21 December 2011

M1 Carbine: White Collar Defender

Hopefully, we are all familiar with  Rosie the Riviter
Well, she had some white-collar brothers and sisters too.
Consider this: What do the following 4 items have in common?

IBM AS-400
Underwood Typewriter

Rock-Ola Jukebox

M1 Carbine

That's right!  The 4th item was made by the same companies that made the others.  Back in World War II, the U.S. badly needed a weapon that was "more" than an M1911 pistol, but more portable than an M1 Garand or M1903 Springfield --  A defensive weapon for troops whose primary job was something other than carrying an infantry rifle.

Top:  M1 Garand, Middle Left: M1 Carbine, Middle Right: M1911, Bottom: M1903

The light & handy little M1 Carbine was designed at Winchester, but they could not be churned out fast enough to issue to all the radio operators, artillerymen, MPs, and supply-chain troops who needed them.   Although most M1 Carbines were made by the Inland division of General Motors Company, at least a dozen other companies produced M1 Carbines or their components.  I.B.M., Rock-Ola, Underwood and National Postal Meter are among the business-machines manufacturers who participated.

I doubt we'll ever again see that level of broad cooperation and "pulling together" the U.S.A. experienced at that time.  In fact, to illustrate the pride companies took in their support of the unified effort, I leave you with this ad I ran across some years ago:

Click HERE for larger image

Rosie, meet Emily.

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