February 11, 2020

BLM

Breese, Lawrance, Moulton Motor Car and Equipment Co. (1906-1907)

Brooklyn, New York


This is a BLM radiator emblem (1906-1907)    alt
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Unknown 

The Breese, Lawrence, Moulton Motor Car and Equipment Company was established in 1906 and the first BLM car, announced in August 1906, was an expensive 85 hp model based on an experimental race car built by Breese and Lawrence in 1905. This car was not successful. However, in 1907, the BLM became a lower-priced, sporty looking car called the Pirate Runabout powered by a 24 hp four-cylinder engine imported from France. For more elegant motoring an attractive 16 hp four-cylinder landaulet was also offered.

Plans for the production of 250 cars were announced in September 1907 but by December the company was finished. A few years later Lawrence and Moulton moved to Paris and built two special sports cars for themselves.

Emblem

The BLM emblem shown above shows some paint repairs and it may be a painted brass emblem. However, BLM had close contacts with France, where enamel radiator emblems had been used for some years, so it is possible that the BLM radiator emblem may have been finished in enamel. In any event, the BLM emblem is a very early example of an American radiator emblem and is ultra rare.

The photo came from the emblem photo collection of Al Thurn but what became of the emblem, I do not know. If you have the emblem or a better quality photo, please let me know in order to update this post.

The emblem is shown in an illustration in an original BLM brochure, see below:

This is a BLM brochure illustration showing the radiator emblem   hperc

A round radiator emblem is also shown on another original BLM brochure, see below:


This is a BLM brochure showing the round radiator emblem (1906-1907)  ms










AIROMOBILE

Lewis-American Airways Inc. (1937)

Syracuse, New York


This is an Airomobile emblem (1937)     mjs
Size: 162mm wide 32mm high     MM: None

Paul M Lewis from Denver, Colorado set up Lewis-American Airways, Inc. in 1935 and decided to produce a streamlined, three-wheel motor car to be called the Airomobile. He engaged two engineers, Carl Doman and Ed Marks, both previously engineers with Franklin, who had prototype production facilities in Syracuse, to build the Airomobile. 

A 60 hp four-cylinder air-cooled prototype Airomobile was built and was road tested on 19 April 1937. But sufficient finance could not be found and full production of the Airomobile was never established. A prototype Airomobile car is (in 2017) in the National Automobile Museum in Reno.

Emblems

The Airomobile emblem shown above at the top of this post is ultra rare. It clearly appears to be from an Airomobile and has the date "July 3-37" inscribed on the back but is not the same as the hood emblem on the prototype Airomobile in the National Automobile Museum, which is also ultra rare, see photo below:

This is an Airomobile emblem (1937)      nam
Size: 105mm high  73mm wide     MM: Unknown

The Airomobile emblem shown at the top of this post is not found anywhere on the Airomobile at the National Automobile Museum. However, an advertisement in Antique Automobile in 1967 for the sale of  the only Airomobile in existence, which was partly disassembled and which is presumably the car now on display in the National Automobile Museum, also says "six produced, one remaining", see below:

Advertisement from Antique Automobile (1967)    hperc

It seems most likely that the Airomobile emblem shown at the top of this post was used on one of the other Airomobile prototypes produced by Paul Lewis before he abandoned his venture.









PHIANNA

Phianna Motors Co.

Newark, New Jersey (1917-1918)

Long Island City, New York (1919-1922)


This is a Phianna radiator emblem (1917-1918)    sam
Size: 60mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The Phianna name came from Phyllis and Anna, the twin daughters of one of the organizers of the Phianna Motors Company. Phianna Motors grew out of the demise of the S.G.V. Company of Reading, Pennsylvania (see S.G.V.) when a group of businessmen bought the S.G.V. assets and transferred operations to Newark, New Jersey. 

The first Phianna in 1917 was a small 25 hp four-cylinder model with a patented oval-shaped radiator. Like the S.G.V., the Phianna was a precision-built and expensive motor car, but did not sell well and production ceased in 1918.

Miles Harold Carpenter was impressed with the high quality of the Phianna. He took over Phianna and moved the business to a new factory in Long Island City where he redesigned the Phianna. The new car was beautifully designed and crafted with a longer wheel base and custom-built coachwork. The oval radiator was replaced by a Rolls-Royce type radiator. The car was introduced at the New York Automobile Show in October 1919 with price tags up to $11,500 for a limousine.

The Phianna was clearly meant to be a prestige automobile for the wealthy few. Indeed, it was bought by members of European royal families and diplomats in America. During 1921 there was a plan to build a much larger six-cylinder Phianna but the post First World War depression was too much for the Phianna and the last Phiannas were built from parts on hand in 1922.

Total production of the Phianna was about 300 cars.

Emblems

The first Phianna cars using the oval radiator had a circular radiator emblem finished in black paint, see example shown above at the top of this post. This Phianna radiator emblem is extremely rare.

The later Phianna cars used a Rolls-Royce type radiator and displayed the cast metal radiator emblem shown below. This Phianna radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Phianna radiator emblem (1919-1922)    mjs
Size: 80mm wide 21mm high    MM: Unknown


MORGAN

Morgan Motor Co. (1902-1903)

R L Morgan Co. (1908-1912)

Morgan Motor Truck Co. (1912-1913)

Worcester, Massachusetts


This is a Morgan Motor Truck combined maker's nameplate and serial plate (1912)     mjs
Size: 180mm wide 107mm high

The original Morgan truck in 1902 was a heavy steam truck powered by a two-cylinder compound engine but few were made.

A second attempt came in 1908 with reorganization of the company as the R.L.Morgan Company and production of a 40 hp four-cylinder gasoline powered truck with double chain drive. 

In 1912 the company was reorganized again as the Morgan Motor Truck Company and a line of 2-ton, 3-ton and 5-ton capacity trucks was introduced. Morgan trucks were offered until 1913. The same trucks were then continued in production until 1920 under the name Steele.

Emblems

From about 1910 and possibly earlier, the Morgan truck had a painted cast metal, combined maker's plate and serial plate mounted on the side of the driver's cab, see example shown above at the top of this post and in the photos below. The Morgan maker's plate and serial plate shown above is from a 5-ton Morgan truck built in 1912 and is very rare.

This is a Morgan truck (date unknown)    tom
Hillsborough Historical Society

This is a close up showing the Morgan maker's/serial plate by the driver's cab

The photo above shows a Morgan truck with a 1913 license plate. It is noted that there is no other radiator emblem or nameplate. 

I do not know, if any other Morgan trucks carried a radiator emblem. If you have any details or photos of Morgan radiator emblems or nameplates, please let me know in order to update this post.



January 17, 2020

CHALMERS-DETROIT

Chalmers-Detroit Motor Co. (1908-1910)

Detroit, Michigan


This is a Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem (1908-1909)     ms
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

The Chalmers-Detroit Motor Company was set up in 1908 and the first cars were marketed as 1909 models. Initially, they were Thomas-Detroit motor cars under a new name, Chalmers-Detroit, and were successful in racing car contests and tours in 1908-1909. Some of America's wealthiest businessmen owned Chalmers-Detroit motor cars, including the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers.

Late in 1910 Chalmers-Detroit reorganized into the Chalmers Motor Company and all cars thereafter were known simply as Chalmers.

Emblems

Original photos of Chalmers-Detroit cars taking part in contests in 1908-1909 indicate that some cars carried a radiator emblem, some only a radiator script, some with both a radiator emblem and radiator script and some without any emblem or script, see examples below:


This shows Chalmers-Detroit cars with and without radiator emblems or scripts (1909)   dpl

This is a Chalmers-Detroit with a radiator emblem and a brass radiator script (1909)   dpl

This is a Chalmers-Detroit with a radiator emblem and different radiator script (1909)  dpl

Original brass Chalmers-Detroit radiator scripts as shown in the photos above and in the example shown below are very rare.

This is a Chalmers-Detroit radiator script (1908-1909)    mjs
Size: 510mm

The Chalmers-Detroit brochure produced in 1908 to introduce the 1909 models shows a Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem on the cover, see below:

This is a Chalmers-Detroit brochure cover showing a radiator emblem (1908)  ms

The following painted metal emblem is believed to have been the first Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem in 1908. This Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem (1908)      kmc
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

This Chalmers-Detroit has been seen on a badly corroded radiator, see below:


This is a Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem (1908)     ms

The same emblem appears on a restored 1909 Chalmers-Detroit Thirty, which may have been built in 1908, see below:

This is a Chalmers-Detroit 30 with a brass radiator emblem and script (1909) steve sexton 

Close-up showing the radiator emblem

The blue and white enamel Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post was in use by 1909, and possibly in late 1908, and is one of the earliest enamel radiator emblems in America. This Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem is extremely rare.

The Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem design was changed in late 1909 for the 1910 model year, see example below. This Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem (1909-1910)     sac
Size: 58mm diameter     MM: Unknown

A metal only version of this emblem with what appears to be a slightly domed center is seen on a restored Chalmers-Detroit Model K listed as a 1910 model, see below. I do not have a clearer photo of this Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem, which is extremely rare.

This shows a domed metal Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem (1910)  bonhams


BRISCOE

Briscoe Motor Corp. (1914-1921)

Jackson, Michigan


This is a Briscoe radiator emblem (1917-1921)     mjs
Size: 81mm high 63mm wide    MM: Cady & Staff

The Briscoe Motor Corporation was established by Benjamin Briscoe following his departure from Maxwell-Briscoe and the collapse of his United States Motor Company. The Briscoe car made its debut at the New York Automobile Show in January 1914 and was a medium-priced four-cylinder car with an unusual cyclops headlight in the radiator grille. The car also had a compressed papier-mache body, which was very odd.

From 1916 the Briscoe became more like a typical American tourer car with the choice of either a four-cylinder or a V-8 engine. In 1920 Briscoe came up with a plan to simplify production by changing the detailed design to make manufacture simpler and cheaper. The idea may have been good but it proved to be a disaster. Benjamin Briscoe gave up in late 1921 and handed the business over to Clarence A. Earl, who continued to build the Briscoe from parts on hand but then started to make a new car called the Earl.

Briscoe also made commercial vehicles from 1915 to 1921. Initially a 1/2-tonner was offered using a Briscoe passenger car chassis. For 1918 a 1-tonner was also built and was the only type made for 1920-1921.

Emblems

The first Briscoe Model B cars in 1914-1915 had distinctive cyclops headlights, so hardly required further identification. However, these vehicles carried a similarly distinctive Briscoe crown radiator cap and hub caps, and a small Briscoe nameplate located at the bottom of the radiator shell, see photo below:

This is a Briscoe Model B radiator (1915)   sjb4photos

The Briscoe radiator nameplate is very rare, see example below:

This is a Briscoe Model B nameplate (1914-1915)     mjs
Size: 114mm wide 25mm high    MM: None

The following photo shows a Briscoe crown hub cap, which is similar to the crown radiator cap:                                                                 

This is a Briscoe crown hub cap (1914-c1920)    mjs

I cannot confirm whether the Briscoe radiator script shown above on the cyclops radiator is original. However, the Briscoe radiator script shown below appears to be original.

This is a Briscoe radiator script (c1915)     ms

The Briscoe 38 Clover-Leaf Roadster of 1916 shown in Briscoe company advertisements and brochures appears to have a large device at the top of the radiator which may be a radiator emblem, but I cannot confirm this.

This is an illustration of the Briscoe 38 showing a possible radiator emblem (1916)   ms

If you have details about this emblem, please let me know, so that this post can be updated.

From 1917, the Briscoe carried a blue, white and red enamel radiator emblem in the form of a fleur-de-lis with the word "BRISCOE" across the front, as shown above at the top of this post. This Briscoe radiator emblem is rare.

There are some other, unusual Briscoe radiator emblems that are a mystery to me.

The following dog-bone shaped Briscoe emblems, finished in colored enamel, are identical in shape and size to some similarly brighly colored Chandler radiator emblems (see Chandler). However, I am unaware of any links between Briscoe and Chandler. The Chandler dog-bone radiator emblems were used between 1914 and 1927 but I can find no information regarding the use of dog-bone emblems on Briscoe cars.

This is a Briscoe radiator emblem (date unknown)     sam
Size: 73mm wide 31mm high    MM: Unknown

This is a Briscoe radiator emblem (dates unknown)     sam
Size: 73mm wide 31mm high    MM: Unknown

However, these dog-bone Briscoe radiator emblems are in the Swigart Auto Museum emblem collection and both appear to be genuine. The red, white and blue enamel version shown above is included in an emblem collection assembled in the 1930's and probably earlier and is most unlikely to be a reproduction. These Briscoe dog-bone radiator emblems are extremely rare.

The following similar dog-bone Briscoe radiator emblems have also been found but I am unaware of their provenance:

This is a Briscoe radiator emblem (dates unknown)      kmc
Size:Unknown     MM: Unknown

This is a Briscoe radiator emblem (dates unknown)     kmc
Size:
73mm wide 31mm high    MM: None

Until evidence of the use of these dog-bone emblems on Briscoe cars is found, my best guess is that the makers of the Chandler dog-bone emblems made sample Briscoe dog-bone emblems, which were not used. This may have been at the time when Briscoe decided to use the fleur-de-lis emblem in 1917.  

The following Briscoe emblem is quite unique. It is a white and red enamel emblem in the form of a business card and was part of another early radiator emblem collection made in the 1920's and early 1930's, so is a genuine Briscoe emblem. Note that the word "Briscoe" is in the same style as the "Briscoe" radiator script shown earlier. I have no information about the use or dates of use of this Briscoe emblem, which may be ultra rare.

This is a Briscoe radiator emblem (dates unknown)     sam
Size: 78mm wide 44mm high     MM: Unknown

If you have further information about these or any other Briscoe emblems, please do let me know, in order to update this post.






ERSKINE

Studebaker Corp. (1927-1930)

South Bend, Indiana


This is an Erskine radiator emblem (1927)     mjs
Size: 50mm diameter     MM: Unknown

The Erskine was a low-priced car with the slogan "The Little Aristocrat". It was set up by Studebaker (see Studebaker) and named after the president of the Studebaker Corporation, Albert Russel Erskine.

The Erskine had a 40 hp six-cylinder engine and was introduced at the Grand Palais in Paris in October 1926 and then at Olympia in London and next in New York. The Erskine sold well in Europe but did not meet expectations in America, partly due to its small size and at a price significantly higher than its main competitors. By May of 1930 the Erskine name was dropped and the car was absorbed into the Studebaker line. Erskine also produced a 1/2-ton van in 1928 and 1929.

Emblems

The first dark blue and white enamel Erskine radiator emblem is shown above at the top of this post.  This Erskine radiator emblem was used for a short time in 1927 and is rare.

The following, smaller version of the first Erskine radiator emblem was used from late 1927 and through 1928. This Erskine radiator emblem is scarce.

This is an Erskine radiator emblem (1927-1928)     mjs
Size: 46mm diameter    MM: Unknown
The folowing photo shows the size differences in the first Erskine radiator emblems:

This photo compares the two sizes of Erskine radiator emblem    mjs

The following pressed metal "Erskine Six" radiator script was an optional attachment used on some export models. This Erskine script is rare.

This is an Erskine Six radiator script (1927-1928)     dnc
Size: 230mm wide

The dark blue, black and white enamel Erskine radiator emblem shown below was used in 1929 and is scarce:

Tis is an Erskine radiator emblem (1929)     mjs
Size: 54mm diameter overall    MM: None (some D L Auld)

The export version of this Erskine radiator emblem is shown below:

This is an export version of the Erskine radiator emblem (1929)     mjs
Size: 54mm diameter overall    MM: D L Auld

There is also a "Made in Canada" version of this Erskine radiator emblem, see example below. This Canadian Erskine radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Canadian Erskine radiator emblem (1929)     dnc
Size: 54mm diameter     MM: Unknown

The following black and white enamel Erskine radiator emblem was used in 1930. There is also a "Made in U.S.A." export version of this Erskine radiator emblem. This Erskine radiator emblem is scarce.

This is an Erskine radiator emblem (1930)     mjs
Size: 50mm high 34mm wide    MM: Unknown (poss D L Auld)

There was also a blue, pale blue and black enamel version of this Erskine radiator emblem, see example below. This Erskine radiator emblem is scarce.

This is an Erskine radiator emblem (1930)     mjs
Size: 51mm high 34mm wide    MM: D L Auld