Revolver: Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America

Wednesday, October 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm |

CHS is pleased to welcome journalist and author Jim Rasenberger to deliver this year’s Charles Guilford Woodward Lecture.

In Revolver: Sam Colt and The Six-Shooter That Changed America, Jim Rasenberger — author of The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America’s Doomed Invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs — presents the first major biography of the inventor who introduced repeating firearms to the world. With Colt’s revolver, one could for the first time shoot multiple bullets from a gun without reloading — a revolutionary mechanism that would help spark the American Industrial Revolution and speed the settlement of the West.

Before his untimely death at 47, Colt had built a vast consumer empire comparable to those of Henry Ford, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs, and his revolver had helped mold the country politically and industrially for generations to come. It was also responsible for some of the most brutal violence in the years before, during and after the Civil War, particularly against Native Americans in the West.

The Washington Post has praised the book, saying, “It overflows with relentless ambition, energy, entrepreneurship, ingenuity and wealth, and with deceit, fraud, jingoism and murder.”

The material for the book was largely drawn from the Samuel Colt Papers at the CHS. In fact, Mr. Rasenberger, who has been a familiar face in the Waterman Research Center over the last few years, will be donating a copy of his notes and bibliography to the CHS to help further future scholarship about Colt.

FREE for CHS members, $10 for non-members. This event will take place online via Crowdcast. Click here to register. 

About the Author

Jim Rasenberger is the author of The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America’s Doomed Invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs and High Steel: The Daring Men Who Built the World’s Greatest Skyline. He has written for The New York TimesVanity FairSmithsonian, and The Wilson Quarterly, among other publications. Rasenberger has also written for film and television, including a treatment of High Steel that was adapted as an ABC pilot (Empire State).

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