Samuel Colt

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Related to Samuel Colt: John Moses Browning, Mikhail Kalashnikov
Samuel Colt
BirthplaceHartford, Connecticut, United States
Inventor, industrialist, businessman

Colt, Samuel,

1814–62, American inventor, b. Hartford, Conn. In 1835–36, he patented a revolving-breech pistol and founded at Paterson, N.J., the Patent Arms Company, which failed in 1842. An order for 1,000 revolvers from the U.S. government in 1847 in the Mexican War made possible the reestablishment of his business. He later built the Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company factory at Hartford. Colt also invented a submarine battery used in harbor defense and a submarine telegraph cable. His revolving-breech pistol became so popular that the word Colt was sometimes used as a generic term for the revolver.


See biography by W. B. Edwards (1953).

Colt, Samuel


Born July 19, 1814, in Hartford, Conn.; died there Jan. 10, 1862. American gunsmith.

Colt founded a plant and a company for the production of small arms. Colt’s first revolver, invented in 1835, was an improved version of the previous systems of cylinder arms and revolvers. Colt introduced a system for turning the cylinder and locking it for firing. Subsequently Colt’s firm developed various models of small arms, such as an automatic pistol (1911) and a revolver (1917).


“Samuel’ Kol’t.” Artilleriiskii zhurnal, 1868, no. 1.

Colt, Samuel

(1814–62) inventor, manufacturer; born in Hartford, Conn. An indifferent student, he worked in his father's dye and bleaching establishment (1824–27, 1831–32) and was sent away to sea (1830–31). While at sea, he made a wooden model of an automatically revolving breech pistol and on returning to the U.S.A. he made metal models. To support his work he went on a tour as "Dr. Coult," lecturing on the marvels of chemistry. By 1836 he had patents on his pistol in England, France, and the U.S.A. and began to manufacture them in Paterson, N.J. His factory was one of the most innovative in its use of mass-production technique, and the Colt "six shooter" caught on with individuals—especially in the American West—but not with the U.S. Army. The company failed in 1842. Colt turned his attention to developing underwater mines and telegraph cable. When the Mexican War began (1846), the army placed an order for 1,000 revolvers; he had to subcontract the work to Eli Whitney's factory (in Whitneyville, Conn.) but by 1848 he was making the revolver in his own grand factory in Hartford, Conn. He directed Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company until his death.
References in periodicals archive ?
The nomination for the Coltsville Historic District expands upon the existing Samuel Colt Home (Armsmear) National Historic Landmark, which was designated in 1966.
It's difficult to fathom, but the company Samuel Colt founded was--literally--on the verge of going the way of the passenger pigeon.
Samuel Colt and others drove the later years of the industrial revolution and set the stage for the developments that would define the American internecine conflict as the first of the modern wars.
WHEN ONE THINKS OF GREAT FIREARMS INVENTORS, the names that most often turn up are John Browning, Samuel Colt and the brothers Mauser.
It goes thusly: During Britain's Great International Exposition of the Works of Industry of all Nations in 1851, Samuel Colt was invited to give a lecture to the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Philip Webley had been most impressed by the manufacturing genius of Samuel Colt, and his concept of assembling revolvers from interchangeable parts.
Although revolving arms go back centuries, the first practical repeating handgun was introduced by Samuel Colt in 1837.
For 16 year-old Samuel Colt, inspiration came in a very strange form.