Feb. 25 is Pistol Patent Day, an annual event that commemorates U..S. Patent #138. On this day in 1836, Samuel Colt received a patent for the "world’s first commercially viable revolving cylinder firearm," the Colt Revolver.
Samuel Colt was born in Hartford, CT., on July 19, 1814. He studied navigation but had a keen interest in mechanics. He sailed the sea as a seaman and was fascinated with how the ship's wheel worked. He created a wooden wheel prototype that would one day influence his revolver design. Colt's revolving-cylinder design helped revolutionize the industry although its multiple-shot design was not immediately embraced.
Colt married Elizabeth Jarvis in 1856. The following year, he built Armsmear, a spectacular mansion in Connecticut, as a gift to Elizabeth. The couple had five children. Only one survived infancy. At 47, Colt died a wealthy man in 1862. His estate was estimated to be worth $15 million. His wife took over the company which is still in business today.