Oscar V. Payne
Oscar Payne was born in Centerville, Iowa in 1894. Oscar never attended any engineering colleges, but was one of those gifted people who could take any abstract idea and work out a sound design.
Oscar Payne's first job was working for the American Propeller Company in Washington D.C. as a general laborer, until it was discovered that he could do drafting and was naturally mechanically oriented. Mr. Payne designed a propeller pitch indicator for the firm, which is still used on propeller planes today called an "Oscar."
Because of his drafting talents he was recommended for a job with the firm of Robert S. Sutpher, Patent Attorneys, in Washington D.C. While working for this firm he was assigned to disassemble a rifle in the possession of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, for a law suit the firm was handling. The U.S. Army was not too happy to allow someone to take apart the only example of this rifle in existence. After studying the patent drawings, Oscar Payne took the gun apart with ease, which impressed several ordnance officers present. It was this demonstration that brought him to the attention of General John T. Thompson.
A few years later, when he went to ask advice on whether he should enlist, General Thompson remembered this young man and offered him a job with Auto-Ordnance.
When he was interviewed and hired by Theodore Eickhoff, he was assigned to the development of what was to become the Thompson Submachine Gun. Oscar Payne is also credited with designing the box and drum magazines for the Thompson. Some of these prototype box and drum magazines are shown in the center case.