The Herald Bulletin

February 28, 2013

Guide Lamp's guns

Liberator firearm's production to be featured on the Military Channel

By Margaret Maynard
For The Herald Bulletin

YORKTOWN, Ind. — When the TV show “Triggers: Weapons That Changed the World” airs March 6 on the Military Channel, it will feature photos from Yorktown resident Ken Burke.

Burke has vintage photographs from Guide Lamp that will be included in the show.

In March 2007, Burke walked into an auction at the former Guide Corp. plant in Anderson and walked out with more than 8,000 photographs from Guide’s 100-year history. He compiled a DVD collection and made it available to the public; the response was overwhelming.

During World War II, the plant manufactured the Liberator pistol.

TV show producer  Elizabeth Gray was able to find Burke’s video on YouTube about Guide Lamp and contacted him. She received permission to use some of his photos in the March 6 episode.

Gray, a resident of Los Angeles, was hired by Morningstar Enteertainment, the company that produces the series to undertake archival research on weapons.

“The show traces the historical predecessors of the weapons, as well as uses historical and contemporary footage in which the weapons system was used,” said Gray.

“It was quite an experience and led me down all sorts of paths including the Israeli Defense Forces for Mavi Marmara footage, and to Ken Burke who has the most amazing collection of photos of the Guide Lamp factory.  It is such an interesting time for collections such as Ken’s, as these corporate archives are abundant, yet their value to our culture and business history not yet fully realized.”

The series examines the evolution of military firearms and how the development of each one changed the face of combat forever.  

Episodes air on Comcast channel 486 at 10 p.m. Wednesday nights. Topics include:

When Guide Lamp closed, Burke purchased a cabinet that contained thousands of negatives.

“There were 14,000 total pictures,” said Burke.  “It took me a year to scan them all.”

Burke has prepared DVD sets of the photos. He has an eight-minute video posted on YouTube about Guide Lamp and his photo history.  If interested in more information, Burke can be reached by email: or by phone: (765) 378-5773.