John Mahlon Marlin of Connecticut became an apprentice machinist with the American Machine Works on his 18th birthday, May 6th 1854. He was employed as an apprentice til he turned 21 and after that he was considered a workmen. It is not clear as to how long he stayed employed with the American Machine Works but at some point in time after that he worked as a machinist and tool maker with the Colt factory in Hartford, CT prior to 1863. It was then in 1863 that John moved to New Haven, CT and became known as a pistol maker of small single shot pistols for ladies purses. He quickly recognized the limited potential for his single shot derringers and included single action revolvers to his production in 1870. By this time, John was established as a well known craftsman and gun maker but it was not until 1875 that his company started producing rifles. The Ballard single shot rifle was the first long gun to come on the scene. During this time period, John was experimenting with a number of prototype repeating rifles but they did not prove successful until he designed the lever action repeater known as the model 1881. The model 1881 was the first stepping stone for John but it had its problems as well. The model 1889 lever action rifle had corrected these weaknesses and established the lever action rifle as one of John Marlins most well known products for the next 100 plus years. The company has produced a huge variety of rifles and shotguns over the years but they have also involved in fulfilling many government contracts and manufacturing of non firearm related products for the commercial industry. Today, Marlin is known as being one of the world's major firearms manufacturing companies and continues to produce quality made firearms for the shooting industry.
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