January 10, 2021


Partin Manufacturing Co. & Palmer Motor Car Co. (1913)

Detroit, Michigan & Chicago, Illinois

Partin-Palmer Motor Car Co. (1914)

Chicago, Illinois

Commonwealth Motors Co. (1915-1917)

Rochelle, Illinois

This is a Partin-Palmer radiator emblem (1913-1916)      mjs
Size: 132mm wide 44mm high      MM: Unknown

In June 1913, the Partin Manufacturing Company, a large automobile sales agency in Chicago, joined up with the Palmer Motor Car Company, which had built some prototype cars called Palmer in Detroit, to produce a cyclecar called the Pioneer and a four-cylinder six-passenger touring car offered in two models, a 38 hp Model 38 called the Partin-Palmer and a 45 hp Model 45 called the Partin. The cyclecar and the Partin  were dropped after a few months and all subsequent production was Partin-Palmer. A few cars were initially built in Detroit but by 1914 the Partin-Palmer Motor Car Company had been set up and all manufacture had moved to a plant in Chicago.

The Model 38 Partin-Palmer was joined by a two-passenger Model 20 roadster in 1915. A 45 hp eight-cylinder six-passenger touring Model 8-45 appeared briefly in 1916, although very few were sold.

By 1915 the company was in financial trouble and the Commonwealth Motor Company became the sales agency for Partin-Palmer and production moved to Rochelle. In late 1917 the Partin-Palmer was renamed the Commonwealth (see Commonwealth). 


I have not seen the emblem used on the few prototype Palmer cars built in Detroit in 1913. If you have any information about a Palmer emblem or radiator script, please let me know, in order to update this post. An original Palmer radiator emblem, if one could be found, would be extremely rare.

The few Partin touring cars also built in 1913 did not carry a radiator emblem but did display the "Partin" name on a brass script mounted on the radiator core, see example shown below. Original Partin radiator scripts are very rare.

This is a Partin radiator script (1913)   sam
Size: 183mm wide

The first Partin-Palmer touring cars built in 1913 are believed to have carried a brass script on the radiator core, see example shown. Original Partin-Palmer radiator scripts are very rare.

This is a Partin-Palmer radiator script (1913)   sam
Size: 210mm wide

However, by the end of 1913, the Partin-Palmer carried a radiator emblem, see photo in the December 1913 Partin-Palmer advertisement shown below:

Partin-Palmer ad showing radiator emblem (1913)  mm

Partin-Palmer 38 showing radiator emblem (1913)

This is the large white and blue enamel Partin-Palmer radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. This Partin-Palmer radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Partin-Palmer radiator emblem (1913-1916)   mjs
Size: 132mm wide 44mm high    MM: Unknown

During the transition from Partin-Palmer to Commonwealth in 1916-1917, Partin-Palmer cars carried a Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem, see the illustration below from the 1916 brochure for the Partin-Palmer Model 32:

This illustration of the Model 32 shows a Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem (1916)   sfam

This is the blue enamel Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem shown below. This Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem is very rare:

This is a Commonwealth Partin-Palmer radiator emblem (1916-1917)     mjs
Size: 76mm wide 30mm high       MM: Unknown

Although only a small number of cars carried this emblem, a batch of unused Commonwealth Partin-Palmer emblems was found later and most Commonwealth Partin-Palmer emblems that I have seen are unused "new old stock" emblems.

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