I learnt something new today. ProfessionalĀ Adventurer and TFB contributor Claymore sent me this photo and wrote …

Note I did not take the photo. It was taken by the friend of mine that goes with me on my adventures. Three of these were found in a very old building in Connecticut.

Photo is of a COLT switch installed in an old building. Yes that Colt the firearms manufacturer. (see writing on the bottom edge for logo and address.)

Apparently Colt was a big manufacturer of switches, fuses and fuss boxes under the Colt NOARC brand. I Google’d around and found these photos, mostly on ebay where there is a healthy trade in Colt memorabilia.





Thanks Claymore.



  • StylishFever

    On a similar note: I remember reading somewhere that Mattel picked up some slack during Vietnam and manufacturered M16’s. I wonder if it’s true. I always find this kind of stuff interesting.

    • Patrick R.

      Not true.

      • StylishFever

        I figured as much. Can you imagine if Mattel was stamped on the side of your rifle? I don’t think the grunts would have stood for it.

        • tts

          Supposedly they made some of the furniture and grips for early M16’s but had nothing to do with final gun assembly nor did they sell the military/market any guns either.

          • StylishFever

            I buy that.

        • DW

          What if i tell you AAV-7 was made by Food Machine Company

          • Oldtrader3

            FMC has made everything from tools to rockets!

    • Don Ward

      The Mattel myth can be attributed to the 1968 John Wayne movie “Green Berets” in which The Duke dramatically smashes an “M-16” to prevent its capture by the Viet Cong. A Mattel “M-16 Marauder” toy gun was used as a prop.

      You can see this at the Internet Movie Firearm Database.

      http://www.imfdb (dot) org/wiki/The_Green_Berets#Mattel_M-16_Marauder_Toy_Gun

    • Oldtrader3

      No, Mattel made injection molded stocks for early M16’s. I worked at Mattel as a Senior Project Engineer in Hawthorne, 35 years ago.

      • StylishFever

        I learned something new today. Thanks.

      • Steve_7

        So how do you have this information, because 35 years ago is 1980? The early stocks were made from fiberglass, not injection molded plastic.

  • spencer60

    Heard about this recently on the Handgun Radio podcast. They tried to ‘diversify’ outside the firearms business and lost their shirts. during the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

    They even managed to lose money during WWII somehow.

  • allannon

    Makes sense, really; they had the tooling and materials expertise.

    Apparently, per spencer60’s comment, they sucked at it though.

    • Actually, some have suggested that Colt’s non-firearm divisions were the only things keeping the company afloat.

  • Edeco

    I had an apartment with a Colt breaker box, very smooth throw on the switches*.

    *kidding, not noticeably better or worse than other brands.

  • commenter1

    House I used to live in had a Chrysler furnace.


    How about Colt diesel engines and Colt Fairbanks scales?

    • Those were from the Colt Industries era. Despite the name, the firearms division was probably the smallest concern of the parent company, the former Fairbanks Whitney. Fairbanks Whitney was formed by the Fairbanks Morse company after it successfully defended itself against a hostile takeover by Penn-Texas. Fairbank Morse’s defense was so successful that it swallowed up Penn-Texas’s holdings instead, including Colt and Pratt & Whitney.

  • John

    What about Colt 45 malt liquor? Now THAT’S a classic!

    • Isaac Arnold

      THAT’s funny.

  • eric ellquist

    Back in the late ’60’s, I started working as an electrician in New England. Used to see these things in old factory buildings from time to time. Haven’t seen one in years. Thanks! Brings back memories, E.R.Ellquist

  • town22

    With all that history behind, filing for bankruptcy and the new loan, it’s a wonder they’re above water. For how long?

    • Michel_T

      For as long as they have influential friend within government… Isn’t that how it works?
      On a side note, a Colt door switch would be pretty nice for the man-cave šŸ˜‰

  • Cattoo

    Samuel Colt wouldn’t recognize the Colt he left behind I’m thinking.