This illustration from an 1943 World War II advertisement shows parachutes landing and soldiers running advancement with M1 carbine rifles designed and built by Winchester, officially called the "U.S. Carbine Caliber .30 M1". Text in the ad reported that the weapon weighed almost half the weight of prior rifles, with greater fire power, longer range, faster action and better accuracy than automatic pistols.
Product sell copy was followed by a summary of the manufacturer's 76-year role in prior wars from 1866 to WWI, citing the Winchester Model 66 and Model 73.
An eight-man team at Winchester went to work designing a lighter weight semi automatic carbine rifle for use in World War II. By wars end, over six million had been produced. Wikipedia does a nice job of describing the people and sequence of events that resulted in the M1.