Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Colt's Plastics Division Colt-Rock Colt Plastics

Colt Plastics Division
WOWSY, what a collection, on left Brett Kramera nd his friend Ron Lough, on the right !
Brett Kramer of Aplington, Iowa contacted me about his Colt's Plastics collection and was kind enough to send me some photographs.   First introduced to the world of Colt by his friend, Ron Lough, he was hooked on collecting examples immediately.  As you can see the horse in the center of the tablecloth, this is one marking you may find on Colt's products.

Colt Plastics
Colorful Colt Make Up Kit, courtesy of the Brett Kramer Collection
Researching this company for me, was a perfect example of how our early economy worked and how industrialism came to be.  To understand the inception of Colt's Plastic Division you must go back to early 1836 . At this time was the inception of what would be known 100 years later as the Colt Firearms Company. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, they were an early manufacturer of guns. Collectors will tell you early examples had signature handle of  Bakelite and early plastics.

Obviously with so much production, the company would decide to buy out or acquire a molding company for it's own needs to keep production costs low. Just when that was, is unknown but we do know according to the Colt's Plastics official history, the plastics division branched out in 1920's from the fireams division making a slew of items from electrical wares to make up kits.  There is much mention of Colt Plastics and Colt Rock in militia and gun collector's books, and much interest in their products.  I assume collecting on the gun side, would be endless possibilities.

Brett Kramer Colt Rock Buttons
Brett was lucky enough to acquire Colt Rock Buttons on the original card.

Early Colt's products were made of it special "plastic" molduing compound they called Colt-Rock.  One would assume this to be an early form of Bakelite plastic, but since it was their own proprietary compound,  I am not exactly certain.  As you can tell, it would be hard if you had a ton of loose buttons to know exactly which ones were Colt-Rock, but lucky for Brett Kramer he found the ones above and below (after research) with clues on their original factory cards. Above indicates with the  Colt horse logo, and indeed it says Colt-Rock, one of their early plastics.

Colt Rock Colt-Rock Plastics
Brett's research has led him to amazing discoveries!
Lucky for Brett his research paid off and these fun colorful buckle and button combinations have been added to his collection. How lovely and colorful!

Brett Kramer Colt Plastics Collection
Old beauty jars such as these were made by Colt's Plastics Division. Courtesy , Brett Kramer

According to the company's history circa 1930's it focused on the beauty and cosmetic industry, making lids for cold cream jars and containers that contained their "Featherlite" plastic compound.  One would assume this new "featherlite" line was indeed lighter and less bulky than Colt-Rock.  Imagine just how many cream jar containers are long gone, but yet Brett has managed to collect many great examples...

Colt Plastics
More examples from Brett's collection.

Colt Plastics
Lovely examples from Brett's collection may otherwise go unnoticed.

Brett says some of these articles comprise only half his collection.  He is always looking for more examples to add to his collection, so if you think you have pieces of Colt as photographed here, make sure to contact him at the address below.

Colt Plastics Original Eye Bath Display Stand
A rare score for Brett, the items are still on their original display stand.

Colt Plastics
Brett says his wife is very supportive of his collecting habits.

Brett says his wife went with him to the Colt Collector's Association meeting in Oklahoma , where these photos were taken.  She welcomes his collection.

Ironically, the Colt's Plastic Division lives on, and is still making plastics for the cosmetic industry today. Contracts include Elizaeth Arden.  They did change ownership in 1958 followed by a  move in the 70's to Dayville, Connecticut from their original location. However it's nice to know that one company, has seemingly survived it's production in America.  They still do make parts for guns as well. 

To find out more about Colt:

Read the Colt's Plastics Division's official timeline of production here. 

For Gun Collecting & Association Lins:  Visit the Collector's Association's Links page which will direct you to some of the best links out there on gun history.

On Plastics:  To contact Brett with possible pieces of Colt, or to sell him your Colt plastics, or inquire about Colt Plastics, feel free to email him at You may also call him at 319-415-9621


  1. Love all the photos. I'm trying to find out as much as I can about Colt plastics. Thank you.

  2. Would love to know if you have any type of Facebook page on Colt Plastics...

  3. I worked at Colt Plastics from 1993-1999. I used to dream about cosmetic containers in my sleep :)


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