville, 1900,' New Haven Water Company, 100 Crown Street, New Haven, Connecticut. Shows the Whitney Arms Company as it existed for much of the period 1860-1904. Compare with photo CT-2-10.
14. Site plan, 1915, top half
15. Site plan, 1915, bottom half With CT-2-14, photocopied from an ozalid print, 'Map of Plant of Sentinel Manufacturing Co.,' Folio 2, EWC. The Sentinel Manufacturing Co. produced gas stoves. They leased the Whitney Armory buildings about 1915.
16. Forge building and fuel storage shed from the southwest, c.1918 Photocopied from a photograph in the collection of William F. Applegate, 43 Grandview Avenue, Wallingford, Connecticut.
17. Forge building, fuel storage shed, and foundry, 1906 Photocopied from a photograph by Thomas S. Bronson, 'Group at Whitney Factory, 5 November 1906,' NHCHSL. The most reliable view of the fuel storage sheds and foundry, together with a view of the forge building.
18. View from East Rock, c. 1920 Photocopied from a print from glass negative no. 6476 by Thomas S. Bronson, NHCHSL. An aerial view of the armory site evidently after the row of stone houses for married employees had been torn down.
19. The 1860 armory building, c.1930 Photocopied from a film negative, NHCHSL. A view from the southwest.
20. Mill River and rear of the 1860 armory building, c. 1930. Photocopied from a print of a film negative, NHCHSL. View from the south.
21. General view from the southwest, c.1862 Photocopied from an advertisement, 'Whitney's Improved Fire-Arms,' Dana Scrapbook v. 61, p. 68, NHCHSL.
22. Lake Whitney Dam, 1895 Photocopied from an original photograph, NHCHSL. Shows the rear of the dam building, and on Lake Whitney, Day's Store and Boathouse, and an ice house and steam-powered elevators.
23. Site plan, 1931 Photocopied from Sanborn Map Company, Insurance Maps of New Haven, v. 5, map no. 540, 1924 updated to 1931.
24. Site plan, 1924 Photocopied from Sanborn Map Company, Insurance Maps of New Haven, v. 5, map no. 540, 1924
25. Site plan by New Haven Water Company, c.1900 Photocopied from property map, Mill River Division, Sheet 51, Map Collection, Armory Street Filtration Plant, New Haven Water Company, Hamden, Connecticut.
26. Site plan of Lake Whitney; detail of original engineering drawing, 1856 Photocopied from map drawn and surveyed by Nelson J. Welton, C.E., 'Contemplated Waterworks at Whitneyville, 1856,' unaccessioned New Haven Water Company Papers, collection of NHCHSL. Shows 'Whitney's Upper Armory,' 'Clock Shop,' 'E. Whitney's Lower Armory.'
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