The company was founded in 1917 as the Wisconsin Duplex Auto Company and was created to build a severe-duty four-wheel-drive truck. The first prototype was built, and upon its strengths as a vehicle, the company began to take off. This first four-wheel-drive truck is known today as Old Betsy. It is still owned by Oshkosh Corporation and housed in one of its assembly plants in Oshkosh. Old Betsy still runs and is used frequently in demonstrations and parades.