November 29, 2022

BELL


Bell Motor Car Co. (1916-1922)

York, Pennsylvania


This is a Bell radiator emblem (1916-1922)      mjs
Size: 61mm wide 52mm high    MM: None

The Bell Motor Car Company was established in York, Pennsylvania in 1915. The first Bell car appeared in 1916 and was a 20 hp four-cylinder model available as a five-passenger touring or a two-passenger roadster.

The Bell was an assembled car offered at a moderate price and sold reasonably well. Sales rose each year until 1920 when supply shortages after the First World War took their toll and production was severely affected. A new management took control in 1921 but the problems at Bell continued and, according to the Standard Catalog, it was all over in 1922.

However, newspaper advertisements indicate that some agencies, at least, were promoting a Bell comfort roadster up to early 1923, presumably to use existing unused Bell roadsters, since production had stopped in 1922, see example below:

This is a Bell Comfort Roadster ad (Feb 1923)  star gazette

Strangely, these advertisements refer to a two-passenger comfort roadster but the Standard Catalog states that the last Bell roadsters were four-passenger models. 

Emblems

The Bell motor car carried a blue, white and brown enamel radiator emblem, see example shown above at the top of this post. Original Bell radiator emblems with this design are very rare.

The Bell radiator emblem has a flat back and is usually found in unused, new old stock condition with no maker's mark. I have seen small variations in detailed design on some examples of this emblem, which may be due to different emblem makers being used over time, see examples below.

The first example, shown below, is a Bell radiator emblem from the emblem collection assembled by F. L. W. Combs in the 1930's and later acquired by W. Emmert Swigart. The emblem appears very similar to the emblem at the top of this post but has no blue enamel in the rings at the top of the bell, although this may be due to wear.

This is an original Bell radiator emblem (date unknown)     sam
Size: 61mm wide 52mm high     MM: Unknown

The second example, shown below, is one of several Bell radiator emblems in the main Swigart emblem collection. Unusually, this Bell radiator emblem appears to have been used. It is well worn and seems to have no space for a blue enamel ring at the bottom of the bell and only a hint of blue enamel on the edge of the rings at the top of the bell. 

This is believed to be an original Bell radiator emblem (date unknown)   sam
Size: 61mm wide 52mm high      MM: Unknown

The third example, shown below, is a Bell radiator emblem from the emblem collection assembled by H. E. Sprowls again in the 1930's and also later acquired by W. Emmert Swigart. This emblem is very closely similar to the emblem at the top of this post and does have blue enamel in the rings at the top and bottom of the bell.

This is an original Bell radiator emblem (date unknown)     sam
Size: 61mm wide 52mm high      MM: Unknown

Emblem collectors should beware as there are reproduction Bell radiator emblems, see example shown below:

This is a reproduction Bell radiator emblem   ms

There are also radiator emblems for the Bell Comfort Roadster. Why this model should have had a different radiator emblem is not known and is somewhat strange. The Bell Comfort Roadster emblems I have seen have mostly been unused, new old stock emblems. 

There are at least three known varieties of a Bell Comfort Roadster radiator emblem, which is also very strange given the small numbers of Bell roadsters built.

The following Bell Comfort Roadster emblem is very well made of hard metal with good three dimensional detail and finished in blue enamel. This Bell Comfort Roadster emblem is very rare.

This is a Bell Comfort Roadster radiator emblem (date unknown)    mjs
Size: 70mm diameter     MM: None

Note that there is a reproduction of this Bell Comfort Roadster emblem. It is closely similar to the original but is poorly finished and some differences in the detailed design are evident, see example below:

This is a reproduction Bell Comfort Roadster emblem     ms
Size: 70mm diameter     MM: None

The following Bell Comfort Roadster emblem is very similar to the first Bell Comfort Roadster radiator emblem shown earlier but has a different design of the rings at the bottom of the bell. This Bell Comfort Roadster emblem is believed to be original and is very rare.

This is a Bell Comfort Roadster radiator emblem (date unknown)     sam
Size: 70mm diameter     MM: Unknown

The following Bell Comfort Roadster emblem has a closely similar design but is crudely made using cast pot metal but it does have a Gustav Fox maker's mark.  Why such a crude emblem was ever made and why the Gustav Fox Company put their name on it is a mystery. A more likely explanation is that this cast pot metal emblem is a reproduction with a "Fox" mark added to suggest authenticity. I cannot confirm this, but the "Fox" mark has been used on reproduction emblems elsewhere (see Ruxton). If this Bell Comfort Roadster emblem is indeed original, it would be very rare.

This is a Bell Comfort Roadster radiator emblem (date unknown)    khc
Size: 70mm diameter    MM: Fox





DETROITER

Briggs-Detroiter Co. (1912-1915)

Detroiter Motor Car Co. (1915-1917)

Detroiter Motors Co. (1917)

Detroit, Michigan


This is a Detroiter radiator emblem (c1916-1917)      mjs
Size: 41mm wide 31mm high     MM: Unknown

Claude S. Briggs, previously with the Brush Runabout Company, and John A. Boyle of Detroit established the Briggs-Detroiter Company in October 1911. The 25 hp four-cylinder five-passenger Detroiter touring car was unveiled at the Detroit Automobile Show in January 1912. 

Sales of the Detroiter were initially very good and a two-passenger roadster was introduced for the 1913 model year and a wide range of body styles was offered for 1914, including an unusual two-passenger Kangaroo Speedster. 

However, all was not well and the company was in receivership in the summer of 1915. The company was sold to A. O. Dunk and reorganized as the Detroiter Motor Car Company. The Detroiter range was limited to a touring model only for 1915. For 1916, however, the Detroiter was available as a touring or as a sedan with the choice of a 23 hp four-cylinder model or a 31 hp V-8 model. 

In March 1917 the company was reorganized again as the Detroiter Motors Company. The Detroiter now became a 45 hp six-cylinder model available in a range of body styles but it was all over by the end of 1917.

Emblems

The first Detroiter cars did not carry a radiator emblem but did display a brass "Detroiter" script attached to the radiator core, see surviving 1912 Detroiter Type A speedster shown below:

This is a Detroiter radiator script (1912)      sotheby's

The Detroiter continued to use this radiator script without a radiator emblem for some years, see the original Detroiter factory photo shown below:

Detroiter factory photo showing radiator script (1915)  hcg

This Detroiter photo shows the front view of a 1915 Detroiter but the photo was clearly taken in 1914, as it appears in a Detroiter advertisement in 1914, see below:

This is a Detroiter ad showing the radiator script (1914)    ms

The following is an example of the Detroiter radiator script, which is believed to have been used into 1916. Original Detroiter radiator scripts are rare.

This is a Detroiter radiator script (1912-1916)    ms
Size: Unknown

The Detroiter radiator script was replaced by a small radiator emblem by 1917, see original factory photos of Detroiter Six-45 models shown below. These photos were likely to have been taken in 1916 to advertise the 1917 Detroiter Six-45 models.

Detroiter Six-45 Roadster showing radiator emblem (1917)  flp

Detroiter Six-45 Touring Sedan showing radiator emblem (1917)   flp

This small Detroiter radiator emblem is the blue and white enamel emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Detroiter radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Detroiter radiator emblem (c1916-1917)   mjs
Size: 41mm wide 31mm high    MM: Unknown

The larger dark grey and white enamel Detroiter radiator emblem shown below also appears to be an original Detroiter radiator emblem. This Detroiter radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Detroiter radiator emblem (c1916-1917)    sam
Size: 85mm wide 64mm high    MM: Unknown

If you can help by confirming the first dates of use of these Detroiter emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.










BIDDLE

Biddle Motor Car Co. (1915-1921)

Biddle-Crane Motor Car Co. (1921-1922)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


This is a Biddle radiator grille emblem (c1918)   mjs
Size: 48mm high 38mm wide    MM: Unknown

The Biddle, named after the prominent Biddle family, was a beautiful, stylish assembled four-cylinder automobile with exquisite coachwork. Biddle aimed for quality rather than quantity and this was carried through into Biddle advertising, which, in itself, represented the highest standard of artistic design and the similarly high aspirations of the Biddle Motor Car Company for its clientele.  

The Biddle Motor Car Company was incorporated in October 1915 and the Biddle automobile was introduced at the Philadelphia Auto Show in January 1916. The first Biddle automobiles were 23 hp models offered in a range of body styles. It was a small luxury car distinguished by its v-shaped Mercedes-like radiator and other European features, such as cycle fenders, wire wheels and step plates instead of running boards on the more sporty models. 

Biddle production was relatively low-key with about 100 cars produced in both 1915 and 1916, and about 500 cars per year in the next three years. However, the recession following the First World War brought problems. Initially the company thought a move of their headquarters to Fifth Avenue in New York City might help but this did not work and the company was sold in 1920 to a syndicate but no new Biddle cars were completed before the company was sold again in early 1921.

The company was renamed Biddle-Crane Motor Car Co. and immediately completed and delivered 40 cars that had been ordered previously. A new line of cars was prepared but no more than a handful were completed before Biddle-Crane went out of business in 1922. Total production of the Biddle was about 1,750 cars.

Emblems

Original photos of Biddle automobiles and most surviving Biddle cars show no sign of an emblem.

The Biddle was produced for a clientele that was interested in exclusive quality and quiet but pleasing advertising, see example from Life magazine shown below:

Biddle Roadster advert (1918)   eBay

It is not surprising that the Biddle did not commonly carry an emblem. It had its unique design as its distinguishing feature.

The Biddle name, however, was discretely displayed on the hubcaps, see example shown below:

Biddle Ormond Speedway Special hubcap (1920)  rmsothebys

The following are examples of Biddle hub emblems:

This is a Biddle hub emblem (1917-1918)    sac
Size: Unknown

This is a Biddle hub emblem (c1918-1920)    mjs
Size: 58mm diameter

Biddle Rudge-Whitworth hub emblem (c1920)  sam
Size: 58mm diameter

Some early Biddle models did carry a small emblem mounted on the radiator grille, see example shown below:

Biddle showing a radiator grill emblem (1918)   bmhv

This is the red painted, shield-shaped Biddle radiator grille emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Biddle radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Biddle radiator grille emblem (c1918)    mjs
Size: 48mm high 38mm wide    MM: Unknown

The following brass radiator emblem was attached to the top of the v-shaped radiator of a 1917 Biddle Model D touring car, once owned by Henry Austin Clark, then in the Hurrah collection and then sold to Parker Wickham, who later removed the emblem. It has a letter "B" inscribed on the face of the emblem but whether this emblem was made specially for a customer or was meant to represent "Biddle" is not known.

This is a custom made Biddle radiator emblem (1917)  mjs
Size: 127mm wide 60mm high  MM: None

It is not known, if there was an emblem inscribed with the Biddle-Crane Motor Car Company name in 1921 to 1922. If such an emblem exists, it would be extremely rare.

 







RIKER TRUCK

Locomobile Co. (1916-1920)

Hares Motors Co. Ltd. (1920-1921)

Bridgeport, Connecticut


This is a Riker truck body side nameplate ( c1917-1920)     mjs
Size: 158mm wide 158mm high    MM: None

Locomobile trucks (see Locomobile) were renamed Riker in 1916 in honour of Andrew Riker who had been the original designer of the gasoline powered Locomobile cars and trucks (see Riker).

Riker trucks were four-cylinder vehicles built in 3-ton and 4-ton capacity sizes on a common wheelbase chassis. Riker trucks were expensive vehicles but were of high quality and were used by the US Army in 1916, when Riker trucks were fitted with railroad wheel flanges for rapid deployment from Columbus to El Paso to be used by the US Army against Pancho Villa in Mexico.

Locomobile and Riker trucks were also sent to Europe for use by the Allies in the First World War. 

The Locomobile Company suffered financial difficulties and went into receivership in 1919 but Riker trucks continued to be built in limited numbers by Hares Motors in 1920 and 1921. But continuing financial problems resulted in the Locomobile Company and the Riker Truck Division being sold in 1921 to William Crapo Durant, who immediately stopped production of Riker trucks.

Emblems

The Riker truck had the "RIKER" name cast into the ribbed radiator tank top, see Riker truck radiator illustration shown below:

Riker radiator showing cast in radiator emblem (c1916)  coachbilt 

Some original period photos of later Riker trucks appear to show a larger cast in "RIKER" radiator emblem, see example shown below:

Riker truck radiator showing cast in emblem (c1917)  forums aaca

The first Riker trucks also displayed the "Riker" name on rectangular nameplates mounted on the sides of the driver's box, see original 1916 Riker truck photo shown below:

Riker truck arriving at El Paso (1916)  library of congress

Close up showing body side "RIKER" nameplate (1916)

The following Riker Truck advertisement for the war effort shows the cast in "RIKER" name in the radiator tank top and also includes an octagonal Riker truck logo:

This is a Riker Truck ad showing a Riker logo (c1917)  tha 

The octagonal Riker logo also appears on Riker truck brochure covers in 1917 and 1918, see example shown below:

Riker truck brochure cover ebay

This Riker truck logo reflects the octagonal, painted brass Riker truck body side nameplates mounted on the sides of the driver's box, see original photo shown below:

Riker truck side view showing nameplate (c1917)   forums aaca

Close up showing body side nameplate

This is the Riker body side nameplate shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Riker nameplate was originally painted black and is very rare.

This is a Riker truck body side nameplate (c1917-1920)  mjs
Size: 158mm wide 158mm high    MM: None









POPE-TOLEDO

Pope Motor Car Co. (1904-1909)
Toledo, Ohio 


This is a Pope-Toledo radiator script (1906-1909)   mjs
Size: 312mm wide 98mm high

In May 1903, the Pope Motor Car Company took over the business of the International Motor Car Company, which was building the Toledo motor car, and announced a new car to be called the Pope-Toledo for the 1904 model year at the same time as the Pope-Hartford (see Pope-Hartford). 

The Pope-Toledo was offered as 14 hp two-cylinder and 24 hp four-cylinder touring models. A four-cylinder stock Pope-Toledo was entered in several motor contests in California in November 1903 and won most of them. In October 1904, a Pope-Toledo finished third in the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup race. 

The Pope-Toledo was an expensive, well built automobile with copper water jackets and double chain drive but difficulties in the Pope organization resulted in Pope Toledo going into receivership in 1908. The last Pope-Toledos were 1909 models.

Emblems

The first Pope-Toledo cars did not carry an emblem, see Pope-Toledo advertisement, which does show the "Pope Toledo" logo, and original period photos shown below:

Pope-Toledo advertisement (1904) ebay

Pope-Toledo ad close-up showing no emblem (1904)

Pope-Toledo car showing no emblem (1904)   dpl

However, the "Pope-Toledo" logo was displayed on a small brass nameplate usually mounted at the rear of the car or on the dash, see example shown below. These Pope-Toledo nameplates are rare.

This is a Pope-Toledo nameplate (1904-1905)    mjs
Size: 69mm wide 35mm high

The first Pope-Toledo hubcaps simply displayed the "Pope" name, see example shown below.

This is a Pope hubcap (c1903-1904)    ms

The Pope-Toledo hubcap was soon changed to the example shown below:

This is a Pope-Toledo hubcap (c1904-1906)   dkc

Most restored Pope-Toledo cars have elaborate "Pope-Toledo" scripts in the style of the "Pope-Toledo" logo mounted on the radiator core, see example shown above at the top of this post. Most Pope-Toledo radiator scripts used on restored cars are reproductions. 

The actual use of radiator scripts on the Pope-Toledo appears to have been limited, as most original period photos of Pope-Toledo cars do not show any radiator scripts, even on well publicised events, such as the Glidden Tour, where the use of radiator scripts might have been expected for publicity purposes, see examples shown below:

Pope-Toledo taking part in the Glidden Tour (1906)   dpl

Pope-Toledo taking part in the Atlanta Good Roads Tour (1909)  dpl

However, there are examples of original period photos showing the Pope-Toledo radiator script The first examples of the Pope-Toledo radiator script seem to have appeared in 1906, see example shown below:

Pope-Toledo with radiator script (1906)  ebay

The following original photo from 1907 also shows a Pope-Toledo radiator script:

Pope-Toledo Model XV with radiator script (1907)  carfolio

It is possible that the "Pope-Toledo" radiator script was an optional attachment. Original "Pope-Toledo" radiator scripts are rare.

The "Pope-Toledo" name was also displayed on the brass sill plates, see example shown below:

Pope-Toledo sill plate (1906)   bonhams

This is the painted brass Pope-Toledo sill plate shown below. This Pope-Toledo sill plate is rare.

This is a Pope-Toledo sill plate (c1905-1909)    mjs
Size: 283mm wide 33mm high

The "Pope-Toledo" name continued to be displayed oh the hubcaps see example shown below:

This is a Pope-Toledo hubcap (1906)    bonhams

There was a change in the design of the Pope-Toledo nameplate from about 1906, although I cannot confirm this date. The new Pope-Toledo nameplate showed the following Pope-Toledo logo, which appeared in 1905:

Pope-Toledo logo (1905)

The new Pope-Toledo nameplate shown below is displayed at the rear of a restored Pope-Toledo model but the nameplate may originally have been displayed on the dashboard:

This is a Pope-Toledo nameplate (1906)    bonhams

This is the originally painted, brass Pope-Toledo nameplate shown below. This Pope-Toledo nameplate is rare.

This is a Pope-Toledo nameplate (c1906)    ms
Size: Unknown

There was a new Pope-Toledo hub emblem from about 1907, see restored example shown below:

Pope-Toledo hubcap (1907)    hyman

This is the painted Pope-Toledo hub emblem shown below. This Pope-Toledo hub emblem is scarce.

This is a Pope-Toledo hub emblem (c1907-1909)    mjs
Size: 76mm diameter   MM: None

There is no evidence that there was a Pope-Toledo radiator emblem. Emblem collectors should beware, as there are enamel versions of the Pope-Toledo hub emblem shown above, but these are certainly reproduction emblems.