The gunsmith Samuel Colt, as the famous saying goes, made strong and weak people equal. Thanks to its development - the legendary revolver, perhaps known to any person. At least for someone who has watched a film about the Wild West at least once in his life.
Samuel Colt was born in 1814 in Hartford. His parents were wealthy people, but the famous gunsmith achieved everything in life himself. Perhaps the only inheritance that he received from his parents is ingenuity and entrepreneurial ability.
Samuel had an interest in arms business from early childhood. Already at the age of fourteen, the teenager made his first pistol. True, the tests of the weapon were unsuccessful - the recoil when fired was too strong, the guy injured his arm and decided to sit down for textbooks on chemistry and mechanics in order to avoid such failures in the future. Experiments with explosives more than once brought trouble to the future famous gunsmith - he was expelled from school for staging fireworks, wanting to entertain friends.
But Colt patented his successful invention on February 25, 1836. After receiving a document from the patent office, Samuel opened an arms factory in the town of Paterson. Colt revolvers quickly gained popularity due to their high quality and affordable price. True, a complaint came from the US Army - too much ammunition consumption due to the high rate of fire.
This became one of the reasons for the bankruptcy of the company in 1842. After 5 years, Samuel Colt resumed production. An excellent advertisement for the Colt revolver was made by Captain Walker, who, with a small detachment of 15 people, entered the battle with 60 Indians and won without losing any of his soldiers.
Samuel Colt has been to Russia several times. In October 1854, he presented to Emperor Nicholas I three revolvers of different models - naval, dragoon and pocket. They are now kept in the Hermitage. And at the Russian arms factories, the production of Colt revolvers was established.
Colt died young, he was only 47 years old. The cause of death is complications caused by gout. He was buried with honors, and the governor of Connecticut attended the ceremony. His fortune was at that time $ 15 million. Of the four Colt children, not a single one survived. Therefore, the plant was inherited by his widow Elizabeth. Surprisingly, she not only did not ruin her husband's enterprise, but was able to keep it no less profitable.
Of the Colt revolvers, the Colt 1849 model, produced in a limited edition for gifts to the most distinguished customers, is of particular value. Among them was Nikolai the First. Any revolver from that series, put up for auction in our time, easily overcomes the $ 1, 000, 000 milestone. At the moment, only 21 revolvers of the Colt 1849 model have survived.
It should be noted that Samuel Colt remained self-taught. Despite the fact that his revolver conquered the whole world, the legendary gunsmith did not have a technical education.