James Paris Lee 1831-1904

One of the foremost 19th century arms inventors, Lee was born in Scotland. In 1836 his family came to Canada and settled at Galt. Lee was trained in his father's profession of watchmaker and jeweler, before moving to Wisconsin about 1858, where he began his career as an inventor. His greatest contribution to firearms design was made in 1878 when he completed the development of the "box magazine." Tradition holds that this occurred at Wallaceburg while Lee was visiting his brother John, a local foundry owner. The magazine was first incorporated in his U.S. Navy rifle of 1879. Eight years later his rifle was adopted by the British Army and, with modifications, it became, in 1895, the Lee-Enfield, which remained a standard British weapon for over sixty years.


In Civic Square Park, Highway 40, Wallaceburg

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: Municipality of Chatham-Kent (District)

Municipality: Municipality of Chatham-Kent