Talk:Samuel Colt

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Good article Samuel Colt has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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This was the first wikipedia article I ever wrote/edited and I was hoping to get some feedback on what I should do differently in the future, so any comments on the article are appreciated. ~jk

"his firearms were credited in taming the western frontier" = genocide of the native americans?

There were also wolves, bears and other wild animals that had to be dealt with in "taming the western frontier." This article is about the man who virtually created the modern revolver. This page is to discuss that article. It is not a forum for political POV-pushing. Jororo05 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Colt revolver revolutionary?[edit]

Colt wasn't as "revolutionary" as he's commonly credited with being. Revolving firearms existed as far back as the 15h Century. And in the 1830s, Adams & Trantor made a similar weapon in Britain. Gun Digest has an annual paperback edition (what year, I can't recall) that mentions both. Trekphiler 12:20, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Indeed the puckle (not sure of spelling?) gun was around (in London) during Colts time. - maybe this was more 'inspiration' than a capstan?
That's correct, but the Puckle Gun was a tripod-mounted weapon that could only fire nine rounds per minute. Colt's invention was revolutionary in part because it gave any person, almost regardless of physical ability, the ability to practicably defend from an enemy. [[User::Spock]] 11:21, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

This is a well written article. Jcmiller 04:14, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Colt's real claim to fame is the influence he had on automation, both in the firearms industry and automated industrialisation as we know it today. He employed people who were forward thinkers of automation and demonstrated that real automation brought enormous cost benefits.

Patent numbers: 138 v. 9430X?[edit]

According to the United States Patent Office's database, #138 was issued in 1837 to a "B. Gillespie", and had something to do with ice -- not at all the patent this article was talking about. The Feb 25, 1836 patent issued to S. Colt is 9430X -- but the scan of the patent shows that typewritten onto the original document, as if the patent was re-numbered at some point.

I took the patent number out of the article text and provided a footnote with citation and current patent number, but does anyone know what the full story is? It'd be nice to include explanatory info in the footnote, especially since "#138" is quoted all over the web. Sanguinity 21:45, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Hah. I should have done more research. They're called X-Patents. It would seem that patents weren't numbered until 1837, at which point they began retroactively numbering all pre-1837 patents.
This still doesn't explain why that "138" number is so common out there, but I'm feeling less like there's a discrepancy that needs to be explained in the article footnotes. Sanguinity 22:05, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I have found an entry from one other author who suggests that many patent documents during this period were destroyed. Regarding Patent No. 138, according to Serven and Metzger Patent No. 138 was an "instrument, that was further supported by Patent No. 1304, dated 29 August 1839. The link to U.S.P.T.O, brings you to a search page. I have re-cited the artice; Serven and Metzger (1946) detailed study of Colt and his respective firearms is a very impressive work, as is thier cartridge publication of (1956). Many of the answeres to your query's can be found within the four volumes, or in a reprint of them. Jediforce 04:43, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

I think Serven made an error on the patent numbers, then.
The citation you removed is the US Patent Office Database -- there's no way to link directly to an individual patent there, which is the reason I cited the database and included information in the footnote about how to see the patent itself. Take a look at #138 -- it isn't issued to Colt, it has nothing to do with guns, and it was issued in the wrong year. Then take a look at X9430: for a revolver, issued to S. Colt on Feb. 25, 1836. (For both of those, you have to enter the number of the patent you want to see, then click the option to see images -- there are no transcriptions, but they have scans of the original documents.)
The link I gave above -- X-Patent -- discusses the patents that were destroyed. Prior to 1837 (and the fire that destroyed the patent office's copies of those first patents) patents weren't numbered. After the fire, in 1837, the Patent Office started numbering all new patents, beginning at 1. They also started trying to recover extant copies of old patents, and numbering them as they found them, but beginning with X1. So pre-fire (1836 and earlier) patents are X-series, post-fire patents don't have the X. The patent Colt was issued in 1836 was an X-series patent, because it was issued before the fire. Anything without an 'X' can't be the right patent number for that date.
When sources conflict, we need to go with the primary sources above secondary sources. And the actual scans maintained by the Patent Office are about as primary as we can get on this issue. Sanguinity 07:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup Tag[edit]

I've added a cleanup tag to the top of this page and added it to the list at WP:CU. It seems to me that this page is not structured according to wiki guidelines and that it's not very clear to people who aren't familiar with the subject. 17:07, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Just a note that the photo of the "Nitrous Oxide Gas" exhibition poster involving one Dr. S. Coult (spelled with a "u") seems to have no explainable presence in this article! Is it a prankster's act?
I've removed it. --Lendorien 17:34, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


I realize that this is a pretty low importance edit, but the term used on the show Supernatural was a "devil trap" not a "demon trap". I can't make the edit as I am not a registered user, but I figured someone would want to correct the error. (talk) 20:10, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Hello? (talk) 06:11, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Fixed. --Lendorien (talk) 13:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

What happened to the references to Supernatural? Why were they removed? Minaker (talk) 20:04, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I stopped in hoping to find some of these popular media references and was disappointed that they were not here. Checking the talk page and finding out someone had compiled them but they had been removed two years prior without reason or conversation is just sad. TheTyrant (talk) 13:48, 28 March 2010 (UTC)TheTyrant
Do you have a source for those? I don't know anything about either one of those, but if they were removed it is probably because they were unsourced.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 16:02, 28 March 2010 (UTC)
I dug these out of the history and put them in a popular media section with sources back in 2010. Someone has removed them again between here and there. Not worth an edit war, but it does seem odd. TheTyrant (talk) 20:20, 13 July 2014 (UTC)TheTyrant

Cleanup + sourcing issues[edit]

I read over this article. Parts of it need to be rewritten for tone. It's written sort of like a children's biography rather than a encyclopedia article... the early life section especially. It also needs sourcing. There is a lot of unsouced claims int his article that need to be resolved.--Lendorien (talk) 13:55, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, every quote in the article needs to be attributed. Most aren't. I found one reference buried in a comment tag under the references section. Some points in his life could be expounded on more, but without those sources I can't do much more myself. Banaticus (talk) 06:45, 9 August 2008 (UTC)


Colt pistols were neither breech loading nor breach loading. J8079s (talk) 00:44, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Conflict with Germany?[edit]

Germany did not even exist in 1835 so the sentence claiming there was tension between Germany and America seems suspect to me. Actually, a lot of the section on gunsmithing seems to be uncorroborated; I see other users have been requesting citations, too Faulty (talk) 17:51, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Samuel Colt/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: MathewTownsend (talk · contribs) 21:30, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I will begin this review shortly. (I worked a little on his brother's article. Interesting family.)

MathewTownsend (talk) 21:30, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Early years
  • Samuel Colt had seven siblings: four brothers and three sisters. Two of his sisters died in childhood and the other, Sarah Ann, committed suicide later in life, but Colt's brothers were a huge part of his professional life." - "huge" is a big statement.
  • Fixed
  • Colt was indentured to a farm - indentured to a farm or to a farmer?
  • Fixed
  • "At Glastonbury, he was introduced to" - at the school?
  • No, while living there, fixed.
  • "he discovered that Robert Fulton and several other inventors had accomplished things deemed impossible—until they were done" - Robert Fulton is repeated from the sentence before. - suggest removing one of the mentions and reword.
  • Fixed
  • Also, two quotes in same paragraph saying similar thimgs is unnecessary, I think.
  • Fixed
  • Plus another quote in next paragraph - too many quotes .
  • More quotes - just too many. It destroys the flow. - recommend just choosing a few special phrases and ditch the wordy quotes. Your own wording is much better.
  • Thanks, I didn't realize how bad this sounded until I got in there.
  • Gunsmithing
  • Again, too many quotes. It makes reading it very difficult. The parts where you use your own wording are much better.
  • Fixed
  • Early problems and failures
  • More quotes
  • Quotes make reading this very hard work.
  • Agreed
  • I notice that the rest of the article doesn't have quotes so the going should be easier.
  • The early part was already there, I wrote or rewrote the second half from scratch, so the only quotes are important ones, usually just a phrase, not like entire sentences used earlier.

I'm taking a rest. MathewTownsend (talk) 23:27, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks again!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 00:37, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm so glad you agree. When you use your own words the writing is really good. MathewTownsend (talk) 01:39, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
On hold

I'm putting this on hold while I read through it again. MathewTownsend (talk) 21:06, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Fair enough, let me know if you need anything.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:37, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
  • (Plant ruins site at: 40° 55' 01.04" N, 74° 10' 44.48" W) - don't think this is usually in an article, at least in the text.
  • Removed, vestige from an earlier editor
  • "The first workman would receive two or three of the most important parts…and would affix these and pass them on to the next who add a part and pass the growing article on to another who would do the same, and so on until the complete arm is put together". - better in blockquote, IMO
  • "Demonstrating his gun to people in general stores did not work," - was a failure?
I'm going to say he was looking at the time it would take for him to visit all of these locations and demonstrate his guns vs the amount of actual sales they generated. He was looking to get "more bang for the buck". Hopefully I clarified it.
  • See WP#Overlinking - Links like war technology not helpful. Likewise Presidency, United States
  • Fixed, I think I got all of these.
  • One recurring problem Colt had in selling his revolvers was that "it was not possible to change the provisions of the Militia Act of 1808. Any arms purchased under the Militia Act had to be those in the current service to the United States". - is this quote necessary -couldn't it be explained more concisely if reworded?
  • Fixed
  • The soldiers in Florida loved the new weapon, - "loved" not encyclopedic wording
  • fixed
  • Soon after the failure of his former company - Soon after the failure of his company? - or did it fail after it was no longer his company?
  • His underwater mines - In 1842 he used the device - one of he devices? (since underwater mines is plural)
  • fixed
  • and the Colt mine was an "unchristian contraption". - and said the Colt mine was ....?
  • fixed
  • Because he no longer owned a firearm factory, or even a model of a firearm - didn't have patents?
He held the patents, but had no means of production so he contracted to Whitney. The Patterson revolver was a fragile gun and would probably be considered sub par for Walker's use at that time. His "new and improved" revolver worked with input from Walker
  • Hartford, Connecticut - example of overlinking, also manor
  • These improvements included 71⁄2-inch (190 mm) barrels, shorter chambers, typically loaded only to 50 grains instead of 60 grains, thereby reducing the occurrence of ruptured cylinders, and the addition of a positive catch at the end of the loading lever to prevent the dropping of the loading lever under recoil. - sentence structure - typically loaded only to 50 grams ... doesn't seem to fit - plus sentence is run-on.
  • Fixed
  • However, Colt’s zealous protection of his patents greatly impeded firearms development as a whole in the United States. His preoccupation with patent infringement suits slowed his own company’s transition to the cartridge system and also blocked other firms from pursuing new designs. Moreover, Colt’s policies forced some other competing inventors to greater creativity by denying them key features of his mechanism - is this a little contradictatory? (Should "moreover" be there?)
  • Fixed
  • Colt's London factory remained in operation for only four years, unwilling to alter his open-top single-action design for a solid frame double-action revolver that the British asked for; - verb has no subject
  • Fixed
  • Later years
  • The part about the marriage and the son, Sam is confusing, even though I have read the John Colt article. So both Colt brothers married Caroline?
Right, Sam married her in Scotland when he was at the beginning of his career in 1838. For some reason he kept it very quiet back in the US. I think he was going to get an annulment or divorce when he realized she was "unsuitable" as a wife. She was a common girl from Scotland or England, probably easy on the eyes but not sophisticated enough to be his wife. When she turned out to be pregnant he realized it would cause him problems so he married her off to John to legitimize her and Sam's baby. I'll reread this again and attempt another rewording, it's hard when they have the same name (father and son) but not really a "Sr. or Jr."
    • Legacy
  • first to use art as a marketing tool - should this be explained in the section of his life in which it occurred?
  • fixed
  • "his widow, Elizabeth, had an Episcopol church designed by Edward Tuckerman Potter built as a memorial to Samuel Colt and the three children they lost" - she wasn't bitter about the son Sam and the will?
I am sure she was, but people looked at life and marriage very different back then; plus she had this company that was huge making millions back today's standards it would be in the 10's of millions. She was an Episcopal minister's daughter and from everything I read, a very upstanding woman. So she had the Church built, maybe at the urging of her family, maybe to attone for her husband's misdeeds, maybe just to be charitable with her fortune (she later donated their home Armsmear to be a woman's home/shelter after she died).
  1. B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
    • Lead - doesn't convey a summary of what's in the article. Please see lead
  • I think I got it now
    • Headings/sections - somewhat hard to follow the time sequence - I went through all the sections and they are in sequence - but looking at the TOC its not immediately obvious. Don't know what to suggest, except mentioning the date more frequently in the text.
  • Early years to 1832
  • Gunsmithing 1835 to 1837
  • Early problems and failures - 1837 - 1843
  • Samuel Morse 1841 - 1842
  • Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company 1847 to 1856
  • Later years 1861 -1862
  • Fixed
  1. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  2. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  3. Does it follow the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  4. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  5. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  6. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

Comments on Colt[edit]

Is this source used:from Jstor MathewTownsend (talk) 18:38, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Not that I can see.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 18:56, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
This sentence: "Samuel's four brothers would each play a part in his professional life;" is in the Early years section. But is it ever explained how his four brothers played a part in his professional life? (Maybe I just missed it.) MathewTownsend (talk) 03:04, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
We can probably delete it, its another vestige from before I started working on it. Apart from James being a partner and Christopher lending him money early on; they really didn't play that big a part in his life...most of their fame (even John's) was from being his brother.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 04:18, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
helped soldiers and settlers "fend off larger forces which were not armed in the same way." - Does this mean forces that had inferior fire power, or does this mean American Indians with bows and arrows, or both? MathewTownsend (talk) 23:34, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Both. In the War with Mexico, smaller groups of Texas Rangers held off larger forces of Mexicans armed with single shot weapons; Walker had been impressed seeing a force of 15 Rangers under Hays fight off a larger group of 60-70 Comanche [1] using Patersons and even in the battle where he was killed (while armed with a pair of Dragoons) his small company of Rangers was victorious over a much larger force of Mexicans. The Indians at this time were typically armed with single shot rifles as well. Thanks again with all your help on this, sometimes I fall prey to thinking everybody already knows this stuff.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 00:05, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I was trying to figure out how to put some subheadings in that large section, but I'm not familiar enough with the relative importance of things. Didn't he buy his "manor" because he married? MathewTownsend (talk) 00:30, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Had it built is more accurate, the name basically means "built by Arms on the meadow" see page 20:[2] meaning that the fortune he made from making arms built his home (the first year at Hartford he made $75,000 profit which is $4.4 million by today's standards)--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 00:43, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Did he build it because he was marrying? Or would he have anyway? MathewTownsend (talk) 00:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
With Colt, image was everything. He built it in anticipation of his marriage. I would not be surprised if he got married so he could build it as it might have been unseemly for a bachelor to live so lavishly!--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 00:50, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Ha, ha, ha! Quite a guy. Hope that personality comes through in the article. MathewTownsend (talk) 00:53, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Kind of what I was hoping for. I try to do that without coming outright and saying some cases I let the "historians" say it in the interest of summary. For example, if you read Colt's letters he was a worse speller than a third-grader he spelled nephew as Neffue, probably spelled revolver 6 different ways, etc. Pearson, who built his prototype called him on it and Colt said "anyone who spelled a word the same way more than once had no imagination."--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 01:06, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Agree that's the best way to go.

The whole laughing gas episode is great: "When Colt returned to the United States in 1832, he went back to work for his father, who financed the production of two guns, a rifle and a pistol. The first completed pistol exploded when it was fired, but the first rifle performed well. Later, after learning about nitrous oxide (laughing gas) from the factory chemist, Colt took a portable lab on the road and earned a living performing laughing gas demonstrations across the United States ... etc." is great -- but it doesn't go with the two sentences. Somehow his "pitchman" skills need to be gathered together. His inventiveness and his pitchman/marketing stuff are two separate skills, though he used them in combination. MathewTownsend (talk) 01:10, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I will expand on it a bit, he did the demonstartion with Hiram Powers who made it a Dante's Inferno kind of theme about the Infernal regions. So these people were getting high on nitrous and then seeing these grotesque mummies, wax demons, centaurs, etc. Colt designed fireworks in these exhibits and Powers had some of the pieces electrified, do if a visitor touched them, they would get a shock. I read somewhere that he "made $10 a day doing this, but spent $11". One biographer wrote that the cholera thing was a turning point...people were actually following him after that thinking he was a healer, but he realized he'd rather be a gun maker.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 01:26, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I put it in there, what do you think?--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 01:49, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Tomorrow - too tired now! MathewTownsend (talk) 02:25, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Comments on Colt 2[edit]

  • "He later said that this gave him the idea for the revolver."
Didn't revolvers already exist? (Trying to get my head around this again.) MathewTownsend (talk) 22:01, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes and no. There were pepperboxes which is a multiple barreled revolver and this was the first gun he carved from wood while en route from the Far East. Elisha Collier had previously invented a flintlock single barrel revolver, but it was a failure prone to misfires, etc. The first difference from a design standpoint was the cylinder had to be turned manually in those cases. Colt's biggest innovation was the pawl. That is, when you cocked the hammer, a piece of metal would move up and engage a relief on the cylinder, keeping it from moving until the hammer drops and fires the gun. Cock it again, it advances and locks in the next position. Then by the time he made his first Paterson he abandoned the idea of the multiple barrels in exchange for a single barrel, as the locking pawl keeps the cylinder in line with the barrel.

Isn't it the cylinder bolt that's the ingenious part? Surely pawls (AKA - in America - "hands") were around in Ethan Allen pepperboxes etc? It's not getting the cylinder to rotate that's the problem, but getting it to lock up in exactly the right place every time, which the spit-tailed cylinder bolt achieves beautifully. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

  • He went on the road with his laughing gas. (Sounds like a carnival act. Did he make money?) Then he goes to street corner lectures. (That seems less ambitious and rather ordinary, compared to being "the Celebrated Dr. Coult of New-York, London and Calcutta".
Right, well you have to start somewhere. From reading the literature, he seemed generally interested in the medical benefits of nitrous and started out on street corners and moved his way up, probably adopting the "Dr Coult Persona" along the way. According to the sources "He made $10 a day but spent $11".
  • "Colt saw himself as a man of science and if he could enlighten people about nitrous oxide, he could in turn make them more receptive to his idea concerning a revolver." But he was the "the Celebrated Dr. Coult of New-York, London and Calcutta". I don't see how entertaining people with laughing gas is going to make them receptive to learning about a revolver.
Originally they were serious lectures, but as attendance dropped off he realized he wasn't in it to promote science...he needed to make money so he began the showmanship. I think it comes down to...hey in the old days you got a cold and you with this gas you won't die. And then bridging it to in the old days you had a gun that fired one shot and took 20 seconds to reload, now you can fire 5 shots in 2 seconds. I get the sense he was a very abstract thinker for his time.
  • "He started his lectures on street corners and soon worked his way up to lecture halls and museums. As ticket sales declined, "
"Declined implies he did well at first, so what changed? It's hard to understand his rational for these various attempts that seen so diverse. A split personality? (I'm really curious about how this man ticked - and given his brother John's ultimate end - makes one wonders about the family!) MathewTownsend (talk) 22:39, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Kind of what I said above, you probably could get 50 people to buy tickets to hear the benefits of nitrous oxide in a museum. according to the sources he had thousands show up to see "Dante's Inferno". Yeah, he was a queer duck in some ways. He also shot himself in the foot with regard to Rollin White. That almost killed the company after he died and really it was more about him taking offense that a contracted worker came up with an improvement to his idea.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:17, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Ethan Allen and Sam Colt[edit]

The section regarding Colt and Ethan Allen needs to accurately report the information in the reference cited, (Houze 2006) and to be consistent with all other sources on Ethan Allen firearms. What was originally in the article was blatantly wrong and simply is not what was reported in the text that was cited. Ethan Allen remained in the firearms business for a decade after Colt threatened to sue him, and according to Houze, Colt never did actually sue. Allen’s first partner Charles Thurber simply retired and Allen continued in business, making pepperboxes and later revolvers with Thomas Wheelock. A later law suit brought by Rollin White, on behalf of Smith and Wesson, was a far greater inconvenience for Allen and Wheelock than the threat from Colt’s lawyer, but that is another story.

The original text was: In 1852, gun maker Allen & Thurber infringed on the patent; Colt sued and the court ordered that Colt receive royalties on each gun that had been sold by the rival company. This caused Allen & Thurber to cease production of its pepperbox revolver and eventually go out of business.

I proposed a change to: In 1852, gun makers James Warner and Mass. Arms infringed on the patent; Colt sued and the court ordered that these companies cease revolver production. They also threatened to sue Allen & Thurber over the cylinder design of their double action pepperbox revolver. However it is unclear that this suit would have been successful and the case was resolved with a modest settlement of $15,000. Production of Allen pepperboxes continued until the expiration of Colt's patent in 1857. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rlpapke (talkcontribs) 20:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Telford medal[edit]

He did not get gold medal or life membership - the biographers are simply full of it. He got a silver medal.

See talk page of Telford Medal, or see

See also - "He joined the Institution as an Associate in the year 1852, and received a Telford Medal for the Paper already referred to."

Oranjblud (talk) 05:33, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

The second link is dead, old kid :). The first one is a great one, though. The article says nothing about "life membership", however. It does make me wonder if Colt plated his own medal or something as it is gold in color. --Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 14:53, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah yes - 'ICE' kills links to it's site- if you try the google search for the phrase above eg,mod=13&ix=h9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=He+joined+the+Institution+as+an+Associate+in+the+year+1852%2C+and+received+a+Telford+Medal+for+the+Paper+already+referred+to - then the first link should take you there..Oranjblud (talk) 19:13, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Got confused about the life membership - probably because so many sources repeat the "gold medal + life membership" tale. [eg,mod=13&ix=h9&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Armsmear%3A+the+home%2C+the+arm%2C+and+the+armory+of+Samuel+Colt%3A+A+memorial#hl=en&safe=off&prmdo=1&tbm=bks&sclient=psy-ab&q=samuel+colt+life+membership&oq=samuel+colt+life+membership&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=serp.3...42052.47917.2.48370.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=4c4602ae2a3dd6fd&ix=h9&biw=950&bih=946 google books search]
Thanks for fixing the article anyway.Oranjblud (talk) 19:21, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
No problem, thanks for pointing out the distinction. I think the article Telford Medal may have been titled Telford Gold Medal or something similar at the time it was put into the article. Houze (another source in this article), mentions that it was Silver, as well.--Mike - Μολὼν λαβέ 23:03, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Manufacture of the Colt Walker[edit]

In first paragraph under the heading of "Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company (1847–1860)" concerning the fulfillment of the contract to manufacture the Colt Walker, it states this work was done by Eli Whitney Blake, Jr. with a link to that inventor's page. However,it not was Eli Whitney Blake, Jr, but was instead Eli Whitney, Jr. the son of Eli Whitney (inventor of the Cotton gin). Eli Whitney Blake, Jr. was the son of the nephew of inventor of the cotton gin.

Evidently Eli was a common surname for the Whitney family since it has been reported that the father of the cotton gin inventor was also named Eli. However, it appears that the Eli who invented the cotton gin never used the suffix of junior. This was used for his son though, and this son was running the Whitney arms factory at the time Colt hired them to fulfill the contract to build the Walker revolver.

Eli Whitney, Jr. (actually, Whitney the 3rd if one uses the standard convention)had taken over the family business in the 1840's and did quite well with it according to the following short biography found at the Whitney Museum site.

It would seem that he also may deserve a short bio on Wikipedia.

I did not want to take on the actual editing since I am new to this, but thought I would pass on the information that I found.

Forward observer (talk) 21:42, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Cause of the Civil War[edit]

In the Later Years and Death section the wording makes it unclear if what is being claimed is Colt's beliefs about the cause of the Civil War or if the article is asserting a "real" cause of the Civil War ... one that would be quite contentious. If it is Colt's belief, the language should be cleaned up. If it is an assertion by the article, it should be deleted as non-encyclopedic. (25 Feb 2015). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Selling guns to Confederacy?[edit]

The article contradicts itself on this point. The beginning says: "his factory in Hartford supplied firearms only to the North and not to the South."

This is later directly contradicted, saying he saw no problem selling to both sides, including 2000 revolvers to a Conderate agent. (This must be the Hartford factory as he had closed the London operation years earlier.)

Obviously something needs to be corrected. 06:38, 10 March 2015 (UTC)~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bflood (talkcontribs)