November 06, 2019

MOON

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

Moon Motor Car Co. (1907-1929)

St. Louis, Missouri


This is a Moon 6-72 & 8-75 Aerotype radiator emblem (1928)  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 Moon Motor Car Company name 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. A totally new body style called the AeroType designed by Dutch Darrin was introduced in 1928.

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 (see Windsor). 

In June 1930, Moon began to build the Ruxton car alongside the Windsor in a disastrous deal with New Era Motors, Inc., which put Moon into receivership by November 1930.


Emblems

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

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, possibly by late 1914 or early 1915, when a circular radiator emblem is seen in some original photos of Moon Model B trucks, see examples shown  below:

This is a Moon Model B truck (c1914-1915)     cbc

Close-up showing the radiator emblem (c1914-1915)

The following original photo also shows a Moon Model B truck with a round radiator emblem. The photo is annotated as c1912 but this date is believed to be incorrect, as Moon factory photos and illustrations of early Moon trucks show no sign of a radiator emblem before late 1914. The Moon script shown on the truck radiator is not believed to have been attached by the Moon factory.

Moon Model B truck with radiator emblem (c1914-1915)  forums.aaca

This Moon truck radiator emblem is believed to be 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. 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

The first Moon passenger cars produced from late 1905 to late 1908 did not carry an emblem or a radiator script but would have displayed the "Moon" name on a Moon serial plate attached to the dash or under the driver's seat, see later example shown below:

This is a Moon passenger car serial plate (c1910)  cbc
Size: 93mm wide 54mm high

This Moon serial plate used a distinctive "Moon" logo that appeared in a Moon advertisement in the Motor magazine in February 1907, see below:

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

Although original photos and illustrations of early Moon cars show that a radiator emblem was not used on production models before late 1908, the very first 1907 Moon show car did carry an oval shaped radiator emblem. This particular Moon car was shown at several trade shows from December 1906 through 1907, see original motor trade show photo below:

Moon car at motor trade show (date uncertain c1906-1907)   dpl

Close up showing radiator emblem (c1906-1907)  

The photo is not clear enough to show the detail of the emblem, but it is likely to have been a painted brass emblem. If an original example of this this oval shaped, brass Moon radiator emblem could be found, it would be ultra rare.

Some original photos of production Moon cars from 1907 and 1908 appear to show a wide rectangular emblem with rounded ends on the front of the radiator tank top, see example shown below:

Moon car showing possible radiator emblem (1908)    dpl

Close up showing dash mounted serial plate & radiator tank top

However, this is not a radiator emblem or nameplate but is a simple decorative design stamped into the brass radiator and carries no inscription. A stylised version of this radiator decoration is seen in the following 1907 Moon catalog illustration:

Moob catalog illustration showing radiator design detail (1907)  cbc

In 1908, Moon cars were marketed in New York by the Hol-Tan Company 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 production Moon passenger car emblem was a Moon factory produced brass radiator script, which was essentially used for the Moon Model C for the 1909 model year only, see example shown below, although some early 1909 models appeared in late 1908 and there was a small production run in early 1910, presumably to use up surplus script stock:

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 very rare.

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

Moon cars carrying the Moon radiator script are seen in the following original period photo of cars at the Moon booth at the 1910 New York Motor Show, which took place from December 1909 into early January 1910:

Moon cars at the 1910 New York motor show with radiator scripts  dpl 

Detail showing 1910 Moon radiator script

There are also some examples of Moon cars in 1909 with a round "Moon" radiator script mounted on the radiator core, see example shown below. Original radiator scripts with this design are extremely rare.

Moon car with round radiator script (1909)   cbc

Close up showing round radiator emblem

The Moon script shown below is displayed on a restored Moon car but this is a reproduction Moon script made for decoration during restoration and is not believed to represent an original script. 

This is a reproduction Moon radiator script    nc

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. This emblem design closely follows the design of the 1909 round radiator script shown earlier. 

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

The following shows the possible design of the first production Moon passenger car radiator emblem, An original Moon radiator emblem with this design, if it could be found, would be ultra rare.

Possible Moon radiator emblem (late1909-early1912)  ms
Size: Unknown

It is also 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 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 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 design of the Moon radiator emblem is more clearly seen in the following original period photo of a 1910 Model 30 Moon car. This Moon radiator emblem appears to closely resemble the possible Moon radiator emblem design shown earlier above.

1910 Moon Model 30 showing radiator emblem    cbc

Detail showing Moon radiator emblem (1910)  

The same Moon radiator emblem is also seen in the following original photo of Moon cars at a trade show. The photo is labelled as "1912" but this is believed to be incorrect, as the cars shown are 1910 models:

1910 Moon cars with round emblem at trade show   dpl

Close up showing round radiator emblem (1910)  dpl

The November 1910 edition of Motor More, a publication of the Moon Motor Car Company, includes 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 appears to show 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 with what appears to be an inscription below the word "Moon", see below:

Close up brochure view of Moon radiator emblem (1910-1911) cbc

If this is indeed a different form of the round Moon radiator emblem, an original version of this emblem, if it could be found, would be ultra rare.

A round Moon radiator emblem continued in use through 1911, see example shown below:

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

There was a change in Moon radiator emblem design for the 1912 model year from the round emblems described above to an oval shaped emblem, see surviving Moon Model 30 shown below:

Surviving 1912 Moon Model 30 with oval emblem  cbc

This is the blue and white enamel Moon radiator emblem shown below. This Moon radiator emblem is carried by the only two known surviving 1912 Moon Model 30 cars still with original emblems and serial plates, and 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. 

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

It is understood that, having lost all of its original enamel, this emblem was restored. It is believed that this emblem was restored in the wrong colors, possibly on the basis of the colors used for the emblem carried by the 1912 Moon Model 40, see below. 

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 is seen on the original Moon Model 40 photo shown below:

Moon Model 40 with radiator emblem (1912)   dpl

Close up showing radiator emblem 

This is the red and white enamel Moon radiator emblem shown below, which 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, as for the 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 Whitehead & 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 hub emblem with the crescent moon:

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

The Moon radiator emblem was redesigned in 1924 for the Series A as a vertical rectangular metal 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 was 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 radiator emblem for the Moon Model 6-60 for 1927 was a round, nickel plated emblem with wings and a red and white enamel center disc, see example below. This Moon radiator emblem is scarce.


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

The same Moon radiator emblem was chrome plated in 1928 for the left over Moon 6-60 models. These chrome plated Moon 6-60 radiator emblems are rare.

The new style Moon AeroType models introduced in 1928 had new radiators and emblems. The main AeroType models were the 6-72 and the 8-80. 

The Moon 6-72 AeroType had a shield shaped radiator emblem with a crown at the top. This is the gold plated red, black and white enamel Moon radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below. The same Moon radiator emblem was used in 1928 for the 8-75 AeroType models, which were basically left-over Diana chassis fitted with AeroType hoods and radiators. This Moon radiator emblem is rare.

This is a Moon 6-72 & 8-75 AeroType radiator emblem (1928)   mjs
Size: 66mm wide 43mm high   MM: D L Auld

The Moon 8-80 AeroType carried the round winged radiator emblem, as used for the Moon 6-60 shown earlier above, but finished in red and black enamel with gold plate, see example shown below. This Moon radiator emblem was also used for export 8-80 AeroType models exported to the United Kingdom for the 1929 model year. This Moon radiator emblem is very rare. 

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

Moon had a good number of Moon 6-60 chassis left over in 1928. These were designated as the AeroType 6-62 and were fitted with AeroType hoods and radiators, which carried the round winged radiator emblem finished in red and white enamel and gold plate, see example shown below. This Moon radiator emblem is very rare. 

This is a Moon 6-62 AeroType radiator emblem (1928)    mjs
Size: 50mm diameter     MM: D L Auld

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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