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1943 Photos of a ‘Jeep’ Named Squeekie

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

A one-of-a-kind ‘jeep’ named Squeekie was built from photos by William Mason in 1942. In 1943, this press photo was taken, then circulated around the country, two of which can be seen below.

Mason worked at Oakland’s Independent Iron Works, Inc. I wasn’t able to uncover too much about Mason, other than he filed a patent for an arc welding machine, on behalf of his employer in October of 1956.

This photo was shared on a vintage photograph Facebook Group by Bob Cunningham. He included the following text, though I’m unaware of where the text originated (maybe based on an original press photo caption?):

1942-jeep-squeekie-oakland-ca

Per the Facebook post: “In 1942, William Mason, an iron works superintendent in Oakland, California, used newspaper photographs to create “Squeekie,” his version of the Army’s new wonder car, the “jeep.” Although Mason built the 2-horsepower car for his son, Billy, his wife often used it for ’round-the-town grocery shopping during the days of gas rationing, since it got a thrifty 35 miles per gallon and rolled on unrationed, small sized implement tires. The little “jeep” was once stolen and abandoned in a farmer’s field, and the U.S. Army was notified that one of their prototypes had been found. At the time, most civilians had never seen an actual “jeep,” so the mistake was understandable.”

Here are two newspaper photos and captions:

1943-03-13-oakland-tribune-ca-squeekie-william-mason-lores

Published March 13, 1943, in the Oakland Tribune.

1943-03-18-la-cross-tribune-WI-squeekie-william-mason-lores

Published March 18, 1943, in the La Crosse Tribune, out of La Crosse, Wisconsin.

 

2 Comments on “1943 Photos of a ‘Jeep’ Named Squeekie

  1. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    I hope somebody living in this area makes an effort to find this vehicle today. That would be great if it still exists.

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