Hartford, CT Colt's Pistol Factory Fire, Feb 1864


Colt's Pistol Factory Burned---One Man Killed and another Missing--- Loss Two Millions of Dollars.

Hartford, Conn., Friday, Feb. 5. The original building of COLT'S pistol factory was destroyed by fire this morning between 8 and 10 o'clock, with all the machinery and a large amount of other property.

The building was 500 by 60 feet, with an L 100 by 60, and the office, a large three-story building, was also destroyed.

The new building in which the [ineligible] rifles are made is saved.

Seventeen hundred workmen are employed in all, half of whom are thrown out of employment.

The loss is at least half a million of dollars. Indeed the machinery alone was valued at that sum.

It is insured for seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars in the New- York and New-England offices.

The fire is said to have broken out in the polishing room in the old building.


Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Feb. 5. One-half of the factory of Colt's American Arms Company was destroyed this morning. In the building destroyed Colt's pistols and revolving rifles were manufactured. In the buildings saved the United States rifles are manufactured, the Company having a large contract from the Government for the manufacture of these weapons. This portion of the works will continue in operation, giving employment to 800 men.

The stock of pistols and rifles completed and in process of manufacture, which was destroyed by this fire, is valued at a million of dollars. The machinery destroyed cost more than a half a million; and the whole loss is estimated at two millions. The total insurance on the property is $660,000, of which about sixty per cent was on the property destroyed. Nearly 900 men are thrown out of employment. The fire broke out in the drying room in the attic, and spread with great rapidity. The origin of the fire is a mystery. One man was killed, and another is still missing.

The New York Times, New York, NY 6 Feb 1864