Today is the anniversary of the 1814 birthday of Samuel Colt, the inventor of the Colt revolver. We tend to remember Colt as the man who first figured out how to manufacture and mass produce a reliable repeating firearm. In an article a few years ago, I argued that all Americans, not just gun enthusiasts should honor Colt for his contributions to American business. The Colt Manufacturing Company was a pioneer in precision manufacturing. One of the most important reasons for the Company's success in mass production of complex products was how Colt treated his employees. Colt employees were well-paid, well-fed, and well-rested. Colt also insisted that outside contractors treat their own employees well. As a businessman who showed that the best way to get rich was to treat one's employees better than competing companies do, Samuel Colt remains an admirable model for business today.
[David Kopel, July 19, 2005 at 6:48pm] Trackbacks
Samuel Colt: Great Inventor, Exemplary Businessman: