H&R, Model 949, 22LR caliber, 6" barrel
H&R Factory Ruin. Picture taken from Park Avenue, facing North, toward Chandler Street. (1986)
The original H&R firm was in business for over a century from 1871 to 1986.
Frank Wesson started a firearms manufacturing firm in 1859, sharing an early patent with Nathan Harrington. Wesson produced two trigger rifles and spur trigger pistols and pocket rifles/shotguns popular for short length holster models such as the discontinued topper compact pocket shotguns. He started a brief partnership in 1871 with his nephew Gilbert Henderson Harrington, as Wesson & Harrington, until Harrington bought him out in 1874.
In 1875 Harrington and another former Wesson employee, William Augustus Richardson, formed the new Harrington & Richardson Company. In 1888 the firm was incorporated as The Harrington & Richardson Arms Company. Their original capital investment was $75,000. Harrington was president, Richardson was treasurer, and George F. Brooks was secretary. After the deaths of Harrington and Richardson in 1897, Brooks became the manager and the company was held by heirs Edwin C. Harrington (Gilbert Harrington's son) and Mary A. Richardson (William Richardson's sister).
In 1894 the company opened a new facility on Park Avenue in Worcester, Massachusetts. The factory was expanded again after a few years. The firearms produced through this time to 1911 carry extreme value as original antiquities. Original rifles and shotguns from these dates are scarce because of their limited production and discontinued parts.
In 1950 the company opened a new facility on Cockburn street in Drummondville, Québec, Canada.
In the 1960s H&R was acquired by the Kidde corporation and ran by Rowe family. Warranty cards were sent to 'Industrial Rowe', Gardner, Massachusetts. The original H&R company went out of business in 1986, and the building was demolished.
A new company, H&R 1871, Inc., was formed in 1991 and started production of revolvers, single shot rifles and shotguns using original H&R designs. H&R 1871, Inc. assets were subsequently sold to H&R 1871, LLC., a Connecticut LLC owned by Marlin Firearms Company in November 2000. H&R 1871, LLC. did not extend their product warranty to H&R guns made prior to the LLC's takeover.
Marlin, including all its H&R assets, was later acquired by Remington Arms Company in December, 2007. H&R 1871, LLC production was moved to Ilion, N.Y. (the site of Remington's original manufacturing plant) in late 2008, while their corporate offices are co-located with Remington Arms in Madison, N.C. (HR1871.com and Remington.com). Remington, along with its Marlin and H&R subsidiaries, are now part of the Freedom Group.