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Samuel Colt

Colt, Samuel, 1814–62, American inventor, b. Hartford, Conn. In 1835–36, he patented a revolving-breech pistol and founded at Paterson, N.J., the Patent Arms Company, which failed in 1842. An order for 1,000 revolvers from the U.S. government in 1847 in the Mexican War made possible the reestablishment of his business. He later built the Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company factory at Hartford. Colt also invented a submarine battery used in harbor defense and a submarine telegraph cable. His revolving-breech pistol became so popular that the word Colt was sometimes used as a generic term for the revolver.

See biography by W. B. Edwards (1953).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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