William Hosley, "Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire"

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Lecture: William Hosley, "Sam & Elizabeth: Legend and Legacy of Colt's Empire"

Wednesday, November 28 | 5:30 pm | FREE


Epic romance, epic times, epic lives. Sam and Elizabeth Colt, more than any couple in the history of Connecticut's capital city, changed the course of history--he by developing a model of industrial technology that changed the world of work. She, through countless acts of civic leadership and philanthropy. The Colts' story mirrors and shaped the transformation of Hartford from a center of trade and government in a small agrarian economy to an international powerhouse in industry and finance.

This program traces the rise of Colt's Amory and the firearms and machine tool industries. After his premature death at the age of 47, Colt's empire was inherited and controlled by Elizabeth. Over the next 40 years she was the controlling stockholder and the largest taxpayer in the richest small city in America. Her interests in art, architecture, religion, social services, and civic harmony gave her a role in public life few women of her generation could imagine. She became a role model for Progressive era Connecticut women whose work and advocacy set the stage for the advent of women's rights.

Politics, art, money, power, triumph and tragedy-- it's all here and based on an exhibition and collection donated by the Colts to Wadsworth Atheneum. Bill Hosley, Principal, Terra Firma Northeast, has 30+ years experience as a curator, collector, preservationist, and museum director. He is an authority on Samuel and Elizabeth Colt and Hartford history and has written numerous books and articles and has lectured all over the United States on topics ranging from art and Americana to urbanism, place-making, and historic preservation.

For more information or to sign up, please call (860) 236-5621 x289 or email Jenny Steadman.