Patented in 1836, the Colt pistol with its revolving cylinder was the first practical firearm that could shoot more than one bullet without reloading. On the frontier, soldiers came to depend upon it, while Native Americans dreaded it. In making the revolver, Jim Rasenberger suggests here, Samuel Colt also changed American manufacturing—his factory revolutionized industry in the United States. Ultimately, Colt and his gun-making brought together the two most significant forces of change before the Civil War—the industrial revolution in the east, Manifest Destiny in the west.
"Clear-eyed and honest, Rasenberger portrays a complicated figure who combined real mechanical insight with a talent for hucksterism…. [A] rewarding biography."—NYTBR