Inventor provides various improvements in his & other patent revolving cylinder guns and their appendages

Rare Samuel Colt patent documents will be auctioned later this month by New Hampshire based, RR Auction.

The collection of draft documents offers detailed description of some early modifications to his revolver, which would later appear in the August 29, 1839, patent #1304—including the 4th improvement for bullet molds, the 5th for the powder flask, and the 7th for improvement caps.

The three-signed documents of Colt’s, retained drafts of those sent to Commissioner of Patents Henry L. Ellsworth, circa 1837-38, all with a few additions, deletions, or corrections in Colt’s own hand.

Deeply interested in the young Samuel Colt’s evolving design for a revolver, Henry Ellsworth used his position as the first Commissioner of the US Patent Office to jump-start what would become the mighty Colt empire. Helping Colt secure US Patent No. 138 (later renamed 9430X) in 1836, he provided him with the support he needed to raise nearly $200,000 from investors to incorporate the Patent Arms Manufacturing Company of Paterson, New Jersey, and begin manufacturing the Paterson pistol.

“Colt was a diligent inventor— continuously working to improve his design, and these documents capture the incessant drive for improvement that made Colt one of the finest weapons manufacturers of all time,” says Bobby Livingston, VP at RR Auction.

“It’s an incredibly rare collection with content of the utmost desirability,” adds Bobby Livingston.

Among the other museum quality items in the auction:

  • An extremely rare vintage matte-finish photograph of a young 13-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevn of Russia.
  • George Orwell signed letter that offers an extraordinary autobiographical account, during the time he was immersed in his work on Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien handwritten letter that details of the development and success of his masterpiece, Lord of the Rings. In part: “The poor ‘Hobbit’ is a non-casualty, alive but damaged.”
  • A rare Queen Elizabeth I manuscript discussing support for the soldier who saved her from ‘Bloody Mary.’

The auction, which contains more than 1,500 items, began on Friday, January 24, and will end on the evening of Wednesday, February 12.  More details can be found online at

Image courtesy RR Auction

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