July 02, 2023


Emerson Motors Co. (1917)

Kingston, New York

This is an Emerson radiator emblem (1917)     mjs
Size: 55mm wide 48mm high     MM: None

Robert C. Hupp, of Hupmobile fame, together with the Campbell brothers, who had built the Imperial motor car, and the financier Willis George Emerson, established the Emerson Motors Company to build "the lowest priced five-passenger car in the world". The 22 hp four-cylinder Emerson was introduced in a blaze of publicity and with a very low price tag. But from January to March of 1917 only 69 cars were built.

Something was wrong. Hupp resigned and, by June 1917, the company was in receivership and several company officials were indicted for fraud. Neither Hupp nor the Campbell brothers were involved. Production continued for a while during receivership but, in September 1917, the Campbell brothers left to set up a new company to produce the Emerson as the new Campbell car.


Emerson advertisements show the Emerson trade mark, which was used as the basis for the unusual Emerson radiator emblem, which displays the head of a Roman centurion, see example below:

Emerson Four advertisement showing trade mark (1917)    ebay

This is the metal Emerson radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Emerson radiator emblem is very rare.

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