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Taking a Shot at Telling Colt's Life

September 01, 1996

The Victorian world of Samuel Colt (1814-62), flamboyant inventor whose company made the "gun that won the West," returns to life for six months starting next Sunday at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn.

More than five years in the making, "Sam and Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire," gathers nearly 300 objects including artwork, furniture, photographs, jewelry and Colt's own gun collection, to tell the story of the couple's adventurous lives and the firearms empire that they built.

Colt devised the first firearm in which the cylinder was automatically revolved when the gun was cocked. U.S.-patented in 1836, the weapon was based on a wooden model that he made while voyaging to Singapore. Returning to Hartford, his hometown, he opened an armory that pioneered mass production while arming the U.S. side in the Mexican War (1846-48). Colt Industries continues today.

Tickets: $8 adults, $7 seniors, $6 college students, $4 youths 6-17, children under 6 free. Information: (860) 278-2670.

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