Samuel Colt was born in Hartford Connecticut on July 19, 1814. His father Christopher Colt was a farmer who later moved his family to Connecticut after becoming a business man. His mother Sarah Colt had died from tuberculosis when Samuel was seven years old. His father had remarried two years later to Olivia Sargent. He had three sisters one that sadly died when she was just a child, the oldest of the three had died of tuberculosis when she was at the age of nineteen and Sarah Ann committed suicide later in her life.
He also had three brothers one James who ended up becoming a lawyer and Christopher became a textile merchant and his brother John who actually had many occupations killed a creditor in the year 1841 in New York City and was found guilty of the murder and ended up committing suicide on the scheduled day of his execution. His mother’s father was an officer in the Continental Army. Samuel’s earliest possession was his grandfather’s flintlock pistol.
When he was eleven years he was sent to a farm in Glastonbury where he had to do chores and attended school.
At school he was shown the “Compendium of Knowledge” which is a scientific encyclopedia that he liked to read rather than his Bible studies. In this encyclopedia he found articles about gunpowder that ended up motivating Samuel throughout his lifetime. He also found that people in this encyclopedia had invented things that people claimed to be impossible which inspired him to do the same. He later heard a couple soldiers talking about the success of the Double-barreled rifle and what seemed to be impossible finding a gun that could shoot five or six rounds without having to reload the gun.
Samuel Colt then decided that he was going to create this impossible gun. In 1829 when Samuel was at the age of fifteen he started working at his father’s textile plant which was in Ware, Massachusetts and there he had access to all the tools, materials and machines that he would need to create this impossible gun. By fallowing the encyclopedia he had built a galvanic cell which is electrochemical cell that develops electrical energy from impulsive redox reaction taking place within the cell.
He showed this chemical reaction on the fourth of July by attempting to blow up a raft but he missed and even though he missed it was still impressive. When Colt was sent to boarding school he entertained his class with his interest in pyrotechnics. On Fourth of July in the year 1830 a fire ended his time at school. After that his father sent him to learn the seaman’s trade in Calcutta, while on the voyage to Calcutta he discovered the clutch that could be used to hold the gun.
Colt had made a wooden model of the” pepperbox revolver” out of scrap wood that he had found on the ship. Colts model differed from the actual gun because it would allow the shooter to rotate the cylinder by cocking the hammer and locking the cylinder in place, rather than rotating the barrels by hand. In 1832 when Colt had returned to the United States from Calcutta he went to work for his father who had funded the production of two guns that are used today called the riffle and the pistol. The very first pistol that was ever invented had exploded when it was fired.
Samuel had learned about nitrous oxide otherwise known as laughing gas from the chemist that had worked in his father’s factory. He had made a portable lab and would end up performing demonstrations of his new discovery of laughing gas across the United States and he even traveled to what is known today as Canada. Colt had saved some money from all the shows that he had done with his nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) he had made preparations to begin building his gun.
The money that he had made from traveling the world with his nitrous oxide he had money to pay a gunsmith to build the first prototype of his gun. He had gotten rid of the idea of the multiple barrel revolvers and had found a new idea for his gun. His new idea was a rotating cylinder which would be in alignment of a barrel coming from his idea of a pawl which is a section of a ratchet which engages the cylinder holding it in place. The idea of being able to shoot six shots without having to re-load the gun a task that Colt had made simple and only required twenty seconds, using a single hot firearm.
He looked for help from his father’s friend named Henry Ellsworth who had loaned him three hundred dollars and gave him the advice to perfect his gun before asking the government for a patent. He ended up hiring a gunsmith to build his gun for him after he designed. They had money problems for years but the design of Colts gun had improved in the year 1835. Samuel Colt applied for a U. S patent which means now the gun was his and nobody could take that away from him. He was granted Patent number one hundred and thirty eight on February 25, 1836.
The Patent included a greater facility in loading and changes in the weight and location of the cylinder giving the shooter a steadier hand. With the help of his wealthy New Jersey relatives he was able to open a Patent Arm Manufacturing Company in 1836 in Pearson NJ. By inventing the Colt revolver it helped people in the way of being able to contribute to the American civil war. After the outbreak of the Mexican war in 1846 Zachary Taylor asked for a supply of Colts revolver, but Colt had sold his last one to a Texas Ranger and he didn’t even have a model.
Colts large contribution was to the use of interchangeable parts, because of the fact that most of the parts of the Colt gun were made by machine. Samuel Colt’s main goal was to update the assembly line to help build more guns and faster than having to make them one by one. Samuel Colt had actually hired professional engravers to engrave special patterns on the guns that he sold to European Kings, Russian Czars and military officials which were among there dignitaries. These firearms were often engraved with gold.
Captain Samuel Walker of the Texas Rangers had bought some of Colts first revolvers, for his men to use in the Seminole war. Walker wanted to order more of the revolvers for the men to use in the Mexican war, so he went to New York City to find Colt. He met Colt in a gunsmith shop on January 4, 1847 and placed an order for one thousand revolvers. Walker had asked for a few changes on the gun that it would have to hold six rounds instead of five and it would have to have the power to kill either man or horse with one shot.
With the demands of Walker he had hired Eli Whitney Blake who was established in the firearm making business to help build his guns, he used his prototype and walkers new improvements to establish the making of a new firearm business. From this Blake had produced one thousand of the new guns which Colt had called the Colt Walker. They soon received and order for one thousand more. His guns were auctioned of by the government then he didn’t even have a model gun. His business began to fail because he didn’t have a way of building more guns. While his business was failing he was interested in perfecting the underwater mine that can be used n harbor defense during the war. He was paid fifty dollars per mile of cable; he then soon began promoting telegraph companies to create a wider market or his cable. The remote-ignition otherwise known as a “submarine battery” had required him to develop a cable that is waterproof that was capable of conveying electricity underwater. After the Colt factory took an up rise he caught the eye of the British Government and was invited to London ad spoke of his new invention among the parliament.
He spoke about how the original British gun was bad and told the ways that it was, and then he started to explain his and told why it was better than the original British gun. In 1847 Colts revolver business began to boom again when the United States Army requested to purchase large amounts of Samuel Colt’s guns to use in the war. It was during the Mexican war that soldiers reported a great liking for Colts gun and had placed an order for one -thousand of them. He then opened a facility in England thus advancing his reputation.
Then he would soon begin to purchase land along the Connecticut River to open yet another facility there, and completed the construction of the new manufacturing plant in Hartford Connecticut in 1855. His private plant would create a wide variety of different guns one of his most famous gun s was the Navy Colt which was especially popular with gunfighters such as Wild Bill Hickok. His plant was considered to be the largest fire arms plant in the world. By using his new ideas in manufacturing such as interchangeable parts, production line and advanced machinery Samuel Colts name became famous worldwide.
His guns were famous for their high quality and dependability. In the late 1850s the tension between the North and the South hit an up rise, which would soon lead to the American Civil War. During the American civil war Colt sold 300,000 revolvers and 100,000 rifles which were purchased by both sides. Colts guns were selling more and more because of the extreme reliability that the gun provided, his business was at its all-time high in the Southern states. On April 12, 1861 when the Civil War was officially declared he turned his business to the Union Army.
The first manufacturing company that Colt had in Hartford CT was making his revolver at was working at its highest capacity with one thousand people working full-time. Samuel Colt was by that time one of the wealthiest men in America. He purchased a mansion in Hartford near his company called Armsmear. The stress of supplying these guns to the civil war had finally gotten to Colt. He was diagnosed with chronic rheumatism, and then Colt had died peacefully at his mansion on January 10, 1862 at the age of forty-seven, leaving behind his million dollar estate.
The company that had made 400,000 revolvers in its owner’s life time was left to Colts wife Elizabeth. Then the colt family soon after Samuel Colt’s death sold the company to a group of investors. In 1867 Elizabeth had an Episcal church that was designed by Edward Tuckerman potter built as a memorial to Samuel Colt. The architecture of the church contains guns and gunsmith tools that are sculpted in marble to remember Samuel Colt’s life as an arms maker. Samuel Colts Company is still in business today and still making guns.
Two of the most popular that they have made is the Colt. 45 pistol which were designed in 1872 and produced in 1873. This is the Colt single action army hand gun with a revolving cylinder holding six rounds. This gun was offered in thirty different calibers and barrel lengths for better accuracy and shooting. The colt 45 was used during American- Indian wars, Mexican revolution and the Spanish-American war. This gun was a very active sidearm in the wars that are listed above. The peacemaker which was introduced in 1873 and no gun has earned a greater fame.
The Colt Peacemaker is a single action revolver that can hold six round and that had also shaped the west. The Peacemaker was designed for the U. S Calvary in 1873. This gun played a very large part in winning the west. This gun was used by people that we know today such as Buffalo Bill, Theodore Roosevelt and Capitan Jack Crawford. The legend of Samuel Colt still continues today. Single Action guns are still being built today but Pacemakers are not being made but still sold as antiques and would sell for hundreds. The Guns that were produced between the years of 1873 and 1941 are the most valuable of ll the guns and could sell for up to ten thousand dollars. People refer to this gun as the “The Best handgun ever made”. In 2006 Samuel Colt was inducted in to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. As of December 5, 2007 the Colt manufacturing company in Hartford Connecticut was named a national historic landmark. Samuel Colt’s contribution to the wars made history for American firearms. Works Cited 1)”Samuel Colt – People of Connecticut. ” Samuel Colt – People of Connecticut. N. p. , n. d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://www. netstate. com/states/peop/people/ct_sc. tm>. 2)”Pioneers of the Machine Shop. ” About. com Inventors. N. P. , n. d. Web. 04 Dec. 2012. <http://inventors. about. com/cs/inventorsalphabet/a/machine_4. htm>. 3)”Samuel Colt. ” History. com. A&E Television Networks, n. d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012. 4)”History. ” History. N. p. , n. d. Web. 05 Dec. 2012 5) “Colt: Legend & Legacy. ” Colt: Legend & Legacy. N. p. , n. d. Web. 08 Dec. 2012 6) Colt: Legend & Legacy. (n. d. ). Colt: Legend & Legacy. Retrieved December 08, 2012, from http://www. simonpure. com/colt. htm Samuel Colt Stephanie Casey
Cite this American Nation History Research Paper Samuel Colt
American Nation History Research Paper Samuel Colt. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/american-nation-history-research-paper-samuel-colt/