August 19, 2021


United Motor Corp. (1902-1903)

James Brown Machine Corp. (1903-1905)

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Cameron Car Co.

Brockton, Massachusetts; New London, Connecticut (1906-1908)

Beverly, Massachusetts; New London, Connecticut (1908-1912)

Cameron Motor Co.

West Haven, Connecticut (1912-1913)

New Haven, Connecticut (1914-1916)

Cameron Motors Corp.

Norwalk, Connecticut (1917-1918)

Stamford, Connecticut (1917-1920)

This is a Cameron nameplate (1907-1908)     mjs
Size: 107mm wide 33mm high overall     MM: None

The car built by the Cameron brothers was moved from place to place more than almost any other American car. The earliest cars built by the Camerons were steamers but in 1900 they also built a single-cylinder gasoline powered car.

In 1903, the J. W. Brown Company of Rhode Island began production of the 6 hp single-cylinder, air-cooled Cameron gasoline powered runabout, which was marketed by the United Motors Corporation. Two-cylinder and three-cylinder models were built in 1904, initially for use in motor car races. The Cameron was successful and J. W. Brown took over the sales and marketing. The single-cylinder Cameron was phased out and, for 1905, the Cameron was available as an 8 hp two-cylinder model and a 12/15 hp three-cylinder model.

There were no new Cameron cars built in 1906 but that year the Cameron brothers established the Cameron Car Company in Brockton, Massachusetts and, for 1907, built a range of four-cylinder cars with specially designed, rear mounted gear boxes. In 1908, Cameron production moved to Beverly, Massachusetts and in 1909 branch plants were set up in several other locations, including New London, to help production of a new six-cylinder Cameron model. The Cameron Car Company also built a one-ton truck using double chain drive in 1911 and a Special Delivery Car but Cameron commercial vehicle production ceased completely in 1912.

The Cameron was an attractive car and, from the outset, performed well in competitions, winning numerous hill climbs and track races for several years both in the US and overseas, where export sales were anticipated.

The company was reorganized as the Cameron Manufacturing Company in 1913. There were great plans for expansion of the business but this did not happen.

Cameron cars sold in 1913 were air-cooled cars left over from 1912. The new Cameron car for 1914 was a 21 hp four-cylinder water-cooled model but the war in Europe and serious financing problems put the company into bankruptcy by 1915. There were a few attempts to revive the Cameron with new companies and plants in new locations. No cars were built between 1915 and 1918 but a very small number of Cameron cars with new engines were produced from 1919. A front-wheel-drive farm tractor was also put into production in 1919. However, financial problems persisted and it was all over for the Cameron in 1920.


The first Cameron production cars did not carry an emblem but may have displayed a small nameplate or serial plate attached to the body or the dash.

The following original photo shows a stripped down three-cylinder Cameron taking part in a race at Narragansett, Rhode Island in September 1904. The name Cameron Car is displayed on the side of a chassis frame but this is almost certainly done for publicity purposes at the races.

This is a Cameron racer displaying the Cameron name (1904)    ms

The production Cameron had a false radiator and initially did not carry an emblem or a "Cameron" script. Advertisements for 1907, for example, do not show any emblem or script, see below:

This is a Cameron ad showing no emblem or script (1907)   ms

The following photo shows a surviving 1905 Cameron car with a false radiator displaying a brass radiator script but it is most likely that this script was added much later than 1905.

This is a Cameron with a false radiator (1905)   prewarcar

However, it is likely that early Cameron cars did display the "Cameron"  name on a small nameplate attached to the body of the vehicle. Cameron cars built by the Cameron Car Company in Brockton, Massachusetts from 1907 carried a painted, cast metal maker's plate, see example above at the top of this post. This Cameron maker's plate is rare.

The Cameron name also appeared on brass sill plates from about 1908 and possibly earlier, see example below:

This is a Cameron sill plate (c1908)    tcs

By 1908, brass "Cameron" radiator scripts were certainly displayed on some Cameron cars, see original photo below showing a Cameron race car taking part in the International Light Car Races at Savannah, Georgia in 1908:

This is a Cameron race car with a script on the false radiator (1908)   ms

The Cameron script is more clearly shown on the following factory photo from 1909. Original Cameron scripts are very rare.

This is a Cameron car showing a script on the false radiator (1909)    tom

From 1909, the six-cylinder Cameron displayed an elaborate emblem attached to the top of the false radiator and a "Cameron" nameplate/emblem below the false radiator, see original photos below:

This is an original photo of a Cameron car with a radiator emblem (c1909)   dpl

This is a close-up showing the Cameron radiator emblem and nameplate (c1909)  dpl

This photo shows the Cameron emblem on the false radiator top (c1909)   dpl

I do not know if this emblem was finished in polished brass or was painted but an original Cameron emblem like this would be extremely rare and, possibly, ultra rare.

This Cameron false radiator emblem and the nameplate at the bottom are also shown on original photos of Cameron cars in 1910, including the trade show photo shown below:

This is a Cameron car at a trade show (1910)   dpl

Close-up showing the Cameron emblems top and bottom (1910)    dpl

The brass Cameron nameplate/emblem shown below comes from the bottom of a Cameron false radiator and is extremely rare.

This is a Cameron false radiator bottom emblem (c1909-1910)     mjs
Size: 151mm wide 39mm high

A surviving Cameron car from 1911 does not carry a radiator emblem but does display a brass "Cameron" script on the false radiator, see photo below, although it is possible that this car did originally have an emblem:

This is a surviving Cameron car showing a radiator script (1911)    msch

The Cameron car shown above has a Cameron serial plate attached to the bottom of the false radiator. Other surviving Cameron cars have been seen with the serial plate attached to the top of the false radiator. It was more usual for the serial plate to be attached to the dash or under the driver's seat. The attachment of these serial plates to the false radiator may have been carried out at a later time during restoration.

The following illustrations show the Cameron Special Delivery Car and the Cameron Truck:

Cameron Special Delivery Car & Truck (1912)   klingberg

There appear to be no Cameron nameplates on these vehicles, although it is possible that they carried "Cameron" scripts on the delivery car radiator or the front of the truck dash board, but I cannot confirm this. The following Cameron Special Delivery Car advertisement shows the "Cameron" name probably stenciled on the side of the car under the driver's seat:

Cameron Special Delivery Car with side name (1912)  ebay

Cameron Special Delivery Car ad detail showing side name

It is possible that emblems were carried by the water-cooled Cameron model produced for 1914 and for the very few cars built in 1919 but I do not have any confirmed information about Cameron car emblems after about 1912.

However, although there were no Cameron cars built for 1916, these cars were advertised and the following poor quality illustration appears to show a small "Cameron" script used as a radiator emblem.

Cameron car with script rad emblem (c1916)   jacques-leretrait

It is possible that this was the Cameron radiator emblem used in the later years of Cameron car production but I cannot confirm this. If you have any details about these or any other Cameron emblems, please let me know in order to update this post.

The Cameron name was also displayed on the hubcaps, see example below:

This is a Cameron hub emblem (c1910)    dkc

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