August 07, 2022


Rickenbacker Motor Co. (1922-1927)
Detroit, Michigan

This is a Rickenbacker radiator emblem (1923-1926)    mjs
Size: 64mm wide 46mm high  MM: Unknown (some D L Auld & some Fox)

The Rickenbacker was named after Captain Eddie Rickenbacker the former racing driver and First World War air ace. The Rickenbacker Motor Company was set up by Barney Everitt, William Metzger and Walter Flanders, the three people who had previously produced the E-M-F car (see E-M-F).

The Rickenbacker introduced at the New York Automobile Show in January 1922 was a 58 hp six-cylinder automobile available in touring, coupe and sedan models. Rickenbacker was the first medium-priced American car to have four-wheel brakes. Rickenbacker sales rose to just over 8,000 in 1925, when an eight-cylinder model was introduced alongside the six, but then fell back and the company was in receivership in 1926. Production struggled on with 517 cars built for 1927 but in February 1927 it was all over.


The circus-style top hat, decorated with the stars and stripes, and sitting in a ring was the insignia of the US 94th Aero Squadron where Eddie Rickenbacker served during World War I. 

The first Rickenbacker Six introduced in 1922 carried a red, white, blue and black enamel Rickenbacker radiator emblem, see example shown below. This Rickenbacker radiator emblem was used for one year only and is rare.

This is a Rickenbacker radiator emblem (1922)    mjs
Size: 55mm wide 43mm high   MM: D L Auld

There was a change in the radiator emblem in early 1923 to the more clearly visible red, white, blue and black enamel "top hat in a ring" Rickenbacker radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This emblem was used through the period of peak production and into 1926 but remains scarce,

The Rickenbacker Vertical Eight model introduced in late 1924 initially used the previous Rickenbacker radiator emblem but a new emblem design was fitted from 1925. This is the blue and white enamel Rickenbacker radiator emblem shown below. This Rickenbacker 8 radiator emblem is much sought after by emblem collectors and is rare.

This is a Rickenbacker Eight radiator emblem (1925-1927) mjs
Size: 118mm wide 58mm high     MM: D L Auld

The following is a Rickenbacker 8 wire wheel hub emblem. The wire wheel option offered by Rickenbacker was rarely taken up, so this wire wheel hub emblem is rare.

 Rickenbacker wire wheel hub emblem (1925)  heritagemuseums

A similar emblem was also rarely used as a front bumper emblem, see example shown below:

Rickenbacker 8 coupe showing bumper emblem (1925) hemmings

Rickenbacker bumper emblem (1925)     david cornwell

The Rickenbacker Six was given a new radiator emblem to complement the Rickenbacker Eight radiator emblem shown earlier, see blue and white enamel Rickenbacker Six radiator emblem shown below. This Rickenbacker 6 radiator emblem is much sought after by emblem collectors and is rare.

This is a Rickenbacker Six radiator emblem (1926-1927)   mjs
Size: 118mm wide 58mm high   MM: D L Auld

The following is a nickel plated version of the same Rickenbacker Six radiator emblem:

This is a Rickenbacker Six radiator emblem (1926-1927)  mjs
Size: 118mm wide 58mm high    MM: D L Auld

A rather special eight-cylinder Rickenbacker Super Sport boat tailed model was introduced at the 1926 New York Motor Show. The Rickenbacker Super Sport carried a specially made radiator emblem, consisting of the Rickenbacker Eight emblem with blue enamel "Super" and "Sport" ribbons attached, see photo shown below. Curiously, the "Rickenbacker" name seems to have been removed from the emblem. Only 14 to 17 of these Rickenbacker Super Sport cars were produced, making this an extremely rare radiator emblem.

This is the Rickenbacker Super Sport radiator emblem (1926)  ms 

The following photo shows the instrument cluster on the Rickenbacker dashboard with a small metal Rickenbacker emblem mounter at the center:

Rickenbacker instrument cluster emblem (1926-1927)  rmsothebys

The following photo shows a Rickenbacker "hat in the ring" motif on the Rickenbacker tail light assembly:

Rickenbacker motif on tail light assembly (1926-1927)  rmsothebys



Waltham Manufacturing Co. (1899-1907)

Waltham, Massachusetts

This is an Orient Motor Buckboard maker's nameplate (c1903)     mjs
Size: 76mm wide 25mm high

The Waltham Manufacturing Company was set up in 1893 by Charles Herman Metz for the production of the Orient bicycle. The first Orient car was an electric introduced in 1899 but was not put into production. After making some tricycles and quadracycles called Autogo, the first gasoline-powered Orient car, a single-cylinder 8 hp runabout, was introduced in 1902. Metz had departed in 1901 after disagreements with his financial backers and went on to produce motorcycles, including the Marsh-Metz built by the American Motor Company (see Marsh-Metz), before he returned in 1908 to build his Metz car (see Metz).

The Orient Buckboard was introduced in 1903 and was advertised as "The Cheapest Automobile in the World". The Orient Buckboard had a 4 hp single-cylinder engine and provided speeds of up to 30mph. It had tiller-steering, a wooden platform and no springs until about 1906. Four-cylinder touring Orient automobiles appeared in 1905.

The Waltham Manufacturing Company used the names Orient and Waltham interchangeably, and occasionally used the name Waltham-Orient, but after 1907 all cars from the company were called Waltham (see Waltham).


The Orient bicycles and motorcycles produced by the Waltham Manufacturing Company carried elaborate emblems fitted to the head stock, see examples below:

This is an Orient bicycle emblem (c1902)    mjs
Size: 72mm wide (flat) 60mm high

This is an Orient motorcycle emblem (1903)     hsm

The Orient motorcycle emblem shown above depicts the Orient logo in the form of a shield with the word "Orient" placed across a diagonal and showing a crescent moon and a curved oriental sword.

The same logo was included in a colored decal displayed on the sides of the Orient Buckboard introduced in 1903, see original advertisement shown below:

This is an Orient Buckboard ad showing the decal on side of the body (1903)   ms

I do not have a good photo of an original Orient Buckboard decal but the photo below shows the decal after repainting:

This is a repainted version of the Orient Buckboard side decal (1903)    lccmlc

The same Orient Buckboard has the Orient name painted on the rear gasoline tank, see below. However, I cannot confirm if this is original.

Orient name painted on the gas tank (1903)     lccmlc

The Orient Buckboard also had a simple metal maker's nameplate attached to the wooden board under the seat front, see example above at the top of this post. This maker's nameplate is rare.

The Buckboard engine also had the Orient name embossed on the casing.

The small emblem shown below is believed to be from an early Orient vehicle but I have no further details and cannot confirm this. If you can identify this emblem, please let me know.

This is believed to be an early Orient emblem (date unknown)    mjs
Size: 51mm wide 19mm high

I am not aware of any other Orient emblems that may have been attached to the 4-cylinder Orient cars built between 1905 and 1907. However, some were called Waltham-Orient and displayed a large brass "Waltham Orient" script attached to the radiator core, see the following advertisement for 1906 Waltham Orient models:

This is a Waltham Orient advertisement for 1906 models (1905)    ms

This is a close up showing the radiator script    ms

It is possible that models designated "Orient" also carried a brass radiator script, but I cannot confirm this. If you have details of such a radiator script or any other Orient car emblems, please let me know in order to update this post.


American Motor Co. (1906-c1917)

Brockton, Massachusetts

This is a Marsh-Metz motorcycle emblem (c1910)     mjs
Size: 64mm diameter

Before he began his motor car business, Charles Herman Metz had been a successful manufacturer of bicycles. He established the Waltham Manufacturing Company in 1893 and named his bicycles "Orient". He went on to produce a variety of bicycles, tricycles, including motorized versions of these, and then motorcycles. Metz also produced an Orient motor car (see Orient). Metz left the Waltham Manufacturing Company in 1901 but continued to build motorcycles under the Metz name.

In 1905, Metz consolidated his motorcycle business with the American Motor Company, the manufacturers of the Marsh motorcycle. Marsh-Metz (M-M) motorcycles were introduced from late 1906 and were very successful.

Metz returned to his automobile manufacturing business in 1909 (see Metz).


Marsh-Metz motorcycles carried an emblem similar to the emblem shown above for several years. The emblem shown below appears to date from 1912. Marsh-Metz emblems are rare.

This is a Marsh-Metz motorcycle emblem (1912)    mjs
Size: 64mm diameter


Sphinx Motor Car Co. (1915-1916)
York, Pennsylvania

This is a Sphinx nameplate/serial plate (1915)     mjs
Size: 55mm wide 29mm high   

The Sphinx Motor Car Company was established in September 1914 and the first Sphinx car appeared in 1915. The Sphinx was a 18 hp four-cylinder car offered as a five-passenger touring or a two-passenger roadster. A 17 hp four-cylinder 1/2-ton truck was was also offered in 1915.

In July 1915 it was announced that the Sphinx venture was to be reorganized as the Du Pont Motor Car Company and the specification for the new Du Pont was exactly the same as the Sphinx but it is not known if any cars were ever marketed as the Du Pont at that time. However in 1916 the car was still called the Sphinx but it was all over by the end of 1916. Total Sphinx production was 123 cars for 1915 and 228 cars for 1916.


Sphinx advertisements show a logo which consists of the sphinx and two small pyramids and the name "SPHINX" forming a triangular shape overall, see example shown below:

This is a Sphinx ad (1915)   ms

The same logo is also shown on the Sphinx brochure, see illustration below:

This is a Sphinx brochure illustration (1915)  

The Sphinx logo is shown below:

This is the Sphinx logo

The Sphinx motor car carried a relatively large triangular radiator emblem, which was based on the Sphinx logo shown above. However, available photos of Sphinx cars do not show the Sphinx radiator with any detailed clarity and the only surviving Sphinx car has a made up radiator emblem only loosely based on the original emblem, see photos shown below:

This is a Sphinx showing a radiator emblem (1915)  yhs

Close-up showing Sphinx radiator emblem (1915)

The original Sphinx radiator emblem on this surviving Sphinx car has been lost and a crude made up reproduction put in its place during restoration, see below:

This is a made up reproduction Sphinx emblem   yim

The original Sphinx radiator emblem may still exist somewhere. If you have better details or a photo of the original Sphinx radiator emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post. An original Sphinx radiator emblem would be extremely rare and possibly ultra rare.

The Sphinx also displayed the "Sphinx" name on a small maker's nameplate/serial plate, see example shown above at the top of this post. This Sphinx nameplate/serial plate is very rare.


Custer Specialty Co. (1920-1965)
Dayton, Ohio

This is a Custer Car emblem (dates unknown)      mjs
Size: 94mm wide 55mm high   MM: None

L. Luzern Custer built an experimental electric car in 1898 but it was not until 1920 that he began his Custer Specialty Company for the production of electric vehicles. The Custer was built as a Cootie (children's car), Cabbie (miniature railroad car), Chair (automotive wheelchair), Carrier (factory truck) and Coupe (two-passenger city car). Custer cars were also used ads fairground bumper cars.

The most successful was the automotive wheelchair, which continued to be produced for many years. The second highest production vehicle was the Cootie children's car, several models of which were made over the years, some being converted to use small gasoline engines. Very few of the Coupe passenger cars were ever built.


The Custer Coupe and the Custer Cootie cars carried oval shaped emblems mounted on the false radiator grille, see example photos shown below:

Custer Cootie car showing emblem (1922)

Custer Coupe showing emblem (1930)    standard catalog

An example of an original Custer car emblem is shown above at the top of this post. The following is an example of an original Custer Carrier truck emblem. Original Custer emblems are rare.

This is a Custer car emblem (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 96mm wide 58mm high    MM: None

Emblem collectors should beware as there are crudely made cast aluminum reproduction Custer emblems.

July 11, 2022


Maytag-Mason Motor Car Co. (1910-1911)
Waterloo, Iowa

This is a Maytag radiator emblem (c1911)    toc
Size: 64mm diameter    MM: Unknown

In 1909, F. L. Maytag and his son Elmer H. Maytag, manufacturers of washing machines and agricultural machinery, bought a controlling interest in the Des Moines based Mason Automobile Company, which was building the two-cylinder Mason motor car and Mason light delivery vehicles based on the Mason passenger car. 

Early in 1910, the company was reorganized as the Maytag-Mason Motor Car Company and was moved to a factory in Waterloo, Iowa. A new 32/35 hp four-cylinder touring model was introduced as the Maytag, with the 24 hp two-cylinder passenger car and commercial models being continued under the Mason name. For 1911, all cars produced by the company were called Maytag. The 20 hp two-cylinder model was offered in three body styles and the 35 hp four-cylinder model was offered in five body sizes. However, there were serious problems and the Maytags pulled out in January 1912. The company was returned to the control of Edward R. Mason and the cars became the Mason again.


Maytag light delivery car brochures for 1910 and 1911 include illustrations of some Maytag commercial vehicle models but none show any emblem, see examples shown below:

Maytag light delivery car from brochure (1910)    ms

Maytag light delivery car illustration from brochure (1911) hemi joel

The "Maytag" name would have been displayed on a small brass maker's serial plate mounted on the dash, see example shown below:

This is a Maytag serial plate (1911)     mjs
Size: 94mm wide 50mm high

A surviving but fairly original 1910 Maytag passenger car also does not show a radiator emblem but does display the "Maytag" name on a brass script mounted on the radiator core, see photo shown below. Original Maytag radiator scripts are very rare.

Maytag passenger car showing radiator script (1910) classiccars

Although I can find no photos or illustrations of Maytag motor vehicles showing a radiator emblem, such an emblem does exist. This is the blue and white enamel Maytag radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Maytag radiator emblem is extremely rare.

The "Maytag" name was also shown on the hubcaps, see example shown below:

This is a Maytag hubcap (1910-1911)     alt


Sterling-Knight Syndicate (1920-1921)
Sterling-Knight Motor Co. (1921-1922)
Cleveland, Ohio
Sterling-Knight Co. (1923-1926)
Warren, Ohio

This is a Sterling-Knight radiator emblem (1921-1926)   mjs
Size: 69mm high 41mm wide     MM: Unknown (poss D L Auld)

The Sterling-Knight was planned by James G "Pete" Sterling, who left his job as chief engineer at the F B Stearns Company in 1920 to build a luxury car using the Knight sleeve valve engine. The venture was financed by a group of Cleveland businessmen called the Sterling-Knight Syndicate. Three test cars were built and the Sterling-Knight was introduced at the Chicago Salon in December 1920 and at the Cleveland Automobile Show in January 1921.

The Sterling-Knight Motor Company was incorporated in April 1921. Pete Sterling continued to develop his car and only 50 cars were produced before the post First World War slump resulted in most of his financial backers pulling out.

New finance was secured in Warren, Ohio and production moved there in May 1923 and the company was reorganized as the Sterling-Knight Company. The first new Sterling-Knight cars appeared in mid-summer of 1923. The Sterling-Knight was a 78 hp six-cylinder car offered in four body styles with a more expensive four-passenger offset coupe added late in 1924. The company had to operate on a cash basis from 1925 due to continuing financial problems. Production continued on a limited basis until the company was bankrupt in December 1926. 

Total Sterling-Knight production was less than 500 cars.


The almost complete lack of original period photos of Sterling-Knight cars showing the radiator and the very few surviving cars, make it particularly difficult to put dates to Sterling-Knight emblems.

The first representation of a Sterling-Knight logo or possible emblem was a crude drawing used on an announcement of the Sterling-Knight by the Sterling-Knight Syndicate in the Chicago Tribune in January 1921, see below:

Sterling-Knight logo (1921)  chicago tribune

The officially registered Sterling-Knight trademark was claimed to have been in use from May 1921 after the incorporation of the Sterling-Knight Motor Company, see illustration shown below:

This is the Sterling-Knight trademark (1921)  wendel

The following plated blue enamel Sterling-Knight emblem uses the trademark design shown above. However, emblem collectors should beware, as all the examples of this emblem that I have seen have been Pulfer reproduction emblems, which were based on the trademark design.

This is a reproduction Sterling-Knight radiator emblem   twc

I do not know, if there was an original Sterling-Knight radiator emblem with this trademark design. If an original Sterling-Knight with this design could be found, it would be extremely rare.

Sterling-Knight brochures and advertisements from 1923 show a variation of the registered trademark, see example shown below:

Sterling-Knight brochure cover (1923-1925)   ebay

This depicts the actual Sterling-Knight radiator emblem, see the blue enamel Sterling-Knight radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Sterling-Knight radiator emblem is likely to have been used from about 1921 and is very rare.

This is a Sterling-Knight radiator emblem (1921-1926)   mjs
Size: 69mm high 41mm wide   MM: Unknown (poss D L Auld)

This Sterling-Knight radiator emblem can more rarely be found plated, see example shown below from the Al Thurn collection:

This is a plated Sterling-Knight radiator emblem alt

The following small, round blue enamel Sterling-Knight emblem is a mystery. I have not found any original period illustrations or photos of Sterling-Knight cars showing this emblem, which is very rare.

This is a Sterling-Knight emblem ( c1925-1926 dates uncertain)   mjs
Size: 41mm diameter    MM: Unknown (some D L Auld)

It has been suggested that the round Sterling-Knight emblem shown above was a radiator emblem used after the company reorganization following the move to Warren, Ohio in 1923. This seems doubtful, as the peak production years for the Sterling-Knight were 1923-1924 but it is harder to find the small round emblem than the larger rectangular radiator emblem. 

It has also been suggested that the small round emblem was introduced for the final couple of years of the Sterling-Knight, say 1925-1926, and this may indeed be correct. However, the Sterling-Knight Company was suffering serious financial problems from 1925, which resulted in very limited production of the Sterling-Knight on a strictly cash basis with debts rising ahead of bankruptcy. It seems unlikely that the Sterling-Knight Company would have spent money it didn't have on a new radiator emblem before it declared bankruptcy in 1926. But, attaching a new radiator emblem on unsold cars to give the appearance of a new model was not uncommon in the America automobile market during this period. 

If you are able to confirm the dates of use of this Sterling-Knight radiator emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

The following is an aluminum Sterling-Knight hubcap, although I cannot confirm the dates of use of this hubcap:

This is a Sterling-Knight hubcap (dates uncertain)    mjs