The first Jeep was designed at the American Bantam Car
Company in Butler by Karl Probst. All in all, the company
manufactured 2,675 of its version of the car. But  the demand
was so great and the Butler plant so small that the War
Department authorized other larger companies in Detroit to
produce their nearly identical version of the Jeep to fill the
urgent military need. The Butler company went out of business in
1956.



The Butler Pennsylvania Poems


Home of the Jeep


No one boasts about great things
our town has brought about
like the little car designed here
when World War II broke out.

We tend to eschew the lamplight
or are too busy getting on
with chores
to brag about duties performed
or those on drawing boards.

Who, until now, has thought
of basking in the glory
of that one achievement?
One would think a museum fitting
or a monument for him, the designer
who gave birth to it,
and sent it out from here
to lovers of his car
the world over.

No, we allow our molds,
be they cars or people,
to leave our unwalled city
with what they have received—
their unique fashioning—
to unfold where they will and how.
Such is our way of giving,
painful though it be,
to our nation, to the world.

In our town square there rises
a great stone monument
honoring those for whom we weep.
Not far from it stands
a modest marble slab
with words etched in:
Butler—Home of the Jeep.