Imagine being able to disappear into thin air and reappear on the other side of the room. The act of teleportation was a favorite activity of Eugene the Jeep. This teleportation was possible because he was able to travel into the fourth dimension. A gift from Olive Oyl’s venturesome uncle, the magical yellow animal was delivered in a wooden crate labeled “Eugene the Jeep.”
Making a debut on the Thimble Theatre comic strip in March 1936, Jeep landed in the hearts of many Popeye fans. A character with mouse-like ears and whiskers, a large nose and protruding stomach, Olive immediately fell in love with him as well, and decided to keep him as a pet. It wasn’t soon after Olive made some realizations about the cute character, including his expensive dietary needs. Jeep could only eat orchids, which not a cheap flower to live on! But, even if she wasoffered a million dollars Olive said she would never sell Jeep.
Another memorable attribute of Jeep’s was his ability to say only one word: “Jeep!” To express his thoughts in order to communicate with Olive and Popeye, Jeep would stick his tail straight up in the air. This action meant that something was true, as Jeep always told the truth and was even able to predict the future! Wimpy would even use Jeep to make winning bets on the horses at the track.
Before the creation of Eugene the Jeep, the word jeep, was not even a word. In fact, Segar, the creator of Eugene the Jeep checked many languages to ensure that the word jeep did not exist! It was not until later, that the word jeep was used to refer to General Purpose military vehicles because of their ability to travel anywhere, just like Eugene the Jeep.
In Geppi’s Entertainment’s Hake’s Americana most recent auction, a Jeep string holder realized $1,075.25, includes 15% buyers premium. The string holder measures 6.5 X 10.5 X 2.75" and is incised with “Whitman” and a 1938 copyright on the bottom. There is a recessed area in the back to hold the string, with a hole in Jeep’s belly button. The Jeep string holder is also depicted in a green color instead of his usual yellow. To discover other prices realized by Hake’s Americana please visit their website.