September 28, 2020

CHALMERS

Chalmers Motor Co. (1911-1922)

Maxwell-Chalmers (1922-1923)

Detroit, Michigan



This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (c1918-1924)      mjs
Size: 70mm diameter    MM: Bastian Bros 

The Chalmers had started life as the Chalmers-Detroit in 1908 (see Chalmers-Detroit), but after Hugh Chalmers found himself in full control he reorganized as the Chalmers Motor Company late in 1910. A Chalmers won the Glidden Trophy in 1910 and the first Chalmers cars offered for sale appeared in 1911 and were 30 hp and 40 hp four-cylinder models offered in a variety of body styles.  For the next ten years or so, the Chalmers was one of the most popular automobiles in America. Six-cylinder models appeared in 1912 and from 1915 all Chalmers cars were sixes.

As with many other automobile companies, Chalmers suffered the post First World War recession and sales fell. In 1922 Chalmers and Maxwell came together as Maxwell-Chalmers but this did not work out and in 1923 Walter Percy Chrysler arrived to reshape the business. The last Chalmers cars were 1924 models built in late 1923.

Emblems

The last Chalmers-Detroit cars in 1910 displayed large brass "Chalmers 30" scripts attached to the radiator core, see example below:

This is a Chalmers-Detroit displaying a "Chalmers 30" radiator script (1910)  dpl

It is possible that some of the earliest Chalmers 30 cars displayed a similar radiator script in addition to a new white and blue enamel Chalmers radiator emblem. Original Chalmers radiator scripts are rare.

The white and blue enamel emblem shown below was the first Chalmers radiator emblem used in 1911 and is very rare:

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (1911)     dnc
Size: 57mm diameter    MM: Unknown

The same emblem was used through 1912 but was changed by the addition of  "Reg US Pat Off" along the bottom front edge of the emblem, see below. This Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblem is also very rare.

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem with base inscription (c1911-1912)     mjs
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Whitehead & Hoag

Close-up showing "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off" inscription   

The Chalmers radiator emblem shown above was used as the Chalmers logo and appeared on Chalmers brochures and advertisements, see examples below:

This is a Chalmers car showing the Chalmers logo (1911)   dpl


This is a 1912 Chalmers brochure produced in 1911 (1911)   ms 

This distinctive Chalmers radiator emblem is seen on original photos from 1911 and 1912 and on some surviving Chalmers cars, see examples below:

This is a Chalmers car with the first Chalmers radiator emblem (1911)  dpl 

Close-up showing the radiator emblem (1911)

This is a Chalmers car showing the radiator emblem (1912)    dpl

Close-up showing the radiator emblem (1912)

It is not so easy to put dates of use on later Chalmers radiator emblems, as it is difficult to identify the particular emblems on original photos and surviving Chalmers cars often carry incorrect radiator emblems and are sometimes wrongly dated. As a result, the following analysis of the dates of use of Chalmers-Detroit radiator emblems is speculative and subject to review, as and when more certain evidence becomes available.

The dark blue and white enamel Chalmers radiator emblem shown below is extremely rare and may have been used on one of the larger, higher priced Chalmers models in 1912:

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (c1912)     kmc
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Whitehead & Hoag

The dark blue and white enamel Chalmers radiator emblem shown below is the same size as the Chalmers radiator emblems shown above and was also soldered to the radiator shell top. It is believed that this Chalmers radiator emblem preceded the larger, more common versions of this emblem. This Chalmers radiator emblem is very rare. 

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (late1912-c1914)     mjs
Size: 57mm diameter    MM: Whitehead & Hoag

This small radiator emblem is seen on surviving Chalmers cars from 1911 and 1913, see below, although the 1911 date is doubted:


This is the radiator emblem on a surviving Chalmers car listed as 1911  autoclassico

The same small Chalmers radiator emblem is also seen on a surviving 1913 Model 17 torpedo touring, see below:

This shows the emblem on a Chalmers Model 17 torpedo touring (1913)   steve glover

The following dark blue and white enamel Chalmers radiator emblem is the more common, larger version of the previous Chalmers radiator emblem. This Chalmers radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (1914-c1918)    mjs
Size: 70mm diameter   MM: Bastian Bros

This Chalmers radiator emblem was attached to the radiator core by a single threaded rod, which passed through the radiator core. For 1914, this Chalmers radiator core emblem was located in the top center of the radiator core but was moved in 1915 to the lower left side of the radiator core (viewed from the front).

This is a Chalmers car showing emblem at the top of the radiator core (1914)   dpl

This shows the radiator core emblem on a surviving Chalmers Six (1914)  ruotevecchie

The later, lighter blue version of this Chalmers radiator emblem shown at the top of this post is even easier to find than the dark blue version and was used from around 1918 until the end of Chalmers production in 1923, see original photo shown below.

This is a Chalmers brougham with a radiator core emblem (1920)  freelibrary

Close-up showing lighter version of the rad core emblem (1920)    freelibrary

The following is a rare Canadian version of this Chalmers radiator emblem:

This is a Canadian Chalmers radiator emblem (c1919-1923)    mjs
Size: 70mm diameter     MM: Bastian Bros

The following blue and white enamel Chalmers radiator emblem cannot easily be identified on original photos but is seen on some surviving Chalmers models, see below. This Chalmers radiator emblem was soldered to the radiator tank top and was probably used between about 1918 to 1920 and is rare. 


This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (c1918-c1920)     mjs
Size: 57mm diameter   MM: Unknown

This is a surviving Chalmers Six 35-C showing the radiator emblem (1920)     flickr

This Chalmers radiator emblem has also been seen on a surviving restored 1915 car but the wrong emblem may have been used. A darker blue version of this Chalmers radiator emblem, see below, has been seen on surviving Chalmers vehicles in 1922 and 1923. This darker version of the Chalmers radiator emblem is also rare.

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (c1921-1923)     mjs
Size: 59mm diameter   MM: Unknown

The following blue and white enamel Chalmers radiator emblem is a mystery. I have not seen this on a surviving Chalmers car. This Chalmers radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Chalmers radiator emblem (dates unknown)    mjs
Size: 57mm diameter     MM: Unknown

The following white and blue enamel Chalmers Six and Double Six radiator emblems were reported by Harry Pulfer as 1915 prototype Chalmers emblems. The emblems shown are Pulfer made reproductions of these Chalmers radiator emblems. Original Chalmers Six and Double Six radiator emblems with a makers mark would be ultra rare.

This is a prototype Chalmers Six radiator emblem (1915)    ms
Size: Unknown      MM: Unknown

This is a prototype Chalmers Double Six radiator emblem (1915)     ms
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

If you can help to confirm the dates of use of any of the Chalmers radiator emblems shown above, please let me know, in order to update this post.










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