Mr. John M. Olin was born in Alton, Illinois in 1892. His work for the Ordnance Corps began in the late 1930s, as the nation prepared for its possible entry into what became World War II.
A number of small arms plants were built, which proved to be Mr. Olin's biggest contribution to the war effort. In August of 1941, Olin Industries designed and developed a working model of the now famous M-1 carbine in a thirteen-day period. During World War II, Olin Industries produced half a million Garand rifles and nearly a million light weapons. In addition, several million centerfire cartridges were produced each day by Olin Industries, together with primers, detonators, high explosives, and other items.
Mr. Olin was the inventor or co-inventor of 24 items in the field of arms, ammunition, and explosives manufacture and design, and was responsible for numerous developments in the field of ballistics.
Mr. Olin was a philanthropist who was interested in furthering progress in a number of fields of endeavor, notably wildlife conservation. He died in 1985.