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The Bantam at the factory, August 5, 1940

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The Bantam at the factory, August 5, 1940
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 49,660

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Smithsonian Automobile Collection — Car collection, 1930-1949

OTHER VIEWS
Postcard of Jeeps
Postcard of Jeeps


Bantam Army Truck 'Jeep' 1940
Bantam Army Truck "Jeep" 1940



RELATED OBJECTS
Willys radiator emblem


Bantam prototype for the Jeep
Catalog #: 312,822, Accession #: 167,398
Currently on loan
From the Smithsonian Collection
In 1940, the American Bantam Car Company of Butler, Pa., constructed 62 quarter-ton, four-wheel-drive trucks. This is one of the prototypes of the famous army vehicle known as the Jeep. The museum's Bantam, bearing serial number 1007, was number 7 of the 62. It was delivered to the Army on November 29, 1940, and transferred to the museum in 1944.
Physical Description
Artifact
Details
Date Made:
1940
Locations:
Pennsylvania
Credit:
Transferred from the War Department
History

During World War II, when the army was looking for a vehicle to replace the motorcycle as a mechanized form of transportation, it came up with what came to be known as the Jeep. Jeeps were produced in large numbers by Willys-Overland Motors, the Ford Motor Company, and the Bantam firm. According to one newspaper account, about 660,000 were made. Jeeps were incredibly important to the war effort and became for many a symbol of American ingenuity.


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