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"P is for Palmetto Armory

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P is for Palmetto Armory. The Palmetto Armory was a short-lived effort to establish a weapons-manufacturing capability in South Carolina during the secession crisis of 1849-1852. In 1850 the General Assembly created a Board of Ordnance and appropriated $350,000 for weapons and munitions. A consortium of businessmen, headed by William Glaze, received a contract to produce muskets, rifles, pistols, cavalry sabers, and artillery sabers—all of which were to be of current federal pattern and to be manufactured wholly within the state. Despite that requirement, there is convincing evidence that most of the components for the firearms and all of the edged weapons were produced elsewhere and merely assembled in South Carolina. Production ceased in 1853 when the contract was terminated. With no further contracts forthcoming, Glaze converted the Palmetto Armory into the Palmetto Iron Works.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.