George Hyde (gun designer)
January 4, 1888|
Brooklyn, New York
|Occupation||Machinist, gunsmith and gun designer|
|Known for||Designing the M3 grease gun, designing the FP-45 Liberator pistol|
George J. Hyde Sr. (born "Heide") was a German-born American machinist, gunsmith and gun designer best known for his submachine guns. He was born in Apfingen, Germany on January 4, 1888. Already a skilled machinist, he emigrated to the United States in 1927. His family followed the next year.
Before 1935 George J. Hyde was a machinist and shop foreman at Griffin & Howe. He quit Griffin & Howe and went on to become the co-owner of Leonard & Hyde in New York. He partnered with Samuel A. "Harry" Leonard, an expert shotgun and rifle stock maker, who had trained at James Purdey & Sons of London. Hyde also did contract gunsmithing work for Roberts and Kimball in Woburn, Massachusetts. (The latter was an early semi-custom maker of rifles chambered in .257 Roberts.)
Hyde's gun designs
Hyde was the chief gun designer for the Inland Division of General Motors (GM) during World War II. He also did gun design work for Bendix Aviation Corporation. Among others, he was the designer or co-designer of these guns:
- The Hyde Model 33, a prototype submachinegun.
- The Hyde Model 35, a prototype submachinegun. A patent was issued to Hyde for this model on August 4, 1936.
- The M2 Hyde submachinegun.
- The M3 grease gun submachinegun. About 700,000 were produced at a unit cost of around $20 each.
- The FP-45 Liberator pistol. About 1,000,000 were produced at a unit cost of $2.10 each.
- The Bendix Hyde carbine. (A prototype he designed for Bendix Aviation Corporation that never went into production.)
Hyde was married in Germany, about 1917 to German-born Margaretta ("Greta") Levy(1895-1985). Their first child was George J. Hyde Jr., born 9 March 1918 in Germany. He died in 1999 in Florida. They also had a daughter, Giselle, born about 1924 in Germany.
On 24 Apr 1930, The U.S. Federal census listed Hyde's occupation as 'toolmaker, gun factory'. The family was then living in a rented house at 329 Adelphic St., Brooklyn, New York. On 1 Apr 1940, The U.S. Federal census listed his occupation as 'gunsmith, ordnance'. The family was living at least 5 years in an owned house worth $15,000 at 552 3rd St., Brooklyn, New York.
On 25 Apr 1942, Hyde's WW2 draft card listed his employer as Inland Mfg Co., Coleman Ave, Dayton, Ohio, during World War II, he lived at 2807 W. 3rd St, Dayton Ohio.
He was 5'5", 175 pounds with brown hair, blue eyes, and a light complexion.
- The World's Submachine Guns, Volume 1, by Thomas B. Nelson, Pages 70-72.
- Canfield, Bruce N. American Rifleman (August 2008) p. 52
- Iannamico, Frank, The U.S. M3-3A1 Submachine Gun, Moose Lake Publishing, ISBN 0-9701954-4-3, ISBN 978-0-9701954-4-9 (1999)
- Bruce N. Canfield "Desperate Times: The Liberator Pistol" American Rifleman August 2012 pp.48-51&83-84
- http://www.liberatorpistolbook.com/ The Liberator Pistol, by Ralph Hagan