Thursday, November 19, 2009

In World War II, lipstick tubes became bullets.

The setting for my novel, Searching for Pemberley, takes place in post World War II England. As a result, I did a lot of research on the war and post-war periods. Did you know that when World War II broke out and the country went on a wartime footing, and manufacturers had to convert their assembly lines to produce materiel needed for the war? Some of the changes resulted in a shortage of lipstick tubes (needed for bullets) and nylons (necessary for parachutes) and the auto industry stopped producing sedans and started making tanks and airplanes. If you would like to learn more, please read my guest post at A Bibliophile's Bookshelf.


  1. Mary,

    I know that you were a source for a recent issue of the Genealogical Research Society of Northeastern Pannsylvania Newsletter that was devoted to Minooka history. Sharkey Lydon, to whom I believe you are related, was a beloved figure in my life. He was the best friend of one of my uncles, Jim (Shamus) Corbett, and although my Uncle Jimmy (as we called him) lived most of his life in the Harrisburg area and I didn't get to see him as often as I would have liked, I saw Sharkey all the time since he was considered a member of our extended family and included in many of our numerous gatherings.

    From the newsletter, it appears that, like your literary creation, Maggie Joyce, you spent much of your youth in Minooka. Is this true? Exactly when did you live here and where was your home? (I'm quite interested in Minooka history myself)

    I just turned 60 and I have lived almost all of my life in or around Scranton, spending most of my childhood years in Minooka. My siblings and I attended Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, which was housed in the former Minooka High School building. My family relocated to South Scranton after the mine fire of the late sixties, but my parents (Jake and Mary Payton Corbett) built a new home in Minooka around 1988. My father paased away in 2001, but I currently live in the "new" house in Minooka with my mother, and many members of my extended family live nearby. Do you still have relatives in Minooka?

    Mary Corbett

  2. Hi Mary, I am not from the Sharkey Lydon clan. However, my father lived two doors down from them on Pittston before moving to Davis St. and then Birney Ave. Bobby McLane is my cousin, and Sharkey always came to his get-togethers, and, of course, he sang Danny Boy. I did not grow up in Minooka, but both of my parents did. We'd go back a couple of times every year from No. Jersey. I'd love to "chat." Can you e-mail me at Thanks.