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Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company Collection
89.62  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Processing History
  • Related Archival Materials

  • Contributing Institution: Library and Archives at the Autry
    Title: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company Collection
    Creator: Colt, Samuel
    Creator: Colt Manufacturing Company
    Creator: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
    Identifier/Call Number: 89.62
    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 of Material: English , Spanish; Castilian , French .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit https://theautry.org/research-collections/library-and-archives  and fill out the Researcher Application Form.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry Museum of the American West. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Research Services and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry Museum of the American West as the custodian 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 Museum of the American West; 89.62.[item number]; [date].

    Acquisition

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

    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 Museum of the American West 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

    • Colt Industries Museum Collection Archives, 1848-1949, Autry Museum of the American West; 87.118.
    • Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company records, 1810-1980, Connecticut State Library, RG103.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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