ARSENAL, an establishment for the construction, repair, receipt, storage and issue of warlike stores; details as to matériel will be found under Ammunition, Ordnance, etc. The word "arsenal" appears in various forms in Romanic languages (from which it has been adopted into Teutonic), i.e. Italian arzanale, Spanish arsenal, etc.; Italian also has arzana and darsena, and Spanish a longer form atarazanal. The word is of Arabic origin, being a corruption of daraṣ-ṣina'ah, house of trade or manufacture, dar, house, al, the, and ṣina'ah, trade, manufacture, ṣana'a, to make. Such guesses as arx navalis, naval citadel, arx senatus (i.e. of Venice, etc.), are now entirely rejected.
A first-class arsenal, which can renew the matériel and equipment of a large army, embraces a gun factory, carriage factory, laboratory and small-arms ammunition factory, small-arms factory, harness, saddlery and tent factories, and a powder factory; in addition it must possess great store-houses. In a second-class arsenal the factories would be replaced by workshops. The situation of an arsenal should be governed by strategical considerations. If of the first class, it should be situated at the base of operations and supply, secure from attack, not too near a frontier, and placed so as to draw in readily the resources of the country. The importance of a large arsenal is such that its defences would be on the scale of those of a large fortress. The usual subdivision of branches in a great arsenal is into A, Storekeeping; B, Construction; C, Administration. Under A we should have the following departments and stores: - Departments of issue and receipt, pattern room, armoury department, ordnance or park, harness, saddlery and accoutrements, camp equipment, tools and instruments, engineer store, magazines, raw material store, timber yard, breaking-up store, unserviceable store. Under B - Gun factory, carriage factory, laboratory, small-arms factory, harness and tent factory, powder factory, etc. In a second-class arsenal there would be workshops instead of these factories. C - Under the head of administration would be classed the chief director of the arsenal, officials military and civil, non-commissioned officers and military artificers, civilian foremen, workmen and labourers, with the clerks and writers necessary for the office work of the establishments. In the manufacturing branches are required skill, and efficient and economical work, both executive and administrative; in the storekeeping part, good arrangement, great care, thorough knowledge of all warlike stores, both in their active and passive state, and scrupulous exactness in the custody, issue and receipt of stores. For fuller details the reader is referred to papers by Sir E. Collen, R.A., in vol. viii., and Lieut. C.E. Grover, R.E., in vol. vi. Proceedings of R. Artillery Institution. In England the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, manufactures and stores the requirements of the army and navy (see Woolwich).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)