Origin of "Bang for your Buck"

Basic question, does anyone know what the origin of “Best bang for your buck” is? I am somewhat leery of googling that at work, but it came up at coffee this morning and I turn to my fellow Dopers for help.

Not entirely sure, but I was immediately reminded of the old Springmaid sheet ad with an Indian sprawled out on a hammock and a young Indian maiden with the caption “A buck well spent on a Springmaid Sheet.”

Probably unrelated, but perhaps not.

Until samclem gets here, a tentative origin:


…depending on whether Mr. Safire is correct about the 1954 origin.

It is almost certainly from the military, as Exapno found.
By the way, I found this by going to one of my favorite resources on word/phrase origins: WebFusion AUE Concordance Interface Prefix

This is always a good place to start as it indexes some good people–Maven’s Word of the Day, Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words, Dave Wilton’s wordorigins and Evan Morris’ Word Detective. These are the trustworthy one’s on that site.

And, indeed, I just found a newspaper cite(January, 1954) using the phrase “more bang for a buck”’ in describing the policy as Safire suggested.

I did so too search Maven’s Word of the Day! But most of the word sites have terrible search engines.

So I’ve bookmarked your site, sam.

Thanks! I have also bookmarked that site. The sweet smell of facts shattering my co-workers, I love it!