March 17, 2021

IMPERIAL (2)

Jackson Carriage Co. (1908-1909)

Imperial Automobile Co. (1909-1915)

Mutual Motors Corp. (1915-1916)

Jackson, Michigan


This is an Imperial radiator emblem (c1912)     mjs
Size: 67mm high 65mm wide     MM: Ford Metal Speciality

Imperial cars were initially produced by the Jackson Carriage Company and were available in 1908. These Imperial cars were 30/35 hp four-cylinder roadsters and roadster-runabouts.

The Jackson Carriage Company became the Imperial Automobile Company in 1909. From 1910, the Imperial was offered in a variety of new four-cylinder models ranging in size from 30 to 45 hp and available in touring and roadster body styles with other models following in subsequent years. 

In the spring of 1912 the Imperial factory burned down but by the fall production resumed in another plant in town. In 1914 six-cylinder models were added to the line. Then in 1915 Imperial merged with Marion of Indianapolis to form Mutual Motors Corporation. Mutual Motors discontinued the Imperial after the final six-cylinder Imperial Model 64 offered in 1916.

Emblems

The first Imperial cars in 1908 did not carry an emblem but may well have had a small serial plate attached to the body. 

Advertisements and original photos from 1910 show an "Imperial" script, which was attached to the radiator core, see examples below:

This is an Imperial ad showing a script logo (1910) indianapolis star 

This is an Imperial car showing a radiator script (1910)     dpl

The Imperial radiator script may have been introduced in 1909 but I cannot confirm this. Imperial radiator scripts continued to be used for a few years. Original Imperial radiator scripts are very rare.

Photos of a surviving Imperial dating from 1910 show a small rectangular brass emblem attached to the top front of the radiator, see example below: 

This is an Imperial showing a small brass radiator emblem and script (1910)  cartype

It is possible that this small brass plate is an Imperial nameplate but more likely it is a radiator maker's nameplate. It is noted that the original 1910 Imperial photo shown earlier above does not show such a nameplate.

The earliest evidence that I can find of an Imperial radiator emblem is in the original photo from 1911 shown below:

This is an Imperial car with a radiator emblem (1911)     dpl

Close up showing the radiator emblem and script (1911)    dpl

The detailed design of the 1911 Imperial radiator emblem cannot be seen in the photo shown above, but it is similar to the Imperial radiator emblem shown above at the top of this post. This blue and white enamel Imperial radiator emblem is shown again below for ease of comparison. This Imperial radiator emblem is very rare.

This is an Imperial radiator emblem (c1912)     mjs
Size: 67mm high 65mm wide    MM: Ford Metal Speciality

This Imperial radiator emblem is the same as the radiator emblem seen on a surviving but original Imperial Model 34 semi-torpedo touring car from 1912, including the eleven pearls at the base of the crown and the three pin attachment to the radiator, see emblem photo below:

This is an Imperial radiator emblem (1912)     ms
Size: 67mm high 65mm wide    MM: Unknown (prob. Ford Metal Speciality)

The following photos show some other varieties of the Imperial radiator emblem.

The following blue and white enamel Imperial radiator emblem has a quite different design of the crown and has only nine pearls at the base of the crown. The shield design is also different and there are no fixing pin holes. This Imperial radiator emblem is very rare.

This is an Imperial radiator emblem (date unknown)    mjs
Size: 90mm wide 72mm high    MM: Unknown

The following blue and white enamel Imperial radiator emblem also has nine pearls at the base of the crown but has a different design compared to the Imperial radiator emblem shown immediately above. However, this Imperial radiator emblem is similar in design to the 1914 Imperial radiator emblem shown further below and is very rare.

This is an Imperial radiator emblem (dates unknown poss c1914)  khc
Size: 86mm wide 70mm high   MM: Unknown (some Henderson Ames)

The following photo shows a surviving 1914 Imperial roadster displaying a radiator script and a blue, white and red enamel radiator emblem, see below:

Imperial car showing a radiator script and colored emblem (1914) yocs

Close up showing the radiator emblem (1914)     yocs

The following photo shows a closer view of the blue, white and red Imperial radiator emblem shown above. It is possible that this Imperial radiator emblem has been incorrectly restored. However, if this is indeed a genuine, original Imperial radiator emblem, it would be extremely rare.

This is an Imperial radiator emblem (1914)    yocs
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

The Imperial radiator emblem design is seen on several Imperial advertisements, see example shown below:

This from an Imperial ad (Jan 1914)  chicago tribune

The Imperial emblem design is correctly shown with white letters on a dark background. However, some other advertisements published in 1914 show the Imperial emblem design with dark letters on a white or light color background, see example below:

 This is an Imperial ad (Aug 1914)  republican northwest

This suggests that there may have been a different Imperial radiator emblem design sometime in 1914-1915, see mock-up below:

This is a possible Imperial radiator emblem design (c1914-1915)    ms
Size: Unknown

If you can help to identify the possible Imperial radiator emblem shown immediately above or can confirm the dates of any of the Imperial radiator emblems shown here, please let me know, in order to update this post.

Emblem collectors should beware as there are Pulfer made reproduction Imperial radiator emblems, see example shown below. These reproduction Imperial radiator emblems lack the in depth detail of the original Imperial emblem, are cruder in design, have incorrect colors and shiny backs with no maker's mark.

This is a reproduction Imperial radiator emblem   kmc





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