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Colt’s Manufacturing Company was founded in 1855 by Samuel Colt. Colt, the company and the man, rose to prominence on the back of the success of the Colt Walker revolver during the Mexican-American War. As a businessman, Samuel Colt embraced the use of assembly lines and other industrial revolution developments to commercialize his manufacturing practices. The revolving gun mechanism that made Colt famous is viewed by many as more innovation than invention. The patent that Colt was granted involved improving upon the revolving flintlock, which was used on muskets and rifles, already patented by inventor Elisha Collier. The Colt company made more than 400,000 firearms during Colt’s lifetime. He left the company to his wife after his death. In 1901, the company was sold to a group of investors. The company has sold more than 30 million pistols since its inception.