November 19, 2020

RUGGLES

Ruggles Motor Truck Co. (1921-1928)
Saginaw, Michigan
Ruggles Motor Truck Co. Ltd. (1921-1926)
London, Ontario


This is a Ruggles radiator emblem (1921)    mjs
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: American Badge

Frank W. Ruggles was president of the Republic Motor Truck Company from 1917 to 1920.  He moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1921 and established the Ruggles Motor Truck Company. 

The first Ruggles trucks in 1921 were the 1-ton Model 20 and the 2-ton Model 40. In 1922 Ruggles also began to build sightseeing, char-a-banc type passenger buses. Other models were added later in the range of 3/4-ton to 3-ton trucks and 16- to 29-passenger bus chassis. In 1925 Ruggles also began to build fire engines, ambulances and police patrol vehicles.

But the company was losing money by 1926 and, despite reducing the range of products offered, production of Ruggles vehicles ceased altogether in 1928. Ruggles also had a Canadian plant in London, Ontario which assembled trucks from 1921 to 1926.

Emblems

Ruggles trucks produced in Saginaw, Michigan carried a round, white and black enamel radiator emblem depicting a wheel with spokes. It is believed that the Ruggles Saginaw truck emblem shown above, and again below, was a prototype emblem. This Ruggles radiator emblem is extremely rare.

This is believed to be a prototype Ruggles radiator emblem (1921)  mjs
Size: 63mm diameter   MM: American Badge

There is another version of this Ruggles radiator emblem finished in blue and white enamel and with the fixing holes filled and finished in blue enamel, see example shown below. This Ruggles emblem is also much larger in diameter than the other round Ruggles emblems. It is believed that this is another prototype emblem and is also extremely rare.

This is believed to be a prototype Ruggles radiator emblem (1921)  cwc
Size: 72mm diameter    MM: American Badge

The Ruggles radiator emblems shown above have "Ruggles Motor Truck Co." inscribed around the upper border of the emblem but this inscription is not symmetrical and has an empty space after the final "Co.". 

It is not clear why the emblem was made like this, but it may be related to the red and white enamel radiator emblem with a sunburst central design made for Ruggles trucks assembled in London, Ontario, see example shown below. This Canadian Ruggles radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Ruggles Canada radiator emblem (1921-1926)   mjs
Size: 63mm diameter   MM: Whitehead & Hoag

Comparing the Canadian emblem shown above with the Saginaw emblems shown earlier. it can be seen that the space after the final "Co."in the Saginaw emblem is used to place "Ltd" in the Canada emblem. 

This suggests that perhaps there may have been an intention by the emblem maker to use part of the emblem die for both emblems. However, this is unlikely, as there are so many other differences in the detailed design of the two emblems. More likely, it was an error by the draftsman designing the Saginaw emblem, which was later rejected after prototype emblems had been produced. 

The corrected black and white Ruggles Saginaw radiator emblem has the "Ruggles Motor Truck Co." set symmetrically around the upper border of the emblem, see example shown below. This Ruggles radiator emblem is very rare.

This is a Ruggles radiator emblem (1921-1924)     mjs
Size: 63mm diameter    MM: poss American Badge

Ruggles truck advertisements from 1921-1923 refer to "The World's Greatest Truck" and show a very similar radiator emblem to that above but it is inscribed "Saginaw, Mich. U.S.A." along the bottom border, suggesting that this emblem was intended for Ruggles trucks built for export, see example shown below:

This is a Ruggles advertisement (1921)  ma


Close-up showing Ruggles export emblem (1921-1924)

I have not seen this Ruggles export emblem but it is likely such an emblem was used. If you have a photo of this Ruggles export emblem, please let me know, in order to update this post. If this Ruggles export radiator emblem can be found, it would be extremely rare.

In 1924, the Ruggles truck emblem design was changed to the large oval-shaped, black enamel radiator emblem shown below. This Ruggles radiator emblem is scarce.

This is a Ruggles radiator emblem (1924-1928)    mjs
Size: 130mm wide 66mm high    MM: None

I do not know, if there was a similar Ruggles radiator emblem made for the trucks assembled in London, Ontario from 1924 to 1926. It is possible that the round Canadian Ruggles emblem continued in use during this period.

Some Ruggles truck models from 1924, using the oval radiator emblem shown above, also displayed the "Ruggles" name on a black painted nameplate attached to the rear or side frame members of the truck, see example below:

This is a Ruggles truck showing side frame nameplate (c1927) invisionic

This is a Ruggles truck nameplate (1924-1928)    dkc
Size: 370mm wide 95mm high   MM: Unknown 

The following photo from a 1926 advertisement shows a Ruggles Fast Freight six-cylinder van displaying the large black oval radiator emblem together with a "Ruggles" radiator script:

This is a Ruggles Fast Freight van with radiator script (1926) americanikons

Close-up showing Ruggles radiator emblem and script (1926) 


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