Established March 21, 1978 at Springfield, MA to preserve the history of the first National Armory. Technology from the armory has affected greatly the lives of both soldiers and civilians. Arms from the armory decided battle tactics, and they were essential in all major conflicts in U.S. history. Inventions from the armory have revolutionized the manufacturing of products like keys, shoes, baseball bats, and furniture. The museum housed in the original Main Arsenal contains one of the most extensive firearms collections in the world. The site covers approximately 55 acres and several buildings of the original complex. The main attraction is Arsenal building #13, which was constructed in the 1840's. The weapons collection in the main arsenal was started around 1870 by Col. J.G. Benton as a technical "library" for personnel. It is regarded now as the nation's largest small arms collection, second only to The Pattern Room of the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, UK. The site is designated as both a National Historic Landmark and a National Historic Site.
info from http://www.nps.gov/spar/