Sunday, September 30, 2012

Popular Science and Mechanics Articles From The 40’s Through The 60’s

Well, my search through Google Books is turning up a gold mine of jeep related articles and old photos and projects like the station wagon into a mobile sleeping platform and adding another four wheels and tires turning a little CJ into a four-wheel drive dually climbing machine! I’m discovering new stuff everyday and right now and next Sunday (or tomorrow if I have the time...) I will release some of the first miscellaneous articles that I’ve found. Starting today with articles from the 40’s through the 60’s and then into the 70’s and 80’s.
After these first two I’ll try to present everything by individual decades. Keep coming back. I also found out that Popular Mechanics was first published in 1902... wow, I had no idea about that but I’m sure to find alot more interesting stuff.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Something For The Little Jeepers

Something for the little jeepers today straight from the 1945 pages of Popular Science Magazine. In May 1945, Pop Sci presented us with a way of getting our very own GPA amphibious Seep way before you saw the ads in back of your comic books for surplus crated jeeps for sale. Only thing was the finished model was not only a pretty complicated and detailed Seep but it was only about 7 1/2” long.
Then a few months later they carried a jeep that was a bit bigger, but still was really only made for the little ones. The kid sized pedal powered jeeps, one metal and the other wooden are presented as plans. A pretty ambitious little project (especially as it is presented as something that you can make now for Christmas...) and I wish that I were a better wood or metal worker than I am! But who knows? Maybe I’ll give them a try one day. let me know if you do. I’d love to see them!
Of course the jeep had fans both big and small and so soon after these the commercial toy manufacturers came out with their own jeep pedal cars for kids. And while these are fairly rare to find nowadays, I wonder how many people still have their first little jeeps?
Stay tuned and I’ll have many more Popular Science and Popular Mechanix articles to come in the next few weeks while I’m gearing up for other big projects! Also be sure to check us out on Facebook. We’re nearly at 500 fans and the 500th fan will receive a free bumper sticker! Check us out today!
You can also find us on TwitterTumblrPinterestBlogger and Flickr. There are plenty of ways to get your online fix of!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Three New Ads From 1951 To 1978

More ads make an appearance today stretching from 1951 to 1978. In the better than a quarter of a century that spans in between their publication the world had changed quite a bit. Willys had changed hands to Kaiser and then AMC. The post-war boom was settling into a more self-conscious and conspicuous time for America. The station wagon was no longer being made but the truck had been transformed. From Better Homes And Gardens carrying the ad promoting the cost savings of the Willys wagon to the Field and Stream and Popular Science ads that still boasted of the money saving value under AMC and now also concentrating upon the toughness of the jeep. But the jeep was still going strong and loved throughout the world even through the gas shortages and tougher economy. The jeep at its heart had never changed, it was still a tough little go-getter that started it all. Click on any the thumbnails to view the ads or click here to go to the Old Jeep Ads section to view many, many more.
I’m still working on the Jeep World Family Tree plus a few more large projects that I’ll be unveiling throughout the rest of the year. Plus, I’ve found at least another 125 LIFE Magazine photos! They just keep popping up all over whenever I think that I’m done with them! Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Four LIFE Articles

We have a few miscellaneous things today that are the results of my fasciation with Google Books. Google Books is an online resource of tons of vintage books and magazines that Google has very generously provided free of charge to the researcher. I’ve been trying to see what I can find for a general search for the jeep and what I’ve found! Some of the stuff I’ve seen before, some I already have and some is new to me, but its voluminous and online to read. The only downside to it is the downloaded resolution of the scans is pretty low, usually only 72 dpi or so. I’ve downloaded and tweaked them as much as I can, but it can still be a bit of a bear to read on a computer screen. All of the stuff presented today is copyrighted, so you may want to think of it merely as a resource and database for future searches of your own. You can search for anything by date, magazine, title or by subject directly on Google Books. I’ve also included the links in the appropriate album as well.
There’s some interesting stuff, some miscellaneous early letters to the editor that questions the origin of the ‘jeep’ name, an article on the building of the Alaska Highway, the “Amerikansk Yeep” article that Dave at eWillys had found and provided a link to a few months back and the article written about the Half Safe, the modified GPA amphibious ‘seep’ that crossed the Atlantic. A book of the same name was later written about the couple’s voyage.
I’ll be presenting more of these finds from Google Books in the near future. In the meanwhile I’m working on the beginnings of a large project that I had planned on presenting today, but found out yesterday that it is much larger than I thought it was going to be, the Jeep world family tree! I’ll be writing some histories of the various incarnations of the jeep’s foreign cousins, including some ads, brochures, etc... But enjoy these articles today and find out what else you can find too!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The 2012 Calendar- September

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope that everyone is enjoying the holiday and taking the time to relax with a well-deserved day off. Today we have the 2012 calendar page for the month of September. Being Labor Day and Labor Day being the usual signifier that not only is summer nearly over, but that school is almost here again, I thought it fitting to use this undated photo. It shows a group of children and teachers and young GIs or ROTC cadets, though the children are especially enchanted by a group of MBs parked outside their school. I mean who wouldn’t be excited getting to sit in a jeep at your high school? Check out the expressions of the students standing in the windows as well. Not sure of the occasion though. Maybe a war bonds drive or the successful results of one?
According to the photo studio stamp, it was printed in Bordentown, NJ at a Farnsworth Studio. Doing a quick Google search shows that the photo studio is long gone, but I came up with what looks suspiciously like the school here identified as William MacFarland High School in Bordentown.

The calendar which contains 17 never before seen photos from the varied and storied history of the jeep can still be purchased here. The photo can be viewed full sized here in the album of many more MB and GPW photos.
Happy Labor Day again and come back next week!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Jeep Posse, February 1948 Popular Mechanics

On this long Labor Day weekend, I hope that everyone is both enjoying it and taking the time to appreciate the everyday efforts of our labor force in this country. Coming up on Labor Day, I thought it appropriate to roll out the February 1948 Popular Mechanics article on the Jeep Posse. The Jeep Posse was one of the first, if not the very first of its kind of an all volunteer jeep owner’s patrol that worked hand in hand with local law enforcement to provide fire fighting assistance and first responder help of all sorts to the city of Bountiful, Utah. As the article states at first they were just a group of guys who got together for trail rides and shooting the breeze, but soon they decided that they could do something for their community in their MBs and early CJ2-As. Being as mobile as they were (and many of the men were trained volunteer firemen...) they could be the first on the scene as an advance guard for fighting forest fires, being game wardens and a search and rescue party.
There still exist a number of ‘jeep posses’ today mainly across the southwest including the Bountiful City posse and they still proudly do what they did back in the day (though not necessarily still in jeeps, but they get a pass for that...) as a brotherhood. So on this Labor Day weekend we salute all the hard working men and women out there!
You can click here to read the article and others. Check in tomorrow for another Labor Day entry.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Early Kaiser Era Blueprints

Here is something today that I hope interests and fascinates you as much as it does me. Previous to finding these two I had never thought too much about the pieces of jeep history that rested in the background like these two blueprints. Sure, they’re for two minor and completely unremarkable pieces of jeep hardware that people surely wouldn’t notice. Nor are they immediately familiar parts of a jeep that helped make it recognizably famous like a grill or an exterior body part. Just a simple rear body plate reinforcement for the ’54-’62 station wagons and pickups with the Super Hurricane Six and a master cylinder tie-in bracket (for possibly an M38-A1... the part number is listed as an MD-A...).
But not only are they pieces that when put together with more legendary engineering ideas that helped to make the jeep a jeep, but they are pieces of history.
They are the original blueprints put into a redesigned reinforcement plate and master cylinder bracket with the draftsman and engineer’s signature and initials, dated and have tremendous bits of detail such as the dated Willys Engineering Department’s stamp on the backs, the Toledo Blueprint and Paper Co. identification of November 1952 and the best little part of jeep history. The word ‘Overland’ has been whited out of the company name at the bottom of the blueprint showing signatory proof of Kaiser’s recent acquisition and renaming of the old Willys-Overland Motors.

I can only wonder how many more pieces like these still exist. I came across them as a bonus extra in some parts catalogues that I bought. Wow! They are better than the catalogues AND they gave them to me for free! Rest assured they are a good home now. One is pretty badly beaten up and creased but the other is like new. You can click on the thumbnails above to download the high resolution scans, but be forewarned they are huge files! Each is about 500 MB in size!

Hope that you’ve enjoyed these! Check them both out here in the Miscellanea section and be warned they’re still big scans! Come back next for more of the wide world of the jeep and its history! I’ll be listing some miscellaneous stuff that I have to scan while I gear up for a new project!