July 30, 2020


Model Automobile Co. (1909)

Great Western Automobile Co. (1910-1916)

Peru, Indiana

This is a Great Western radiator script (c1912)     sam
Size: 245mm wide

E. A. Myers had established a gasoline engine manufacturing company in 1901 and also began to produce gasoline engine powered automobiles in 1903. His automobile was called the Model and by 1906 the company building the Model was named the Model Automobile Company. But, trying to sell his Model engines and also transmission systems to other automobile manufacturers, while at the same time competing with them with his Model car presented problems for Myers. In 1908, Myers renamed his automobile the Star. But, this was not enough, so, in 1909, he changed the car name again, this time to Great Western, and his automobile manufacturing company became the Great Western Automobile Company.

The initial Great Western cars in 1909 produced by the Model Automobile Company were simply Star automobiles under a new name. The four-cylinder Great Weatern was offered in three model sizes, 30 hp, 40 hp and 50 hp, but by 1911 the Great Western became a single 40 hp model offered in a range of body styles.  

However, sales did not reach expectations and the company was in trouble by mid-1913 and was in receivership soon after. Some additional financing seems to have been secured, since the Great Western continued in business. But problems mounted and, although a lower-priced light six-cylinder car was produced for the 1916 model year, it was all over for the Great Western early in 1916. The last Great Western cars were assembled from parts on hand and then driven out to be sold door-to-door.


The following Great Western serial plate shows the car manufacturer as the Model Automobile Company, so this plate dates from 1909. It is interesting to note that the Great Western script logo is not shown on the serial plate.

This is a Model Automobile Co. Great Western serial plate (1909)    ms

The Great Western did not carry a radiator emblem but did display a brass script with the "Great Western" script logo on the radiator core, see example shown above at the top of this post. Original "Great Western" radiator scripts are very rare.

The following close-up photo of an original photo of a Great Western taken in 1910 shows a "Great Western" script with a winged motive above the words "Great Western":

This shows the "Great Western" radiator script (1910)     dpl

This version of the "Great Western" script logo was used at least until 1912, see the Great Western Forty advertisement below:

This is a Great Western ad showing the winged motive logo (1912)   ms

The serial plate shown below displays the "Great Western" logo without the winged motive shown earlier. This form of the logo is similar to the "Great Western" radiator script shown at the top of this post. The serial plate is from an oil fired lamp made for Great Western by E & J Manufacturing Company (Edmunds & Jones Corporation) who manufactured kerosine side lamps for carriages and early motor cars before the introduction of electric powered lights. These detachable lamps were popular accessories and continued to be used into the 1920's.

This is an E & J serial plate showing the Great Western logo (c1914)   mjs
Size: 91mm wide 63mm high

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