Features Research Archives

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1962 Military Vehicles Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE: Here’s the scanned version of this January 1961 military vehicles brochure, It highlights the M-38A1 and M-170.

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Transmission Raffles @ Willys Reunion

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bob Christy let me know that the 2019 Spring Willys Jeep Reunion will be holding TWO raffles: One raffle for a transmission rebuild and one raffle for a rebuilt T-90. Learn more here: http://www.willysreunion.com/Raffle.htm

“You can buy a ticket to bring your transmission to the show (friday) and tear it down alongside Joe Deyoung, then rebuild it Saturday with parts supplied by Novak. A local transmission shop is going to hot tank it for us friday afternoon. We even have a selection of gears on hand in case new ones are needed.

Alternatively, you can buy a ticket to win the T90 joe is building. Winner need not be present for that, we can ship on the winner’s dime.”

topoff-lores PartsKit-lores exploded-view-lores

 
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1944 Photo of a Press Jeep in Paris

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This photo was published in the October 21, 1944, issue of the Saturday Evening Post.

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1956? Four Reasons Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This brochure came from eBay. I’m guessing it was published sometime in 1956, given it describes both the DJ-3A and the CJ-6 as new models. The brochure folds out horizontally.

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1949 Adjustable Scraper Blade Mount Patent

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Harvey Rust submitted this patent for an adjustable scraper blade mount on April 1, 1949.

“This invention relates to scraper blades of the bulldozer type such as used in leveling or pushing snow, dirt and the like, and in particular a blade mounting for removably attaching a blade to the front of a Jeep or the like wherein the elevation of the blade is readily adjustable and in which the blade is hinged and resiliently held to provide tilting movement when the lower edge of the blade engages a fixed obstruction.”

US2614344-drawings-page-1-lores 1949-01-01-adjustable-blade-patent2-lores

 
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How Willys-Overland Changed Its Identity: 1941-1946

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

NOTE: Though this is PART II of Maury and my research into the “J” logo, it mostly predates that article. This should be considered a working draft, as I’m sure we’ll learn new things and make editorial improvements to it. If you spot something in error, email me or comment below. 

willys-truck-car-logo-restoredWhen Maury Hurt and I were researching the short-lived “J” logo, we found ourselves looking back into Willys-Overland advertising during WWII. That, in turn, led to the development of the large Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s Magazine images showing all the ads Willys-Overland took out during the war so we could more easily compare how Willys-Overland marketing evolved. That work proved quite useful, showing us visually how the pre-war Willys-Overland company became, for all practical purposes, the post-war Willys ‘Jeep’ company.

FRED COLDWELL’S “SELLING THE ALL-AMERICAN WONDER”:

fred-caldwell-selling-the-american-wonderAnyone who has read Fred Coldwell’s excellent book  “Selling The All-American Wonder” knows that studying the WWII ads that Willys-Overland published during the war isn’t ground breaking. However, Fred focused his book on the legal challenges Willys-Overland faced when trying to secure the rights to trademark the name JEEP so the company could sell jeeps to the post-war public.

As Fred explained in his book, Willys-Overland faced a huge hurdle to transform the generic word jeep into a Trademark. Prior to the introduction of the Bantam BRC in September of 1940, the term JEEP had been applied to a magical cartoon character in Popeye, to Army grunts, to a type of train, to another category of military vehicle(Dodge Command Car), the MM Tractor, and to a category of planes, as this 1939 Boy’s Life Magazine highlighted (the term would continue to be used for that category of planes in magazine articles and ads throughout WWII.)

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Partial look at the 1939 article from Boy’s Life Magazine about the Jeep plane.

By mid-November of 1940, which was after the Bantam BRC and Willys Quad were introduced, both vehicles were already being referred to as jeeps. However, this was prior to the introduction of the Ford Pygmy in late November (which wasn’t being called a FORD GP at that point, nor even by early 1941).

Because of these complexities, Willys-Overland pushed to advertise in major publications during WWII to reinforce to the public the idea that the Jeep was a Willys product. To that end, Fred’s book highlights the type of WWII advertisements used to achieve that trademark goal (and Fred’s full-size reproductions of the ads are excellent and a much cheaper way of finding the ads then by purchasing magazines). Willys-Overland eventually secured the trademark JEEP in 1950.

HOW OUR APPROACH DIFFERED FROM FRED’S WORK:

Our review of the material differed in that we were trying to document how Willys-Overland arrived at the final the logo and text choices the company made.

Let’s not forget the state of the company prior to the war. In 1937, Willys-Overland produced 63,000 vehicles, but a recession wiped out sales the following year and Willys sales declined to a terrible 17,000 cars and trucks. Things were so bad that by 1940 earnings were a negative -$800,000 (read more here). In other words, Willys-Overland, as a car and truck company, wasn’t succeeding. And, like Bantam, Willys-Overland hoped a military contract would rescue the company.

Though Bantam lost out, Willys-Overland’s securing of the military contract for ‘scout cars’ in 1941 led to a significant financial turn-around. That year earnings bounced back, totaling $800,000 in the black. Things were looking up for the company.

With the new military contract and cash, coupled with an exciting new vehicle (the jeep), Willys started advertising more aggressively. Fred Coldwell notes that the earliest major advertisement, published in the December 13, 1941, issue of the Saturday Evening Post was titled The Jeep in Civvies. This ad promoted both the new army jeep and its connection to the 1942 Americar, Willys-Overland’s new creation led by former Chrysler Executive Joe Frazer.

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Saturday Evening Post December 13, 1941, page 117.

Subsequent magazine ads from Willys-Overland in early 1942 also harnessed the Jeep in Civvies slogan, but added to the advertisements were illustrations of a Willys Americar and a Willys slat grille jeep; in-between the two illustrations was the WILLYS logo in bold and an image of the Go-Devil engine. Underneath the large WILLYS logo was the sub-line: MOTOR CARS [Engine Image] TRUCKS AND JEEPS.

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The ad, HELL BENT FOR VICTORY,  was published in the June 27, 1942, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. The WILLYS brand is prominent. JEEP is mentioned, but it’s after MOTOR CARS, an engine, TRUCKS.

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WWII Photographer Estate Sale Milwaukee, WI

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Allan shared the news that Jake Skoric, a photographer with who took photos before during (in the South Pacific) and after WWII will have his photos being sold over the next three days. As you can see in the preview photos here, there are thousands of photos being sold.

Read the story here: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/04/05/estate-sale-features-unusual-gallery-6-000-black-and-white-photos/3368768002/

View the estate sale info here: https://www.estatesales.net/WI/Milwaukee/53220/2166789

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1953 Patent for Gun Aiming Mechanism

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

C.W. Musser filed a patent for a “Gun Aiming Mechanism with associate trigger release mechanism and supporting mount” on February 24, 1953. This illustration with the gun on a jeep accompanied the patent.

“Fig. 1 is a side view of my gun aiming mechanism and associated trigger release mechanism with supporting mount shown in heavy solid line. For purposes of illustration the aiming and trigger release mechanisms are applied to a typical, large caliber recoilless rifle and its attached spotting rifle (both shown in light solid line), and the supporting mount is secured to a representative motor vehicle which takes the form of the jeep (also shown in light solid line). For simplicity of drawing the customary sighting system for the guns has not been shown.”

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Photo of Lengthened WWII Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: , .

This MB has been lengthened.

View all the information on eBay

“Offered is an original WWII time period photograph. The picture measures approximately 2″ x 2.25″. It belonged to a GI who served as a medic with the 1st BN Aid Station attached to the 1306th Engineer General Service Regiment under the 3rd Army.”

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Brook Stevens’ Command Cars

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features • TAGS: , .

During WWII Brook Stevens developed a couple different Command Car concepts. All the pics of these can be seen at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s site.

1. The first one is a 6×6 vehicle. It was made into an actual vehicle. I don’t know what happened to it. I’m pretty sure I have a press photo fo this vehicle somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it. This very well could be on the same platform as other 6x6s of the era.

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Odd Vehicle

• CATEGORIES: Airborne Lightweight Jeeps, Features

Apparently, this is located in Bavaria … Photos of this vehicle were posted to the G503 Facebook page. Some folks saw this as a bubbafied vehicle, and there may be elements of that. However, the bends of the frame and other nuances have me wondering if it was some type of airborne prototype. It’s actually a pretty clean frame for a bubba project. In a couple pics you can see how clean the spring hangers have been mounted.

Thoughts?

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Check out the grille. You can see that it has equidistant slats up until the right side. I don’t see Bubba doing something like that so cleanly. g503-odd-jeep-post2 g503-odd-jeep-post3 g503-odd-jeep-post4

 

 
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1953 French Ad for Underwear on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Artists/Drawings, Features

I’m not sure how a jeep is supposed to help sell underwear, but maybe they have extra padding?

View all the information on eBay

“This is an original 1953 print ad
size : 6.7″ x 5.1″
condition : Excellent”

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Negatives of Early Jeep Wagon and Girl on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

There’s something about these two photos I find simultaneously hypnotic and eerie (maybe ghostly?). I can’t quite figure out why that is. I can feel the wind blowing in them.

View all the information on eBay
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“*1940’s – 50’s
(2) 2 1/4″ B&W Negatives
** Jeep Willys Wagon **
*** Medium Format Film ***
See Photos”

 
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1946 Willys-Overland “GET A ‘JEEP'” Campaign

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Artists/Drawings, Features

NOTE: This post is a summation of what I’ve assembled on the topic, but still needs more research and more cartoons. If you have ones not shown below, let me know!

UPDATE: As Terry pointed out, the Get a ‘Jeep’ campaign was likely a play off of the popular phrase Get a horse, the popular cry that greeted almost every automobile which appeared on the roads during the early years of the automobile. A 1930 article from the Saturday Evening Post also highlights the use of this phrase.

Starting in January of 1946, Willy’s Overland introduced the GET A ‘JEEP’ phrase to their Collier’s and Saturday Evening Post full-page ad campaign.

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Examples of the GET A ‘JEEP’ campaign in the full page ads of the Saturday Evening Post.

The company also introduced a subtler GET A ‘JEEP’ magazine marketing strategy in the form of small cartoons.

So far,  I’ve only identified the publishing date of one cartoon, but I’m sure with time we can identify the others. As of a November 13, 1946, the cartoon ad campaign was still being used, but the December 14, 1946, full-page ad does not include that phrase.

  1. This GET A ‘JEEP’ ad appeared in the October 12, 1946, issue of Collier’s Magazine. Strangely, the only attribution is the “A product of WILLYS-OVERLAND MOTORS”. My conclusion is that this was a sneakier “ad” for the new jeep.

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2. This version of the ad was published in a 1946 magazine. The cartoon print is available on eBay.

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3. This one was found on Pinterest:

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4. I’d published this one a few years ago. It was being sold on eBay.

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5. This was posted on eBay for sale and labeled a 1946 ad:

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1954 “In Uruguay” Ad on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Old Images

This two-page ad is supposed to be from a 1954 magazine. The seller does not provide the magazine or specific issue date.

View all the information on eBay

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Photos of WWII Jeep Stuck in Sand on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

With all those people around, why not try to pick it up and out of the hole? These may have been taken on the Oregon Coast.

View all the information on eBay

“Three original photos of a flat fender Willys Jeep getting stuck in the sand. The bottom photo measures 2-3/4″ x 3-3/4″, The top two photos measures 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″. Great condition.”

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Sportif, Dispatcher, Beach Comber, & Commuter

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A, Features

As most folks know, Brooks Stevens was instrumental in numerous production and concept car designs. One of the lesser known projects was, apparently, an offshoot of the DJ-3A 2WD line. There are four documented designs, two of which became concept vehicles.

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The Dispatcher and the Sportif concept cars.

  1. The Sportif: This DJ-3A-like vehicle appears to use the DJ-3A convertible windshield and hood, to which some stylistic designs have been added. There are a variety of undated pics at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s website which tags the images as being prototypes for the Canadian Market. A March-April 1995 Willys World article dates the pics to 1959. Brook Stevens is pictured in both images.

    1959-brook-stevens-sportif

    Link to Milwaukee Art Museum

  2. The Dispatcher (aka Dispatcher Sportif) and Dispatcher 100: The Milwaukee Art Museum labels this simply as the Dispatcher, but other placed identify this as the Dispatcher 100 or Dispatcher Sportif. You can see all the pics at the Museum’s website.

    Dispatcher 100: Derek Redmond published a slightly different version of this concept at the CJ-3B page. It’s titled the Dispatcher 100 (has an insignia with the name on the passenger door) and it may represent a slight update or next evolution of the “Dispatcher” above. The cover on the passenger side cowl suggests this might have been made from the later model DJ-3A body (which used the hole for a heater vent).
    Dispatcher-100-concept-jeep-cj3b-page

  3. Jeep Beach Comber: This fanciful 2WD vehicle looks inspired by the DJ-3A Surrey, one designs for beaches and vacation rentals. There’s only one image of it at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This appears to use the later model Willys hubcaps seen on the Surreys.
    1960-02-02-jeep-beach-comber-concept-illustrtion
  4. Jeep Commuter 100: It looks to be a roomier version of the other vehicles, but with a top that allowed lots of visibility. There’s only one image of it at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This jeep also appears to use the later model Willys hubcaps seen on the Surreys. I can attest that the low windshield and low soft top (if that is a soft top) would have made it difficult for 6-footers like me to climb back into the rear seat.
    1960-02-02-jeep-commuter-100-concept-illustration
 
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1945 Photo of Weasel Testing

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This photo was published in the February 09, 1945, issue of the Saturday Evening Post, page 12. It shows a Weasel getting a muddy test with a jeep next to it.

1945-02-09-sat-evening-post-weasel-test-pg12

 
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The Whens and Whys of the Willys-Overland “J” Logo

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE III: Maury spotted the a “J” dealership sign example on this Miller Tools brochure:

willys-miller-tools-hires-cover-lores

UPDATE II: I’ve added two examples of ‘dark’ “J”s, dark (blue or black) background with white letters. Now that I think about it, I guess this is similar to the black and white newspaper versions.

1948-circa-harry-payne-jeep-dealer-dark-j-logo

CREDIT: Douglass, Neal. Harry Payne Motors, photograph, June 3, 1942; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth34338/m1/1/: accessed April 7, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. … MY NOTES: The photo year is more likely late 1947 or 1948.

dark-willys-jeep-willys-world-march-april-1991-lores

From Willys World March-April 1991 issue.

UPDATE: This is best described as a working draft that Maury Hurt and I have constructed in the hopes of understanding Willys-Overland’s “J” logo better …. If you have input, please email me or add it in a comment at the bottom of the post.

In January of this year, Maury emailed me about a Willys/Cars•Trucks/Jeep logo that he was hoping to reproduce, wondering if I had any better examples of it. That simple email turned into a mission: Find out the history behind the logo.

Willys Cars Trucks Jeep

I have one of these patches. Not sure who created them or when.

It turned out that we could find no articles or discussion about the evolution of the logo. So, we spent a month looking through old brochures and advertisements to develop a theory of what it should look like, when it was used, and why.

What’s the logo supposed to look like?

Our first challenge was to determine what the logo was supposed to look like. As these examples show, different fonts and slightly different looks were used in the printing of the logo.

Willys Cars Trucks Jeep 2

Another patch example.

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This was from a January 1946 magazine ad.

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or even this one …

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Our suspicion is that this is from overseas, possibly Australia? We don’t have a time frame on this one.

And, the list would not be complete without some matchbook covers:

matchbook-covers

How should the “J” look?

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1943 Color Photo of Smoke Screen Demonstration

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine

This photo was published in the November 20, 1943, issue of the Saturday Evening Post.

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1954 Wagon Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This no reserve brochure is only $.99 (plus shipping) right now. It’s a good price on a nice brochure that folds out pretty large.

View all the information on ebay

“1954 Willy’s Jeep Station Wagon Original Sales Brochure. Condition is Used. Great condition! Shipped with USPS First Class Package.”

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Jeeps @ the Portland Swap Meet

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Paul Barry is at this year’s Portland Swap Meet in Oregon. He spotted several jeeps for sale.

Looks like a Parkway, but isn’t:

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A couple Jeepsters for $7000:

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Where Did March Go? Some Updates

• CATEGORIES: Features

March was a complete blur. Last I remember there was still snow on the ground here in Pasco. Now, the snow is long gone, the trees are budding, and the temperatures have warmed. I’m amazed I got any eWillys updates completed last month.

Speaking of updates, here are a few ….

The Funeral:

I wanted to say a final thanks to everyone who sent us well-wishes on dad’s passing. Anyone who has followed his story on here probably understands that, ever since his close call with death in 2011, all the years and time together since then have been a bonus. So, we were fortunate to have the extra time with him.

Thanks to perfect weather, my oldest son Karson and I drove Patterson to the funeral. The fact it was all back roads made it possible. I hadn’t driven the jeep that far since the Alaska Highway, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Still, we all agreed it was proper to have a jeep there, so we ignored the chance for a breakdown and drove anyway (but carried tow equipment just in case). The engine water temp gauge acted hot right away, so that made me a bit nervous on the drive, but there were no overheating signs, fortunately.

Just to make things interesting, the brakes were pulling to one side, so that made stopping all that more ‘fun’. And, the steering box was a little looser than I’d like, as I’d back off the ross box screw for towing it (but had forgotten about that), so we wandered a little. Still, the drive and purpose were worth any of those inconveniences.

2019-04-02-dad-funeral-patterson

I gave a short eulogy at the funeral (a little longer than the piece I published here) and managed not to crack with emotion as I read it. That was a win. Then, Karson and I managed to make it all the way back home without breaking down. Another win.

All-in-all it was a relatively happy event. We all understood where Dad was at in life, so there were more smiles than tears.

The Memorial:

I know some of you will be joining us at Dad’s Memorial. It is tentatively set for May 11th (a Saturday). The location has not been determined just yet.

Travels: 

The only travel plan we have marked in our calendars is a visit to Utah in early May. My daughter Kasia is graduating from college with a Chemical Engineering degree. She already has a great job in California lined up working for a long-established industrial insurance company (so we’ll be in the bay area at least a couple times over the next two years).

2019-04-02-kasia-sushi-bday-dinner

Kasia’s birthday just happened to be the same day as Dad’s funeral.

After that, we do not have any large trip planned (other than the White Rim trip below), though we are considering a September trip to Iowa to attend Dan’s FC Jamboree in Iowa. We haven’t traveled east that late in the year, so we thought it might be a nice change.

Canyonlands White Rim Trail:

My son Karson has invited me to join him on an exploration of the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park in early May, so after Kasia’s graduation, we’ll head down there.

He’s biked the length of the trail, but he thought I’d like to jeep it. So he offered, as an early birthday present, to rent a jeep in Moab and have us drive the trail’s 100 miles together. It was a very thoughtful present and I jumped at the chance.

I guess that’s all for now. I hope everyone is close to putting winter behind them and looking forward to some Spring weather!

 
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1954 Photo Repro of Jimmy Stewart in WW2 on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

As I read it, this photo of Jimmy Stewart and other service members from WW2 was taken in 1944 and reproduced on January 15, 1954 (or maybe just used on that date?).

View all the information on eBay

“Well-preserved 1944 Associated Press 8×11 glossy photo of Jimmy Stewart, an Army major, driving fliers to their planes in Britain less than two months before D-Day. A pencil mark appears above Stewart’s head. On the back is an “Associated Press Wirephoto” stamp.”

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Wooden WWII Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

This looked like an interesting jeep.

View all the information on eBay

“Vintage WWII era hand made wood model of a U.S. Army Jeep. Missing front bumper blocks and one rear corner wire guard, overall good condition. Measures aprox. 5” x 2 1/2” x 1 3/4”, great bit of military folkart.”

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