February 19, 2022

ALCO

American Locomotive Co. (1909-1913)

Providence, Rhode Island


This is an Alco radiator emblem (c1910)    mjs
Size: 83mm diameter    MM: Unknown

After producing the American Berliet under license from Berliet of France for three years (see American Berliet), the American Locomotive Company, which was a well-known manufacturer of steam locomotives, decided to build its own car. The result was the Alco, which had a very large and powerful engine and was offered in a wide variety of body styles. Alco cars driven by Harry Grant won both the 1909 and 1910 Vanderbilt Cups and took part in the first Indianapolis 500 race in 1911. 

By 1910, the company was also producing taxicabs and trucks. Alco trucks were large cab-over models with solid tires, artillery wheels and were chain-driven. All Alco trucks were powered by very large four-cylinder engines and were offered in 2-ton, 3-1/2-ton, 5-ton and 6-1/2-ton capacities.

Great care was taken to ensure that all Alco vehicles were built to the highest quality standards. As well as powerful engines, Alco cars had the very best quality coachwork. As a result, Alco cars were the most expensive in America, but were also among the most well respected. However, the Alco cars were built at a loss and in 1913 a decision was made to stop making motor vehicles and to concentrate on the manufacture of locomotives.

Emblems

The Alco had an enamel finished radiator emblem, see examples shown below. This Alco radiator emblem is very rare.

This is an Alco radiator emblem (c1911)      ms
Size: 83mm diameter     MM: Unknown

This is an Alco radiator emblem and motometer (1912)   glenn franco simmons
Nethercutt Collection 

The Alco emblem shown below is clearly original and has the same design as the Alco radiator emblems shown above but is much smaller. This emblem is also very rare but I do not know where it was displayed.

This is an Alco emblem (c1912)      mjs
Size: 32mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The Alco radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post is finished in different colors to the other Alco radiator emblems shown above. This Alco radiator emblem is extremely rare.

A brass Alco emblem was also displayed on some Alco cars. It was attached at the back of the hood under the outside of the dash board, see examples shown below. 

This is an Alco with a brass emblem at the back of the hood (1913)    caam

Close up showing the brass Alco emblem (1913)     caam

The original brass Alco emblem shown below is very rare:

This is a brass Alco emblem (c1912-1913)      mjs
Size: 109mm high 78mm wide

The Alco name was also displayed on the hub caps, see example below:

This is an Alco passenger car hub emblem (1913)     caam

The Alco hub emblem shown below is a slightly different design:

This is an Alco hub emblem (c1910)     dkc

Alco trucks did not have a radiator emblem but instead had a painted brass nameplate attached to the top of the radiator and another nameplate attached to the chassis frame on the side of the truck, see examples below:

This is an Alco delivery truck showing radiator nameplate (1912)      ms

This is an Alco truck radiator nameplate (1912)     ms

This is an Alco truck chassis frame nameplate (1912)     ms

The Alco name was also displayed on the hub caps, see example shown below:

This is an Alco truck hub emblem (1910)      hatm







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