December 10, 2021


Racine Manufacturing Co. (1916-1917)

Comet Automobile Co. (1917-1922)

Decatur, Illinois

This is a Comet Six radiator emblem (1916-1917)     mjs
Size: 64mm diameter    MM: Unknown

George W Jagers had acquired the Racine Manufacturing Company and in 1916 built about twelve prototypes of his Comet car.

The Comet was introduced at the Chicago Automobile Show in January 1917 and the Comet Automobile Company was established for production of the Comet commencing later that year. The Comet Six was a fashionable looking, assembled six-cylinder touring car. 

Sales of the Comet Six were modest but increasing and all looked well. But, following an overseas order for 40 cars in 1920, the company became over enthusiastic for international business and started to build an expensive new factory. However, new overseas orders did not arrive and by December 1920 the company was in serious financial trouble and investigations began into possible stock selling fraud. A cheaper four-cylinder model was introduced in 1922 but the Comet was finished later that year. Total production numbers for the Comet are unknown but are likely to have been small.


The blue, red and white Comet radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post is believed to be the first Comet radiator emblem and is extremely rare.

The red, white and blue enamel Comet radiator emblem shown below is inscribed with the Comet Automobile Company name and " Decatur, Ill, USA " indicating that the company was aiming at the overseas market. This Comet radiator emblem is very rare. 

This is a Comet radiator emblem (c1920-1922)   sam
Size: 50mm high 50mm wide   MM: Unknown

I cannot confirm whether this Comet was used from late 1917 when the Comet Automobile Company was established but it was certainly in use by 1920 when it is seen in a Comet advertisement following the sale of a batch of cars to Belgium, see below:

This is a Comet ad showing the radiator emblem (1920)   ms

Collectors should take care, as there is a Pulfer reproduction Comet radiator emblem, see example below. This reproduction Comet emblem lacks the depth of detail in the metal surround seen in the original emblem and the comet and stars are incorrectly finished in white enamel.

This is a reproduction Comet radiator emblem      ms

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