September 19, 2019


Thomas B. Jeffery Co. (1914-1917)

Kenosha, Wisconsin

This is a Jeffery Quad radiator emblem (1914-1917)     mjs
Size: 75mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The Thomas B. Jeffery Company had previously manufactured high quality passenger cars under the Rambler name and later under the Jeffery name.

In 1912, the US Army was considering motor vehicles to replace mule drawn transport of heavy military equipment. The US Quartermaster Corps had already seen the newly formed FWD company in Clintonville, Wisconsin and then visited the Jeffery facility in Kenosha, Wisconsin in late 1912. The US Army wanted a rugged, yet reliable motor vehicle to transport loads up to about 1-1/2-tons to 2-tons in very difficult ground conditions.

The Jeffery company engineer was Martin P. Winther, who decided to produce an entirely new truck using four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering and four-wheel brakes. The result was the Jeffery Quad, which was powered by a 36 hp four-cylinder engine and could pull large loads up very steep inclines, through deep mud and in relatively tight turning circles. The Quad impressed the US Quartermaster Corps and the first prototype Quads were delivered following trials in 1913.

The Jeffery company ran a major PR campaign to advertise the tests undertaken to prove the Quad and offered a booklet about the Quad to anyone who asked. Large orders for the Jeffery Quad followed to supply the US military and foreign governments, especially for use in the First World War in Europe.

The first 3,000 Jeffery Quad trucks were produced in 1914 together with some Jeffery Rapid delivery wagons with a 1,500 lb capacity. These delivery wagons were joined by chain-driven All-Purpose trucks of 1-ton and 1-1/2-ton capacities.

The Jeffery Quad became a huge success and the Jeffery plant was turned exclusively to the production of Quad trucks. The demand for the Quad truck became so high that production was also subcontracted to Hudson, National and Paige. Estimates vary but Jeffery is understood to have produced over 20,000 Quad trucks.

Charles Jeffery sold the Thomas B. Jeffery Company to Charles Nash in 1916 and from the 1918 model year the Jeffery Quad became the Nash Quad. 


The Jeffery Rapid delivery wagon and the Jeffery All-Purpose trucks carried the same blue, white and red enamel radiator emblem as the Jeffery passenger car, see below:

This is a Jeffery All-Purpose truck showing the round radiator emblem (1914)    tom
Kenosha County Historical Society

The Jeffery truck radiator emblem shown below was also used on Jeffery passenger cars and is rare.

This is a Jeffery radiator emblem used on rapid delivery wagons and all-purpose trucks (1914-1915)    mjs
Size: 63mm diameter       MM: Unknown (some Whitehead & Hoag)

The first Jeffery Quad trucks a carried a larger diameter blue, white and red enamel radiator emblem, see example shown above at the top of this post. This Jeffery Quad radiator emblem is extremely rare.

But, beware, there is a Jeffery Quad emblem with unbalanced lettering at the bottom, see example below, which I believe is a reproduction emblem:

This is believed to be a reproduction Jeffery Quad emblem    ms

The Jeffery Quad was also known simply as the Quad and some versions of the Jeffery Quad carried a nameplate on the front of the radiator displaying the word "QUAD", see original photo below:

This is a Jeffery Quad showing the "QUAD" nameplate (c1916)    tom
Kenosha County Historical Society

The "QUAD" radiator nameplate shown above was most likely displayed on Jeffery Quad trucks used for military purposes during the First World War.

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