Evelyn (Evo) Owen was a famous Australian inventor.
The Owen Gun was Evelyn’s most famous invention, saving thousands of Australian lives during the Second World War. The gun had just one moving part and was reliable in jungle warfare at New Guinea and Kokoda, as it operated in wet, humid and muddy conditions, unlike any other gun available at the time.
Evelyn lived in a hut at the foot of Macquarie Pass, working on the prototype for his famous Owen Gun at Brewster’s Garage at Albion park, using the lathe to turn parts.
Although the Owen Gun could be manufactured for £12 compared to £50 for the British Thompson Gun, its production was delayed for years by authorities who preferred the British weapons.
The Owen Gun was tested at Lysaght’s, Port Kembla, and finally cleared for production in 1943, becoming a vital part of the defence of Australia In World War II, the Korean War and Malaya. It remained in service until the 1960s.
Evelyn got little recognition for his famous Owen Gun, and a large portion of the money he made for his invention was taxed. He died in 1949, just short of his 34th birthday