I was born in Butler, PA and was raised, went to school, and started my own family in the Butler area. I was born there the second month of 1943 and moved away in July of 1979. Since I lived in the Butler area for 36 plus years of my life, I believe I have the right to call it my home town. Although we lived in the country, it was the closest town, only about 8 miles away. I worked over 17 years at Pullman-Standard, which does not now exist. In fact, that area of town does not look the same, not even close.
I got an email this morning from Jeep advertising its newest line of vehicles. I guess it is because I own a Jeep Liberty and get it serviced at the Jeep dealer. Anyway, it reminded me of my home town and that Butler was the “home of the Jeep”. The American Bantam Car Company, located in Butler, was the first company to deliver a proto-type “Jeep” to the Army and won the contract to deliver many more. There is a park in the center of Butler that has a monument proclaiming that Butler was the home of the Jeep.
There would have been no way that a company as small as the Bantam Car Company could supply all the jeeps that the Army would need, so Willys and Ford used the American Bantam Car Company’s prints and specs to also manufacture the Jeep. It was said that the US got worried when Hitler ordered 1000 tanks from General Motors and told them not to ship them, that they would pick them up on the way through Detroit. Now, I don’t know if that was true, but even if it were not, the rumor was enough to get the American people worried about that war going on over there in Europe.
Any way, if you are interested in more information on the history of the jeep, this is one of many sites that give some history:
And if you have the time, this web site that was written by the Bantam Jeep Festival people of Butler has a video that is well worth watching. It is rather long but does do a great job of giving you the complete history of the Jeep:
You all have a good weekend.