History of Winchester
Around 1886, Oliver F. Winchester acquired the controlling of stock of Volcanic Repeating Arms from Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson for outstanding debts owed to him. The company was restructured under the name New Haven Arms Company and enjoyed unequaled success. In 1887, the company was reorganized and incorporated under still another new name as Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Now, out of family control and strained by over-diversification and bad management, it began to flounder. By 1931 the Winchester Repeating Arms Company was bankrupt.
Franklin M. Olin, founder of an old arch rival the Olin Company, felt that the Winchester Company could become an asset to their already successful Western Cartridge Company. Winchester was purchased and under the determined leadership of John M. Olin, the name and reputation of this American icon was saved from oblivion.
Since that time, Winchester has gone through many difficulties in manufacturing, triggered by the war effort, depression, market trends, and quality control problems. The company has changed hands and has been restructured, but through it all, the spirit of the name has somehow survived.
The Winchester name was, and still is, associated with excellence in the industry. The firearms they have produced seem to be among the most desirable and sought after by collectors, which attests to the quality that has long been expected and provided by Winchester Repeating Arms.