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Finding Aid to the Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company Collection 89.62
89.62  
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Use
  • Preferred citation
  • Acquisition
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and contents
  • Processing History
  • Related Archival Materials

  • Title: Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 89.62
    Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Autry Library
    Language of Material: English
    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: English, Spanish, French.
    creator: Colt Manufacturing Company
    creator: Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company
    creator: Colt, Samuel, 1814-1862

    Access

    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.

    Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Braun Research Library as the owner 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 National Center; 89.62.[item number]; [date].

    Acquisition

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

    Biographical/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 National Center 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

    Autry National Center; 87.118
    Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company records, 1810-1980, Connecticut State Library, RG103.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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