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Samuel Colt more than just a gun maker, exhibit shows



rt, and Invention," an exhibition of Colt's guns, is currently at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and runs through Jan. 6, 2008.

Guest curator Herbert Houze, a leading scholar on American firearms and an expert on Colt and his guns, organized the traveling exhibition.

"The exhibit really places Colt into context and shows how he was the first American industrialist of any importance," Houze said. "He was the first man to use an assembly in-line production, which influenced Henry Ford's automated production line. In the Colt factory, materials were hand-moved from one machine to the next, and everything was in sequence."

Colt's ingenuity often went beyond his famous guns, as his innovations ranged from an underwater telegraph wire and a submarine battery to a sophisticated approach to managing his workers.

"He just loved anything that was new and that he could play with and improve," Houze said. "He was really the Bill Gates of his day. He was famous throughout the world."

"?Allison Meier


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