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Sam & Elizabeth Colt

Sam ColtBorn in Hartford 1814, Samuel Colt lived the life of a legend. With his first patent in 1836, he founded a company that played a leading role in the Industrial Revolution.

The Coltsville factory was constructed in 1847 and was expanded throughout the 19th century. Those expansions included the construction, in 1855, of the armory's distinctive blue onion dome, a Hartford landmark. In order to attract laborers, Colt created a self-contained community surrounding the factory that included housing, gardens and entertainment halls as well as a library, school, church and social hall. Two years after Samuel's death in 1862, the Colt factory was decimated by fire. However, his wife Elizabeth quickly rebuilt the factory and became one of the most fascinating examples of early American female industrialists in the process.

Elizabeth ColtElizabeth Colt's Trailblazing Path

Elizabeth led the company through its most prosperous years at a time when men dominated the industrial world. In fact, Colt's most recognized accomplishment, the peacemaker, was not manufactured until after his death. Elizabeth Colt's significant contributions to American industrialism make Coltsville unique from other historical sites, giving it appeal beyond the manufacture of munitions. Elizabeth Colt gives the site a central story, broad utility, a greater audience and a compelling reason to visit.

The Colt Revolver

Coltsville is most known as the birthplace of a concept that transformed the firearms from a single shot into a multiple shot device and changed the course of American economic and military history. The Colt revolver was a revolutionary weapon that changed military tactics and eventually made all previous weapons obsolete. Early industrial leaders like Henry Ford came to Coltsville to learn the innovative manufacturing techniques and equipment being developed in the area.

The Colt Legacy

The Colt legacy is about much more than firearms. It's about industrial innovation and the development of technology and manufacturing systems that would change the way of life in the United States. The same spirit of innovation today powers all of industry and can be seen in such sectors as information technology, medical research, biotechnology, defense technology, public relations, and many others.

Today, the Colt name is known throughout the world. Colt firearms and other products have been used in every major conflict - from the U.S-Mexican War to the present. Many structures Samuel constructed still exist today and are part of the industrial National Register District that was listed in 1966.

While Sam and Elizabeth Colt have both long since died, their vision for a dynamic community within Coltsville is ready to live again. In December of 2014, legislation was passed that authorized the creation of Coltsville National Historic Park. Colt park incorporates much of this landmark area and allows for the Colt legacy to live on.

For more information about Samuel Colt and his legacy, please read:

Sam and Elizabeth Colt