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. The Colt Industries Museum Collection records span
from 1848-1949 and include blueprints, catalogs, price lists, and patents for Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
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.
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