Video: Winning the West

The Invention of the Revolver

National Association of Scholars

In 1836, Samuel Colt patented the design for the first revolver, a gun that allowed for multiple shots before needing a reload. The revolver quickly became a popular weapon and has become particularly iconic in depictions of the Old West.

What is the story behind Colt's development of the revolver? How and why did the revolver come to be so associated with the Old West?

This event features John Bainbridge, a freelance writer and former report for The Baltimore Sun, and author of Gun Barons: The Weapons That Transformed America and the Men Who Invented Them and coauthor of American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman and the Shoot-out that Stopped It; and Ashley Hlebinsky, curator and historian of historical firearms, and cofounder of the University of Wyoming College of Law's Firearms Research Center.

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