UDELL, H. D. (fl. c. 1866-1872). Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Co.’s Works, Hartford, Conn. [Hartford, Connecticut, c. 1870].

$ 2,600.00

Single sheet, mounted on heavy stock (image: 14 ½ x 18 inches; mount: 18 ¾ x 21 ¾ inches). Fine albumen print on original mount with MANUSCRIPT caption (mount a bit browned).

A sweeping aerial albumen photograph of the Colt Armory, probably taken not long after the East Armory building, with its distinctive dome, was rebuilt in 1867. “The first 1,000 firearms were made at an armory temporarily hired at Whitneyville, Connecticut. With the onslaught of consistent orders, Colt moved his manufacturing to Hartford. Demand continued to increase and eventually assured the permanence of his business. Soon after the Mexican War, suggestions for improving the fire arms were solicited from officers who had used the weapon and improevments were made on the design. Colt’s product was adopted by the United States as a regular weapon for the army.

“Colt’s manufacturing facilities grew continually throughout the years. He selected a tract of meadowland in Hartford and built an armory consisting of two parallel buildings, three stories high and 500 feet long, connected by a central building, which was 250 feet in length. He also built other buildings for offices and warehouses. In 1861, a second building of the same size was erected. All of the balls, cartridges, bullet-molds, powder flasks and lubricators were manufactured at the armory and most of them were the invention of Colt or his employees. Colt success continued into the exporting of his firearms to England and Russia. In addition, Colt invented a submarine battery for the defense of harbors, and was the first to conceive and practically test the project of a submarine telegraph cable” (Connecticut Historical Dictionary).