January 05, 2020

CROW/CROW-ELKHART

Crow Motor Car Co. (1911-1916)

Crow-Elkhart Motor Car Co. (1916-1919)

Crow-Elkhart Motor Corp. (1919-1923)

Elkhart, Indiana


This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (1911-c1914)    mjs
Size: 71mm wide 71mm high    MM: Unknown (some Childs)

The Crow Motor Car Company was established in July 1909 but for the first two years the product was the Black Crow built under an agreement with the Black Manufacturing company of Chicago. Crow cancelled this contract in late 1910 and began to make their own four-cylinder Crow motor car in 1911. However, the Crow lasted for a few months only before the name was changed to Crow-Elkhart.

The Crow-Elkhart was a conventional, medium priced four-cylinder automobile offered in a wide range of engine sizes and body styles. A six-cylinder model was added in 1913.

The Crow company was renamed as the Crow-Elkhart Motor Car Company in 1916 and began to build cars for other companies, such as Birch and Bush, as well as continuing the four-cylinder Crow-Elkhart line. By 1917 the number of body styles had reduced to a five-passenger touring model and a four-passenger cloverleaf roadster, both of which were available in a wide choice of colors. The range of body styles grew again from 1918 and six-cylinder models were reintroduced in 1920.

The company was in financial trouble by mid-1918. In early 1919 Crow-Elkhart was reorganized but it did not work out and the company was finished by 1923.

Emblems

The Crow produced in early 1911 most likely displayed a brass "Crow" script attached to the radiator core. I am not aware of a Crow radiator emblem but , if you have details of any Crow emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post. 

The very first Crow-Elkhart cars in 1911 most likely displayed only brass "Crow" and "ELK-HART" scripts as indicated by the following advertisement for the 1911 Crow-Elkhart, which does not show a radiator emblem:


This is a Crow-Elkhart ad showing radiator script logos (1911)  ms

A Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem depicting an elk head within a heart shaped surround first appeared in advertisements later in 1911, see example below:

Crow-Elkhart advertisement showing a radiator emblem (1911)    ms

An example of the first red and white enamel Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem is shown below and at the top of this post. This large Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem was first used in late 1911 on models produced for the 1912 model year and may have continued in use for some time on certain models. 


This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (1911-c1914)     mjs
Size: 71mm high 71mm wide    MM: Unknown (some Childs)

The following photo shows a surviving 1912 Crow-Elkhart touring car displaying the radiator emblem shown above together with the "Crow" and "ELK-HART" radiator scripts most likely used before the radiator emblem was introduced:


This is a 1912 Crow-Elkhar showing a radiator emblem and scripts (1911-1912)  ms  

There are several different sizes of Crow-Elkhart radiator emblems and a suprisingly wide range of differences in the detailed design of the elk head. Some of these design variations may be due to the use of different emblem manufacturers. The following photo shows some examples of these Crow-Elkhart radiator emblems:



This photo shows some of the different sizes of Crow-Elkhart radiator emblems  mjs

There is little confirmed evidence of the dates of use of later Crow-Elkhart radiator emblems. Advertisements are helpful but they do not always accurately depict the emblem used at the time. Some surviving Crow-Elkhart cars display radiator emblms but it is not always clear that these emblems were attached to the radiator at the time of manufacture.

The following Crow-Elkhart radiator emblems are presented in decreasing size order with date evidence where this is available with confidence. 

The following Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem is smaller than the first Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem and has a different design of the elk head and antlers. This Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (dates unknown- possibly 1912)     mjs
Size: 62mm wide 60mm high      MM: None

This radiator emblem design appears on a surviving 1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 , see below, but I cannot confirm that this emblem was on the car in 1912:

This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (possibly 1912-1916)    bonhams

A very similar radiator emblem design is featured in the following Crow-Elkhart 30 advertisement for 1916, see below:

This is a 1916 Crow-Elkhart advertisement    ms

This is a close-up showing the radiator emblem (1916)

The following Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem is smaller again and has a different design of the elk head and antlers. This Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (dates unknown)      mjs
Size: 53mm wide 51mm high       MM: D L Auld

surviving 1917 Crow-Elkhart displayed at the Wisconsin Automobile Museum carries an even smaller radiator emblem, see below:

This is a Crow-Elkhart Model 35 displaying a small radiator emblem (1917)  wam

This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (1917)     wam
Size: 41mm high 38mm wide    MM: Unknown

Some damage to this Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem has been touched in with paint, This Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem is very rare. As before it cannot be confirmed that this emblem was on the car at the date of manufacture.

The following Crow-Elkhart emblem is a wire wheel hub emblem also used around 1917 and has the same elk head and antler design as the Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem shown above. This Crow-Elkhart hub emblem is rare.

This is a Crow-Elkhart wire wheel hub emblem (1917-c1920)     mjs
Size: 57mm diameter

The Crow-Elkhart appears to have continued to use small radiator emblems for some time, as indicated by the Crow-Elkhart advertisement for 1920 shown below:


This is a 1920 Crow-Elkhart advertisement   ms

Close up showing a very small radiator emblem (1920)

The detailed design of this small Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem and the actual size of the emblem cannot be determined from the advertisement. This Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem could be one of the smaller radiator emblems shown immediately above. However, there are some even smaller Crow-Elkhart emblems that may also be candidates as radiator emblems in the early 1920's.

The following Crow-Elkhart emblems are two-piece emblems having separate metal elk heads attached to a red and white enamel heart shaped base. It is possible that these emblems are radiator emblems. There are two very similar sizes of this emblem with different elk head and antler designs each of which is very rare.

This is a very small Crow-Elkhart emblem (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 39mm high 38mm wide      MM: None

This is a very small Crow-Elkhart emblem (dates unknown)      mjs
Size: 37mm high 36mm wide    MM: Unknown

The following is a photo of the base part of the two-piece Crow-Elkhart emblem showing the metal center where the elk head is attached:

This is the base part of a two-piece Crow-Elkhart emblem     kmc

The following Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem has the same design as the first very small emblem shown above but it is a single piece emblem not a two-piece emblem. Unfortunately, I do not have the size of this Crow-Elkhart emblem, which is very rare.

This is a Crow-Elkhart radiator emblem (dates unknown)     ms
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

If you can help by confirming the actual dates of use of any of the Crow-Elkhart emblems shown above, please let me know, in order to update this post.


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