Sunday, April 28, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Two, Warn Hubs

This week brings us the next part of the Willys Industrial Equipment Book, the Warn Hub Caps. Warn Industries was one of those early pioneering companies that saw the incredible potential of the post-war jeep.  Warn was a relatively small company that has grown into a name that is synonymous with the 4X4 industry today for their hubs, bumpers and especially, their winches. Arthur and Sadie Warn began by running a Willys dealership in Washington State in the 1930’s. Their hard work and vision formed Warn Industries by 1948 with a dream that the post-war jeep could become a bit more road worthy by the addition of the then just $20 Warn hub! Nowadays an early set of Warn hubs are prized and hard to come by.
But back in the early days it took alot of hard work and Sadie’s vision that advertising and selling the hubs in the pages of Popular Mechanics would pay off. And pay off it did. The mail order business took off and by 1954 the Warn hub was offered as optional factory equipment from auto manufacturers. You an read more about Warn Industries’ history here at their site and click here to view the whole brochure including a supplemental ad that touts the benefits of dealers stocking the famous Warn hubs that appear in the pages of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated and Science and Mechanics.

And this photo appears on the Warn history section of their site. I’m assuming that its their dealership, but are those really neat extended body conversions on CJ2-As? Hmmm... I’d love to see more of them! 
I posted this on our Facebook page last night, but I’d like to remind everyone that we have an all-jeep forum. We're friendly, helpful, interesting and unfortunately, a bit small now right now. We recently had an involuntary move to new server/ hosting company and I feel like we've lost many of our old posters. If you're one of them, why don't you come back? You need to create a new username and password for the new host, Yuku and you'll be back in the action again! If you're new to our forum, check us out! We have lots of projects, photos and how-tos and friendly jeep guys and gals but we could still use your help. Check us out here...
Come back next week for more history from the legendary unstoppable jeep and until then, I hope to see you on our forum!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part One- Farm Implements

This is finally one of my projects that I’ve had in mind that I’ve wanted to include here on the site for a long time now. I’ve seen a few of these Industrial Equipment Books for sale in the recent past, but they don’t come down the pike very often and when they do they go for big bucks. I was lucky enough to win this three ring binder filled with Willys-Overland dealer information. It was a sales item that allowed the dealer to easily show off the plethora of equipment that was available for purchase straight from the dealership at the time of purchase. It also convincingly showed off the multiple uses that the jeep could be put through. 
This binder dates from roughly May 1952 (to judge by the enclosed letter of introduction from the head of Farm Sales for Willys...), less than one year from the demise of W-O and the buyout by Kaiser. It was of course, an interesting time for the world at large and America in particular. Farming was one of those many occupations that was being changed dramatically in part by advances in science as well the overall increase in the American economy. Prior to the 1940’s, “only one-third of farms had electricity to run refrigerators or washing machines in the house or lights and milking machines in the barn. Only 25 percent of farms had telephones.” (
But even before the war farming was undergoing remarkable changes. Farmers had to become more and more productive while becoming fewer in numbers. They were able to produce more in less time due to changes in crop varieties, irrigation techniques and pesticides, but one of the biggest of all was the increasingly different and increased uses of machinery. Tractors were getting more powerful and had more horsepower. And they had to as the workforce was rapidly changing. Less kids stayed down on the farm. Cities and factories were where people gravitated towards especially later on driven by the huge post-war boom. Tractors became a necessity and horses as a source of ‘horsepower’ were out. Check out this link for an interesting comparative series of videos between a horse drawn plow and tractors from 1929 to 1997. From a study on American agriculture comes this interesting figure, "Productivity growth was slow before the 1930s... The estimated rate of productivity growth is 0.4 percent in [the period] 1910-1939 per year and 2.0 percent in 1940-1996." (Bruce L. Gardner, “American Agriculture in the Twentieth Century,” (Harvard University Press, 2002) In the short period of a decade productivity had risen five times!
The jeep was naturally a part of this revolution as it had been in the war and so too did Willys-Overland foresee it within the peacetime economy. Its potential, unfortunately was not realized on the farm, though the jeep did see it’s uses blossom elsewhere.
You can read the rest of the article here.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wrecks And Stucks And The April 2013 Calendar Page

Welcome back and welcome to April everyone. Today we have the 2013 calendar page for April. Since its April and the season for mud as well as April Fool’s Day jokes, I thought that this photo would work out particularly well. Someone had entitled it “A jerk by a jeep!” on the front of the photo and noted on the back that “There is one thing we have plenty of over here and that’s mud!” I thought it hilarious and a good example of two buddies having a good time in the service (always with the help of the jeep!), possibly somewhere in Europe. The grin on the guy’s face tells you that his cool rain slicker may have saved him from the rain, but not the mud!
I’m also including various photos found online in the Website Finds section of all sorts of wrecks and stucks that people have gotten the jeep into. While its a mighty capable vehicle, there were even limits to what the jeep could get through in one piece.

Thanks for being patient when I wasn’t able to post last week. I’ve been dealing with alot of health issues with my mom, who as much as I wish it weren’t so, just isn’t getting any younger. I also had family and friends visiting for my son’s seventh birthday party, so it was a busy time! I’m working on various ideas for much longer articles as well a long scanning project that I intend on beginning this weekend... so stay tuned, I have some great things to share soon! Come back next week for more and I hope that you’re getting as ready for spring as I am!