January 23, 2022


Berkshire Motor Co. )

Berkshire Automobile Co.) (1905-1907)

Berkshire Motor Car Co. )

Berkshire Auto-Car Co. (1909-1911)

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Belcher Engineering Co. (1912)

Cambridge, Massachusetts

This is a Berkshire nameplate (dates unknown, poss c1906)      mjs
Size: 52mm wide 16mm high

"Made and tested in the Berkshire Hills" was the company slogan. The first Berkshire car was completed in 1903 but production did not begin until late 1904 and the Berkshire was not available for sale until the 1905 model year. The company had a troubled life and changed its name three times in its first three years. A transmission designed to prevent stripping of gears was patented and installed in the Berkshire, but it proved a disaster. The factory was shut down in 1907 and the owners looked for more local capital but this was not offered.

Production began again in 1909 under the Berkshire Auto-Car Company name with about 30 cars being built for 1910. In 1912 the Belcher Engineering Company bought all the remaining Berkshire parts and built three more cars in Cambridge. Total production of the Berkshire was about 150 cars.

Between 1906 and 1907 the Berkshire Automobile Company is recorded as having built some open delivery vans on modified passenger car chassis. Whether these were Berkshire chassis is not known. A double chain drive 3-ton truck was also offered. Very few such commercial vehicles were made.


The first Berkshire cars would not have carried an emblem but may have displayed the "Berkshire" name on a small brass nameplate/serial plate probably attached to the body or on the dash but I cannot confirm this.

The following Berkshire advertisement in 1905 appears to show a script mounted on the radiator core, although the photo is not very clear:

Berkshire as showing possible rad script (1905)  catj

A Berkshire radiator script is clearly seen on the following Berkshire advertisement appearing in 1906 for the 1907 model year:

Berkshire ad showing radiator script (1906)  ebay

This brass Berkshire radiator script is also seen on the following original period publicity photo taken in 1906. Original brass Berkshire radiator scripts are very rare.

Berkshire car displaying radiator script (1906)   dpl

Close up showing radiator script & emblem (1906)

This 1906 Berkshire radiator also displays a small brass emblem or nameplate on the radiator tank top. It is possible that this is a radiator maker's emblem but it is also possible that this is a small brass Berkshire nameplate, as radiator nameplates of this style were in use by some motor car manufacturers by 1906. This possible Berkshire radiator emblem may be similar to the small Berkshire nameplate shown above at the top of this post, although I cannot confirm this. 

The following is a different Berkshire nameplate in painted brass:

This is a Berkshire nameplate (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 84mm wide 22mm high

Berkshire nameplates like those shown above and at the top of this post are rare.

It is possible that the few Berkshire motor cars built when production resumed for the 1910 to 1912 model years carried a radiator emblem but I can find no evidence of such an emblem. The 1911 Berkshire Model E motor car shown in the following original period photo, for example, does not carry a radiator emblem.

If you have details of any other Berkshire emblems, please let me know, in order to update this post.

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