Text Box: Copyright © 2014 by Ken Blaisdell  All rights reserved.
Text Box: Part I:
The Assembly Line

Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation, Chicago, IL, circa 1944

Illustration from:



In the spring of 1942, with the US at war with both Germany and Japan, the Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation converted its factory from making juke boxes to turning out M1 Carbine rifles. By the end of the war, they would produce almost a quarter of a million of those weapons.


Part one of the story takes place in the spring of 1944, and chronicles the lives of a group of young WOWs working on the swing-shift assembly line. One night, the girls get the idea to use their precious war-rationed lipstick and kiss a slip of paper, then write over their lip print, A Kiss For Luck! They then secretly tuck the slips into their rifles as a little reminder to the soldiers overseas of what they are fighting for ... and what is waiting for them when the get home!


Unfortunately, less than 500 rifles would get that special talisman before the Army found out and put a stop to the unauthorized practice. This book follows one of those rifles.

Making a different kind of music; The Rock-Ola M1 Carbine

 Bruce Canfield

American Rifleman Magazine