Farm Tractors, Occupational Therapy, and Four-Wheel Drive: Transforming a Military Vehicle Into a Cultural Icon
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
URL with Digital Object Identifier
The armed forces of World War II employed unprecedented numbers of mechanical transport vehicles, precipitating a spike in demand for automotive manufactures. Eager to capture a share of the less certain postwar automobile marketplace, defense contractors such as Willys-Overland pursued a diverse range of product development and advertising strategies, based on the foundation of their military output. This article considers the cultural significance of Willys-Overland’s 1/4-ton truck (“jeep”), one of the most widely recognized transport artifacts of World War II. Working from a Canadian perspective, the discussion traces the jeep’s transformation from a versatile front line utility truck into an enduring icon of the postwar auto age.