January 23, 2022

BERKSHIRE

Berkshire Motor Co. )

Berkshire Automobile Co.) (1905-1907)

Berkshire Motor Car Co. )

Berkshire Auto-Car Co. (1909-1911)

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Belcher Engineering Co. (1912)

Cambridge, Massachusetts


This is a Berkshire nameplate (dates unknown, poss c1906)      mjs
Size: 52mm wide 16mm high

"Made and tested in the Berkshire Hills" was the company slogan. The first Berkshire car was completed in 1903 but production did not begin until late 1904 and the Berkshire was not available for sale until the 1905 model year. The company had a troubled life and changed its name three times in its first three years. A transmission designed to prevent stripping of gears was patented and installed in the Berkshire, but it proved a disaster. The factory was shut down in 1907 and the owners looked for more local capital but this was not offered.

Production began again in 1909 under the Berkshire Auto-Car Company name with about 30 cars being built for 1910. In 1912 the Belcher Engineering Company bought all the remaining Berkshire parts and built three more cars in Cambridge. Total production of the Berkshire was about 150 cars.

Between 1906 and 1907 the Berkshire Automobile Company is recorded as having built some open delivery vans on modified passenger car chassis. Whether these were Berkshire chassis is not known. A double chain drive 3-ton truck was also offered. Very few such commercial vehicles were made.

Emblems

The first Berkshire cars would not have carried an emblem but may have displayed the "Berkshire" name on a small brass nameplate/serial plate probably attached to the body or on the dash but I cannot confirm this.

The following Berkshire advertisement in 1905 appears to show a script mounted on the radiator core, although the photo is not very clear:

Berkshire as showing possible rad script (1905)  catj

A Berkshire radiator script is clearly seen on the following Berkshire advertisement appearing in 1906 for the 1907 model year:

Berkshire ad showing radiator script (1906)  ebay

This brass Berkshire radiator script is also seen on the following original period publicity photo taken in 1906. Original brass Berkshire radiator scripts are very rare.

Berkshire car displaying radiator script (1906)   dpl

Close up showing radiator script & emblem (1906)

This 1906 Berkshire radiator also displays a small brass emblem or nameplate on the radiator tank top. It is possible that this is a radiator maker's emblem but it is also possible that this is a small brass Berkshire nameplate, as radiator nameplates of this style were in use by some motor car manufacturers by 1906. This possible Berkshire radiator emblem may be similar to the small Berkshire nameplate shown above at the top of this post, although I cannot confirm this. 

The following is a different Berkshire nameplate in painted brass:

This is a Berkshire nameplate (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 84mm wide 22mm high

Berkshire nameplates like those shown above and at the top of this post are rare.

It is possible that the few Berkshire motor cars built when production resumed for the 1910 to 1912 model years carried a radiator emblem but I can find no evidence of such an emblem. The 1911 Berkshire Model E motor car shown in the following original period photo, for example, does not carry a radiator emblem.

If you have details of any other Berkshire emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.




LAFRANCE-REPUBLIC

La France-Republic Corp. (1929-1932)
La France-Republic Corp. Div. Sterling Motors Corp. (1932-1942)
Alma, Michigan 


This is a La France-Republic radiator emblem (1929-1942)   mjs
Size: 97mm wide 67mm high    MM: D L Auld

La France-Republic was the result of a merger between the commercial truck side of American-La France (see American-La France) and the Republic Motor Truck Company (see Republic), which had been America's largest truck manufacturer in 1918 but which had slipped badly through the 1920's. La France-Republic trucks ranged from 1-ton to 6-ton capacity. The first year of production in 1929 saw a peak of 815 units sold but production figures fell thereafter.

In 1931 La France-Republic introduced a "super truck" called the Mogul, which was powered by a 240 hp twelve-cylinder American-La France engine, intended for speeds of up to 60 mph with a gross weight of 20 tons. But this did not help the company's fortunes. In 1932 La France-Republic was acquired by Sterling Motor Truck Company and production was transferred to Milwaukee (see Sterling). Subsequent La France-Republic trucks were Sterling models with La France-Republic emblems attached. This lasted until 1942.

Emblems

LaFrance-Republic trucks carried a blue, white and gold enamel radiator emblem, see example shown above at the top of this post. This LaFrance-Republic radiator emblem is scarce.

LaFrance-Republic trucks also displayed the "LaFrance-Republic" name on hood side nameplates, see LaFrance-Republic Series 100 truck brochure cover, shown below:

LaFrance-Republic Series 100 truck (1932)    trucksplanet

Detail showing radiator emblem & hood side nameplate (1932)

The following is an example of a LaFrance-Republic hood side nameplate. Original LaFrance-Republic nameplates are rare.

This is a LaFrance-Republic hood side nameplate (1929-1942)   lktec
Size: 430mm wide 52mm high




WOODS MOBILETTE

Woods Mobilette Co. (1913-1916)

Harvey, Illinois


This is a Woods Mobilette radiator emblem (c1916)   ms
Size: 58mm high 52mm wide   MM: Unknown

Francis A Woods built two prototype cyclecars between 1910 and 1912. Woods obtained financial support and the Woods Mobilette Company was established in 1913 to produce what was called "America's First Cyclecar".

The Woods Mobilette was a 12 hp four-cylinder water-cooled roadster, initially designed as a tandem two-seater. For 1916 the Mobilette was lengthened with the two seats set in a staggered arrangement.

By 1914 production of the Woods Mobilette had reached about 1,000 units per month but, as interest in cyclecars waned, production started to fall and it was all over in late 1916.

Emblems

The Woods Mobilette carried a painted brass radiator emblem, see example shown above. This emblem is rare.

Some Woods Mobilette cyclecars also carried a brass radiator script, see example below. Original "Woods Mobilette" radiator scripts are rare. 

This is a Woods Mobilette radiator script (1915)     gcm




RAUCH & LANG

Rauch & Lang Carriage Co. (1905-1915)
Baker R & L Co. (1915-1920)
Cleveland, Ohio
Rauch & Lang, Inc. (1920-1932)
Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts 


This is a Rauch & Lang hub emblem (c1910-1915)    mjs
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: None

The Rauch & Lang Carriage Company was a long established builder of fine carriages by 1903 when the company took the Cleveland agency for the Buffalo Electric and in 1905 built their own electric car. The first Rauch & Lang was an open Stanhope model followed shortly after by coupe and depot wagon models. Fifty electrics were built in 1905 and production had risen to 500 a year by 1908 and there were orders for 300 more.

By 1915 the market for electric vehicles was in decline and Rauch & Lang merged with the Baker Motor Vehicle Company to form the Baker R & L Company. The electric cars were commonly known as Baker Raulang. The Baker name continued through 1916. Thereafter only Rauch & Langs were produced. A wide variety of models and body styles continued to be offered. In 1919 a total of 700 Rauch & Lang electrics were built and the company was restructured into different businesses; coachbuilding, passenger cars and another department set up to manufacture electric industrial trucks.

In January 1920, Ray S Deering, president of the Stevens-Duryea Company bought the electric passenger car business of Rauch & Lang, which he reorganized as Rauch & Lang, Inc. and moved to a new factory in Chicopee Falls. In 1922, Rauch & Lang entered the taxicab field with production of both electric and gasoline powered taxicabs. Only a very few electric passenger cars were produced after this time and taxicabs became the main Rauch & Lang business. Financial problems began in 1924 and in 1928 passenger car production ceased completely.

In 1929 an experimental 60hp gas-electric was developed using a Willys-Knight engine and General Electric motor. It was called a Raulang and at least three were built. The stock market crash stopped any plans for further development. Rauch & Lang struggled on for a few years but it was all over by 1932.

Emblems

In common with most other early electric motor cars, Rauch & Lang electrics did not have a conventional hood and radiator. 

The "Rauch & Lang" name was displayed on the hub emblems, see early black painted example shown above at the top of this post. This Rauch & Land hub emblem is rare.

The following is a Rauch & Lang wire wheel hub emblem showing the "Rauch & Land Electrics" script logo. This Rauch & Lang hub emblem is also rare.

This is a Rauch & Lang wire wheel hub emblem (c1915)    mjs
Size: 70mm diameter   MM: None

The "Rauch & Lang" name was also displayed on the rubber step board cover, see example shown below:

Rauch & Lang name on the step board cover (1916)  rmsothebys

There was a change in hub emblem following the merger with the Baker Motor Vehicle Company in 1915, see example shown below. This Baker R & L hub emblem was originally painted black and is rare.

This is a Baker R & L hub emblem (1915-1920)   mjs
Size: 63mm diameter   MM: None

The hub emblem name returned to Rauch & Lang in 1917 but was changed again when the company was reorganized as Rauch & Lang, Inc. and the factory was moved to Chicopee Falls in Massachusetts in 1920, see example shown below. This Rauch & Lang hub emblem is rare.

This is a Rauch & Lang hub emblem (1920-c1928)    mjs
Size: 67mm diameter    MM: None

This Rauch & Lang hub emblem was originally painted black, see restored example shown below:

Rauch & Lang hub emblem (1920)   rmsothebys

I have not seen a Rauch & Lang vehicle with an emblem on the radiator or elsewhere on the body but there is an R&L emblem, see red painted R&L emblem shown below. This R&L emblem is rare.

This is an R&L emblem (dates unknown)   pcc
Size: 48mm high 38mm wide    MM: Unknown

There is also a corresponding red and black painted R&L hub emblem, see example shown below:

This is an R&L hub emblem (dates unknown)   ms
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

I do not know when or where these emblems were used. It is possible they were used for some R&L taxicabs, for example the gasoline powered taxicabs built from 1922, but I cannot confirm this. If you can identify these R&L emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.










SEAGRAVE

Seagrave Co. (1907-1919)
Seagrave Corp. (1919-1963)
Columbus, Ohio
Seagrave Fire Apparatus Div., FWD Corp. (1963-2003)
Seagrave Fire Apparatus LLC (2003-present)
Clintonville, Wisconsin


This is a Seagrave fire engine radiator emblem (dates)  mjs
Size: 76mm wide 54mm high   MM: D L Auld

The Seagrave Company had been building horse-drawn fire apparatus since 1881 but began building motorized fire appliance vehicles in 1907 and became one of America's best-known manufacturers of fire apparatus. The first Seagrave motorized vehicles were powered by four-cylinder engines and the first three were delivered to fire departments in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. In 1909 Seagrave built a truck tractor for articulated fire fighting ladders. In 1911 Seagrave built its first centrifugal pumper using a six-cylinder engine. For 1914 a passenger-type fire vehicle was built called a Chief's Auto with seats for two people and a chemical tank or seating for five passengers.

Seagrave built a wide variety of fire engines during the 1920's, including pumpers from 750gpm to 1,300gpm. In 1932 Seagrave introduced its 240 hp V-12 engine. Some Seagrave fire appliances were built using Ford and Reo chassis as well as their own in the 1930's due to the Depression. Articulated ladder trucks were built through the 1930's and 1940's. In 1951 Seagrave vehicles were completely restyled.

In 1955 Seagrave acquired Maxim Motor Company but was itself bought out by FWD in 1963 and production moved to Clintonville, Wisconsin. Seagrave continued to manufacture a range of pumpers, rescue units, aerial towers and related fire apparatus. In 2003 FWD and its assets, including Seagrave, were acquired by an investment group but Seagrave still builds fire apparatus (as of 2021).

Emblems

The horse-drawn Seagrave fire engines from 1881 through to 1912 displayed the "Seagrave" name on small brass nameplates, see example shown below. This Seagrave nameplate is rare.

This is a Seagrave horse-drawn fire apparatus nameplate (c1905)  mjs
Size: 105mm wide 67mm high

The first motorized Seagrave fire engines from 1907 had a flat face dash in front of the driver, see example shown below:

Seagrave fire engine with flat face dash (1911)     windsorfire

From 1907 to 1914, the AC-53 and AC-8 fire truck models displayed the "Seagrave" name on serial plates attached to the inside of the flat face dash. There was no other nameplate or emblem.

Seagrave fire engines built from about 1913 with a long hood in front of the driver displayed the "Seagrave" name on a large rectangular nameplate mounted on the body sides just under the entrance to the driver's cab, see examples shown below. Initially these Seagrave nameplates were probably brass but by the late teens were aluminum. Original Seagrave nameplates of this design are very rare.

Seagrave ladder truck with body side nameplate (1914)   matt lee



Seagrave fire engine with body side nameplate (c1914)  wmcc

Close up showing Seagrave body side nameplate 

The first Seagrave radiator emblem appeared about 1916. This oval shaped emblem continued in use for many years through 1951 with slight variations, see red, white and blue enamel Seagrave radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Seagrave radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Seagrave fire engine radiator emblem (1916-1951) mjs
Size: 76mm wide 54mm high   MM: D L Auld

The following Seagrave radiator emblem is a slight variation of lettering size:

This is a Seagrave fire engine radiator emblem (1916-1951) mjs
Size: 76mm wide 54mm high   MM: Unknown (poss D L Auld)

From about 1930 to about 1940, Seagrave fire engines displayed a large painted letter "S" mounted in the center of the front bumpers, see examples shown below:

Seagrave fire engine with bumper emblem (1935)  michael mietlicki

Seagrave bumper emblem (1936)    capecodfd

From 1933 to about 1946, Seagrave fire engines also displayed the "Seagrave" name on cast metal nameplates mounted on the body sides under the entrance to the driver's cab, see example shown below:

Seagrave fire engine with body side nameplate (1935)  wmcc

Close up showing body side nameplate

This is the cast metal Seagrave body side nameplate shown below. This Seagrave nameplate is scarce.

This is a Seagrave body side nameplate (1933-c1946)   mjs
Size: 200mm wide 63mm high   MM: None

This Seagrave nameplate was also mounted on the door of the tool compartment at the rear of the fire truck.

The following photo of a 1936 Seagrave ladder truck shows the radiator emblem, front bumper emblem, body side nameplate and a small round hood side emblem located just ahead of the hood vent louvres:

Seagrave truck with bumper emblem, body side nameplate & hood side emblem (1936) capecodfd

The following is a close-up showing the hood side vent louvres and emblem:

Seagrave hood side emblem (1937)    capecodfd

This is the cast metal Seagrave hood side emblem shown below. This Seagrave emblem is rare.

This is a Seagrave hood side emblem (1935-1944)   ms
Size: Unknown

The Seagrave hood side emblem was changed to a chrome letter "S" from about 1945, see example shown below:

This shows the Seagrave hood side emblem (1949)  capecodfd

Seagrave fire engines at this time also displayed a hood ornament with a painted chrome letter "S", see example shown below:

Close up showing radiator emblem & hood ornament (1949) capecodfd

The 70th Anniversary Series fire engines introduced in 1951 had completely new styling with a rounded hood carrying the siren in the center. These fire engines also carried a large chrome plated cast "Seagrave" belt-buckle style emblem mounted on the radiator grille with a small round painted chrome hood side nameplate, see photos shown below. This Seagrave grille emblem continued in use with some variations until 1970.

Seagrave pumper with grille & hood side emblems (1951) capecodfd

Seagrave pumper showing bumper emblem (1951)  capecodfd

This is a Seagrave bumper emblem (1951-1970)    ms
Size: Unknown

Seagrave pumper showing hood side emblem (1951)  capecodfd

The "Seagrave" name was also displayed on a painted cast metal script nameplate attached to the upper front corner of the rear fenders, see example shown below. The same Seagrave nameplate was also displayed on the front of Seagrave cab-forward fire engines from 1959 through c1971.

Seagrave rear fender nameplate (c1951)  capecodfd

This is the painted, cast metal script Seagrave nameplate shown below.

This is a Seagrave nameplate (1951-c1971)    mjs
Size: 223mm wide 60mm high   MM: Unknown








January 10, 2022

COMMONWEALTH

Commonwealth Motors Co. (1917-1922)

Joliet, Illinois


This is a Commonwealth radiator emblem (1918-1922)      mjs
Size:94mm wide 47mm high       MM: D L Auld

In 1915, the Commonwealth Motors Company started to manufacture the Partin-Palmer automobile after that company ran into trouble (see Partin-Palmer). In the fall of 1917, the Partin-Palmer automobile was renamed the Commonwealth and the factory relocated from Rochelle to Joliet, although some of the 1917 cars were badged Commonwealth Partin-Palmer as the transition to Commonwealth took place.

The Commonwealth was constructed with a heavy chrome nickel alloy steel frame lined with thick felt to absorb body squeaks and had a series of rivets visible along the seams of the hood as a distinguishing feature. The engines were four-cylinder initially but in 1919 a Victory Six model appeared. 1920 was the peak production year for the Commonwealth. 

Commonwealth Motors merged with the Markin Body Corporation in 1921 to build a highly successful taxicab called Checker (see Checker). The Commonwealth car was phased out in 1922.

Emblems

In 1916-1917, during the transition from Partin-Palmer to Commonwealth, cars produced for the Commonwealth Motors Company displayed a blue enamel Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem, see example below. This radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem (1917)     mjs
Size: 76mm wide 30mm high      MM: Unknown

From 1918, the Commonwealth carried a larger white, red and blue enamel radiator emblem, see example above at the top of this post. This Commonwealth radiator emblem is rare.

But emblem collectors should beware, as there is a Pulfer reproduction of this Commonwealth radiator emblem with a flat back and no manufacturer's mark.

The Commonwealth Model 4-40 introduced in 1920 was advertised as the "Ultra-4-Forty" and was used as an export model as well as a domestic model, see advertisement shown below:

This is a Commonwealth Ultra-4-Forty ad (November 1919)  ld

The radiator emblem cannot be identified from the advertisement shown above but the 1920  Commonwealth Four-Forty brochure clearly shows the same Commonwealth radiator emblem as that shown above at the top of this post, see below:

This is a Commonwealth Four-Forty brochure (1920)  ms
  
However, there is a red, white and blue enamel Commonwealth Ultra 4 Forty radiator emblem, see example below. This Commonwealth Ultra Forty radiator emblem is extremely rare. This emblem may have been used on export models but I cannot confirm this.

This is a Commonwealth Ultra-4-Forty radiator emblem (1920)  sam
Size: 52mm high 49mm wide     MM: Unknown

  


.




HANSON

George W. Hanson (1916-1917)

Hanson Motor Co. (1917-1925)

Atlanta, Georgia


This is a Hanson radiator emblem (1917-1925)     sam
Size: 69mm wide 50mm high    MM: Unknown

George W. Hanson spent some years as a regional agent, initially for E.M.F. and later for Studebaker and Saxon. In 1916, George W. Hanson and his colleague Don Ferguson decided to build a small car for the Southern market. They built a prototype Hanson car in Detroit in early 1917 before returning to Atlanta.

The Hanson Motor Company was established in December 1917 and the first Hanson was assembled in May 1918. The first Hanson was was a 45 hp six-cylinder five-passenger touring model. The Hanson became a 55 hp model for 1920 and was offered in touring, roadster and sedan body styles. A smaller, Little Six appeared in 1922 with a larger 66 hp Six introduced in 1923. 

The best year for Hanson was 1921 when 524 units were built, but after then the Hanson struggled to survive the effects of the economic recession after the First World War and sales fell year by year. It was all over in 1925 after a total production of about 1,800 units.

Emblem

The Hanson radiator emblem was finished in white and blue enamel and depicted a cotton boll, see example above. The Hanson radiator emblem is very rare.

Emblem collectors should beware, however, as there are reproduction Hanson radiator emblems, which lack the detail in depth of the original emblem and have shiny flat backs with no maker's mark.