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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Might be a typo, but I don't think so. This ad (and ones like it) ran for too long for the "typo" to remain. If you see it what do you think it represents? I have my thoughts. You guys digest it for today and I'll post again tomorrow if nobody "gets it" :)

John Gross

 

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1856???????????????????????
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The origin date of Colt?

Winner, winner!! Chicken dinner!!

So what's the meaning of the 1856 date? Colt received his first patent in Europe in 1835, and 1836 in the US. The Patent Arms Manufacturing Company (Paterson) was formed soon thereafter. A few years after the bankruptcy at Paterson he formed his new company in 1847(or 1848?).

So why 1856? (I have my thoughts).

John Gross
 

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Colt's little .22 Open Top? Colt's entry into self contained cartridges? Just my onageristic guess ----
 

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I don't know on that date...but...

On the right side, they have the 'New Navy' DA Revolver represented twice ( instead of maybe having the 'New Navy' and, the 'New Army' being each shown once ).


Otherwise, the year "1856" does not correspond to anything I know of.
 

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At first I thought it might be London armoury related, but it was up & running in 1854. His patent was due to expire in 1857 so that's not it. The only significant matter I can find is that Sam Colt married in 1856. I think it's a typo on 1836.
 

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I don't know on that date...but...

On the right side, they have the 'New Navy' DA Revolver represented twice ( instead of maybe having the 'New Navy' and, the 'New Army' being each shown once ).

Otherwise, the year "1856" does not correspond to anything I know of.
The New Navy had only been out a couple of years. It must have been considered pretty innovative and progressive, being a side-swing double-action revolver with simultaneous ejection. Perhaps Colt thought so. Maybe they were using the pair of illustrations to show off the features of their newest design.
 

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"1856" and then "1891" may be the years in which the actual 'Colts' depicted were foaled, on who's likeness the Colt Emblem was based.


( Probably not, but, just something I was musing on! )
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
First thing, as to the 1891 date in the ad from my original post. The 1891 date is there because the ad appeared in an 1891 issue of Shooting and Fishing magazine. One would think that this is supposed to represent the years Colt was in business, i.e. from 1856 to 1891.

As we all know, Colt started much earlier than that with his Paterson rifles and revolvers. Now, I can perhaps understand Colt not wanting to remind people of his earlier bankruptcy at Paterson, thus he did not want to use the now commonly accepted "start date" of 1836. But why use 1856 as opposed to say 1847 or 1848, after the success of his Walker, Dragoon, and Baby Dragoon revolvers?

My GUESS would be that since Colt's new state of the art factory was completed in 1856 at Hartford, that this MAY have something to do with using the date of 1856. There may also have been some reorganization or restructuring of the company in 1856, thus requiring that date to be used. I dunno, just guesses :)

To show that the 1856 date is not a typo, pictured below are a couple of more ads, one from 1889 and the other 1893. Colt ran these ads in Shooting and Fishing almost weekly over these years (and perhaps longer, as I stopped checking at 1893). Thus, it seems unlikely that a typo would go for that long of a period.

John Gross



 

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Ahhh...makes sense - 1856 being the year of their New Factory and ( more importantly, their new ) Business re-Organization, hence, was the starting Point for then on.

Interesting!
 

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It also says Colts Army single action. I thought it was single action army?? SAA
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
On a related note, it appears Smith & Wesson doesn't know exactly when they opened their doors either :rolleyes:

From the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson.

"In 1931, when S&W published the 75th anniversary catalog, they were using 1856 as the starting date for the formation of the company. In 1938 they used 1854. Sometime between 1941 and 1952, they used 1852 as the start-up date, apparently referring to the first Smith & Wesson partnership that produced the Volcanic-type lever-action pistols."

John Gross
 
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