Improvement to Fire-Arms
Patented February 25, 1836
Although Samuel Colt is known for his innovative revolver, his technological
contributions provided the foundation for
large-scale growth of the firearms industry.
The U.S. Army ordered one thousand revolvers after the pistol was used
successfully during the Mexican-American War. Colt
established the Colt Patent Arms Company to accommodate the mass
production of gun parts using steam-powered, belt-driven
machines. Stationed along a chorus line of machines, each person worked
on a single part. All components produced by the
machines were then assembled elsewhere in the factory. His method saved
time and money while creating guns with
interchangeable parts. Historians regard Colt's Hartford gun factory as
a prototype for America’s Industrial Revolution.
The firearms company Colt founded was later integrated into Colt
Industries, a large multinational conglomerate that still
manufactures weapons in its Hartford armory.
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Colt began developing pistols at a young
age. In his revolver design, bullets were loaded
into the chambers of a cylinder that was rotated by a pawl and locked
into place when the hammer was cocked. Only in his
teens, Colt began manufacturing and patenting the first repeating
pistol, dubbed the Colt revolver.