Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufactoring Co.


FirmennameColt's Patent Fire Arms Manufactoring Co.
OrtssitzHartford (Conn.)
Art des UnternehmensWaffen- und Maschinenfabrik
AnmerkungenAuch: "Colts Arms & Co.". VerkaufsbĂŒro fĂŒr Baxter-Dampfmaschinen um 1876: W. D. Russell, PrĂ€sident der "Baxter Steam Engine Company", 18 Park Place, New York [Baxter Engines at the Centennial Exhibition (1876)].
Quellenangaben[Manufacturer and Builder (1871) 232] [Matschoß: Entw Dampfmaschine (1908) II, 230] [Bishop: History of American manufacturers 3 (1868) 407]


Zeit Ereignis
19.07.1814 Geburt von Samuel Colt in Hartford (Conn.)
1835 Erstes Patent fĂŒr einen Revolver
1836 Es gelingt Colt, das Vertrauen von wenigen Kapitalisten zu erringen und eine Fabrik in Paterson, New Jersey, von einer Gesellschaft mit einem Kapital von $300.000 zu erwerben.
1836 GrĂŒndung der "Patent Arms Manufacturing Company" in Paterson (N.J.) mit einem vorgeschlagenen Kapital von $300.000, von dem die HĂ€lfte eingezahlt wird.
02.1836 Samuel Colt erhÀlt ein Patent auf seinen Revolver
1842 Die Gesellschaft in Paterson erlischt, nachdem ihr Kapital ohne nutzbare Ergebnisse ausgegeben worden war.
1842 Die "Patent Arms Manufacturing Company" in Paterson (N.J.) scheitert und wird aufgelöst, weil sich die Regierung mit der Ermutigung zurĂŒckhielt.
1847 Mit dem Ausbruch des Mexikanischen Kriegs will General Taylor Pistolen-Lieferungen von Colt. Colt entwickelt ein neues Modell, das viele Verbesserungen enthĂ€lt und erhĂ€lt einen Auftrag von 1.000 StĂŒck fĂŒr $28.000, die er in einer zu diesem Zweck gepachteten Waffenfabrik in Whitneyville fertigt.
1848 Colt verlegt die Fertigung von Whitneyville nach Hartford auf die GrĂŒndstĂŒcke der spĂ€teren BĂŒros der "Hartford Fire Insurance". - Bald danach zieht er in besser geeignete RĂ€umlichkeiten in die Mechanic Street.
1852 Colt kauft ein großes GelĂ€nde in den South Meadows innerhalb der Stadtgrenzen, das er mit einem Deich umschließt.
1852 Francis A. Pratt (spÀter: "Pratt & Whitney") kommt nach Hartford, um bei Colt als Mitarbeiter von Samuel H. Bachelor (einer der Unterdirektoren) zu arbeiten.
1855 Die neue Waffenfabrik in den South Meadows ist bezugsfertig. Sie besteht aus zwei parallelen, 500 Fuß langen, viergeschossigen GebĂ€uden, die in der Mitte durch ein 500 Fuß langes GebĂ€ude verbunden sind, so daß ein großes "H" entsteht.
1856 Eintragung der Firma. Elisha K. Root wird zum PrÀsidenten gewÀhlt.
1859 Es werden 37.616 Revolver hergestellt
1861 Die neue Waffenfabrik wird seit 1855 fast verdoppelt. Damit werden auch Arbeiterwohnungen, ein Gemeinschaftshaus und eine Bibliothek gebaut.
1862 Es werden 111.616 Revolver hergestellt
10.01.1862 Tod von Col. Colt
1863 Es werden 136.579 Revolver hergestellt
05.02.1864 Die Fabrik wird durch Feuer zerstört, verbunden mit einem Verlust von 800.000 an Maschinen und 400.000 LagerbestÀnden, neben wertvollen Modellen und Zeichnungen.
05.07.1865 Elisha K. Root gibt sein Amt als PrÀsident an Richard W. H. Jarvis ab
27.10.1868 Patenterteilung fĂŒr die "Baxter" engine, eine Kleindampfmaschine mit Röhrenkessel (Ă€ußerlich wie ein Waschkessel) mit senkrechter Dampfmaschine, dessen Zylinder in den Dampfraum des Kessels reicht. Gebaut von 2 PS bis 10 PS (letztere: 4,5x4,5' GrundflĂ€che und 9' Höhe, Gewicht: ca. 2150 kg).
01.04.1888 Auf General William B. Franklin folgt Caldwell H. Colt als VzieprĂ€sident und John H. Hall als HauptgeschĂ€ftsfĂŒhrer.


Produkt ab Bem. bis Bem. Kommentar
Faustfeuerwaffen         ca. 1870er Jahre
Kleindampfmaschinen Bauart "Baxter" 1870 [Manufacturer and Builder (1871) 232] 1876 [Centennial Exhibiton (1876)] Auch als Exponat im Art and Ind. Building, Washington DC: Kessel Àhnlich Waschkessel; der Zylinder der senkrechten Maschine taucht in den Dampfraum
Rechenmaschinen 1925 vorher (ab 1913) bei White Adding Mach. 1925 [Martin: Rechenmaschinen (1925) I 300] "Federal", Produktion fĂŒr die Patentinhaberin, "Federal Adding Machines Co., New York"

Maschinelle Ausstattung

Zeit Objekt Anz. Betriebsteil Hersteller Kennwert Wert [...] Beschreibung Verwendung
1868 Dampfmaschinen 5   Woodruff & Beach Iron Works Leistung 700 PS 1x aus Providence, 4x von Woodruff & Beach  


Zeit gesamt Arbeiter Angest. Lehrl. Kommentar
1889 500       Lohnsumme: $330.000 im Jahr


TEXTA gentleman intimately conversant with the history of the founder of this establishment, and formerly a member of Congress from Connecticut, has asserted that Samuel Colt, at the age of fifteen, while upon a voyage which he made as a runaway sailor boy to Calcutta, first conceived and wrought out "with a chisel on a spun-yarn, with a common jack knife and a little iron rod, the rude model in a piece of white pine, of that firearm, which now, from the shores of the Pacific to the Japan seas, over the whole civilized world itself, reports the triumph of his skill and blases his fame." This early model is still carefully preserved in the collection of Col. Colt's curiosities, and is certainly a remarkable exemplification at what an early age inventive genius sometimes manifests itself. His original conception, however, was very different from the latest "Colt's Improved." It was the combination of a number of long barrels to rotate upon a spindle by the act of cocking the lock, in the same manner that they have since been made by others, and it was not until he perceived the objections to which they are liable, arising from weight and bulk, that in his study to obviate them, the idea of a single barrel and a chambered breech suggested itself to him. In order to obtain the necessary means to prosecute his experiments and manufacture specimen arms, he traveled the United States and the Canadas as a public lecturer on chemistry, and though only a youth of not more than seventeen or eighteen years of age, he administered, it is said, more laughing gas to more men, women, and children, than any other lecturer since chemistry was first known as a science. In 1835, when not more than twenty-one, he received from the United States Government his first Patent for a Repeating or Revolving Firearm. In the following year he succeeded in engendering sufficient confidence in the minds of a few capitalists to procure the establishment at Paterson, New Jersey, of a company with a capital of three hundred thousand dollars, for the manufacture of the weapon which he had invented. This Company continued in existence until 1842, when they were forced to discontinue operations, after expending the original capital without beneficial results, except those gained in further simplifying the mechanism of the arms and perfecting the machinery required for their manufacture. From the failure of the Paterson Company until 1841, none of these arms were made, and it was not until after the commencement of the war with Mexico, when Gen. Taylor, who had witnessed their utility in the Florida campaign, sent Captain Walker of the Texan Rangers to procure from Col. Colt a supply of revolvers, that an opportunity presented itself to retrieve the embarrassments into which he had been involved. He at once contracted to furnish the Government one thousand arms for 24.000. As a temporary arrangement he hired an armory at Whitneyville, Connecticut, where he completed his first contract, and shortly afterward established the nucleus of his own manufactory at his native place, Hartford. One order rapidly followed another, and the business increased so that constant additions of room, machinery, and workmen, were required. From that time to the present the business has been a constant success, and has resulted in the erection of the most perfect establishment for the manufacture of Firearms in this or any other continent. Colt's New Armory is located on the west side of the Connecticut River, about one hundred yards south of the mouth of Little River, immediately inside of a dyke which Col. Colt erected to exclude the overflow of the Connecticut River. This embankment is about two miles long, averaging over one hundred feet wide at the base, and from forty to sixty feet in width at the top, and from ten to thirty feet in height. It is built in the most substantial manner, the sides being covered with osier both for protection and ornament. The buildings are of Portland freestone and brick, and consist of four parallels, four stories high, each five hundred feet long, two of them sixty feet and three fifty feet wide, connected by a fifth at right angles.1 There are also two others of one story in height, five hundred feet long and fifty feet wide. The floors if extended in one line, would be a mile long by fifty-five feet wide, and contain an area of six and a half acres. Running through the centre of the main buildings is a row of cast iron columns, sixty in number, to which is attached the shafting, which is fifteen inches in diameter, and arranged as a continuous pulley for driving the machines as close together as possible, only allowing sufficient space to get around and work them. The motive power is supplied by five different engines, having an aggregate of nine hundred horse power. One of them was built in Providence, Rhode Island - the others by Woodruff & Beach of Hartford. Within these buildings there are fifteen hundred separate machines, the majority of which were both invented and constructed on the premises. Every part of a Pistol or Rifle is made by machinery, and being made to a guage; is an exact counterpart of every other piece for the same purpose. Even all the various parts of the lock are made by machinery, each having its relative initial point to work from, and on the correctness of which the perfection depends. Taking the lock frame for instance, they commence by fixing the centre, and drilling and tapping the base for receiving the arbor or breech-pin, which'has been previously prepared - the helical ground cut in it and the lower end screwed - once grasped is firmly fixed in its position, furnishing a definite point from which all the operations are performed and to which all the other parts bear relation. The facing and hollowing of the recoil shield and frame, the cutting and sinking the central recesses, the cutting out all the grooves and orifices, planing the several flat surfaces and shaping the curved parts, prepare the frames for being introduced between hard steel clamps, through which all the holes are drilled, bored, and tapped, for the various screws; so that, after passing through thirty-three distinct operations, aud the little hand finishing required in removing the burr from the edges, the lock-frame is ready for the inspector. The rotating chambered cylinder is turned out of cast-steel bars, manufactured expressly for the purpose. The machines, after getting them the desired length, drill centre holes, square up ends, turn for ratchet, turn exterior, smooth and polish, engrave, bore chambers, drill partitions, tap for nip-pies, cut pins for hammer-rest and ratchet, and screw in nipples. In all there are thirty-six separate operations before the cylinder is ready to follow the lock-frame to the inspector. In the same manner the barrel, forged solidly from a bar of cast steel, is bored and completed to caliber, and is then submitted to the various operations of planing, grooving the lower projection beneath the barrel, with which the base pin is ultimately connected, tapped, and then rifled. The barrel goes through forty-five separate operations on the machines. The other parts are subject to about the following number : lever, twenty-seven; rammer nineteen; hammer, twenty-eight; hand, twenty; trigger, twenty-one; bolt, twenty-one; key, eighteen; lear spring, twelve; fourteen screws, seven each, ninety-eight; six cones, eight each, forty-eight; guard, eighteen; handle-strap, five; stock, five. Besides the exactness and uniformity which are arrived at by the adaptation of machinery, there is additional security in the minuteness of inspection to which each weapon is subjected. As soon as completed aud before being polished, the different parts are carried to the Inspecting or Assembling Department, and there undergo a rigid examination. The tools to inspect a cylinder, for example, are fifteen in number, each of which must gauge to a hair so great is the nicety observed, and on finishing his examination the inspector punches his initial letter on the piece inspected, thus pledging his reputation on its quality. Again, after the different parts have been finished, they are once more carried to the assembling room, and each chamber is loaded with the largest charge possible and practically tested by firing; after which they are wiped out by the prover and returned to the Inspection Department. The inspectors again take them apart, thoroughly oil and clean them, when they are for the last time put together and placed in a rack for the final inspection. The orders from the principals being perfection - the slightest blemish, a small scratch ip the bluing or varnish, is sufficient to prevent the arm passing this final inspection, But if passed, it is reiurned "to the store room and papered, and then transferred to the wareroom, and is now ready for the market. Previous to the erection of his new armory, Colonel Colt organized under a special law of the state, the association styled "Colt's Patent Fire-Arms Manufacturing Company", with a capital of 1.250.000, the whole of which is invested in the buildings, tools, machinery, and raw materials. The stockholders were few, he himself being largely the principal, and the others the heads of the various departments of the business. Since his decease the position of President has been filled by Elisha K. Root, one of the most accomplished mechanics of the age, to whom we elsewhere alluded as the inventor of some of the most important machines now in use in the manufactory. He invented the "Drops", as they are called, for forging - great hammers raised by screws on racks and dropped by a treadle - the face of the hammer, steel die and anvil, together forming a matrix to shape the red hot steel at a single blow. He also improved the self-operating rifling machines and invented the compound machines which perform many operations without change of cutters. The cam pump attached to the engine which raises the water of the Connecticut to a reservoir on a hill and supplying the factory village, is another emanation of his genius, and is said to perform its work better than the Cornish pump as the stream flows continuous and steady. The other officers are R. W. H. Jarvis, Vice President; Thomas J. Fales, Secretary; Hugh Harrison, Treasurer; Horace Lord, Superintendent - all of them men of large experience in their respective departments. The Company at the present time are turning out about 250 rifled muskets and the same number of revolving pistols, besides a considerable number of revolving rifles and shot guns. They make forty-four different styles of pistols, six different patterns, eleven different lengths, and twenty-seven different finishes. Of rifles they make three different calibres and five different lengths. The weight of the arms for which the demand is largest, and which are constantly in course of construction, are as follows: The military rifle, barrel 36 inches, fitted with improved bayonet: 11 Pounds, 8 Ounces; Sporting rifle, barrel from 18 to 30 inches, average: 9 Pounds; The army or holster pistol: 4 Pounds, 4 Ounces; The navy or belt pistol: 2 Pounds, 6 Ounces; The pocket pistol, barrel 6 inches: 1 Pounds, 12 Ounces; The pocket pistol, barrel 5 inches: 1 Pounds, 10 Ounces; The pocket pistol, barrel 4 inches: l Pounds, 8 Ounces. The barrels of all these pistols and rifles, with the exception of the rifled muskets, are of steel, for which the Company pay about 30.000 per month. Besides Arms they also manufacture Bullet Moulds, Powder Flasks, and other accoutrements; and they have a separate factory for the production of Metallic Foil Cartridges, a contrivance invented by Col. Colt, that always insures "dry powder" to the possessor. They employ about 1500 persons, to whom they pay monthly over 80.000, or nearly a million of dollars a year. Almost the entire manual labor of the establishment is performed by contract. The contractors are furnished room, power, material, heat, light - while they furnish muscle and skill - themselves and subordinates being all subject to the immediate government, as prescribed by the code of rules laid down by the Company. They number several hundred - some particular manufacturers requiring only their individual exertions, while others employ from one to forty assistants. Many of them are men of more than ordinary ability, some have been connected with the concern since it was first established, and have rendered themselves pecuniarily comfortable by their exertions. On the 10th of January, 1862, the founder of this vast establishment passed from the scene of his labors, at the early age of forty-seven, his decease being hastened, it is supposed, by mental anxiety and over-exertion. He died at a time when the country most needed his talents and experience in the construction of weapons for warfare. He died in the midst of unfinished projects, which would have made his native city the principal centre in the United States of the manufacture of ordnance, having designed to build foundries, forges, and workshops, to produce every thing necessary to equip an army, or navy, or fortress. He lived long enough, however, to add three millions of dollars to the taxable property of Hartford; to redeem from annual or semi-annual overflow by the Connecticut River, 250 acres of land within the city limits; to build two complete villages, now inhabited by several hundred families, having their Gas Works, Public Hall, Stores, Society for Mutual Relief in case of sickness, Military and Quadrille Bands, and to enrol his name among the foremost in the list of America's most famous inventors.
QUELLE[Bishop: History of American manufacturers 3 (1868) 407]