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Colt: Legend and Legacy
Colt historians create a multi-dimensional picture of Sam and Elizabeth Colt and how they transformed the look and history of Hartford.
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WATCH January 14, 2012

From the magnificent onion dome that once dominated the Hartford skyline to the gun that bore the family name, Colt has been a name synonymous with Hartford. But beyond the obvious, few are aware of the legacy, both industrially and culturally, left by Samuel and Elizabeth Colt. Created in conjunction with the 1997 Wadsworth Atheneum's exhibit Sam and Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire, Colt historians create a multi-dimensional picture of a unique couple and how they transformed the look and history of Hartford. Among Colt's contributions to industry are the successful marketing strategies he developed, many of which are used today. Those strategies helped catapult the company to worldwide acclaim, and as his profits grew, so did Colt's desire to build the industrial community of Coltsville, complete with factory, worker housing, store, railroad depot, community center and beer hall. Colt also challenged Hartford's old guard leadership by using cash to fund his projects, never taking loans from banks or insuring his property, the ultimate irony for a city built on banking and insurance industries. With his untimely death in 1862, Colt's wife Elizabeth continued to successfully build the company while adding to Hartford's cultural life by commissioning books, paintings and monuments memorializing her husband.

Produced, directed and written by Ken Simon, Colt: Legend & Legacy was nominated in 1997 for 4 regional Emmys: Best Musical Composition, Best Writing, Best Directing and Best Cultural Affairs documentary.


Production Credits

Colt: Legend & Legacy is a co-production of CPTV and the Connecticut Humanities
Council as part of The Connecticut Experience series.
Associate Producer: Jennifer Vasta;
Narrator: Will Lyman; Original Music Score: Steve Evans;
Executive Producers: Larry Rifkin for CPTV and
Bruce Fraser for the Connecticut Humanities Council.
© 1997 CPTV.