October 19, 2019


Carhartt Automobile Corp. (1910-1912)

Detroit, Michigan

This is a Carhartt radiator emblem (1911-1912)     mwc
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Whitehead & Hoag

Hamilton Carhartt was a successful manufacturer of overalls, who decided to go into the manufacture of automobiles. The Carhartt Automobile Corporation was established in March 1910 and the Carharrt was in production by August 1910. 

The first Carharrt cars appearing in late 1910 and 1911 were a 35hp four-cylinder model offered in a wide variety of body styles and a 25hp four-cylinder Junior model. The range of body styles offered for 1912 was much reduced, although larger engine sizes were listed. However, it was all over for the Carharrt by March 1912. Very few cars were actually made.


The first Carhartt cars appearing in late 1910 did not carry a radiator emblem but had a large brass script on the radiator core displaying the words "The Carhartt", see original photo below:

This is an early Carhartt showing a "The Carhartt" radiator script (c1910)  carhartt

In early 1911, the Carhartt carried a radiator emblem and some models had a "Carhartt" radiator script also, see example below:

This is a Carhartt displaying a radiator emblem and "Carhartt" script (1911)  carhartt

Original "The Carhartt" and "Carhartt" radiator scripts are extremely rare.

The Carhartt radiator emblem was finished in red, white and blue enamel, see example shown above at the top of this post. The Carhartt radiator emblem is a two piece emblem with a small metal model of a Carhartt car pinned into the center of the emblem and is very rare.

The following Carhartt radiator emblem follows the same design as the emblem shown at the top of this post but is finished in paint over a gilt metal base and with a gilt metal model Carhartt car on top. This Carhartt radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Carhartt radiator emblem (1911-1912)     mjs
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Whitehead & Hoag

All the Carhartt radiator emblems that I have seen have been unused emblems. It would be extremely rare to find a used Carhartt radiator emblem showing the solder used to attach the emblem to the radiator.

Several ashtrays have been found in recent years with a Carhartt radiator emblem used as the base, see example below. Whether these ashtrays were used to advertise the Carhartt in 1911-1912 or were produced to use up spare emblems after the company failed is not known.

This is an ashtray with a Carhartt radiator emblem as base     mjs

Close up of the ashtray Carhartt emblem      mjs
Emblem Size: 57mm diameter    MM: Whitehead & Hoag

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