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Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory

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    Posted: Aug 01 2021 at 8:57am

Member Michael Shyne recently visited the Hillerich & Bradsby  "Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory" in Louisville, Kentucky



Many of you are familiar with the famous baseball bat, but some of you may not have known that Hillerich & Bradsby was a wartime subcontractor to Inland and Standard Products producing carbine stocks and to a lesser extent some stocks for Quality Hardware and Machine Company

A mural on the wall depicts stocks being sanded by women workers, a first at H&B.



Carbine stocks on the drip rack after being dipped into Raw Linseed Oil. Look at those beauties!




Carbine stock made by H&B on display in a glass case.
Card description: From 1942-45, Hillerich & Bradsby converted their golf factory to make M1 Carbine gunstocks out of hickory wood for the US Armed Forces. H & B averaged 1800 gunstocks per day for a total of more than 1.5 million.

H&B was also known for their golf clubs. During the war they also produced track pins for tanks, billy clubs for the armed forces as well as baseball and softball bats for the troops.


If you are in the Louisville area swing by and check out the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory


Editors Note: Ordnance specified walnut wood to be used. Later, due to supply, birch and cherry was used to a limited degree. Though hickory and walnut are in the same family and similar, hickory was much harder and may have been tougher on tooling.
The display also mentions finishing lacquer being wiped on stocks but it was actually raw linseed oil that was specified.


Edited by New2brass - Aug 01 2021 at 10:32am
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Charles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2021 at 4:10pm
This the first time I have herd the use of hickory for M1 carbine stocks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2021 at 4:14pm
Originally posted by Charles Charles wrote:

This the first time I have herd the use of hickory for M1 carbine stocks
me too!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Matt_X Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2021 at 5:28pm
This may be an example of a museum that didn't have someone look over the exhibit text, and the writer made some assumptions...
I've seen it happen in museums that had a historian and curators that were very familiar with the subject.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jond41403 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2021 at 7:14pm
Originally posted by Matt_X Matt_X wrote:

This may be an example of a museum that didn't have someone look over the exhibit text, and the writer made some assumptions...
I've seen it happen in museums that had a historian and curators that were very familiar with the subject.
I'm with you on that, the article said 1.5 million stocks made so you know if they were made from hickory, more than a few would show up here and there and I have seen or heard of none. They probably used the exact same wood everybody else used during their time frames
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2021 at 8:55pm
Originally posted by Charles Charles wrote:

This the first time I have herd the use of hickory for M1 carbine stocks


read the note at the end of the article.

Originally posted by Matt_X Matt_X wrote:

This may be an example of a museum that didn't have someone look over the exhibit text, and the writer made some assumptions...
I've seen it happen in museums that had a historian and curators that were very familiar with the subject.


Exactly

Originally posted by Jond41403 Jond41403 wrote:

the article said 1.5 million stocks made so you know if they were made from hickory, more than a few would show up here and there and I have seen or heard of none. They probably used the exact same wood everybody else used during their time frames


Yep, Walnut was the spec. But eventually ordnance accepted some birch and cherry, which had issues with scrap rates.
I am not ruling out hickory, but it is highly unlikely.

1.5 million stocks would have been about more than a 1/4th of all stocks made by everyone including spares.

The person that put the display together had two more mistake that I noticed.

In all a great display and brings visitors attention to the wartime effort.

They received the coveted E award for sporting good supplied to the Army and Navy. Unclear if the stocks were also part of it.

H&B has continued to send sports equipment to the troops, so kudos to them!

Amazing how the stock has not darkened.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote painter777 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 02 2021 at 11:33am
In 1980 or 1981 We painted a new summer home for John Hillerich III near East Lansing, MI on Applegate Drive in a high end neighborhood called 'White Hills'.
He along with my 2 Uncles were all Kentuckians, so they got along very well.
He had a impressive collection of their Golf Clubs. I finished the custom made display room built just for the clubs. Fun loving practical joker and a pleasure to know and be around. He retired I believe in early 2000. We called him Jack. His Wife had family ties here in Michigan. They lived between the regional president of Coca Cola and the president of Lansing, MI based Motor Wheel Corp.
Jack had a World Class collection of Autographed baseball bats.... 100's of them. His family room was full of early family members pictured with baseball stars like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron .. you name them, they were there. He was proud of their immigration roots and long tight family run business.

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