February 11, 2020


Breese, Lawrance, Moulton Motor Car and Equipment Co. (1906-1907)

Brooklyn, New York

This is a BLM radiator emblem (1906-1907)    alt
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Unknown 

Sidney Breese, Charles Lawrence and Andrew Moulton established the Breese, Lawrence, Moulton Motor Car and Equipment Company in 1906 and the first BLM car, announced in August 1906, was an expensive 85hp four-cylinder model based on an experimental race car built by Breese and Lawrence in 1905. The intention was to use the car to compete in the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race but the car failed to qualify for the race. 

The 85hp model was not commercially successful and, in 1907, the BLM became a lower-priced, sporty looking car called the Pirate Runabout powered by a 24hp four-cylinder engine imported from France. For more elegant motoring an attractive 16hp four-cylinder landaulet was also offered.

Plans for the production of 250 cars were announced in September 1907 but by December the company was finished. A few years later Lawrence and Moulton moved to Paris and built two special sports cars for themselves.


The 85hp BLM model, which was planned to take part in the Vanderbilt Cup Race, was entered for the Vanderbilt Elimination Races in September 1906 and was given the race number 15, see the following original period photos. In the event, the car suffered a mechanical failure on the way to the start of the race and did not take part. However, these original photos show that the car carried a large round radiator emblem, although the detail of the emblem is unclear:

85hp BLM Vanderbilt Elimination Races race car (1906)   dpl

Close up showing large round radiator emblem

The BLM radiator emblem is more clearly seen on the following original period photo of the same BLM race car but without the "15" hood and radiator race numbers:

85hp BLM racer showing large radiator emblem (1906)  wiki

Close up showing large radiator emblem (1906)

The following original photo dated c1907 shows what is believed to be the large round BLM radiator emblem used on the 85hp race car model: 

BLM radiator emblem (c1907)   dpl

BLM radiator emblem close up (c1907)

This BLM radiator emblem is partly obscured by the radiator cap latch but clearly has the "BREESE LAWRENCE MOULTON" name around the edge within a wreath and "NEW YORK" across the center. If an original copy of this BLM radiator emblem could be found it would be ultra rare.

A large radiator emblem is also shown on an artist's impression of a BLM racer on the cover of an early BLM brochure, see below:

BLM brochure cover (c1906-1907)  ms

However, original BLM photos dated 1908, but presumably showing the models built in 1907, indicate that the BLM was given a new, smaller round radiator emblem, see examples shown below:

BLM motor car showing small radiator emblem (c1907-1908) dpl 

Close up showing small radiator emblem (c1907-1908)

A small BLM radiator emblem is also seen in the following photo of a BLM radiator and emblem from another BLM brochure:

BLM brochure photo showing a radiator emblem (c1907) hperc

This smaller BLM radiator emblem shows the initials "BLM" inside a wreath. This is the red and blue painted brass BLM radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post and again below:

This is a BLM radiator emblem (c1907)   alt
Size: 57mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The BLM emblem shown above shows some paint repairs and I cannot confirm that the colors are original. Given the early age of this BLM emblem, it is unlikely that it was originally finished in enamel. However, BLM had close contacts with France, where enamel radiator emblems had been used for a few years, so it is just possible that the BLM radiator emblem may have been finished in enamel. In any event, the BLM emblem shown is a very early example of an American radiator emblem and is ultra rare.

The BLM emblem photo shown above came from the emblem photo collection of Al Thurn but what became of the emblem, I do not know. If you have the emblem or a better quality photo, please let me know in order to update this post.

Emblem collectors should beware, because there are Pulfer reproduction BLM emblems, see example shown below. The reproduction emblems lack surface detail and have shiny flat backs.

This is a reproduction BLM emblem    ebay

The following photo is mysterious. It purports to show Charles Lawrence at the wheel of the 1906 BLM Vanderbilt race car entrant. However, as shown earlier, the BLM race car, which was planned to take part in the Vanderbilt elimination event, had a large radiator emblem not the smaller emblem shown in the photo. This car appears to be one of the 1907 models. It is possible that the photo was wrongly labelled.

Chas Lawrence in what appears to be a later BLM car (c1907) 

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