As a young boy in Hartford, Samuel helped his father in his dye and bleaching business, while his father paid his way to a very expensive privte school called Amherst, lasting a year at best before quiting. At the age of 16 his father sent him away to serve as a seaman, on the sailing ship Corvo. While on board he observed the ratching mechanism of the ships capstan and during off duty hours perfected a principle by which mutiple chambers could be ratcheted under the hammer for firing, and actually carved a working wooden model. He had ideas to manufacture this pistol, but lacked funds to do anything about it. On his return to the United States he began by producing wooden toys. To suplement this income he assumed the alis of Dr. Coult and went on a traveling tour to demonstrate Nitrous Oxide, visiting India and London. By 1836 Samuel Colt had patents in England, France, and the United States for his revolving pistol. It was about this same time that he built his first production plant in Patterson, New Jersey, with the help of his uncle, and making his cousin Dudley Selden, Vice-President of the company. Colt tried wineing and dinning the Washington set, to get production contracts, he ultimately got the Army and Navy to test his revolver but both turned him down. Trying a different tack he contacted a friend who at the time was serveing under General Harnly in Florida against the Seminoles. He succeeded in selling just over 50 revolvers. However the Army brass was still not convinced, and his company was on the way out. In 1841 the company failed and the company assets,tools, and machinery were sold for $6,500. Six years went by before one Captain Samuel Walker, having heard of the Florida revolvers, went to Samuel Colt to convince him to make a larger more powerful revolver. What they finally came up with was one of the biggest revolvers made, it was .44 caliber, with a nine inch barrel and weighed 4 pounds 9 ounces. Walker wanted Colt to produce a 1,000 of these revolvers, but he had no manufacturing plant. At this time he contracted one Eli Whitney of Whitneyville, Conn., Colt sold these revolvers and neglected to pay Eli Whitney his fair share, but instead, using the money to build a new plant in Hartford, Conn. By 1852 the company was doing so well that a second factory was built in London, England thus establishing himself as an international arms manufacturer. The London factory wasn't the booming success that he had hoped but did sell 50,000 revolvers by 1856, at which time it was closed. By 1860 his health was failing but business was booming as both the North and South were buying his pistols before the war. Once war was officially declare he continued to sell revolvers only to the North and by 1862 he died a wealthy man of 47, leaving his estate to his widow and family, having manufactured 400,000 revolvers in his lifetime. In 1864 the factory and office of the company burned to the ground. This seriously hurt the company as well as the Union gun supply. Three years later in 1867 it was rebuilt and began to produce Dr. R. J. Gatlings machine gun. In 1872 Colt produced their most famous pistol of all the Colt Single Action Army, this is the one familure to us all as the shootin' iron of the Ol' West. The company still continues today supplying the shooting market with many firearms, includeing the M-16 for the military. It's sad to note that Samuel Colt didn't live long enough to see his pistols fire a metalic cartridge.