"Gentlemen: I have given my rifle to my grandson, as I have nearly reached the three score and ten, and find eye-sight failing... I have used and owned your rifles for nearly 30 years and have never known a failure. Were I to resurrect, I should look for a Stevens the first thing. Yours truly, S.L. Warner" - letter from a Stevens customer
Founder Joshua Stevens began work as a machinist in 1834, trained under famed gunmaker Cyrus B. Allen, and later accepted employment with Samuel Colt. By 1864 Stevens, at age 50 now a master machinist, gunmaker and toolmaker, founded the company which bears his name, with little more than a horse, a wagon, an old gristmill and about 20 employees. By 1900 he had the largest sporting arms manufacturing plant in the world, with a 275,000 square foot shop and almost 1,000 employees.