Frank Williams writes:
This 1903 ad is for the J. Stevens Arms and Tool Co. featuring the Stevens-Duryea automobile. Stevens Arms was founded by Joshua Stevens in 1864 in Chicopee Falls, MA. The company introduced the .22LR round and designed and manufactured a number of rifle, shotgun, and target pistol designs.
In 1901, Stevens entered into a partnership with J. Frank Duryea to produce the Stevens-Duryea automobile manufactured at a separate facility also in Chicopee Falls, MA. Stevens-Duryea’s first product was a two-cylinder, 5 hp Runabout that sold for $1,200.00 in 1901. No production numbers are known for 1901 but the firm produced 61 cars in 1902 and 483 in 1903.
Stevens-Duryea had labor and financial problems for several years and was purchased by Ray Owen (of Owen Magnetic) in 1923 to produce gas and electric cars under the Rauch and Lang brand. A new model Stevens-Duryea was announced but after only 28 cars were sold in 1924 manufacture continued only on an orders-received basis until 1927 when the company shut down.
Stevens Arms, under the ownership of New England Westinghouse, produced over 770,000 Mosin-Nagant rifles under contract with the Russian government between 1916-1917, of which 225,260 were delivered. The rest were sold to the US Government who supplied them to the American Expeditionary Forces, White Russian forces, Finland, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Stevens was purchased by the Savage Arms Company on 1 April, 1920 with Stevens operating as a subsidiary of Savage but in a semi-independent status until 1942. This merger made Savage the largest producer of arms in the United States at the time. After World War II they were renamed as Stevens Arms and sometimes identified as “Savage-Stevens” after 1948.
In 1960 Savage closed the Stevens Arms facilities in Chicopee Falls and moved Stevens production to various Savage manufacturing sites. In 1991 the Stevens name was discontinued but was resurrected in 1999 as the brand name for Savage’s budget line of rifles and shotguns.