November 06, 2019

MOON

Joseph W. Moon Buggy Co. (1905-1916)

Moon Motor Car Co. (1907-1929)

St. Louis, Missouri


This is a Moon Aerotype radiator emblem (1928-1929)       mjs
Size: 66mm high 43mm wide     MM: D L Auld


Joseph Moon was already in the carriage business when he set up his Joseph W. Moon Buggy Company in St. Louis in 1892. He took an interest in automobiles and his first motor car, a 30/35 hp four-cylinder five-passenger touring model, appeared in late 1905 and was shown at the New York Automobile Show in January 1906. Joseph Moon was using the name Moon Motor Car Company in 1906 but did not incorporate the new company until 1907. In 1908, Moon cars were sold in New York by the Hol-Tan dealership but were advertised as HOL-TAN.

The first Moon cars were expensive but lower-priced models were introduced in 1910. Production in 1906 was about 45 units and grew year by year and is reported in the Standard Catalog as having reached a production of 1,540 units in 1913. The first six-cylinder Moon arrived in 1913 and from 1916 all Moon cars were six-cylinder models until 1928 when an eight cylinder model was introduced.

The Joseph W. Moon Buggy Company continued to build buggies through 1916 but also produced a range of Moon trucks on a separate chassis from the Moon passenger cars from 1912. The Model A was a 1/2-ton truck and the Model B was a 1-1/2-ton truck mostly sold as a chassis with a custom body made to order. Enclosed van and other bodies were also available including a bus model. Commercial vehicle production stopped in 1916 when the company failed to get a government contract for ambulances.

The Moon passenger car had a new handsome appearance in 1919, including a Rolls-Royce style radiator. Joseph Moon died in that year and his son-in-law Stewart MacDonald took over the company. The best years for the Moon Motor Car Company production were 1924 and 1925 when annual production rose to over 7,500, including the straight-eight powered Diana, which ceased production in 1928 following serious technical problems.

But the Moon was in trouble and production numbers fell to less than 3,000 in 1928. The Moon name was dropped in 1929 and in January that year a new straight-eight automobile called the Windsor was introduced. 

The Emblems

In common with most other buggy companies, the Joseph W. Moon Buggy Company attached small tags to their buggies, see examples below:

These are Joseph W Moon Buggy Co. tags (various dates)      cbc

No emblems were used on the radiator or the hubcaps of motor vehicles made by the Joseph W Moon Buggy Company until the later stages of truck production, when a circular radiator emblem is seen in some original photos, see example below:

This is an original illustration of a Moon Model B truck (c1915)     cbc

This is a close-up of the Moon Model B truck showing the radiator emblem (c1915)

The blue and white enamel Joseph W. Moon Buggy Company emblem shown below, which can be seen in a photo of the William Ryan collection of rare radiator emblems published in the November 1936 edition of the MoToR magazine, is believed to be the radiator emblem used on the later Joseph Moon trucks. This Joseph Moon radiator emblem is extremely rare and possibly ultra rare, as this is the only example known to date. 

This is a Joseph Moon truck radiator emblem (c1915-1916)    sam
Size: 63mm diameter     MM: Unknown


Turning to Moon passenger cars, the following Moon advertisement appeared in the Motor magazine in February 1907 and displayed a distinctive "Moon" logo but the first Moon cars from 1906-1908 did not have an emblem or a radiator script.

This is a Moon ad with a Moon logo (1907)     mm   


In 1908, Moon cars were marketed by the Hol-Tan Company of New York City but did not carry a Hol-Tan emblem as is sometimes reported. The Hol-Tan radiator emblem shown below is a Pulfer reproduction based on a Hol-Tan advertisement. There never was a Hol-Tan radiator emblem.

This is a Pulfer reproduction Hol-Tan radiator emblem     ms
Size: 55mm diameter     MM: None

The first Moon passenger car emblem was a Moon factory produced brass radiator script, which was used for the 1909 model year only, see example below:

This is an original Moon Model C photo showing a radiator script (1909)     cbc

This Moon radiator script was made in two pieces as shown below. Original Moon radiator scripts of this design are extremely rare.

This is an original Moon factory produced radiator script (1909)     cbc

The Moon script shown below is displayed on some restored Moon cars but this design was actually used in 1910 on Moon racing cars. Original "Moon" race car radiator scripts of this design are extremely rare.

This Moon radiator script was used on Moon race cars (1910)    nc

The first evidence of a Moon radiator emblem is in a photo that appeared in The Automobile magazine in January 1910. This is a photo taken at the Moon stand at the A.M.C.M.A. Auto Show held at the Grand Central Palace in New York between December 31, 1909 and January 7, 1910. The photo shows a round radiator emblem on a Moon car but the quality of the photo print is not good enough to see the design of the emblem, see below:
                                                                                  
This is part of a photo showing the first Moon radiator emblem (late1909/1910)    ta


A Moon advertisement from June 1910 includes a representation of what appears to be a round radiator emblem with the name "MooN" in thin, most likely, white letters on a dark background, see below. If this is a realistic representation of a Moon radiator emblem, it may have been the design of the Moon radiator emblem used in late 1909 and seen in the January 1910 photo shown above. An original Moon radiator emblem with this design would be ultra rare.

                                                                                 
This is a Moon ad showing a possible radiator emblem (June 1910)   cbc

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This is a close-up of the possible Moon radiator emblem (June 1910)    cbc

It is possible that this Moon emblem representation with thin letters for the "MooN" name is a logo used for advertising purposes only and not used as a real emblem. However, it is noted that later Moon advertisements included images of actual Moon emblems and not inaccurate representations.

A photo of a Moon car with a round radiator emblem next appeared in the July 7, 1910 edition of Motor Age, see below. This photo was taken at the St. Louis Automobile Manufacturers and Dealers Association's Three Day Reliability Run, which began on June 28, 1910. The Moon radiator emblem clearly has the "MooN" name in white on a dark background but the detail is still unclear.

This shows a Moon car with a round radiator emblem (1910)  ma

The following original photo of a Moon Model 30 taking part in the Munsey Tour in August 1910 also shows a round radiator emblem with the "MooN" name in white on a dark background but the emblem is mud splattered and the detailed design is again unclear:

This is a Moon 30 in the Munsey Tour showing a radiator emblem (Aug 1910)    dpl   

The November 1910 edition of Motor More, a publication of the Moon Motor Car Company, included the following advertisement for the Moon Model 30 with a rendering of the car showing the radiator emblem and the same Moon emblem representation with the name "MooN" in thin white letters as shown earlier:

This is a Moon Model 30 ad from Motor More (Nov 1910)   cbc

However, a Moon brochure produced in late 1910 for the 1911 model year shows a different radiator emblem design. This illustration shows a circular Moon radiator emblem with the "MooN" name in thick white letters on a dark background, see below. An original Moon radiator emblem with this design would be ultra rare.  

This is a factory illustration of a radiator emblem with thick letters (late 1910/1911)     cbc

The following original photo shows a 1911 Moon Model 30 with a round radiator emblem:

This is a Moon Model 30 showing a round radiator emblem (1911)     ms

There was a change in Moon radiator emblem design in late 1911 from the round emblems described above to an oval shaped emblem. The blue and white enamel radiator emblem shown below appears to have been made for the 1912 model year and is carried by the only two known surviving 1912 Moon Model 30 cars still with original emblems and serial plates. This Moon radiator emblem is extremely rare. 

This is an original, unrestored Moon radiator emblem (late1911-1912)     cbc
Size: 78mm wide 52mm high       MM: Greenduck

This is a restored original Moon radiator emblem (late1911-1912)     cbc
Size: 78mm wide 52mm high      MM: Greenduck

The Moon radiator emblem shown below uses exactly the same design as the previous emblem but is finished in reversed red and white colors. These colors have never been seen before by Moon car experts on this Moon emblem. 

It is understood that, having lost all of its original enamel, this emblem was restored. It is possible that this emblem was restored in the wrong colors. If you have an original example of this red and white Moon radiator emblem, please send details, in order to update this post.

This is a restored Moon radiator emblem (1911-1912)      chw
Size: 78mm wide 53mm high     MM: Greenduck    

A new design of an oval shaped Moon emblem with a winged wheel motive at the top appeared in a March 1912 advertisement in Motor Age for the Moon Model 40, see below: 

This is a Moon Model 40 ad showing a new radiator emblem (March 1912)   cbc

This Moon radiator emblem was finished in red and white enamel, see example shown below, and was used from 1912 to 1915. This Moon radiator emblem is very rare. 

This is a Moon radiator emblem (1912-1915)     mjs
Size: 68mm wide 52mm high    MM: (1
912-1913 Robbins); (1914-1915 Whitehead & Hoag (some None))

There are different versions of this Moon radiator emblem, all identical from the front but varying in the way the emblem was attached to the radiator and by the emblem maker.

The first version of the Moon radiator emblem was used in 1912 and 1913 and was fixed to the radiator using three very small rivets without the use of solder. The maker's mark is Robbins.

The second version was used in 1914 and possibly in 1915 and was attached to the radiator with a large central threaded screw, which was soldered from inside the radiator tank and had no nut or solder traces. There is no maker's mark.

The third version of this Moon radiator emblem may also have been used in 1914 or 1915 and was attached with a large central threaded screw in the same way as the previous version but displays a Whitehead & Hoag maker's mark , see example shown above.

Moon advertisements for 1916 show a new radiator emblem design, featuring a crescent moon through the letter "M" in the word "Moon" within an oval background and with the winged wheel motive above, as in the previous emblem, see below:

This is a Moon ad showing a new emblem design (1916)   ms

However, this new Moon radiator emblem design could not initially be used as proposed, because the curvature of the top of the radiator meant that the winged wheel motive would not attach to the radiator. To deal with this problem, the winged wheel motive was ground off and the emblem shown below was used. This Moon radiator emblem is very rare


This is a Moon radiator emblem (1916)       mjs
Size: 66mm wide 45mm high     MM: Robbins 

There was a slightly different emblem for 1917 due to a change in the emblem maker. The emblem has exactly the same design as for 1916 but the red enamel in the "MooN" letters is darker, see the restored example below. This Moon radiator emblem is also very rare.

This is a Moon radiator emblem (1917)      cbc
Size: 66mm wide 45mm high    MM: Noble

The Moon radiator design was changed in 1918 and the Moon radiator emblem complete with the upper winged wheel motive was able to be used, see example below. This Moon radiator emblem was used in 1918 only and is very rare. This Moon radiator emblem can be found with no maker's mark and also marked Whitehead & Hoag. The Whithead & Hoag version, shown below, uses very slightly thicker white enamel in the word "Moon".


This is a restored Moon radiator emblem (1918)    cbc
Size: 66mm wide 51mm high      MM: Whitehead & Hoag (some unmarked)

The crescent moon emblem design shown above was used in Moon advertisements from 1916 until at least 1920. 

The following photo shows a Moon hubcap with a crescent moon hub emblem:


This is a Moon hubcap (c1916-1918)     dkc

The blue and white enamel Moon radiator emblem shown below first appeared in 1919 and is very rare. It displays sloping letters "O" with dots in the center , and was used when the new Rolls-Royce style radiator was introduced. This Moon radiator emblem was used on domestic Moon models in 1919 and 1920 and only on export models in 1921.

This is a Moon radiator emblem (1919-1921)      mjs
Size: 66mm wide 51mm high      MM: D L Auld

The red and white enamel Moon radiator emblem shown below is otherwise identical to the blue and white enamel emblem shown above. This Moon radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Moon radiator emblem (1921-1924)      mjs
Size: 66mm wide 51mm high    MM: None (some flex discs D L Auld)

There are two different versions of the means of attachment of the emblem. The first version of these Moon emblems had a flat back and used an expanding washer attaching device and had no maker's mark. This emblem was used on domestic models only in 1921 and on all models in 1922. The second version of this emblem had a stamped back and used the D.L.Auld flex disc attaching device and was used on all models in 1923 and 1924. The flex disc was marked "D. L. Auld".

There are also variations in the width of white enamel in the letters in the "Moon" name, see example below:
                                                           
This photo compares the width of enamel in the word "Moon"

Beware, there are good reproductions of this Moon emblem, see example below, some with flat shiny backs but no sign of a washer and some with a stamped back and an internally threaded fixing stud.




This is a reproduction Moon emblem     ms

The Moon emblem shown below is an accurate Pulfer reproduction of a wire wheel hub emblem:


This is a Moon hub center (1921-1924)      mjs
Size: 56mm diameter    MM: None

The Moon radiator emblem was redesigned in 1924 for the Series A as a metal, vertical rectangular emblem with the letters "MM" one above the other, see example below. This Moon radiator emblem was used for less than a year and is rare.

This is a Moon Series A radiator emblem (1924)     mjs
Size: 71mm high 43mm wide      MM: D L Auld

Rolls-Royce complained that Moon had adopted a Rolls-Royce style radiator and was now using a radiator emblem closely similar in design to a Rolls-Royce radiator emblem. Moon agreed to redesign their radiator emblem. The new Moon radiator emblem appeared in 1925 and was used on Moon Series A cars until 1928, see example below. The emblem originally had a red painted border but the paint has worn off in the emblem shown below. This Moon radiator emblem is scarce.


This is a Moon Series A radiator emblem (1925-1928)      mjs
Size: 71mm high 43mm wide     MM: None

The Moon radiator emblem for the Model 6-60 for 1927 was a circular, nickel plated emblem with a red and white enamel center disc, see example below. This Moon radiator emblem is scarce.


This is a Moon radiator emblem for the Model 6-60 (1927)     mjs
Size: 50mm diameter    MM: D L Auld

The same Moon radiator emblem was chrome plated in 1928 for the Model 6-62.

A gold version of this emblem was used for the Moon Aerotype 8-80 in 1928, see example below. This Moon radiator emblem is also scarce.


This is a Moon radiator emblem for the Aerotype Model 8-80 (1928)     mjs
Size: 50mm diameter     MM: D L Auld

A special version of this Moon radiator emblem with a black enamel background appeared in 1928 for the 1929 model year, see example below. This Moon radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Moon radiator emblem for the Model 8-80 (1928-1929)      mjs
Size: 50mm diameter       MM: D L Auld

The shield shaped Moon radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post appeared in 1928 for the 1929 model year for the Aerotype Model 6-72.  The same emblem was also used for the Aerotype bodied Model 8-75, which utilized unsold Diana chassis in 1929. This Moon radiator emblem is rare.

I am most grateful to Carl Burst for his valuable advice and for providing photos and detailed information about early Moon emblems. Any errors in my interpretation of Carl's advice are entirely down to me.



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