Samuel Colt

Richard Stacy
                                                                      Samuel Colt
Samuel Colt (July 19, 1814 – January 10, 1862) was an American inventor and industrialist. He was the founder of Colt Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company (now known as Colt Manufacturing Company) and is widely credited with popularizing the revolver. Colt’s innovative contributions to the weapons industry have been described by arms historian James E. Serven as “events which shaped the destiny of American Firearms.”    
Colt was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of a textile manufacturer, at age fourteen Colt went to work at his Father’s textile mill. Endowed with curiosity he would disassemble the machinery, and firearms to see how they functioned. Two years later he enrolled at Amherst Academy to study navigation; however, his unruly behavior got him expelled. In 1830, at age sixteen, his Father made arrangements for him to sign on as a ship’s hand on a voyage to India.
While aboard the ship, Colt became fascinated by the ship’s wheel how the spindles lined up with the shaft and the wheel locked in place with a clutch. This spawned the idea for the revolving cylinder firearm. During his voyage Colt carved from a piece of wood a replica of the pepper box revolver that consisted of a revolving mechanism with six barrels.
When Colt returned to the United States in 1832 his Father agreed to finance the production of two guns, a rifle and a pistol. He then hired inexpensive tradesmen which led to failure of the firearms. Later, after learning about nitrous oxide (laughing gas) from a chemist at the textile mill, Colt travelled across North America and Canada using the title Dr. Coult, educating and entertaining crowds on the uses of nitrous oxide. He used the profits from the sales to perfect the mechanisms of the revolver and hired gunsmiths to build a prototype. He then received a...