A History of The Colt Revolver and the Other Arms Made by Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company from 1836 to 1940 by Charles T. HavenIn the late 1940s the Winchester Repeating Arms Company commissioned Professor Harold F. Williamson to write the official history of the company in celebration of the companys 100th birthday. The result was Winchester: The Gun That Won the West published in 1952. Though out of print the book remains one of the touchstones for those doing research into the running of the company and its many products. It is a business history and very academic. A History of the Colt Revolver and Other Arms Made by Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company from 1836-1940 published twelve years earlier is similar, but different.
As far as I can tell it was not commissioned by the company (though its very apparent the company gave the writers access to their records , but was a labor of love by a couple enthusiasts. The book is large and chocked full of information about the company and its products. The biggest difference between the one and Professor Williamsons work is the writers functioned more as editors and packed the book with a lot of primary sources. I am fortunate enough to have an original 1940 edition and its obvious the book was a high end product. When first printed it had a relatively small run of 4,625 according to Ray Riling in his bibliography: Guns and Shooting. The price on the dust jacket is $10.00 which seems small until you crunch the numbers in one of the many inflation calculators that are on the Internet and the price is approximately $180 (USD) in 2018. This was not a cheap book.
The book is divided into (basically) four parts. Part one is the history of the company up to 1940 and its dense. Some of it isnt the easiest reading since (as noted above) the writers use a lot of primary sources. For example there is one long chapter dedicated to the Colt factory that was established in London in the 1850s. The factory only ran for a few years and then closed, but during its time Samuel Colt wouldnt stop promoting it. This chapter about the factory is seemingly interminable and It skimmed through it. I know that there are those who are fascinated with this failed business experiment (ahead of its time really), but I am not one of them. However this example ,fortunately, is not the norm for most of the book.
Part two covers the many different products manufactured by Colt is excellent. I have an original edition and the quality of photos is outstanding. Though this section does not provide contemporary prices or the many different variants of the models it is still comprehensive and serves as a nice reference.
Part three is the advertising sheets that Colt printed for its models. You can find these on the Internet now and there are many who collect them, but its nice to have the many different sheets in one place. As with the photos the advertising sheets are reprinted using a very high end process and they are very easy to read. Fascinating stuff of one is into collecting firearms (like yours truly).
Part four are the patent applications which consist of long technical descriptions and schematics. This is probably of interest to the more pedantic among us, but they are still useful for reference and historical perspective.
All in all this is a very good book to have in a firearms library. Fortunately it has been reprinted a couple times since 1940 and it can be purchased from various rare bookdealers on the Internet with prices ranging from $600.00 - $25.00 (USD). I got mine at a yard sale. I found it in a box twenty books and I paid $7.00 for the whole box. A very lucky find.
Who is Colt? A History of the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company
Colt's Manufacturing Company
Colt's Manufacturing Company is located in Hartford, Connecticut. Incorporated in , Colt's Manufacturing produced and sold firearms for the law enforcement and sporting industries. Colt had produced firearms for the military since the early years of the republic. This relationship with the U. While on a voyage to Asia , Colt developed his now famous "revolving pistol. The Colt revolver represented greatly increased firepower. While the flintlock pistol was only able to fire one or two shots at a time, Colt's pistol was able to fire up to six shots before reloading.
Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc. Weapons made by Colt have played a part in every war involving the United States since the middle of the 19th century, and the Colt revolver, invented by company founder Samuel Colt, is known widely as "the gun that won the West. Its M16 line of combat weapons is used by military units all over the world. Founded in , Colt's is one of the oldest companies in Connecticut. The company manufactured , guns in , making it the seventh largest gun producer in the United States.
Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co
Samuel Colt , the man who revolutionized firearms manufacturing in the United States, was born in Hartford , Connecticut, on July 19, The son of a textile worker, Colt got himself expelled from Amherst Academy as a young man, so his father sent him on a year-long sailing voyage to study navigation. Upon returning from sea, Samuel Colt filed a patent for his design and, after receiving funding from his family, opened the Patent Arms Company in Paterson, New Jersey. The company originally produced three revolving handguns one made for a belt, one for a holster, and one to fit in a pocket and two rifles, but Colt failed to obtain any government contracts and the business struggled. Drawing of an early Colt pistol, ca. The revolver allowed soldiers fighting on the plains to fire six shots in rapid succession without reloading. The army soon ordered 1, weapons for use in the war begun with Mexico.
By , Colt was back in Hartford with a new factory along the banks of the Connecticut River in an area known as the South Meadows. While this finding aid is not intended to be an exhaustive checklist, it should provide you with an overview of the wide variety of such materials available. Published Resources Selected items of interest are listed below. For additional titles, researchers should check the State Library Primo catalog. C8 C64 ]. File: Colt]. Edwards, William B.
Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains , pages of information and , images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them. It is best known for the engineering, production, and marketing of dozens of different firearms over the later half of the 19th and the 20th century. It has made many civilian and military designs used in the United States, as well was many other countries. John Browning also worked for Colt for a time, and came up with now ubiquitous parallel slide type of design for a pistol, which debuted on the "Colt M" pistol, leading to numerous pistol designs including the famous "Colt M" pistol.