March 17, 2022

MOLINE/MOLINE-KNIGHT

Moline Automobile Co. (1904-1919)

East Moline, Illinois


This is a Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblem (1912-1913)     mjs
Size: 103mm wide 70mm high    MM: Unknown

The Moline Automobile Company was established by Orlando Root and W H Vandervoort, and began to build medium-sized two- and four-cylinder motor cars in 1904. Engine sizes started at 12 hp in 1904 and increased to 40 hp by 1909. The Moline was a sturdy motor car and won the Chicago Reliability Run and other endurance contests on a regular basis. The Moline advertising slogan was "The Car of Unfailing Service" and Moline celebrated its success in endurance events by introducing the Moline Dreadnaught at the New York Auto Show in January 1911. 

In 1914 Moline introduced a four-cylinder Knight sleeve-valve-engine in a car called the Moline-Knight. The Moline-Knight was the lowest-priced Knight-engined motor car on the market and sold well. From 1920 the Moline-Knight was continued in production under the new name of R&V Knight.

Emblems

The earliest Moline runabout in 1904 did not carry an emblem but would have displayed the Moline name on a small serial plate attached to the body or under the driver's seat.

The following Moline advertisement from 1905 includes a photo of a Moline Model D with what appears to be an emblem or nameplate mounted on the front of the radiator tank top:

This is a Moline Model D ad showing a radiator nameplate/emblem (1905)     ms

Close-up showing the Moline radiator nameplate/emblem (1905)

The Moline radiator nameplate or emblem in the advertisement appears to be narrow and rectangular in shape, although the detail is far from clear, see the close-up view shown above.

The following mystery blue and white enamel Moline emblem would be a candidate for this Moline radiator emblem, but the 1905 date is too early for this emblem to be finished in enamel. This Moline emblem is very rare. It is possible that there was an initial painted version of this emblem used in 1905, although I cannot confirm this.

This is a Moline emblem (dates unknown)     mjs
Size: 134mm wide 37mm high overall    MM: None

If you have further details of this Moline emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post.

There was a different radiator emblem for at least some Moline models in 1906, see example below from an original photo taken at a trade show:

This photo shows Moline cars at a trade show (c1906)     dpl 

Close-up showing the Moline radiator emblems (c1906)     dpl

The same emblem is also seen on original photos of Moline cars from 1907 and is the painted Moline radiator emblem shown below. This Moline radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Moline radiator emblem (1906-1907)     mjs
Size: 89mm wide 57mm high      MM: None

Original photos taken in 1908 shown no radiator emblem but do show the "Moline" name displayed on a large brass script attached to the radiator core, see example below:

This is a Moline car taking part in the Glidden Tour (1908)    dpl

A different Moline radiator script is seen in original photos from 1909, see example shown below:

This is a Moline car taking part in the Glidden Tour (1909)    dpl

The Moline radiator script style seen in the 1909 photos is the same as was used in Moline advertisements from 1909 and later, see example below:

This is a Moline ad showing a script logo (1909)  ms

Moline radiator scripts were used in different sizes, see smaller example below. Original Moline radiator scripts are rare.

This is a Moline radiator script (c1910)     mjs
Size: 170mm wide

In 1910, the "Moline" name in the same script style is seen either impressed in or soldered onto the radiator tank top, see example shown below:

This is a Moline car showing the name on the radiator tank top (1910)    dpl

The Moline Dreadnaught was introduced at the New York Auto Show in January 1911, see the Moline advertisement shown below:

This is a Moline Dreadnaught ad (late 1910)    ms

The Moline Dreadnaughts carried an eye-catching blue and white enamel radiator emblem depicting a Dreadnaught battleship, see example shown above at the top of this post and again below.

This is a Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblem (1911-1912)    mjs
Size: 103mm wide 70mm high   MM: Unknown

The Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblem is much sought after by emblem collectors and is very rare. Collectors should beware, however, as there are reproduction Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblems. The reproduction emblems lack the depth of detail found in original emblems.

There was a different Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblem for the Model M-40 in 1913, which was shown in advertisements, see example below:

This is a Moline Dreadnaught Model M-40 ad showing the new radiator emblem (1913)  ms

The new emblem has the "Dreadnaught" name in white enamel and the "Moline" name is smaller than in the earlier Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblem, see example below. This Moline Dreadnaught radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is a Moline Dreadnaught M-40 radiator emblem (1913-1914)    ms
Size: Unknown    MM: Unknown

The Moline-Knight was introduced in 1914, see Moline advertisement below:

This is a Moline-Knight ad showing the radiator emblem (1914)    ms

The blue and white enamel Moline-Knight radiator emblem depicts Sir Galahad, known as King Arthur's "most perfect knight", see example below. This Moline-Knight radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Moline-Knight radiator emblem (1914-1919)   mjs
Size: 113mm wide 62mm high     MM: None

The following is a Moline-Knight wire wheel hub emblem. This Moline-Knight hub emblem is very rare.

This is a Moline-Knight hub emblem (1914-1919)    mjs
Size: 69mm diameter    MM: None








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