January 10, 2021


Abner Doble (1913)

Doble Motor Vehicle Co. (1914)

Waltham, Massachusetts

General Engineering Co. (1916)

Doble-Detroit Steam Motors Co. (1917-1918)

Detroit, Michigan

Merged with Amalgamated Machinery Co. (1919)

Chicago, Illinois

Doble Motors Inc. (1921)

Doble Steam Motor Car Corp. (1922-1932)

San Francisco, California

This is a Doble Detroit radiator emblem (1917-1918)     sam
Size: 58mm wide 58mm high    MM: Unknown

Abner Doble was interested in steam propulsion and built his first steam car at high school. He studied engineering at M.I.T. and while in Massachusetts in 1913, he built his first Model A steam car, which had a twin-cylinder double-acting single-expansion engine with water tube boiler and a Harrison cellular radiator which condensed all the exhaust steam. The Stanley brothers could not believe the efficiency of the Doble steam car. The Doble is said to have been the most advanced and efficient steamer anywhere. Abner Doble built five Model A's and four were sold.

In October 1914, Doble established the Doble Motor Vehicle Company to produce a more refined Model B. But Doble lacked the finance and took his prototype to Detroit where C. L. Lewis took an interest and the General Engineering Company was set up in 1916 to build the Model C, called the G.E.C. Doble. The new car had a host of technical improvements and new features, including electric ignition, and was introduced at the New York Automobile Show. The G.E.C. Doble and was a great success. Over 11,000 orders were received but no sooner had the assembly started than it was shut  down due to wartime restrictions on steel allocation. 

Doble reorganized as the Doble-Detroit Steam Motors Company in 1917 to produce the Doble-Detroit. However, very few Doble-Detroit cars were produced and, following a merger with the Amalgamated Machinery Company in Chicago, Abner Doble got frustrated and moved to San Francisco, where in 1921 Doble Motors Incorporated was set up to produce the Doble Model D. In 1922 he reorganized the company into Doble Steam Motor Car Company and continued to improve his car design until in 1923 a factory was set up in Emeryville and production began on the Doble Series E cars in eight body styles by Murphy and with very high price tags. This meant a select and wealthy clientele.

Plans were made to increase production but a series of problems and lack of finance put a stop to this. The Dobles carried on by themselves making the Model E to order and in 1931 introduced the Model F but none were sold as the stock market crash finished the Doble. Probably no more than 45 Doble steam cars were ever built. Doble also made a few steam trucks in San Francisco between 1918 and 1921.


I have not seen any Doble emblems for the first Model A and Model B cars built in Massachusetts and perhaps these cars did not have an emblem. I also have not seen am emblem for the Doble Model C, a few of which would have been produced before the War stopped production. If you have details of any Doble emblems made for these early Doble cars, please let me know in order to update this post. 

The Doble-Detroit did carry an emblem, see the black and white enamel Doble-Detroit radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Doble-Detroit radiator emblem is very rare.

The Doble-Detroit also displayed the name on the hubcaps, see example below. This Doble-Detroit hub emblem is rare.

This is a Doble-Detroit hub emblem (1917-1918)      mjs
Size: 56mm diameter      MM: None

I have not seen any other Doble emblems after the Doble-Detroit until the Doble steam cars produced in California. These later Doble steam cars did not have a radiator emblem but did have the Doble name on the hub caps, see examples shown below. 

This is a Doble steam car hub emblem (1925)       nc

The Doble steam car hub emblem shown below is scarce.

This is a Doble Series E hub emblem (c1930)     mjs
Size: 70mm diameter    MM: None

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