It did not take long for the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to become New Haven's largest employer. Additions were made to the plant, and by 1895, the company employed 1,500 workers in a 400,000 square foot factory.

  Postcard photo of Winchester plant    

By 1914, with the onset of World War I in Europe and while the United States was officially neutral, the company received over $16 million in military orders from Britain, Belgium and France; by the end of 1915, orders increased to nearly $50 million. Between 1914 and 1917, Winchester grew from 5,000 to 17,000 employees.

Photo of Peter and Rose McDermott in front of their tavern, ca. 1919