28 April,2000

Karl Probst d. August 1963

Karl in the 1940's

I expect to do much more on the life and history of this fascinating man, but for now I will just post these photographs of him kindly supplied by his son, Charles Probst. During the year he developed the jeep at Bantam Karl was 58 years old. He built his first car in 1903 (!) at Ohio State where he studied under Kettering. He never expressed bitterness about the shabby treatment Bantam and his jeep recieved, or the lack of personal public recognition for his remarkable achievments. "The Industry knows" he said, referring to the question of who really designed the jeep.

For his whole career he was concerned with the elements of strength and lightness. His 1916 Milburn electric was fully 1,000 pounds lighter than the competition. According to Charles he would pick up a random object in his hand and heft it with a far off look and say something like, this weighs 15 ozs, will cost 58 cents to manufacture, and will take 47 minutes to machine. Many of hs innovations are still in use in today's automobiles.

Karl in 1960 or so?

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