Horace Smith and Daniel Baird (D.B.) Wesson

Legacy: The Philanthropy of Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson

June 11, 2019–June 7, 2020 Wood Museum of Springfield History

Legacy: The Philanthropy of Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson examines the beneficence of the Smith & Wesson founders Horace Smith and Daniel Baird (D.B.) Wesson. The two men formed the Smith & Wesson Company in Springfield in November 1856 in rented space on Market Street. Each brought to the partnership expertise in gunsmithing learned through youthful apprenticeships. They also brought a commitment to charitable giving. Each took personal interest in their employees and other individuals in the city, and they benefited their community by leaving a legacy of significant contributions to charitable organizations, education, and health care.

Portraits of the founders (Wesson’s is on loan from Smith & Wesson) feature prominently in this exhibit, which also includes an original patent book donated by Roy Jinks; several important firearms; and a selection of museum artifacts associated with the founders’ charitable contributions. Located in the Wood Museum’s Smith & Wesson Gallery of Firearms History, in a case funded by the Smith & Wesson Collectors Association.