February 06, 2018


Metz Co. (1909-1921)

Waltham, Massachusetts

This is a Metz radiator emblem (1919-1921)   mjs
Size: 58mm high 48mm wide   MM: None

Charles Herman Metz set up the Waltham Manufacturing Company in 1893 for the manufacture of his Orient bicycles (see Orient). In 1898 he produced a motorized tandem bicycle, which was recognised as America's first motorcycle. In 1898 the Waltham Manufacturing Company also began building automobiles.

Metz brought in some investors to help expand the business but he did not agree with their approach and left in 1901. He continued to build motorcycles initially under his own name but from late 1905 he linked up with the Marsh brothers of Brockton to produce the Marsh-Metz motorcycle (see Marsh-Metz). In 1908 Metz regained his Waltham Manufacturing Company but there were large financial debts to pay off and a large inventory of unused car parts. Metz began to sell packages of parts to customers wanting to assemble their own cars. He called this the "Metz Plan" and it was very successful. By 1909 Metz had paid off the company debts and reorganized as the Metz Company.

The Metz Plan continued but factory assembled 10 hp two-cylinder Metz runabouts also began to be offered in 1910. A three car Metz team won the 1913 Glidden race as the only vehicles to finish with a perfect score. In 1916 Metz entered the commercial vehicle market with a 1-ton truck but this was not continued beyond 1917. Production of Metz passenger cars was suspended in 1918, because of the war, but returned in 1919 with the 45 hp Master Six.

But the company was in financial trouble. The Metz changed to a larger, more expensive model in 1920 which did not help. In December 1921 the company was reorganized as Waltham Motor Manufacturers, Inc. and the car name was also changed to Waltham but this venture only lasted for one year (see Waltham).


The first Metz emblem was an etched brass disc, see example below:

This the first Metz emblem (1909-1911)    mjs
Size: 77mm diameter   MM: None

This emblem was offered as a separate item for "Metz Plan" cars and could be placed anywhere on the car. The same emblem was fixed to the top center of the false radiator on two-cylinder cars assembled in the Metz factory in 1910 and 1911.

The Metz four-cylinder Model 22 introduced in 1912 carried a smaller but otherwise identical emblem, see example below. This emblem was located on the wooden frame under the seat.

This is a Metz Model 22 emblem (1912-c1914)     mjs
Size: 64mm diameter   MM: None

The two earliest Metz emblems are shown together in the photo below. Both emblems are scarce.

These are the two sizes of the earliest Metz emblems    mjs
Sizes: 77mm and 64mm diameter

A Metz Model 22 advertisement from September 1911 shows the name "METZ" on the radiator tank top, see below, but this may be artist's license as I have found no evidence that this was actually used on a Metz car.

This is a Metz Model 22 ad showing a radiator nameplate (1911)    mm

The black and white enamel radiator emblem shown below was was located at the top of the radiator and was first used on the Metz 22 fore door model in 1913 and then on all Metz Model 25 cars through 1917. This emblem is rare.

This is a Metz radiator emblem (1913-1917)    mjs
Size: overall (center) 108mm (87mm) wide 60mm (51mm) high     MM: Unknown

The Metz Master Six introduced in 1919 carried the blue, white and gray enamel radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This emblem is rare.

There is also an unusual and very rare hand painted enamel Metz Master Six radiator emblem, see example below.

This is a Metz Master Six radiator emblem (c 1919 dates of use uncertain)    mjs
Size: 66mm high 53mm wide    MM: Unknown

I originally thought this may have been a one-off emblem but I have now seen a couple more, exactly the same. This suggests that this rare emblem was used by Metz. I do not know when these emblems were used. They may have been prototype emblems or used on the very first Metz Master Six cars before the final emblem was ready. If you have further details about the use of this emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post. 

Several existing Metz cars carry a brass radiator script, see examples below:

Brass radiator scripts are displayed on some Metz cars   ms 

This Metz car carries a different brass radiator script     ms 

There are several different Metz script designs and some original Metz sales literature also show a script. However, Metz never did offer a brass radiator script at the time of Metz car production even as an additional item.

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