Elisha Haydon Collier (1788–1856) of Boston invented a flintlock revolver around 1814. His weapon is one of the earliest true revolvers, in contrast to the earlier pepperboxes which were multi-barreled guns. Collier's revolver was not self rotating but it was self-priming: a compartment automatically released gunpowder into the pan when the hammer was cocked.
|Born||Elisha Haydon Collier
|Died||January 23, 1856
It was patented in 1818, produced from 1819 by John Evans & Son of London, and used in quantity by the British forces in India. Over 10,000 were made between 1819 and 1824. A single barrel allowed greater accuracy and a faster reload time while reducing unnecessary weight. However, its flintlock action was a serious drawback: flints were unreliable and had to be changed frequently, while inferior quality powder risked a misfire.
Samuel Colt saw weapons of this type while serving as a cabin boy aboard the brig Corvo in 1832. Following his return from the Far East he was inspired to create his own caplock revolver: the Colt Paterson.
In the 1830s Collier invented a new boiler for steam ships. He wrote a book on the subject, which was published in 1836. In 1839 Collier designed a machine for mass-producing nails for the Globe Dock Factory, Rotherhithe, Surrey.
Collier lived in England from 1818 until 1850, when he returned to Boston, Massachusetts. By this time Colt's cheaper mass-produced revolvers had supplanted his earlier, hand made designs. Collier is listed as having lived at 88 Eliot Street in an 1850 census, where he died on January 23, 1856.
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- Elisha Collier revolver schematic
- Image of Elisha Collier's revolver
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- "Collier's Patent Steam-Boilers and Safety Breathing-Tube". The Mechanic's Magazine. XXVI (695): 161–164. 3 December 1836.
- On the Superior Advantages of the Patent Improved Steam-boilers, invented by E. H. Collier, etc. With a plate. 1836.
- "The mechanic's magazine, museum, register, journal and gazette". 31. 1839: 130.
- "Elisha Hayden Collier's 1820 Flintlock Revolver". The Colliers of Massachusetts Family Page. Archived from the original on 2012-03-30.
- "Collier, Elisha Haydon". American Firearms web site. 27 February 2011.