The Colt Paterson is a revolver. It was the first commercial repeating firearm employing a revolving cylinder with multiple chambers aligned with a single, stationary barrel. Its design was patented by Samuel Colt on February 25, 1836, in the United States, France, and England, and it derived its name from being produced in Paterson, New Jersey. Initially this 5-shot revolver was produced in .28 caliber, with a .36 caliber model following a year later. As originally designed and produced, no loading lever was included with the revolver; a user had to partially disassemble the revolver to re-load it. Starting in 1839, however, a reloading lever and a capping window were incorporated into the design, allowing reloading without disassembly. This loading lever and capping window design change was also incorporated after the fact into most Colt Paterson revolvers that had been produced from 1836 until 1839. Unlike later revolvers, a folding trigger was incorporated into the Colt Paterson. The trigger became visible only upon cocking the hammer.
A subsequent patent renewal in 1849, and aggressive litigation against infringements, gave Colt a domestic monopoly on revolver development until the middle 1850s.