Finding Aid to the Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company Collection 89.62

Finding aid prepared by Holly Rose Larson and Jeffrey Richardson
Autry National Center, Autry Library
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027
(323) 667-2000 ext. 349
rroom@theautry.org
2012 March 7


Title: Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company Collection
Identifier/Call Number: 89.62
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Autry Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 3.4 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1894-1946
Abstract: Samuel Colt patented his revolver with a mechanically rotating cylinder in 1835 and 1836. It revolutionized the firearms industry and was the first truly global manufacturing export in American history. The success of the revolver ultimately allowed Samuel Colt to incorporate Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in 1855. This collection of Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company documents spans 1894-1946 and includes contracts, correspondence, invoices, memos, notes, receipts, stock certificates, and trademark registration certificates regarding manufacture, registration and trade of Colt products.
Language: English, Spanish, French.
creator: Colt Manufacturing Company
creator: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
creator: Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862

Access

Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.

Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Braun Research Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred citation

Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company Collection, Autry National Center; 89.62.[item number]; [date].

Acquisition

Donated by John T. Reynolds and William C. Reynolds on April 7, 1989.

Biographical/Historical note

A revolver with a mechanically rotating cylinder had eluded gunsmiths for centuries. Finally, in 1831, sixteen-year-old Samuel Colt constructed the first rudimentary model of such a revolver. Over the next five years, he worked with several gunsmiths to manufacture prototypes. Colt patented his invention around the world over the course of several months in 1835 and 1836. The Colt revolver was extremely popular, especially on the American frontier, because it was the first practical revolving firearm capable of firing more than one shot without having to be reloaded. It revolutionized the firearms industry and was the first truly global manufacturing export in American history. The success of the revolver ultimately allowed Samuel Colt to incorporate Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company in 1855. The company was a pioneer in the use of research and development. It also benefitted from the use of state-of-the-art machinery and interchangeable parts. Still in existence to this day, Colt’s continues to produce revolvers and a variety of other firearms.

Scope and contents

This collection of Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company documents spans 1894-1946 and includes contracts, correspondence, invoices, memos, notes, receipts, stock certificates, and trademark registration certificates regarding manufacture, registration and trade of Colt products. Some documents pertain to Colt firearms sold to the Republic of Argentina in 1926.

Processing History

Initial inventory, physical processing, and cataloging by Autry National Center staff. Finding aid completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Project Archivist, March 6, 2012, made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Related Archival Materials

Autry National Center; 87.118
Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company records, 1810-1980, Connecticut State Library, RG103.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Advertisements
Blueprints
Certificates
Colt firearms
Colt revolvers
Contracts
Correspondence
Firearms
Firearms -- United States
Firearms industry and trade -- United States
Patents
Revolvers
Weapons