John Bell Blish

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John Bell Blish

John Bell Blish (September 8, 1860 – December 22, 1921) was an American inventor known primarily for developing the Blish lock, used in the Thompson submachine gun. Blish licensed the patent for his lock to the Auto-Ordnance Corporation in 1915 in return for company stock.

Blish was a career United States naval officer, serving as executive officer on the U.S. warships Niagara and Vicksburg (PG-11) during the Spanish–American War. He retired from the United States Navy with the rank of Commander in 1919.

Blish was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


The USS John Blish, a survey ship commissioned during World War II, was named after him.

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