History vs. Innovation vs ???
"As fine a handgun as Ruger makes they just don't have the history that Colt, Smith and Wesson, or even High Stander has."
Really I think history is no more than a reference to time or a length of time.
When I think about the impact a weapon has made in the industry the innovative impression that has been made really has more significance than length of manufacture. Whether it be Colt, S/W, Browning, Hi-Standard or Ruger, Winchester Remington I would hard tasked to pick one that made a bigger mark on the industry than another. What about Barrett definitely not a "flash in the pan". The list can go on and on. Cooper, or Kimber Springfield etc. and Glock definitely with the striker firing system.
I once read Freedom Arms used Ruger frames initially, don't know if that is still the case.
Who or which has the "greater history" doesn't really ask or answer any question about much of anything, the Kentucky long rifle has quite a history.
Thinking back some of those bamboo cannons the Chinese made about the time gunpowder was invented has quite a lengthy history.