March 23, 2023


Becker Brothers (1899-1902)

Elmore Manufacturing Co. (1902-1912)

Clyde, Ohio

This is an Elmore radiator emblem (1912)     mjs
Size: 63mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The Becker brothers started making bicycles and then in 1899 began to build automobiles. The Beckers built about ten single-cylinder cars before they established the Elmore Manufacturing Company in 1902. Early Elmores continued to have a single cylinder engine located under the seat but two-cylinder models were added in 1903. A dummy hood was introduced in 1904 but it was not until 1906 that the engine was moved to the front of the car. By this time, four-cylinder models were offered and a three-cylinder model became popular as a taxicab.

William Durant bought Elmore in 1909 when he was setting up General Motors. Elmore production was discontinued in 1912 after William Durant was pushed out of General Motors.


Early Elmore advertisements indicate that an Elmore logo had not been decided before about 1906, see examples shown below:

Elmore advertisement (1902)   scientificamerican

Elmore advertisement (1904)  ebay

Elmore advertisement (1905)   ebay

These early Elmore cars did not carry an emblem or a radiator script, see the original 1905 Elmore photo shown below:

Elmore without radiator emblem or script (1905)  dpl

The Elmore name would have been displayed inside the vehicle by an Elmore serial plate attached to the body.

Some Elmore advertisements from 1906 show an "EMCo" logo either painted or using a decal on the passenger door, see example shown below, although this door side logo is not seen after 1906: 

Elmore ad showing logo (1906)  
country life in america

Close up showing "EMCo" door side logo (1906)

From 1906, the Elmore name was displayed using a large brass script mounted on the front of the radiator core, see original period photos shown below:

Elmore displaying a large radiator script (1906)   dpl

Elmore on tour showing radiator script (1907)   dpl

A different Elmore radiator script is seen in the following original photo of an Elmore race car from 1907:

Elmore race car with a radiator script (1907)    hcg

It is noted that there are other original 1907 photos showing Elmore cars with no radiator script at all. This suggests that the Elmore radiator script may, initially at least, have been an optional accessory. 

There are several different "Elmore" scripts shown in Elmore advertisements from 1907 to 1912 again indicating that an Elmore logo was not finalised. The Elmore script shown in the following original photo from 1910 appears to have continued to 1912:

Elmore car taking part in Munsey Tour (1910)    dpl

This is the cast brass  Elmore radiator script shown below. Original Elmore radiator scripts are very rare.

This is an Elmore radiator script (c1907-1911)     khc
Size: 285mm wide

A different Elmore script logo is shown on Elmore serial plates of this period, see example shown below. Original Elmore serial plates are rare.

This is an Elmore serial plate (c1910)    mjs
Size: 80mm wide 38mm high

The following original photo taken in 1910 shows a rank of Elmore taxi cabs in Washington DC. Some taxis show an Elmore radiator script and others display a "TTCo" script representing the taxi cab company.

Elmore taxi cabs in Washington DC (1910)    ohiomemory

The following advertisement from 1912 includes yet another Elmore script logo:

Elmore advertisement (1912)   ebay

Original photos taken at auto trade shows in 1911/1912 show Elmore cars continuing to display radiator scripts. However, the following original photo from another 1912 auto trade show is different. One of the Elmore cars shown displays a radiator script but the other carries a round radiator emblem:

Elmore car with radiator emblem at a trade show (1912)  dpl

This is the round white and red enamel Elmore radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Elmore radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is an Elmore radiator emblem (1912)    mjs
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: Unknown

It is interesting to note that the "EMCo" logo used for this Elmore radiator emblem is the same as the door side logo used in 1906 and shown earlier above. The fact that the 1912 Elmore advertisement shown earlier above does not show this logo and that 1912 auto trade show photos still show Elmore cars displaying radiator scripts, strongly suggests that this round Elmore radiator emblem was not introduced until sometime in 1912 not long before Elmore car production ceased.


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