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Samuel Colt
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Samuel Colt

Samuel Colt (July 19, 1814 - January 20, 1862), born in Hartford, Connecticut, was the inventor of the revolver, and founder of the Colt Firearms company.

Colt's father owned a textile mill, where the young Colt learned the principals of machinery. His work in the mill led to being a shipping hand, which then led to the aspiration to go to sea. At the age of 15, Colt left Connecticut and signed on as a sailor bound for India. Common legend holds that it was while observing the operation of the ship's capstan that Colt conceived the idea of revolving pistol.

Colt received a European patent for his revolver in 1835, and an American patent in 1836. Along with his investors, he formed the "Patent Arms Manufacturing Company", which produced the first production model of Colt's revolver on March 5 of the same year. Due to slow acceptance of the revolutionary design, the Patent Arms company went into bankruptcy in 1842, and during the ensuing litigation that lasted through 1846 Samuel Colt produced no further pistols.

With his patent rights resecured, Colt began making firearms again in 1847 at the factory of Eli Whitney, and established his factory in Connecticut in 1848, where the Colt Firearms company remains to this day. Colt's new factory was based upon the American system of manufacturing he observed at Whitney's plant, but Colt advanced this system to create what would be recognized as the first industialized firearm factory in the world.

Besides firearms, other roles Colt played in the development of technology included the first remotely detonated explosive, the first underwater telegraph cable, and the popularization of nitrous oxide as an anesthesia.

A popular saying regarding Colt and his firearms during the Nineteenth century was '\'"God made all Men, Samuel Colt made them equal."''