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Colt, Samuel (19 July 1814–10 January 1862), inventor and industrialist, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Christopher Colt, a merchant and cotton and wool fabric manufacturer, and Sarah Caldwell. His mother died in 1821, after his father’s once-prosperous business failed. Christopher Colt remarried, indentured Samuel at age ten to a farmer, and a year later, sent him to work at a dyeing and bleaching factory in Ware, Massachusetts. Lack of parental supervision made it easy for Samuel to indulge his taste for firearms and explosives: he had acquired a pistol at the age of seven, and at twelve he detonated a spectacular explosion in Ware Pond....