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American Firearms and Their Makers: A Research Guide

H&R Arms, High Standard, Ithaca

Revolver Girl
Revolver Girl. c1912. Library of Congress Prints and Photograph Division

The original H&R firm was in business from 1871 to 1986. Gilbert H. Harrington invented the top-breaking, shell-ejecting revolver that was durable, accurate, and easy to load and unload. Harrington and his partner, William Augustus Richardson, formed the new Harrington & Richardson Company to make affordable, practical guns. The original H&R company went out of business in 1986, and, several years later, in 1991, H&R 1871, Inc., was formed to produce firearms using the original H&R designs. Its assets were subsequently sold in 2000 to H&R 1871, LLC., a Connecticut LLC owned by Marlin Firearms Company.

Founded in Connecticut in 1926, High Standard Firearms was a supplier to numerous firearms companies in the Connecticut Valley. After it purchased the Hartford Arms and Equipment Company, it began making .22 caliber pistols. The variant spelling, Hi-Standard, appears on many of its pistols. During World War II, the company supplied .22 caliber pistols to the armed forces for pistol training and familiarization. At the request of Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the company also developed a silent, flashless pistol for use by OSS agents behind enemy lines. The company moved to Texas in 1993 and ceased business in 2018.

When Lewis Steven Smith connected with William Henry Baker, who had designed and patented several improvements to the working of guns, they began manufacturing them in 1863. In 1877 Lewis Smith's son, Leroy, went into business with Baker, forming the W.H. Baker Company, which they moved to Syracuse, where they manufactured double- and triple-barreled shotguns. In 1883 they established the Ithaca Gun Company, moving the business to Ithaca, where they acquired Water Power Lot #6 on Fall Creek for their manufacturing plant. The company is now located in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to online resources are included when available.

H & R Arms Company

High Standard

Ithaca Gun Company