Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

The Invention of the Peacemaker.

Posted in Science and Technology by Jake Ward on February 25, 2008


On this day in history in 1836, the American inventor and industrialist Samuel Colt received a patent for a “revolving gun”, of which a popular later version was nicknamed the “Peacemaker.” 

Mr. Colt had exhibited an early aptitude for mechanical innovation, and first applied for a patent on his revolver at the age of 18.  He obtained his first patent in England, and his first U.S. patent issued in 1836 as patent number 6909 (later renumbered as X9430; one of the so-called X-patents).  The X9430 patent and U.S. Pat. No. 1304 protected the basic principles of Colt’s revolving-breech loading, folding trigger firearm design.

Interestingly, Colt had once sought private legislative relief in requesting an extension on his patent because he had not profited sufficiently during the period provided by the original patent.  Colt successfully obtained a seven-year “extension” on his 1836 patent by receiving a reissue in 1848, but was unsuccessful in his legislative attempt in 1854 to further extend the life of the reissue.  Colt successfully enforced his patents in litigation, notably causing certain competitors to discontinue production. 

His revolving-breech pistol at one time became so popular that the word “Colt” was sometimes used as a generic term for the revolver.   When Samuel Colt died in 1862, his estate was estimated to be valued at around $15,000,000. 

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