Born in New York, George Fairfield moved to western Massachusetts as a young boy. After attending school until the age of 17, he became an apprentice in the machine shop of Lucius and Ira Dimock of Northampton, makers of silk machinery.
Two years later he went to Holyoke Machine Shop. He worked in Ohio and Virginia before moving to Robbins & Lawrence gun manufacturer of Windsor, Vermont.
Fairfield then moved to American Machine Works in Springfield where he gained his first experience as a draughtsman. He designed most of the labor-saving machinery in the government armory in Springfield.
In 1857, Fairfield joined Hartford’s Colt Manufacturing, working on a contract for the Russian government to furnish it with firearm-making machinery.
In 1865, he went to work at Weed Sewing Machine building it up to a great concern. When the sewing machine business faltered, he met with Col. Pope and arranged with him to manufacture the first modern bicycles.
Around 1876, he gave Christopher M. Spencer space at Weed to develop the mass production of screws. Fairfield took an interest in the Hartford Machine Screw Company and under his management it became a success.
Section 11, Lot 15
Hartford Courant. “George A. Fairfield: Death Comes Suddenly to Him at His Home,” November 10, 1908.
Hartford Courant. “George A. Fairfield,” November 10, 1908.
George A. Fairfield, American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 109:18-31